Midwinter (Staffordshire)

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Post by Alex_s on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:11 pm

Yes, I know what you mean about the design. The reverse says Midwinter Stylecraft Staffordshire England Fashion Shape 1-59. It's the 1959 style backstamp. There's also a mark that looks like 01, and that's on top of the glaze. Interestingly I've come across someone who has an Empire Ware jug featuring the same pattern, again a transfer on top of the glaze. Seems odd that someone should be trialling a kind of art deco pattern on blanks from two different potteries in the 50s! Unless, they were both some kind of training exercise and someone had a batch of the transfers lying around.
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Post by studio-pots on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:50 pm

Now that you mention Empire Ware I think that is where I might have seen it but to me this doesn't seem that odd.

Back in the early 1990s I dealt in Midwinter and, although I never came across this transfer I do remember some pretty naff "bought in" transfers on Fashion shaped plates.

You have to remember that by 1959 most of the interesting patterns on Stylecraft and Fashion had been brought into production and it was just before some of the fruit and flower patterns of John Russell that harked back to traditional wares were produced. I think that the painted wares were still popular but there was the added cost involved in their production so getting a transfer pattern to catch on made good business sense - I imagine they made samples of whatever was available and do recall seeing the pre-War "crinoline lady" on Fashion shapes.

Basically, this type of transfer was manufactured by companies that sold their transfers around the Potteries to whichever ceramic manufacturer they could.


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Post by studio-pots on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:32 pm

It is a shame that it does make sense and that "Riverside" was the best selling pattern on Midwinter Fashion shape but factories were there to try and make money.

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Post by bistoboy on Fri May 25, 2012 4:30 pm

Has anyone ever come across a range produced by Midwinter, called "Neon Ware" ? I saw a piece today that on first look, was like Shelley 's harmony range with drippy multiple coloured glazed. But it surprised me to see midwinter on the bottom. May go back and buy it if anyone can tell me more.
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Post by bistoboy on Sun May 27, 2012 12:41 pm

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Dscf0310

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Dscf0311

so, here is a piece of Midwinter Neon Ware
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Post by studio-pots on Sun May 27, 2012 4:43 pm

As someone who dealt in Midwinter in a serious way in the 1990s, I have to say that I haven't seen the pattern or the mark before. It has to be from the 1930s and a copy/rip off, as that was what most factories did in those days.

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Post by bistoboy on Sun May 27, 2012 5:39 pm

i contacted the people at the link you gave me Dan. They said they've only seen 2 pieces of Neon Ware by Midwinter (mine will be the third) and think it was range that Midwinter did in the early 1950s, giving free rein to designers like jessie tait. If that's true, stylistically the drip glaze is harking back to the 1930s (as suggested, copying other factories) and i'd say untypical of the factory.
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Post by bistoboy on Sun May 27, 2012 5:55 pm

but my own research has turned up more "neon ware" that doesn't necessarily mention a Midwinter connection - auction records etc. Some do connect neon ware to midwinter though, so, i don't think it can be SO rare as to get that excited.
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Post by studio-pots on Sun May 27, 2012 8:37 pm

bistoboy wrote:i contacted the people at the link you gave me Dan. They said they've only seen 2 pieces of Neon Ware by Midwinter (mine will be the third) and think it was range that Midwinter did in the early 1950s, giving free rein to designers like jessie tait. If that's true, stylistically the drip glaze is harking back to the 1930s (as suggested, copying other factories) and i'd say untypical of the factory.

Can't say that I buy that as from the end of the War until August 1952 the factory like all others was only able to produce "white" wares for the UK market. This meant that over 90% of their production was undecorated and the decorated wares were made for the overseas market. Companies could sell decorated wares in the UK if orders from abroad fell through or stock was returned. The two books on Midwinter by Alan Peat and then by Steven Jenkins focus on post war developments but neither mention Neon Ware. They both state that the factory was using traditional transfer patterns during the early post war period and there is a comment from Jessie Tait moaning about not being allowed to experiment before 1953.

I also found another vase on the internet with the same mark but a stylised Art Deco flower pattern that again suggests the 1930s rather than early post war.

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Post by bistoboy on Sun May 27, 2012 8:49 pm

deco 1930s was my feeling too, but i'm just relaying the info i was given
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Post by gareth-h on Sun May 27, 2012 10:25 pm

Just an observation. "Midwinter" was a trade mark, "W R Midwinter Ltd" was the company name. Either appear in marks, but I have never seen "Midwinter Ltd" I can think of. Would it even be legal? Shrugs
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Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:09 pm

The saucer is zambesi , i feel the gravy boat is most probably a student piece if not a verry short run but certainly no patern name for it .
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Post by dantheman on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:14 am

have you seen zambesi in the red colourway?

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Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:45 am

Yes have seen the red colour way and green as well , there are quite a few oddities with midwinter , i have owned in the past many more unusual pieces such as cannes in just a red outline and in green as well.

I used to be a huge midwinter collector but last year i sold aprox 3000 pieces , have just kept a few of the pieces when i have time i will post some pics up.
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Post by studio-pots on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:20 pm

I was in my cellar this morning looking for a pot that someone was interested in and came across a rat as well, shown below: -

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Rat_pl10

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Rat_ma10

As far as I am concerned, Midwinter were one of the most important pottery companies in Britain in the second half of the 20th century but towards the end of their existance they may have put profit before design!

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Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Empty Tonga Teapot

Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:40 am

A nice Tonga teapot in the Fashion shape a scarce pattern designed by Jessie Tait for Midwinter.Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Tongateapot001_zpsf9ce79bf[/img]
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Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:01 pm

A verry scarce complete Midwinter blue banded lemonade set designed by Jessie Tait, flask is often confused for being a vase which it would easily double up as .Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Lemonadesetjessietait001_zpsb5c7f43e
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Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:34 pm

This is Chequers designed again by Terence Conran a very nice 14" platter , one of my favourite Midwinter patterns so iconic Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Chequerslargeplatter_zpsa994e6f6
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Post by studio-pots on Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:11 pm

Very fond of Chequers but if I had to pick one pattern I think Jessie Tait's Primavera would be my choice.

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Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:50 pm

Primavera on the stylecraft shape is verry iconic of the period , i will have to dig my collection out at some time still have a few pieces left after my big sell off last year.
Or how about a full tea set of Nature Study inc largest size tea pot and scarce low tea cups .[img]Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 NatureStudyteaset001_zps8787aaf3[/img]
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Post by studio-pots on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:22 pm

Ok so not Primavera but........................ a Fashion shape teapot with Festival pattern designed by Jessie Tait and manufactured from 1955.

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 Festiv10

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Post by Eclectic-Dorset on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:23 pm

Studio , nice, named after the festival of britain aparently , you got to love Jessie Taits work from this period , and fairly cheap at present .
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Post by studio-pots on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:43 pm

Eclectic-Dorset wrote:Studio , nice, named after the festival of britain aparently , you got to love Jessie Taits work from this period , and fairly cheap at present .

The newspaper it was wrapped up in was dated 1997 when I could have got considerably more for it than today.

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Post by climberg64 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:05 pm

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 P1010231
Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 P1010232

There were two productions using Hugh Casson's design. This is the older one.

Hugh Casson Riviera on the early Stylecraft shape, slightly later Cannes on the Fashion shape .
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Post by climberg64 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:08 pm

Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 P1010233
Midwinter (Staffordshire) - Page 2 P1010234

Jessie Tate side plate.

Two of us spotted this simultaneously in the charity shop. The fact I was three feet nearer avoided an unseemly tussell....50p.
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