Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Well I Never

If there's one thing I love in life, it's a good dresser or at least a set of shelves which I can then adorn with as many gorgeous things as possible.





(Photo from Homes & Antiques magazine.)


I actually amassed my Carltonware collection when I was in my mid twenties (ooh many years ago), buying it mainly from eBay or specialist fairs. Some came from all over the world, Australia and the USA mainly, for although the china was made in Britain from around the 1930s onwards, much was made for export, especially to Australia and indeed if you turn some of the pieces upside down, they will be stamped "Australian Design".


At the time, competition was fierce and prices much higher than I've noticed recently. Such is the fickle world of antiques and collectables. As such, so long as you've bought what you really love, you'll always be ok. And I do love my Carltonware. Look at those colours! They're so me, don't you think!



For several years, whilst I lived my "single girl life" in my late twenties, working in the City, footloose and fancy free, enjoying life in my quite modern flat (Victorian building but the decor was quite trendy), the Carltonware lived in boxes in the attic. Having met Mr HH and moving to the HenHouse, there was room and a fitting setting to get it all out again. We duly purchased a lovely art deco cabinet on eBay and brought it back on the roof of the car from a fabulous Arts and Crafts style house in Birmingham.


In went some of the Carltonware and it sits in our "adults' lounge" (I love calling it this for it does rather make me think of a lap dancing club. No idea why this should amuse me but it does!)






Oooh, pretty!






The ranges are all based on flowers. So there is buttercup, one of the most sought after, which came in delightful yellow and pink, the pink being very collectable indeed. The "lidded cheese dish", one of my most treasured possessions, is one of the most coveted pieces of all. As you can see, I have been known to use them as props for my wares!





Poppy is also quite collectable and came in green and yellow. Most of the ranges (foxglove, apple blossom, springtime/crocus, hydrangea and so on) came in yellow and green so the pink was always very collectable.






(Incidentally, a new batch of these cute pin cushions has recently found its way into my shop.)


Much of the wares were not actually that practical for use. The dinky butter or preserve dishes came in beautiful boxes with china knives or spoons and had gorgeous decorated box lids, many different. My sister has a huge collection of these. The spoons or knives are often missing or broken. The large jugs are also quite rare.





Anyway, back to shelves and dressers. Oh yes, what a lucky lass I am, after a few years, along came the cottage giving me whole new areas to decorate! Having filled that art deco cabinet back at home, shockingly, there was still an awful lot of Carltonware living in boxes. Onto eBay I went, one dresser purchase later (yes, that was also transported on the roof of the car!) and I had a new home for it in the kitchen at the cottage and could finally unpack the last of the Carltonware.






Not just Carltonware though, as I couldn't resist those divine French tins, a bargain from the sale in Bridport's church hall. As you can see, at the weekend, the cottage went festive and a few decorations found themselves onto the dresser but can't really compete with that Carltonware, can they?






Is it familiar at all, that dresser filled with its floral goodness, its Carltonware and its French tins? Imagine my surprise when the lovely blogger, Sairer, sent me an email on Friday night and asked if I'd seen the latest Homes & Antiques magazine, or more precisely the free catalogue with this month's issue?






There it is, our dresser, ready for Spring in April! I think maybe it will always be April in the cottage. (Thank you, Sairer.)

33 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous collection!

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  2. What a feast for the eyes! I wish I had room for such a dresser to display my wears, alas the are packed away :-(

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  3. What a beautiful collection you have. I wish for a display cabinet one day when I have space to display pretty pieces. I am however going to visit my dear gran this weekend who will be 90 years old and she has the most fabulous display cabinet with all sorts displayed. So can't wait to view hers.

    Leah x

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  4. I adore your collection of Carltonware - but I have to say that I am in LOVE with those french tins!!

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  5. I bought the mag yesterday and I saw April and thought; "Hen's?"
    Very pretty!

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  6. You have a wonderful collection!!! This is the first time I have seen Carltonware...it's really beautiful!!!
    Chris :o)

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  7. How fantastic!! I'm off downstairs now to take a much closer look at the calendar!

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  8. That is a very impressive collection indeed!
    I have one carltonware among my vast jug collection...100 at the last count! Once you start you can't stop...well I can't anyway!

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  9. I love the dishes that are shaped like flowers, every now and again I get very tempted to collect them, then I remember my collection of Poole, 1950s Wedgwood dinner services and scandinavian china, how my dressers are already groaning with china and I resist temptation.Until the next time. China and fabric- some deep primeval yearning for both.

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  10. Gorgeous collection, I love Carlton Ware too
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  11. What a wonderful collection - they're all SO pretty although my favourite is the foxglove design. I love your china cabinet too! :o)

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  12. What a wonderful collection - they're all SO pretty although my favourite is the foxglove one. I also LOVE the deco cabinet :o)

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  13. wow. how did that happen?
    lovely photos.

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  14. I love your Carltonware! Now I want a few pieces! Did you perchance see my collection of Shawnee corn dishes that I showed on my blog last summer? You can find it on my blog by doing a search - it reminds me somewhat of your dishes - but yours are prettier!
    :¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:
    *M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
    :¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:-·-:¦:
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  15. Lovely Hen.....:>)

    Carlton ware is so cheerful!

    I love your dresser......and how wonderful that they picked it to appear on the calender!

    Melxx

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  16. How fab that you are the pin up for April.

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  17. I love how you mix vintage with some modern furniture, it works so well, not many can pull that off.

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  18. I'd never heard of Carlton Ware before, so thank you...I think...of course I had to go to eBay and see all those lovelies on there. It's a good thing I am so tight with my purse!

    Your displays are beautiful!

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  19. Your collection is beautiful and I really love the dark cabinet with it's unusual shape...very nice....Hugs Janice

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  20. Hen, your Carlton collection is quite lovely, and I can easily understand why that mag would want to include your dresser in its calender pages.

    Might I delicately ask if Mr HH might have an older brother, or uncle, or just know another gentleman as remarkable as he is? I can supply references. xo

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  21. I love the new cabinet, it shows off your collection beautifully :) x

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  22. Hen, your lovely blog brightened up a very dark and dreary morning! Love the photographs, and do envy you your Carltonware, I think it's the texture of the raised details which appeal most to textiley-folks, you really want to pick it up and stroke it!

    Thanks again, great pics.

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  23. how beautiful your dresser top it with all your wares xx love the cottage dresser top ;0)x

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  24. p.s Aprils a lovely name...suits your wares perfectly x

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  25. Oh Hen, how fabulous!
    I love your dresser, and your art deco cabinet is really special -those peacock feathers look gorgeous on it in that photo too:o)

    I really like your carltonware, you have a fabulous collection, and I think that yes, the colours are very 'you' :o)

    Your 'adult lounge' made me laugh :o)
    Have a lovely day Hen, and take care. xx

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  26. Your dresser is just beautiful, love your collections :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

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  27. Your dresser is so pretty! The colours sing together a sweet song of joy!
    Jess xx

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  28. Hen. You are a calender girl!!! The Carlton ware is lovely and appeals to me with the ice cream colours. You have a most wonderful collection. x

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  29. Hi Hen,

    Lovely to hear from you via my blog!
    SO how was Cath?
    Is she totally cool? I'd love to meet her!

    Can't wait to see your blog post, if you do one, on Cath and the shopping trip!

    Melxx

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  30. I so wish I could be there in person and shop shop shop, I ran into your blog by accident and so happy I did. I would be lying on top that cabinet all the way home with the biggest grin on my face, what a beauty. My stomach is in knots loving each and every picture, all the sugar of goodies you have just keeps my tummy so tense. I want I want I want, oh my you are so blessed. Thank you for sharing and do you ship to the U.S.?

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  31. Oh, I envy you all that space to display what you love.

    A few months ago, I started following your blog, and noticed a picture of your Carltonware on the side. I recognised it as the cream and sugar and 1 cup and saucer in my mom's kitchen cupboard, which my brother and I have been clearing out (she's now in a retirement home). The cream and sugar I recall as being my grandmother's (married 1912, to give you a hint of her timeline) and the cup and saucer probably came from a 1970s auction.

    Well, I probably would have let them go into the auction,because I really really really don't need any MORE sentimental family things, but when I caught a glimpse of your collection, I thought, well, how lovely, and now they're in my nice glass-fronted Ikea cabinet.

    Cream and sugar are foxgloves, cup and saucer are some pink 5-petalled flower.

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  32. I just came across your pictures on Flickr - the Carlton ware is gorgeous. I have a few pieces,(one set inherited, the rest purchased) but it is very rare here. (Canada)

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  33. I don't usually comment, but I do like to visit. I thought you might be amused that I tried to visit your blog twice while I was staying at my sister's only to be told by the computer's security that there was adult content. I think it must have been refering to the lap dancing comment!
    I love your vintage fabric patchwork.

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