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Collecting Poole Pottery

A Poole delphis bowl

Poole Pottery was started in 1873 by a man called Jesse Carter who bought a bankrupt business called East Quay Pottery from a James Walker.

Jesse Carter had been a successful builderīs merchant in Surrey. The move with his family to Poole, on the quayside, in Dorset, gave them a beautiful location that looked out over the water to Brown Sea Island and Sandbanks, now one of the most expensive areas in the UK, to live.

He called it Carter & Company and by the 1880s it had become well established, producing decorative tiles and architectural ceramics such as fire surrounds also other uses in shops, hotels etc. Jesse Carter had two sons named Charles and Owen that had started working in the family business and when Jesse retired in 1901, they took over control. More decorative wares were introduced and new lustre glazes were experimented with.

In 1919 Owen died which brought about a new direction. Owens nephew Cyril Carter was brought in to continue development of the ornamental side of the business who joined forces with artists and craftsmen John Adams and Harold Stabler to form Carter Stabler Adams in 1921. Along with their wives Phoebe Stabler and Truda Adams who were both talented designers, they had a very creative team who started to develop the traditional wares that became recognisable as Poole pottery. Truda Adams was particularly influential with her floral decoration and in the 1930s her Art Deco designs. Other designs were painted by a team of more than 30. Such skilful painters as, Margaret Holder and Ruth Pavely, signed each piece with a distinctive monogram. John Adams also introduced many new pottery designs including the Streamline shape which started a tableware range suitable for the mass market.

The 2nd world war brought this company almost to the brink, due to the government restrictions on production of commercial domestic pottery, allowing only utility ware for output.

In 1950 John Adams and Truda Carter (formerly Truda Adams who had married Cyril in 1930), then both retired. This brought in Alfred Read as head designer who built a new team including his |daughter Ann also including ex painter Ruth Pavely. This period brought in new freeform shapes and a new Alpine White glaze but it was short lived as Alfred became ill and retired in 1958.
A Poole leaping dolphin
The next man to be brought in, was Robert Jefferson who was responsible for the well known figure of the leaping dolphin. A major success was his studio pottery going under the name of Delphis this sold extremely well and in 1970s the colours were standardised around red, orange, green and yellow glazes. These were still unique pieces and were all signed by the painter.

Cyril Carter retired in 1963 and the name of the Company was changed to Poole Pottery. In 1964 it was acquired by Pilkingtonīs.

In 1969 Guy Sydenham introduced a range known as Atlantis, distinctive in that, they were deeply carved. In 1970 the Aegean range was introduced by Leslie Elsden. More complex designs were called Ionian. Between the Pilkington take-over and 1992 when a management buy-out took Poole Pottery back to an independent company, various other ranges of decorative wares were produced such as Sienna, Contrast, Domino, Calypso, and Olympus

Today Poole Pottery still resides on the idyllic Poole Quayside and has a working studio where potters can be seen throwing the clay.
It also has an online shop Link below.

Poole Pottery Collectors Club

Poole Backstamps

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