Saturday, May 24, 2008

Poole Museum

Poole Museum has recently re-opened after refurbishment. On display is an extensive collection of Poole Pottery, mainly sourced from the Poole Pottery Museum archive auction at Christies in March 2004. Many of these pieces are pictured in the Hayward and Atterbury Poole Pottery book.

The earliest items are examples of Owen Carter’s lustre ware dating from just after the turn of the century, displayed together with James Radley Young lustre, unqlazed and early tin glazed pieces from c. 1915. A particularly striking piece is the green lustre-glazed vase with a moulded Lizard decoration applied by Lily Graham.


There are some interesting and rarely seen Harold and Phoebe Stabler and Joseph Roelants figures dating from 1915-1920, including the iconic Buster Boy figure and an elaborate bull figure group. This apparently retailed at £6 6s at top department stores Heals and Liberty’s when issued. There is a selection of bookends from the mid to late 1920’s, including elephant and mounted knight models by Harold Brownsword and a Harold Stabler small galleon.

Moving onto more familiar territory there are quite a few 1930’s Truda Carter designed traditional pieces, including two good art deco patterns (GPA and YE), and also a number of Arthur Bradbury designed ship plates. One of these depicts an Empire Flying Boat from 1940 in Poole Harbour; only 6 of these were made.

The 1950’s is represented by a small number of items from the Alfred Read period, including a 12” Freya plate and Poole Pottery plaque designed by his daughter Ann Read. There is also a collection of coronation pieces.


Delphis and Studio fans may be a little disappointed as there is nothing particularly spectacular from this period, although there is a small collection of 1960’s pieces and some 1970’s Aegean and Atlantis. Unusual is a carved vase by Tony Morris and Guy Sydenham, which is a copy of a vase presented to HRH Princess Margaret in 1966, and an early Robert Jefferson owl dish.


One curiosity is the red stoneware miniature bottle kiln made by Guy Sydenham in 1973 to commemorate the centenary of Poole Pottery. This is pictured in H&A on p168 but is quite fun to look at for real as the interior of the kiln contains miniature examples of pots in all the different Poole Pottery styles from Owen Carter lustre ware to 1970’s Delphis.

Away from the display cabinets is an extensive collection of Carter Tiles, including the famous Edward Bawden designed tile panel depicting a map of Poole and the words “Here in 1873 at Poole Pottery were Carter tiles first made”. There are also various architectural sculptures, faience plaques and a video film of the factory in c. 1970. This includes some footage of Guy Sydenham throwing.


The entire third floor is dedicated to Pottery and ceramics of various kinds and other interesting exhibits include 16th & 17th century Bellarmines, known to have influenced Guy Sydenham, and a collection of Broadstone Joyous pottery (often mis-sold as Poole).

At the time of writing the museum is open from Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. However, please check details with the museum before visiting.

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