W&R Carlton Ware and Carlton Ware
“Carlton Ware is one of the most collected, cherished and loved
china in Australia.” Quote from Collector on Australia’s own ABC
screened 16th June 2006.
“There’s a touch of the devil in Carlton Ware collectors!”
Everybody knows Carlton Ware; I hale from New Zealand and it is as popular across the Tasman as it is here in Aussie, but it does not stop there. I have sold Carlton Ware to collectors in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Lebanon, Azores, Canada, USA and South Africa. Its’ world wide popularity is matched only by its incredible range. From novelties and crested ware, to salad ware and the embossed patterns like Foxglove, Buttercup, Oak and Hydrangea and then on to the hand painted and lustre patterns like the Chinoiserie School of patterns and Tutankhamen, Crested Bird, Spiders Web and New Stork. There is something Carlton Ware for almost every taste and budget.
My mission is to tell the W&R Carlton Ware story chronologically from the company’s conception in 1890 though to the early 1960’s when Carlton Ware and the Wiltshaw family parted ways. Of course this was not the end of the Carlton Ware story. Since the 1960’s Carlton Ware has had 5 owners who have all added to artistic legacy began by James Frederick Wiltshaw and the brothers James Alcock Robinson & William Herbert Robinson. And the Carlton Ware brand is carried on today by Francis Joseph who produces high quality limited edition pieces.
W&R and Carlton Ware Fact File Layout
The Nicholnack fact files are a free resource. I do request that if you use this resource for commercial gain that you credit www.nicholnack.com.au for providing information.
Pattern Name Protocol
After dialogue Harvey Pettit of Carlton Ware World I have decided that where plausible I will adopt his typographic convention in the title of each pattern.
When the name in a pattern title is in CAPITALS; it is a applied at the factory.
When the name has a Capital first letter and then lower case; this name was given by the naming committee (see “The Carlton Ware Times”) or by an individual and the name is now in popular use.
Names in italics are mine; I am willing to change these if a more favorable name is suggested or a Factory Name is found.
If you have a four digit W&R or Carlton ware pattern number and do not know the pattern it is issued against. Put the number into the Nicholnack search engine located in the top right hand corner of any page of the web site and if I have a record of the number you will be taken to the page where the record is, you may have to scroll down the page to find the reference. It also works if you put Carlton Ware followed by a four digit number into a Google search box; how ever my page may not be at the top of the search, but generally it will be in the top 4 or 5 pages.
Items produced pre 1940 more often than not have the pattern number written by hand in black ink on the base of the item. In the example above on the left, the pattern number is 3968 (Blossom & Spray); the number above 1/8360 is batch number. Items produced after 1940 may have a paper label. In the example on the right above the pattern number is 4340 (New Stork) and the shape number 1640/5.
It is only fitting that the first category is Wiltshaw & Robinson where the Carlton Ware story began. This Category covers Blush Ware, Flow Blue and the lustre patterns first produced under the W&R brand. So all patterns first produced bdfore 1927.
The Introduction is the first of the five Blush Ware pages; following are four pages where the patterns are laid out in alphabetical order. My reasons for this are clearly laid out in Introduction. The early Blush Ware patterns where marked with the Swallow or Ribon makers mark. In 1894 the W&R Crown & Swallow maker's mark was introduced.
This page covers the period just after James Wiltshaw and the Robinson’s parted company. With James Wiltshaw now in control he employed a new Art Director that would lead W&R out of the shadow of the Victorian era into the Twentieth Century. This page is the last of the pages laid out alphabetically. From 1916 the pattern numbering system that was in use up until 1960 begins to flow.
From 1916 the pattern number system flows clearly and cleanly through to the 1960’s. From this point all patterns are laid out by pattern number. Some of W&R and Carlton Ware hand painted motifs have many different pattern number’s attributed to the same motif, a different pattern number for every colour-way. I have listed the first number attributed to each pattern in order to fix a date when the pattern was first produced. This is the ~ four digit number that follows the pattern name in the title. The date in (brackets) beside the pattern number is the approximate year the number was issued. Every item pictured has the pattern number written below it. Generally I will list the pattern numbers of all patterns which I have photographed.
If production of a pattern began during the Wiltshire & Robinson era all the subsequent pattern numbers will appear under W&R heading even if they where produced during the era of the Carlton Ware script mark. All pattern and items listed as W&R in the title mean they have a W&R mark, this is the same with Carlton Ware, Handcraft and the four Royale marks.
The special marks are: Kang He mark (taken from a vase decorated with Rockery and Pheasant pattern), Kang Hsi, the Persian mark, the Cloisonne` Ware Mark, the Chinaland mark, the Armand mark and the Tutankhamen mark.
I have given the Chinoiserie school of motifs a separate page, as there are so many pattern numbers and variations associated with these patterns. The Chinoiserie school takes in 10 motifs, most of which began production under the W&R mark, but many of which also went on to produced under the Carlton Ware mark as well. The pattern’s Mikado and New Mikado where both produced right up until the mid 60’s; they are the longest lived of all the W&R Carlton Ware patterns.
In 1925 a new Carlton Ware mark was brought into use, NOTE: both the W&R and the new Carlton Ware mark where in use together between 1925 and 1927. The new Carlton Ware mark was in use, with several minor variations, up until 1975.
Due to war time restriction, from 1940 most pottery production was halted, except some utilitarian ware. After WWII production of the lustre patterns began again in earnest. A new series of marks was produced circa 1951, these are the Hand Painted and the Royale marks which where in use until 1961.
The most common is the Rouge Royale, then the Bleu Royale, the Vert Royale and the rarest is the Noire Royale Mark.
In 1928 the Handcraft mark was issued, it was in use until circa 1937. The handcraft range of patterns are generally hand painted patterns with a matt finish, but this is not a hard and fast rule as there are about 6 lustre handcraft patterns. The Handcraft school of patterns are classic Art Deco; I would go so far as to call them High Deco. To date I have identifyed 73 Handcraft patterns and colour-way veriations, 70 of which I have photograped and documented in the Handcraft Pattern list.
I am always on the look out for more information to add to the pattern lists. If you have a collection and live in Victoria I would love to photograph your items so that I can extend this fact file. What I am looking for are patterns and colour-ways I do not already have examples of. The items must have a pattern number written on the base so they can be clearly identified. In most cases the Royale’s do not have a hand written pattern number, but on occasions they will have a paper applied factory label on which the pattern number is written, these are particularly helpful.
Please understand this is not a complete list of all the patterns available, but listed are patterns that I have had the priviledge of handling. These pages are a work in process, so over the months and years the files will grow.