Popular in Victorian times, a centrepiece was designed to stand on a dining table or sideboard, and convey the theme of the gathering such as Christmas or Easter, as well as the social status of the owner. Often very elaborately made, they can take many forms, including epergnes, sculpture, multi basket containers for fruit or sweetmeats, and large bowls. They have been made in a variety of materials including glass, ceramics, silver, silverplate and bronze. Centrepiece is also the name given to the central feature of an item of jewellery such as a necklace or bracelet.
Learn about Carlton Ware
The Carlton Ware works were set up about 1890 by James Frederick Wiltshaw, James Alcock Robinson & William Herbert Robinson in Stoke-on-Trent, and Carlton Ware was adopted as a trade name in 1894.
About 1890 the company introduced its "Blush Ware" range, with floral designs on delicate pastel coloured backgrounds, sometimes with gilded additions.
In 1911 the partnership was dissolved and James Frederick Wiltshaw became the sole proprietor.
During the 1920s, the company became known for its Art Deco lustre wares, which command high prices today.
Many of the patterns were of imaginative geometric and stylised floral designs, some using Egyptian and oriental influences, such as the highly collectable ‘Tutenkahmen’ and ‘Mikado’ ranges.
The "Handcraft" range introduced in 1928 offered modern freehand painted designs with matt glazes which distinguished them from other manufacturers of the time using similar designs. more...Other later collectable areas of Carlton Ware are the high-lustre table ware in the "Royale" brand, introduced in 1949 and continuing through to the early 1970s, advertising wares, particularly those displaying the Guinness name, and the Walking Ware range of the 1970s, which was the company's last great success.
In 1966, following the death of Cuthbert Wiltshaw, the company was sold to Arthur Wood & Sons and continued to trade until it developed serious financial difficulties in the late 1980s, forcing it into receivership in 1989, resulting in it finally closing in 1992.
In 1997 the company's intellectual property and moulds were purchased by FJ Publications, which now produces objects for the collector's market.
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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.
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