Poole Pottery

14th March 2022

The history of Poole Pottery, the harbour and the surrounding area is encompassed in a private collection being sold at Woolley and Wallis on 16th March.

The collection of Pat and David Redstone was started in the 1950s when David, a house surgeon at Poole Hospital, was given a dish by a grateful patient who worked at the pottery, but began in earnest some years later when viewing a sale at Christie’s. Over the course of half a century they have put together a collection that covers all areas of the factory’s production from architectural pieces through tiles and sculpture to the vases and chargers that are so recognisable today.

Among the more unusual pieces is a charger celebrating Empire Airways, which operated out of Poole Harbour for around eight years in the 1940s. Painted by Ruth Pavely with the sea plane Canopus before a view of Brownsea Island, it recalls a time when the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was the only airline operating regular civilian flights during World War Two. The seaplanes were moved to Poole from Southampton when bombing at the latter became more frequent. A blue plaque commemorating the flying boats was erected in Poole just five years ago.

Three other chargers (also designed by Arthur Bradbury and painted by Pavely) depict three sailing vessels from the harbour’s history, while another commemorates the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953.

“Throughout the 20th century, Poole Pottery was at the forefront of ceramic design, with many designs shown at important trade and design exhibitions across the country,” explained Design specialist, Michael Jeffery. “Alongside the pieces that record the social and local history of its time are the everyday and more decorative objects that demonstrate how taste and fashion changed as we moved from the pre-war era into the 1950s, then into the 1970s and the modern day. There remains a lot of affection for Poole not only in the local area, but among collectors of the pottery around the world.”

Estimates on the 75 lots from the Redstone Collection range from £100 to £8,000, while the whole collection is expected to make in the region of £35,000 when it comes under the hammer at Woolley and Wallis on 16th March.

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