1915 February 22 - 27
2nd British Pottery & Glass Fair
Stoke Town Hall
P&GR (3).15 p179:
Amongst the exhibitors -
AE Gray & Co Ltd, .... Kirkland & Co ....
PG 4.15 pp412-413:
AE Gray & Co Ltd, Glebe Works, Mayer Street, Hanley, have of late made a bid for the better-class reproduction work in china and earthenware; to be more correct, I ought to say they have gone in for adaptations of the reputed decorative schemes of past periods, as a matter of fact their reproductions are not slavish copies but the embodiment of new ideas in conjunction with the best features of the old master-pieces.
The Jacobean styles of decoration have received considerable attention at their hands, and this is the motive which underlies many of their best productions in dinner, tea and toilet ware. They are also particularly strong on hand-painted and hand-gilt styles as contradistinct from the mechanical printed and filled-in productions.
The hand-gilding in all their better class work is of quite a high order, and, therefore, one is not surprised that many of the designs have found their way into the leading London establishments which are now running them to good effect. The firm were showing a selection of their principal styles at the Pottery Fair, and amongst them, standing out with unmistakable superiority, was a design known as Sèvres Marbling.
Although in essence an echo of Sèvres, the design has a modern adaptation in that it is strengthened at the top and the base of the marbling, which gives it a distinguishing and unique finish, and it is carried out in black instead of in gold. Beneath the black marbling are large floral groups, which are of rich coloration, and give the whole a sumptuous appearance.
This design certainly sounds an aesthetic note, and it was one of the prime successes of the Pottery Fair. It is offered in toilet ware, dinner ware, vases and ornaments of numerous forms, as also in china tea ware. In the opinion of the writer, it should prove an acquisition to the stock of any dealer, and I have no hesitation in referring to it as one of the best of the 1915 reproductions that I have seen as yet. I was also struck with a toilet service in green and buff, closely reminiscent of the old Rockingham styles.
This is a particularly good pattern, and worthy of being shown in any high-class establishment. In [old Chelsea] styles AE Gray & Co Ltd have a really nice variety. A pair of vases decorated in this manner with a rich marone finish looked equal to the productions of much older and better-known concerns. Toilet, tea, and dessert ware are to be had in the same style.
Buyers are recommended to inquire for the Old Bristol and the Georgian patterns, descriptions which are not misnomers by any means, for these designs almost transport one to the old-time periods suggested by their names. The Hardwicke is a specially good pattern of Jacobean motive; at the same time it is individualistic, and is not without a modern touch. Many other patterns equally good, and in strict period styles, might be singled out for special mention did space permit. A group of pieces in the Sèvres Marbling design are shown in our illustration.