Clarice Cliff Spring Crocus jug

September Newsletter

Welcome to September's Perfect Pieces newsletter. The summer seems to be drawing to an end and things are certainly stepping up a gear for us. We've added an interesting selection of new pieces to the website recently, and our past stock database, which will eventually contain full details of all the pieces we have sold in the last 3-4 years, is getting fuller by the day, although there is still quite a way to go. Have a look and see what you think.

We've chosen three pieces to highlight in this month's newsletter, all of them dating from the late 1920s/early 1930s, but all nonetheless quite different to each other.

Charlotte Rhead came from a distinguished pottery family - her father, Frederick Rhead, was the Art Director at Shelley (Wileman & Co) in the latter part of the 19th century, and designed the highly collectable Foley Intarsio range, among many others. With this heritage behind her, it is perhaps not surprising that both Charlotte and her brother, also Frederick, became involved in the pottery world. While Frederick was to make his name in America, Charlotte Rhead was to become one of the best known ladies of the potteries, working at various Burslem potteries before taking up a position as designer at A. J. Richardson's in 1931, from where she produced many of her most memorable designs and was responsible for much of A. J. Richardson's Crown Ducal range.

Her work is still very popular and collectable today, especially the more unusual pieces. This Charlotte Rhead vase, in the rare Turin pattern, stands around 7" tall and is decorated in rich shades of blue, green and olive, giving it a stylish and very art deco appearance. It's estimated that less than one percent of Charlotte Rhead's Crown Ducal output was decorated with the Turin pattern - in contrast to around 10% for the much easier to find Golden Leaves pattern. (Statistics courtesy of the excellent Crown Ducal by Charlotte Rhead website.)

Charlotte Rhead Crown Ducal Turin pattern vase 2691

Another famous lady of the potteries was Susie Cooper, and while this Gray's Pottery miniature tankard is not a Susie Cooper piece, it does have the distinctive colourful floral style that made 1930s Gray's tableware so desirable. Dating, we believe, from the 1930s, this is a charming miniature tankard, about 4 inches high and decorated with a green, blue and yellow floral pattern (in fact, the same pattern as our Gray's planter).

Grays Pottery miniature tankard mug A3270

While the first two pieces in this month's newsletter have decidedly European influences, our third piece took its inspiration from a different source altogether. The exotic mysteries of the Orient had captured the public's imagination in the 1920s, and this piece is a fine example of the Chinoiserie that became so fashionable as a result.

Glazed with a dark blue lustre, this Carlton Ware plate is decorated in wonderfully intricate detail with the Chinese Figures pattern (no. 3199). These pieces were decorated in several stages. Once glazed, transfer printing was used to apply the gilded pattern. Finally, the enamelling was hand-painted by skilled decorators. The level of detail and variety of colours is remarkable, and this plate is a fine example of the style that Carlton Ware made so successful. It's also quite an unusual shape, and displays the pattern quite differently to a vase or dish.

Carlton Ware Chinese Figures Plate 3199 Carlton Ware Chinese Figures Plate 3199

That's all for this month, but as ever, feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or requests and we will be glad to help.

Best wishes,

Perfect Pieces


Here you'll find a list of our past newsletters. They feature information on different potteries, some of our featured stock and information on antique fairs and general news from the antique and collectors world!

Happy reading!