Early designs were often very flowery or featured birds, almost certainly designed as display pieces these included jugs, vases and bowls. Later egg cups, preserve pots, platters and cruet sets - including items such as the mustard pot here were included in Poole's flowery collection. Lots of the shapes created during this period would go on to be manufactured for many, many years. One of the early 1920's designers at Poole was Truda Carter, her designs were based on flowers, birds and animals and her work is often compared to designers such as Clarice Cliff.
During the late 1920s and throughout the 30s, Poole Pottery began making more essential pieces of pottery which included cups, saucers, plates, teapots and coffee pots. These had simpler one or two colour glazes. Purbeck, Studland, Everest and Planeware were all typically Art Deco in style and were glazed in colours such as Sapphire Blue, Apple Green, Magnolia and a range of pastels.
Above is a very rare large fruit bowl, we believe this shape was first produced in the 1920s/30s. Marked with the Poole Dolphin 1951-55, this bowl comes in the most popular ice green and mushroom C96 Twintone glaze we have only ever seen one!
Many of the classic Poole Pottery shapes we see as collectors today were designed by John Adams in the 1930s. From around 1935, the Streamline shape was introduced. This was so successful it was manufactured for over 30 years, with minor tweaks here and there.
Early plates had a rim as seen on the Ice Green oval platter above.
(above a pre-war Streamline Ice Green and Seagull teapot, which has a different shaped spout, a rectangular handle on the lid and is made from very fine pottery.)
The lid handles on Streamline teapots were initially rectangular rather than round, with the spout curving downwards. The knobs on biscuit barrels and preserve pots were curvy and pointed, and early serving dishes had curved handles which faced downwards.
(above an early styled Streamline preserve pot in Red Indian and Magnolia with the characteristic pointed lid and the raised rim c. 1953). Below a very rare shaped jug from Poole Pottery with the Falling Leaves pattern from 1957.
You will find both plain and patterned Streamline shapes in Poole Pottery. One of the most often found patterns is Trudiana. This is a pretty calligraphic floral design, created by Ruth Pavely in the 1950s (Ruth worked at Poole from 1922 - 1965, and so she had a great input into Poole's pattern design history). Other rarer patterns include the Falling Leaves, Summer Days, Red Pippin and the abstract pattern Ariadne.
In the early 1950s Alfred Read joined the company and designed a range called 'Contemporary Patterns', this included Featherdrift, seen on the teapot below.
Below... a rare Summer Days teapot the design was created by Ruth Pavely in 1957.
above...the Falling Leaves designed by Ruth Pavely in 1957, seen again below in a very rare biscuit barrel...
above...Red Pippin designed by Ruth Pavely 1957
above... A funky groundbreaking design called Grey Pebble by Robert Jefferson in 1959
Above... Summer Days cheese dish designed by Ruth Pavely 1957, alongside an early Art Deco shaped Red Indian and Magnolia Twintone Cheese Dish, with a semi circular knob on rectangular shaped lid, and a regular Ice Green and Mushroom cheese dish.
Below...a Butter Box designed by AB Read in 1958.
above..Ariadne 'Contemporary Pattern' on teapot created by Ann Read & Ruth Pavely 1955
One of our favourite patterns is the unfortunately named 'Tears', created by Ruth Pavely for Poole's 'Contemporary Pattern, Tableware Fancies' range in the 1950s. Our favourite item in the 'Tears' range is the cruet set, which has off-white pots with an ice green peapod shaped tray and pointy lid to the mustard pot. The hand-painted pattern is in ice green, blue and red, as seen below.
Why not add to your Poole Pottery collection, by seeking out rare pieces such as this minimalist ice green vase?
Or seek out the most unusual shapes such as this two handled lidded sugar bowl...
A key piece for any collector of Poole Pottery must be the early morning tea set designed by John Adams in the 1930s. This features a tray, which has indentions to hold a teapot, jug, sugar bowl and 2 cups. It is a real piece of craftmanship and, even though the tray is pottery it is still very lightweight. As with all Poole Pottery it needs to be seen and handled in reality to really appreciate it's quality.
These came in from around 1935 in Poole's Streamline range of pottery. The Streamline shapes are our personal favourites, understated, chic and curvy, there are at lots of different pot variations from this range which was in production until the 60s.
Another very sought after piece for any Poole Pottery devotees collection is the wartime rations dish...this was created from the nibbles dish, but glazed in three colours to help people determine whose butter ration was whose...I have only ever seen 2 in reality and this one is available at the moment from my personal collection...
Collectors of Poole Pottery may opt to collect a particular glaze, shape or style of Poole Pottery. Personally our collection aims to include one of each of the Twintone glazes Poole Pottery created. Here is a useful chart of the main Twintone glaze numbers and the dates they were in production to help you locate them.
C50 Pink/Seagull 1930s-50s
C54 Sepia/Mushroom 1930s - 81
C57 Ice Green/Seagull 1930s - 81 ( a Contour set is seen below)
C67 Celadon/Seagull c.1938
C84 Sky Blue/Magnolia c.1938 (very rare see below)
C96 Ice Green/Mushroom 1953-65 as seen on the teapot below...
C95 Red indian/Magnolia 1953-58 as seen on the very rarely found biscuit barrel below...
C97 Peach Bloom/Seagull 1953-68 - loving this set of egg cups on their tray in this glaze below...
C101 Peach Bloom/Mushroom (1954 only very rare see below)
C102 Lime Yellow & Moonstone Grey (rare see below)
C103 Lime Yellow/Seagull 1957-66 below on an ultra rare contour tall, but dinky milk or cream jug below...
C104 Sky Blue/Dove Grey 1959-81 below on early style preserve pot
C107 Sweetcorn/Brazil 1965-68
C100 Peach Bloom (pink colour) and Mist Blue 1953-56 is seen below, this is hardly ever seen.
In the 1950s A.B. Read designed curvy Freeform bowls for Poole Pottery, like the gorgeous one below in Red Indian and Magnolia C95 glaze.
A great way to start your Poole Pottery collection is with the vast range of Preserve Pots they designed over the years. These come in a huge range of colour combinations, including peach bloom and seagull and sky blue and dove grey. There are also various sizes with different lid and pot shapes. They would look fabulous on a display shelf.
Why not include some of the Contour shaped pots designed by Robert Jefferson in the 1960s? Below is a rare example of the Honeydew glaze made in 1965.
Don't forget you could include some of the Bokhara designs which were introduced by Robert Jefferson in the 1960s. These include patterns which were created using a method of sgraffito (scraping through one layer of glaze to reveal the original colour beneath.)
Notice the huge departure from Poole's usual preserve pot shape, these are known as waisted preserve jars. Below is a waisted Bokhara Preserve pot.
The pots are larger with definitively shaped lids and bold colours - the ones above are Sapphire and Black. Interestingly, Bokahara patterns designs were also placed upon Poole's traditional Streamline shapes as seen with the preserve pot in the centre below. The pots on either side are Bokhara Butter Boxes, which are strangely round.
Robert Jefferson's input into Poole Pottery was great, joining the company in 1957. He brought new patterns and techniques into the manufacturing process. One of the earliest patterns he created was Black and Grey Pebble c.1959. You will find this striking pattern on Poole's Streamline shaped pottery...see below.
In the early 1960s, Jefferson introduced the Contour range. This included the newly shaped curvy Contour teapot. A rare example of a Honeydew glazed pot can be seen below.
Here is an example of the matching Honeydew Contour milk jug and sugar bowl....We love this tone of yellow, it is so unusual and easy on the eye.
The new Contour cups were tall and sleek in shape, as can be seen on the Desert Song tea set below.
Other patterns include Morocco, a rich blue cup with white patterned saucer...
In the late 1950s Robert Jefferson introduced a range of oven to tableware shapes for Poole Pottery....
This was a completely new area for Poole. The Lucullus range included stewpots, baking trays, egg bakers....
and casserole dishes, with mushroom, cockerel, herb garden patterns, and also designs with prawns and scallops.
These dishes rival makers such as Pyrex for their flexibility in the modern kitchen. Cook, bake and store foods with this ultra fine pottery tableware!
One of the rarest items we have found from the Lucullus range is this set of cups and saucers in a pattern known as Russet.
One of the rarest Poole Pottery glazes is Sunshine Yellow from the early 1960s. This was used on items such as The Herb Garden Stewpot seen below. Not often seen, this stunning zesty lemon colour is highly sought after by those wanting to add a bright *pop* of colour to their vintage kitchens.
The Herb Garden range included small oven to table casseroles which are also ideal for storing foods in the fridge.
It is remarkable given the very fine, light quality of this pottery range that even large oven to table casserole dishes were produced. These robust dishes rival, and even surpass the quality of the contemporary Scandinavian makers in my opinion.
Below we have a lovely set of perfect sunshine yellow Contour bowls which have been designed to have handles on them. Simply stunning!
Sunshine yellow is highly sought after by Poole collectors, and it is hard to track down. Below a delightful Contour milk jug....
Poole Pottery continued to experiment with glaze colours and shapes well into the 1960s. Until the last Twintone glaze was introduced; Sweetcorn and Brazil, as seen on the hot water jug below. This was placed upon both their Streamline and Contour shapes. Though eventually the Streamline shape was completely discontinued in 1965.
By the 1980s Poole Pottery began to introduce mainstream patterns and shapes by designers such as Elaine Williamson. These included floral designs such as Fleur below.
One of the most lasting Poole glazes is Blue Moon a shiny teal blue colour (see below) it looks wonderful alongside pale blue or orange tablewares. This was produced from 1955 to 1981.
In later years souvenir pieces which depict local Poole scenes and adorable pieces such as this plate with a map of the Poole area were created. These can be very collectable and look wonderful on display.
Sadly Poole Pottery closed down in 2006. The name 'Poole' has been purchased and is being used by Denby who make vivid coloured vases etc in Stoke on Trent which bear little or no relation to the vintage Poole we sell at yay retro! and personally collect.
Here are a range of Poole Pottery markings from the 1940s to the 1970s...you can read more about these on our blog here.
Don't forget to add a pretty Poole Pottery toast rack to your collection! Ideal for use as a business card holder or letter rack too!
Information on this page will be updated as and when we learn more, and is based upon our current knowledge.
Key Books:Poole Twintone & Tableware by Anne Wilkinson
Poole Pottery by Will Farmer