Collectors Stories

Jack Slater

[Dish]A floral Carlton dish

My wife and I are Carlton Ware Junkies since Moorcroft pottery prices went through the ceiling. We were avid Moorcroft collectors for a number of years, but we can no longer afford to purchase at dealers and the odds of finding a piece at an auction or garage sale are becoming quite remote. We still have hopes of finding the odd piece. Our Carlton Ware fascination began a couple of years ago when we had friends over for New Year's. A Yule cake was left over from the party and stored in our fridge. Our daughter pounced on the cake in the morning but dropped the dish. It turned out that it had been in the family for years, so we set out looking for a replacement, a Carlton Ware green leaf dish. We became intrigued with the many designs but were quite unaware of the depth of patterns until we bought "Collecting Carlton Ware" by Francis Joseph. One piece led to another and we have many different patterns now in our collection. It's still possible to find them in garage sales (I think you call them boot sales) and at auctions. This cake dish or plate is the pride of our collection and we haven't seen another piece like it. We are also quite fond of rouge, bleu and vert royale dishes. By the way, we eventually did find a replacement for the leaf dish. I was at a flea market and saw the piece on a table. I couldn't believe I took a chance and offered less money for the piece! My daughter wept with happiness even after two years and she was so proud to take the replacement piece over to our friends.

e-mail: Jack Slater

Judy Sawyer / Tom Kempf

I've been collecting Carlton Ware for over 10 years now and am completely addicted. For the past 6 months I have been in NYC on business and have had little time to search for additions to my collection. I returned home to Phoenix, Arizona last week and yesterday went for a day long antique trek with a friend of mine. After a fruitless day of shopping we were almost back to my house when he said "Oh, I just remembered that the shop near your house had several pieces of Carlton Ware. It's probably gone by now, that was 4 or 5 months ago." We stopped there anyway (15 minutes before closing) and the pieces were all there. Lovely pieces - ones I did not have in my collection. The price was affordable. Unfortunately, I did not get them, because as we entered the store, someone was AT THE COUNTER BUYING THEM! I'm still recovering. I've been traveling a lot lately and here's the results of my searches: Manhattan - Not much shopping there. In the Chelsea Mall I did see 3 Guinness wall plaques (the Toucans) - each priced separately (aprox $175 - $275 each depending on size). They were fun to see, but I did OT buy them. Last year I found 2 crinoline lady napkin holders for $50 each and I did pick them up. Toronto - YES!! There's ton's but the prices are not low - even in Canadian dollars. I did get some bargains outside of Toronto. You can fill out paperwork and get some of the tax back. The selection is excellent. Iowa - There's a Brass Armadillo Mall in one of the major cities (E-mail me and I will look up the location if you're interested) that has a whole booth of Carlton. It knocked me off my feet to see so much in one place in the states. The prices were not cheap - but not over book (Francis Joseph). I couldn't resist and got a nice cheese dish in the Apple Blossom pattern (approx. $100) plus several other pieces. Las Vegas - Amazingly, I've made a few real finds here. I found 3 (together!) figurines at one small store. Cost was $65 each. I may have cleaned Las Vegas out, though. Phoenix - Still possible to find same nice pieces. I'm still unable to discuss it much after yesterday's disaster. Tucson - Occasional bargain. I found some Walking Ware there. My best Tucson find was a chintz Royal Winton lamp (Cobalt blue background, 'Pekin' pattern) for $25.

e-mail: Judy sawyer/Tom Kempf

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