Even though I've been hunting and searching through antique fairs for years - I still love the fact that I can discover new things each and every time...this week, I found the most beautiful Midwinter Pottery pattern that I'd never seen before and it prompted me to delve into my Midwinter Book and decided to share with you my favourite patterns and shapes.
A Potted (hah!) history....founded in 1910 by none other than Mr W.R Midwinter and grew selling sanitary ware and white basic tableware pre 2nd war. Roy Midwinter (the progressive modern son) took over in the 50's and with the help of some extremely talented designers, revolutionised domestic tableware to become one of the biggest producers in the UK.
The output throughout the mid-century period was massive, and the one name that stands the test of time and was a vital part throughout this historic period is the designer Jessie Tait From the age of 13 she went to Burslem Art College and clearly her draftsmanship, lithography and design skills set her on her path to be one of the most commercially successful modernist designers of her time.
Inspired by the Festival of Britain, America's modern style and the amazing textiles that were coming out at the time, Midwinter, with Jessie at the design helm created the Stylecraft range - modern, innovative, practical and with over 63 patterns, there was style to suit every taste!
After Stylecraft was the The Fashion Shape, The Fine Shape & then the 1970's Stonehenge series, all have their standout patterns and are still amazingly colourful, collectable and practical tableware today. In my mind though, Stylecraft remains the most iconic & coveted of them all.
Jessie Tait, Hugh Casson, John Russell & Terence Conran produced some of the most iconic designs...check out some of their greatest shapes and patterns:
The Iconic Zambezi in Stylecraft designed by Jessie Tate - this set went for £700 at Bonhams!
Terence Conran's super stylish and timeless Stylecraft designs "Natural" above and below "Chequers" I just love the shape of the teapots!
The super rare and fun 1950's Toadstools:
"Springtime" pattern on variations of the later "Fine" Shape.
Wedgwood bought Midwinter in the 1970s and the fierce creativity and innovation in tableware was never quite matched.......Although I love the hippiness of the Stonehenge - especially the yellow Sun pattern!
There's much much more to read:
Midwinter Pottery By Steven Jenkins is a great resource & thank you to Rob for his images - more can be found on his super Flickr stream here