Generally, the earlier Poole
pieces, from whichever era, attract higher values, as do larger pots and
ones that have fuller decoration. Condition
is also important. Crazing is
acceptable and to be expected both on the older traditional Poole Pottery and on
the decorated surfaces of Delphis ware, but any chips or cracks will
seriously reduce the value of a pot.
There are also premiums
attached to pots that can be identified as being painted by particular
decorators. For example,
traditional pottery painted by Ruth Pavely and Anne Hatchard attract
higher prices because, during their
careers, both women were influential in the development of designs at Poole. Other pots
are more valuable because they were made in relatively small numbers.
Perhaps because they were relatively expensive to produce (and
therefore buy, and sold in smaller quantities), or because they were
generally less popular/attractive to the shoppers at the time. This is true both for complete ranges such as “Atlantis”
or particular patterns and shapes. (See my Marks
page for help in identifying and dating Poole Pottery and tips in spotting
It’s a little harder
to get reliable values for Delphis ware, mainly because this pottery is so individual.
The decorators hand can be seen far more clearly in these than in
the patterns designed in earlier years.
Some designs are stronger than others, more defined and richer in
colour and texture, while others appear to have “gone a bit wrong”
in the firing. Earlier pieces
(pre 1971), get higher prices as these are perhaps more cutting-edge, more
individual, and the decorators in the early years apparently had more time
to spend on each piece. Those
marked “Studio” or ones with blue rather than black stamps are the
earliest and usually most expensive.
Among the later pieces,
more popular (and immediately identifiable) decorators seem to command relatively
higher prices, e.g. Carol Cutler, Sarah Worral, Wendy Smith. I’m sure all collectors will have their own favourite
decorators. mine I guess are Carolyn Bartlett, Jean Millership and Pamela
a 1973 Poole sales catalogue which gives prices for new Delphis plates
the 2010 Going
Rate for 1973 Delphis
So it looks like
out to be a reasonable investment for buyers at the time.
The 1973 catalogue also gives
prices for the then new Aegean range which was more expensive than
Delphis. Delphis 8 inch dish £1.34: Aegean 8 inch dish £1.60. This
I guess reflected both the increased cost of producing Aegean, and the
continued downgrading of Delphis, that about this time was redefined as
"gift ware". Unfortunately, at £15.54 in 2010 money for an 8
inch Aegean plate, brought from new and cared for for 38 years, you might only
just get your money back today. But then how do you put a price on all
thse years of enjoyment.
Read in the mid-1950's