Rob's Poole Pottery

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Rob's Poole Pottery Collection Prequel


I've 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 buying a 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 Poole pot.

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 today.



Poole Pottery Twintone Ice Green Toast Rack 1950's

Ice Green Toast Rack, designed by Robert Jefferson in 1964, my first Poole Pot.


At 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.  


By 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 galleries

Delphis bowl with Dolphin blue glaze underside,  shape number 56 (15 cm in diameter, painted by Lynn Gregory between 1970 and 1974.


 And when 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.


One 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.  


While 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.


Traditional  preserve pot, shape number 288 (10cm tall), EE pattern painted by Nellie Bishton between 1927 and 1934


Then 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







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Started December 2008                                                                                                                                                            Last updated: 27/05/2018