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Poole Pottery

Carter & Co. (Ltd) was established in 1873 when Jesse Carter acquired a tile business in Poole’s East Quay that had been in business since the 1860s.

The initial focus was on tiles and architectural ceramics but from the late 1890s until he died in 1919, Owen Carter, Jesse Carter’s son, worked on developing new ranges of decorative pottery and handcrafts. These products were sold through outlets like Liberty and Heal & Son, and although the Carter name was used, this new venture became colloquially known as ‘Poole Pottery’.

The void left after the sudden death of Owen Carter was filled by his brother, Charles, who sought out the advice of Harold Stabler about how to progress the company. Stabler recommended the expertise of John Adams, originally from Stoke-on-Trent, and in 1921 the subsidiary company Carter, Stabler & Adams was formed.

Truda Adams, wife of John, was a notable designer during this period. Her pieces were hand-thrown and hand-painted with geometric and floral designs on a pale background.

Once restrictions had lifted on decorative wares after the Second World War, Poole Pottery introduced the ‘Contemporary’ range, which was designed by Alfred Burgess Read. Read then worked closely with thrower Guy Sydenham and decorator Ruth Pavely to create a range of decorative wares with inspiration taken from Scandinavian designs of the period.

In January 1961 an exhibition was hosted to display the new Poole Studio wares, developed by Guy Sydenham and Robert Jefferson. These bridged the gap between commercial wares and studio pottery, which was rapidly increasing in popularity. In 1963 this developed into the ‘Delphis Collection’, and by 1966 Poole had founded the Craft Section, which housed ranges such as ‘Aegean’, ‘Ionian’, and ‘Atlantis’. Delphis remained a major part of Poole’s output until it was finally withdrawn in 1980.

The company went into administration in 2003 and was sold to businessman Peter Ford as a going concern. Funds were raised for creditors by selling off pieces from the Poole Pottery Museum and Archive in an auction held at Christie’s on 31st March 2004.

The company once again went into administration in 2006 and having changed hands a couple of times since then, in 2011 it was acquired as a subsidiary of the Denby Group.

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