Tag Archives: reviews

Book Review: Poole Pottery by Will Farmer

Poole Pottery is another of Shire Books A5-sized paperback books, written by Will Farmer. Will Farmer is an expert on 20th Century decorative arts and a director of Fielding’s Auctioneers in Stourbridge. His face might also be familiar to you as one of the experts on the Antiques Roadshow.

Poole Pottery by Will Farmer - Shire Books
This is a concise book that looks at the history of Poole Pottery from the early days of Carter & Co, through the 1950′s when Poole produced its Freeform range to  the present day. The author not only talks about the pottery and its historical background, but looks at how the changing times influenced the designs that came out of the pottery.

This is really nice short volume and is laid out well with colour photographs on every page. There are some really interesting pictures of early Poole pieces, including one of a wall plaque originally attached to the factory wall back in c1925. There is not any information on pottery marks or decorators’ marks; if this is what you are looking for, the definitive (and expensive) Poole book is Poole Pottery by Hayward & Atterbury.

However at under £7, Will Farmer’s Poole Pottery is certainly good value if you want a readable and illustrated introduction to the history and wares of Poole Pottery.

Buy Poole Pottery direct from direct from the publisher or on Amazon

Book Details

Title: Poole Pottery
Author: Will Farmer
RRP: £6.99
Publisher: Shire Books
ISBN: 978-0-74780-835-0
Format: A5 paperback, 64 pages

Book Review: Royal Crown Derby by Margaret Sargeant

This book is written by Crown Derby expert Margaret Sargeant, who worked for the Royal Crown Derby museum for fourteen years. She has written and lectured widely on the factory and is an authority on the company.

This is a concise book providing a good introduction to the history of Derby porcelain from 1750 right through to the present day.

Royal Crown Derby by Margaret Sargeant
Split into three sections it covers the three main eras of Royal Crown Derby working from the Nottingham Road Factory (c1750-1848), to the King Street Factory (c1848-1935), and then on to the Osmaston Road factory (c1877 – onwards) where it remains today.

Each section provides a historical guide into the porcelain factory with many interesting early photographs that are mostly in colour. An added bonus to any enthusiast is that at the end of each section is a summary of the pottery marks used by the factory at that time. Having pictures of pottery marks is especially useful when you’re trying to identify pieces and date them.

This is another of Shire Books A5-sized format and is generally clear to read with photographs breaking up the pages well. It’s nice to have a concise book that not only works you through the history of a pottery but also provides you with information on the pottery marks used.

For under £5 it’s certainly worth the money if you’re interested in a general introduction to Royal Crown Derby.

Buy Royal Crown Derby direct from direct from the publisher or on Amazon

Book Details

Title: Royal Crown Derby
Author: Margaret Sargeant
RRP: £4.99
Publisher: Shire Books
ISBN: 978-0-74780-443-7
Format: A5 paperback, 40 pages

Book Review: Ceramics of the 1950s by Graham McLaren

This review features another of Shire Books’ A5-sized books on British pottery. Ceramics of the 1950s does exactly what the title suggests and provides an introduction to the ceramics of the 1950s and to the political, cultural, economic and technical factors that were behind its development.

Ceramics of the 1950s by Graham McLaren
Both tableware and decorative wares are included, although the bias is towards tableware. Author Graham McLaren is very knowledgeable and the book is easy to read and follow. The role of new technology and social changes in the designs of the 1950s is explained and plenty of examples of collectable 1950s ceramics are provided from most of the main British potteries of the time.

Ceramics of the 1950s is one of Shire Books’ older titles – this means that although it has had a new cover in recent years, the internal layout and presentation of the book are somewhat dated and the quality of the pictures is not as high as in newer titles.

Despite this, it is clear to read, the information is good and the pictures are useful. This book is an ideal introduction to 1950s ceramics and is well worth a fiver if you would like to start learning about or collecting pottery from this era.

Buy Ceramics of the 1950s direct from the publisher or on Amazon

Book Details

Title: Ceramics of the 1950s
Author: Graham McLaren
RRP: £5.99
Publisher: Shire Books
ISBN: 978-0747803362
Format: A5 paperback, 40 pages