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Collecting Carlton Ware

Carlton mug
This earthenware and pottery Company was established in Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, England in 1890. The company was formed by James Frederick Wiltshaw and W.H and J.A Robinson and called the Carlton Works.

In 1894 they created a trade mark which was a circular mark with a crown on the top carring their intials W&R. Wrapped around were the words Stoke on Trent and Carlton Ware below, with a swallow flying in the centre.

In 1911 the Robinsons left the partnership and so James Wiltshaw became the sole proprietor. The company was renamed Wiltshaw and Robinson Ltd. The company revived and took on a new designer, Horace Wain who introduced new shapes, designs etc..

In 1911 James Wiltshaw was involved in an accident and was killed on a railway station at Stoke-on Trent.. It was then that the son of James Wiltshaw (Frederick Cuthbert Wiltshaw) took over the company. In 1930 it bought out a firm called Birks,Rawlins and Co. This was to enable them to expand their Carlton china production. In 1958 the company name was changed to Carlton Ware Ltd but in 1967 it was taken over by Arthur Wood and Sons.

Up until the 1980's it continued to have success but in the latter part it got into problems and in 1989 it went into receivership. An attempt was made to keep it going by a company called Grosvenor Ceramic Hardware and it finally closed 1992
Carlton sugar shaker
Names like 'Rouge Royale' with it's dark red lustre produced after 1930 are popular and inexpensive to find. Decoration is varied from Art Deco designs in unusual colours, Kate Greenway style fairies, Chinese and even Egyptian decorations after the find of Tutankamun's tomb in the 1920's. A well known one seen in many pubs in the 1950's was the Toucan which was part of a promotional range for Guinness. Another range being the salad ware from the 1920's, very popular up until the mid 1970's. Designs like the lobster and bright red tomatoes.

Many pieces of Carlton ware are still to be found at auctions, fairs and even car boots. The brighter colours of the earlier designs being very popular, like the floral embossed ones showing plants such as Apple blossom, Foxglove etc. In the 1950's and 60's the colours became more subtle and two toned, with flowers like orchids and lilies.

With all ceramic collecting it's always best to buy perfect pieces if you can, especially when they are still plentiful.


For further information go to

China repair
Porcelain and Ceramic Repair by David Battams,Workshop Tel 07956832375 (Buckinghamshire) Email