Pottery Focus: Poole Pottery

Posted by Chris Eley on

Poole Pottery Tableware

It is doubtful that when Jesse Carter bought up a broken down pottery site in Poole, Dorset in 1873, he had any idea of the impact this would have on the future of UK pottery. In the early years the business was tough and concentrated on architectural ceramics but also became well know for the quality and design of its production of decorative tiling. By the 1920's, now under the direction of Jesse's son Owen Carter, the pottery had become established in the production of innovative and colourful ceramics. In 1921, two established designers John Adams and Harold Stabler joined the Carter family business and an independent subsidiary of the business was set up in the name of Carter, Stabler and Adams. Carter, Stabler and Adams main remit was to produce domestic and decorative pottery. The distinctive styles and colours of the pottery were soon established, under the influence of such people as Truda Carter, and became the benchmark for other potteries to be measured by.

The development and advanced designs continued; only interrupted by government restrictions during the Second World War.

Surprisingly, the business was not officially named as Poole Pottery Limited, until 1963, although interestingly many of the ever changing back stamps had dropped the various references to Carter Stabler Adams and CSA from the early 1920's and instead referred to “Poole” or “Poole England”.

Many will think of the 1960's and 1970's as being the greatest days of the pottery and it is certainly that era of the brightly coloured and easily recognised Dephis and other Studio designs that has caught the imagination of many modern collectors and investors. Poole Pottery also led the way with the production of the distinctive tableware of that era which was groundbreaking in both its concept, and design.

In recent months, the pottery has undergone major, and well publicised, restructuring of both its finances and its physical structure. Only time will tell if the new management can help Poole Pottery retain its fine heritage in the pottery industry, or if it will follow the route of so many of the lost names of the UK ceramic producers.

Either way, the productions of the past will not be repeated, so the lovers of this fabulous heritage will need to acquire their collections from the ever dwindling existing stock, before the prices make it the preserve of the super rich.

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