On a recent trip to Cambridge, I was pleased to find some vintage Colclough and Tuscan china cake plates hidden at the bottom of some shelves in a charity shop, dirty and unloved. As soon as I felt the edges of the plates I could tell that they were going to be special even before seeing the patterns.
The Colclough plate is from around 1945-1948 according to the backstamp and it has the most beautiful sheen to it. The delicate blue, pink and yellow roses look like they’ve just come out of the factory! I wonder where it has been hiding all these years.
I think I’ve only seen this pattern once before in a tea set that we sold a while back. That one had a lemon background whereas this one has a light blue one.
If you want to read more about Colclough, I’ve written about the pottery in a few previous posts, e.g. the Ballet/Harlequin range and Herbert Colclough’s pottery mission. While checking the backstamp dates on The Potteries website, I found a lovely picture of a Colclough advert from 1947 with a phrase epitomising the Colclough vision: ‘A Colclough dealer has china ware to offer which creates an immediate appeal to eye and pocket.’
The other two plates I found are from Tuscan china’s Peach Bloom range. Unlike the Colclough plates, they have no pattern but the milky peach hue and the delicately-fluted edges are enough in themselves.
Tuscan china was made until the late 1960s and I think these plates are probably from the late 1950s/early 1960s. I put together a selection of Tuscan patterns along with the history of the company in a previous blog post.
I photographed the plates on top of a baby blue wooden stool which is from Ikea’s Brakig range. I had to pop to Ikea the other day and had spotted the stools in a post on the lovely Modflowers blog and just had to get one. I think it’s based on a classic design by Arne Jacobsen. I love the simplicity of the combination of the slender form with classic block colours.
I was tempted to buy another colour as well but restrained myself! The napkins are also from Ikea – perfect for when you need some paper napkins for an impromptu tea party!
All I need to do now is to decide whether to make cake stands from the Colclough and Tuscan plates or whether to leave them as they are. What do you think?