Sometimes buying vintage china is like waiting for a bus. You wait and wait for ages for one to come along and then two turn up at the same time. This was what happened to us with Poole Pottery recently. We had hardly seen any pieces of Poole pottery before despite looking out for some. However, last weekend my mum and dad were out vintage shopping and found a lovely set of four Poole coffee cups and saucers in excellent condition. The following day, I popped into an antiques shop while in Chepstow for the day and to my delight found two Poole sugar bowls in gorgeous grey and aqua colours. There were cups and saucers too but unfortunately they were badly damaged so I left them behind.
Digging around online for some information about Poole Pottery, I found out that company was started in 1873 as ‘Carter and Co’ making tiles and other building-related pottery. Then in the early twentieth century the company started to produce decorative items and tableware. These items have been hugely popular over the last 100 years and I was pleased to read that Poole is still running today although items are now manufactured in Staffordshire in the Middleport factory rather in their original Dorset one. It’s nice to know that they are still produced in the UK though and in one of the early Staffordshire potteries too.
I hadn’t realised just how many pieces of decorative ware Poole made as I had only really paid attention to the tea and coffee sets previously. Some of the vases and pots are stunning and are worth a lot of money these days. There’s a lovely gallery of 1950s vases, carafes and bowls on the Virtual Museum of Poole Pottery’s website.
The coffee cups and saucers that we bought were made between 1959 and 1967 and have a lovely blue-grey tone to them. They are perfectly formed and proportioned. They make me want to become an espresso drinker just so that I could use them myself!
The two sugar bowls are in two of the classic Twintone colour combinations. The double colour combinations began to be produced in 1936, when Poole produced some sepia and mushroom items. My bowls aren’t as old as this. The backstamp indicates that they could have been made between 1970 and 1999. However, I think they must be from sometime between 1970 and 1981 because that was the last year the company made Twintone pieces.
The colours of the bowl on the left-hand side of the picture are called seagull and ice-green. I think that the bowl on the right might be in the sky blue and dove grey combination. The colours are really similar to the other bowl but the grey isn’t speckled like the seagull and the green has more blue in it.
I haven’t decided yet whether the keep the bowls. They’re looking very at home on our vintage sideboard (the newest (old!) addition to our living room). Maybe I’ll wait until I find some matching milk jugs before putting them on the shop!