Rob's Poole Pottery Collection
been in contact recently by a couple of people who are just beginning new
collections of Poole Pottery, and this has made me reflect on
where it all began for me.
The website started off on a small scale, as a bit of fun,
one quiet weekend at the end of
2008, but it's been updated and changed so much since then, that it doesn't give much
impression of how my collection began. The blog does
give more of a chronology, but the first post there wasn't made until
in January 2010, and by that time I'd done a whole five years of
collecting. So I've decided to record the first few steps in
my collecting here.
Early in 2005 I discovered eBay and started
few useful, practical things: Slug traps for the allotment, an alarm
clock with a easy to reach snooze button. But there are only only so
many useful, practical things you need, and I wanted to keep on shopping: I was a collector in search of
subject. So I brought a Denby milk jug and sugar bowl, still useful,
but when they
arrived, I realised how ugly they were and re-listed them the next
day. I brought some Shelly-like horizontally striped vases, which I still have,
made by a factory that I've had no luck in researching and
for which, I'm sure, there is no following these days.
Then, from a standing start on 17th April 2005, I brought my first
I still had an eye for practicality and was looking a
usable toast rack and found the perfect one, pictured below. I was immediately
drawn to it's retro colour, pared down form, and how it seems to stretch the
physical properties of clay to the limit. It's still in regular use
Ice Green Toast Rack, designed by
Robert Jefferson in 1964, my first Poole Pot.
this time, I think, Poole Pottery was already something of an eBay phenomena,
but I'm not sure that I even knew it's name. I do remember seeing Living Glaze vases in John Lewis, and for some time after buying the
toast rack, I started looking for the same vases on eBay, but never found one at
the right price. So I carried on buying more bits of Contour and
Streamline range Twin-tone pots for use at home.
the end of 2005 I was getting a definite taste for the pots I wanted to
collect and brought my first piece of Delphis ware. I splashed out (a whole £20.44!) on buying the bowl below,
thinking I'd buy just one pot and be satisfied, and I remember at
the time a friend reassuring me that the
money was well spent on what he described as a little work of Art.
Delphis bowl with Dolphin blue glaze underside, shape
number 56 (15 cm in diameter, painted by Lynn Gregory between 1970 and
the bowl arrived in the post, I was so excited, I didn't even see the 4 inch hairline crack
down the side, until after I left positive feedback for the seller. To be
fair to me, it was the first hairline I'd ever seen, and although it wasn't to be the last,
I do now check more carefully for damage. Six
years on, I wouldn't give this bowl a second look if I saw if
for sale again. But it's still on display, and will stay in my collection,
despite the damage, mainly because it was the first Delphis pot I
owned, but also because
I know, with the crack, if sold I'd never make my money back.
pot certainly wasn't enough however, and I carried on buying Delphis ware
from this point onwards. I started to see myself as a collector, and
I think the pots gradually have become better, more colourful, more textured, more
detailed, and bigger, as I've learned more.
Delphis remained the focus of my collecting for those first few years, I also became aware of the earlier pots made at Poole.
The first Art
Deco pot I found was an EE pattern Jam pot, I bought from eBay
sometime in 2007. Again, I think, to own just one example - a trap
that's caught me repeatedly since.
pot, shape number 288 (10cm tall), EE pattern painted by
Nellie Bishton between 1927 and 1934
as moreish as all the other pots had been, a pot turns up, and you know
you have to have it. Well I found my first one of these at the first antiques
fair I visited, back in 2007. There were no more than 20 stalls, in
a church hall in penistone, but one of the stalls had three fabulous Art Deco
Poole pots. I was still new to pots from this period,
and although I was beginning to think how undervalued they were compared to the more recent
pots, the asking price for each was far more than I'd ever paid before.
But I bought just one pot below, for £46, and it remains one of
my favorite pots and one that i might never beat. And looking back while
I still think I bought the best of the three, my regret is that I should
have grabbed the other two as well.
Spill vase shape number
205 (14cm tall) BY pattern,
painted by Nellie
Bishton between 1927-32