OOLE POTTERY


Poole Pottery, based in the United Kingdom, has been around since the late 1870s, but the current status of the company does not look good long term due to international competition. The following information is provided by Roger Hartley of England and used by permission:

Poole Pottery was placed in Administration [think bankruptcy receivership] for the first time in 130 years around 5 years ago - the UK pottery industry is struggling to survive in the light of ever increasing competition from China, etc. where wage rates are very much lower. The buyer, an established property developer, seemed disinterested in pottery and declined to purchase the Poole Pottery Museum Artifacts which were ultimately sold at Christie's Auction in South Kensington, London on 31 March 2004. That seemingly backs up the point about disinterest in pottery, and the auction sale raised around £250,000 before auctioneer's commission and other costs, with the net proceeds passing to the Administrator to go towards settling outstanding debts.

Regrettably, matters didn't improve for Poole Pottery, and the company was again placed into Administration in mid-December 2006. This time it was purchased by the Lifestyle Group which seems intent on re-vitalizing it, but there are now just 4 employees on the pottery production side (compared to over 600 in the good times) and I fear there's a mountain to climb. I do what I can to help their survival.

You are very astute in recognizing the similarities between the Poole Pottery and Purbeck Pottery horse models! There is indeed a very close link. Four senior employees of Poole Pottery decided to set up business on their own on the early 1960s and set up Purbeck Pottery. Robert Jefferson (one of the four) had been design director with Poole Pottery and he and Bruce Sydenham (brother of the late Guy Sydenham - Poole's Master Pottery for several decades) created the Purbeck animals. There was little marketing work carried out and the majority of sales were created simply by placing the models in Purbeck Pottery's shop window. The Purbeck shop still trades on bought-in goods but regrettably their factory has closed, but their animal range was discontinued in the early 1980s and both Robert and Bruce have passed away.

You are also correct that there are two ranges of Poole Pottery animals. The "regular pottery" ones were produced in the late 1930s, apart from during the Second World War disruptions, and discontinued in 1952 from designs by the late John Adams. The stoneware Pony was introduced in 1981 from an entirely new range of models created by the late Barbara Linley-Adams, and using a type of clay developed by that man again, Guy Sydenham. There are over 100 different models in the stoneware range, including the 4 Pony Heads which were introduced in 1980.

I recognize in you the passion for pottery that I share, albeit from an equine angle, so please feel free to ask whatever questions you wish and I will try to help. I believe in the concept of education and from that viewpoint we are on similar journeys. There is no-one left at Poole Pottery with any useful knowledge of their past so we'd better record whatever we can while we can, or the information will be lost forever.

Information provided by Roger Hartley of England.
Visit Roger's Ebay auctions for more Poole Pottery :
animallblues4_poole_animals

Company website.

You can also check out the Poole Pottery Collectors Club.

Update May 2008 from Roger Hartley: Yes, I know all about the latest on Poole Pottery and have been working with the new owners. However, I've a strange feeling that all is not going well for them and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they closed again very soon, and permanently this time!

Photo credit above: Pony by Barbara Linley-Adams; image provided by Roger Hartley


Pony by Barbara Linley-Adams
Here's the Barbara Linley-Adams stoneware model of the PONY - not just the head! - first produced in 1981 and discontinued in 1983. It has the POOLE ENGLAND impressed lozenge backstamp and the monogram NM of it's finisher Nicki Massarella.This is quite a difficult model to find for it was relatively quite expensive compared to most of the models, and I believe that made it too expensive for the giftware market and consequently production was not vast. This one is in perfect condition and is a dark brown colour with lighter mane and tail as shown in the photos. It measures around 7.5 inches in height, making it one of the larger animals in the series. Image and information provided by Roger Hartley of England.


Pony by Barbara Linley-Adams
They produced just a few models in blue glaze around Christmas (the blank biscuitware models were found in their factory when they cleared it and moved out) and it has given me the opportunity to release some of the rare blue models I purchased privately circa 2003. Image and information provided by Roger Hartley of England.
Poole Pottery Horse from the 1940s
This is a Poole Pottery horse from the 1940's. From the collection of Roger Hartley of England. Quite different from the Poole Stoneware Pottery. Images and information provided by Roger Hartley of England.


Welsh Mountain Pony bust
The Welsh Mountain Pony Bust from Poole Stoneware Pottery. Photos by Patricia of England.


Welsh Mountain Pony bust
The Welsh Mountain Pony Bust from Poole Stoneware Pottery. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Welsh Mountain Pony bust
Produced circa 2003. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Exmoor Pony bust
The Exmoor Pony Bust from Poole Stoneware Pottery. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Exmoor Pony bust
Produced circa 2003. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Newforest Pony bust
The Newforest Pony Bust from Poole Stoneware Pottery. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Newforest Pony bust
Produced circa 2003. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Sheltland Pony bust
The Shetland Pony Bust from Poole Stoneware Pottery. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

Sheltland Pony bust
Produced circa 2003. Image by Roger Hartley of England.

New Forest Pony colt
Image by Roger Hartley of England.


New Forest Foal
Image by Roger Hartley of England.




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