Carlton Ware – Some Lighting Products

Some of the earliest products from Wiltshaw and Robinson’s factory were from the underrated blushware range. Amongst these, prior to the advent of electricity, at the turn of the century, were to be found candle sticks and ceramic parts for oil lamps.

Some examples of these are illustrated.  A small oil lamp in Chrysanthemum made c. 1890-4 backstamp showing first mark. A brass corinthian column oil lamp with Poppy ceramic base c1890-4 first mark, a night stick with swivel candle holder in Heather c.1895, blue crown mark and finally, from this period a baluster vase in Chrysanthemum c.1895, blue crown mark. This lamp has been converted to electricity.

Over the years some more table lamps did appear, although with the exception of commissios for the brewing industry, they generally remain scarce and consequently difficult to find. Those that were made for the Guinness Company for instance, became quite well known in advertising circles, the products often being characterised by an amusing toucan or seal. The Pottery was always very alert to any commercial opportunity.

From the 1920’s is shown a chinoiserie lamp, complete with original fringed shade and electric fittings of the time. This photograph was taken by Elaine from the Carlton Ware pattern books held at the Stoke-on-Trent Museum at Hanley.

Regarding Best Ware, whether first generation, chinoiserie or second generation art deco, again lamps are few and far between. Some were produced outright at the Carlton Works, whilst others have been found to have been converted to electricity often from say, a temple or ginger jar at a later date.

From the 1930’s is shown a factory produced early Handcraft lamp in Dutch, pattern number 3250 c.1929. It was also about this time that attractive candle sticks were made in early Handcraft featuring a restricted pallete such as blue, pink, yellow or green on a white ground. Although not shown designs such as Flowering Papyrus 3242, Orchid, 3255 and Iris 3498 are typical. An example that is shown is from the Old Stoneware range in ribbed mauve pattern 3780 c.1934. Perhaps the pinnacle of factory lamp production was achieved in 1937 with Secretary Bird (4018) illuminating the many skills of the great Carlton Works. Also of note is the large Vert Royale conversion of Spiders Web 4363 from 1940.

During the 1970’s it appears that a number of lamps were manufactured almost by default. Due to the proficiency of some employees with the drill and the ability to glue covers to the main body, a number of table lamps were made this way. The lamps so created were sold unwired and without shades.

With grateful thanks to Mike Maunder, Linda Dobson, Ian Harwood, Jerome Wilson and Charles Knightley.

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