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Carlton Ware Pottery

One of the most celebrated producers of pottery to emerge from Stoke-on-Trent, England, Carlton Ware is recognized the world over for its highly decorative pieces, often featuring vibrant colors and luscious fruits. From Carlton Ware plates and dishes to promotional ceramics such as the Guinness toucan, Carlton Ware has captivated collectors for more than a century.

Formed out of a collaborative effort between James Frederick Wiltshaw and brothers William Herbert and James Alcock Robinson, the pottery company first opened in 1890 and took the name "Carlton Ware" only four years later. Wishing to distinguish themselves from the other producers in the region, Carlton Ware set out to create vibrantly decorated pieces adorned with extensive hand painting and bold forms. At first they marketed primarily to the tourist market, but as their acclaim grew, Carlton Ware expanded into more housewares.

Today, collectors still clamor for pieces from Carlton Ware’s lines. They seek out pieces from its first "Blush Ware" line to its cutting-edge contemporary "Windswept" and "Triform" lines of the '50s and '60s.

Quick Facts

  • The Carlton Ware manufacturing facility closed down in 1992 after over a century in business
  • One of Carlton Ware’s most lauded lines was produced in the '20s. Celebrating archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of the famed tomb of Tutankhamen, the line mimicked Egyptian motifs and amplified their luster with a new glazing process
  • The longest running line of Carlton Ware dishes was launched in the '30s. Showcasing a variety of floriated motifs, the line, known as “Chintz,” continued production well into the '60s

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