Gray's Pottery 's London showroom at 29 Hatton Garden, EC1
December 1929, Pottery Gazette, p1952
AE Gray & Co Ltd, of Hanley, announce that their London showroom is now at 29 Hatton Garden, EC1. The telephone number is Holborn 8825.
July 1931, Pottery & Glass Record, p210
Around the London Showrooms – Showrooms for Hand-painted Ware.
Since Mr AE Gray opened his own London showrooms at 29 Hatton Garden EC1, he has discovered and recovered the original and fine pine panelling of the 250-years-old room. With it is blended some of his own oak panels over the fireplace, and on the opposite wall, with characteristic drawings of gazelles and flowers; while, round the walls, the hand-painted ware is displayed on oak cubes and triangles, as at the British Industries Fair, as well as on an unpolished oak table in the middle. The latest pattern, of a modernist kind, is called the Radio, and is made up of different shades of yellow, orange and black (this may be the banded pattern A187) Another striking pattern is of purple, blue and green well set off by the ground of a new yellow glaze (perhaps 9496 ) Then there is a floral pattern in softer colours, blue and pink chrysanthemums on an ivory ground (perhaps 9463, a variation on the earlier pattern 8819). A very brilliant piece of colouring is that of blue and yellow poppies; while a particularly artistic piece of work, in sweeping curves suggestive of a Persian design, is a pattern of fan-shape flowers with a ground of the new yellow glaze. In one corner is some decidedly modernistic ware in jazz colouring, which is very fine of its kind. There are also many floral patterns of bright but realistic colouring. In an inner room there are displayed on shelves some beautiful specimens of the silver lustre ware for which Messrs. A.E.Gray and Co.Ltd., are noted. This includes some fine combinations of silver and purple lustre, as well as lustre patterns in combination with the new rich yellow glaze. A very fine circular plaque is decorated with a knight on horseback, the whole decoration being in silver lustre except for a little mauve and blue, with red in the plumes of his helmet and in his boot. Another fine design is the “Dieu et Mon Droit” teapot. There are some fine cigarette boxes, ashtrays, etc., decorated with this typical silver lustre, as well as tea sets, lamp standards of different shapes, including the pentagon, and vases.
December 1932, Pottery & Glass Record, pp370/371
Around the London Showrooms – New Lamp Standards, Artistic Oven Ware etc.
In the showrooms of Messrs A.E.Gray & Co.Ltd, 29 Hatton Garden EC1, bright with colours, as usual, and artistically arranged, one of the latest developments is the use of a simple globe-shape vase for a lamp standard, to which the fitting of the electric lamp is particularly simple. Another novelty which is proving popular is the bathroom set, made up of five pieces; the jar for bath salts, the water beaker, the powder puff bowl, the dental bowl and the brush vase. These sets are generally decorated with bands of harmonious colours. Then there seems to be a revival of the demand for wall plaques, to go on single-colour walls. These plaques, the size of service plates, are mostly decorated with floral designs, in bold but artistic brush work of bright colours. Then there is the set of hors d’oeuvre dishes, four small square ones, with an oblong dish at each end, each being the size of two of the small square ones, all fitted on an oblong tray of oak or coloured wood (more info). This set seems to be particularly popular just now. Among the new shapes of bowls, etc, a notable piece is the triangular bulb bowl (perhaps Shape 1), suitable for a centrepiece; others including the hexagon bowl (perhaps Shape 2), decorated, as is the triangular bowl, with bold lines of colour in modern style. There are also some jugs of new shape (perhaps Shape 3); while, in a separate room, there are examples of the beautiful silver resist decorations, for which Messrs AE Gray & Co have been noted for a long time. These include a reproduction of a 13th century Persian design. A particularly interesting development is the introduction of stoneware, including such oven pieces as casseroles and stewpots in three sizes, as well as whisky flagons (perhaps Shape 4). The oven ware can be decorated to match the colours or patterns on the dinner tableware.
December 1933, Pottery & Glass Record, p335
Around the London Showrooms – Distinctive Ware.
In the distinctive showrooms of Messrs A.E. Gray & Co.Ltd, 29 Hatton Garden, London EC1, there are as usual some attractive new decorations for this artistic art ware. A decidedly modern decoration is A1070, a design in grey and orange suggesting pleated stuff. A floral pattern in yellow and orange on a green ground is A1303, and a Japanese anemone pattern is A1322, the white flower effect being warmed with brown leaves and the yellow glaze ground with a buff shading. The lilac pattern, A1085, has a similar ground. A very attractive autumn leaves decoration is A842, this having a ground fading from yellow to grey. A particularly bold design is A1083, made up of yellow, black and red. A new flower jug is of a tall and graceful shape. Among dinner ware there are many banded decorations; and a particularly attractive pattern is a kind of feather design.
January 1935, Pottery & Glass Record, p3
Around the London Showrooms – Attractive Hand-decorated Ware.
In the showrooms of Messrs A.E. Gray & Co.Ltd, 29 Hatton Garden, London EC1, almost everything is fresh since our last representative visited them. Among the most striking designs are those on the central table, having a new buff body. Of these, (A)2006 is made up of a line in rich blue, and a floral pattern of a rather modernist kind, with a little green, yellow and grey, and a few shaded lines round the blue line. The whole effect is very neat. On the same table there is a very attractive cover dish. On the shelves is a pattern of a plaid kind in old gold and grey, green and grey or blue and grey (A1450 is just one example of a range of ‘plaid’ designs of this period); and also various line and band treatments, including very neat thin lines of gold and colours, with a broad band within the rim. Another type is a floral design in mauve and lines. Striking and pretty is a Thistle design, neatly covering the piece, and finished with a silver line. Very unusual is a combination of gold and silver squares; and, on a coffee pot, vertical bands in alternating gold and silver. Among the nursery ware there is a frisky lamb decoration, with ‘Mary’ in clue letters. There are some new banded effects on the stoneware.
Messrs A.E. Gray & Co.Ltd, also have some representative ware, five exhibits at the Royal Academy Exhibition of British Art in Industry. One of these is a novel design of silver and gold vertical bands (perhaps A961) seen in the showrooms, the ware being designed by SC Talbot and AE Gray. Then there are five pieces from dinner and tea sets, with the same designers, decorated chiefly with blue lines on a cream ground, and leaves suggested by a few strokes of green, and flowers by yellow dots; similar pieces decorated with wavy lines and a band in blue; tableware with yellow bands and blue lines; and a vegetable dish, cream jug, and two plates with a very neat and simple decoration made up of a silver line, a thin red line, a few lines in grey and a few strokes suggesting leaves and flowers.
October 1935, Pottery & Glass Record, pp283/284
Around the London Showrooms – Hand Decorated Wares of Character.
The touch of individuality conveyed by a craft-like sense for good simple shapes which give the fullest play to linear qualities with no irritating unformulated details to break the contours, and enhanced by the pattern designer’s clever handling of the decoration within a very limited field, is to be remarked in the newest designs in table services of Messrs A.E. Gray & Co.Ltd of Whieldon Road, Stoke-on-Trent, at their well-arranged showrooms in 29 Hatton Garden EC1. It is exemplified by the Quaker decoration, aptly given to a freehand painted surface pattern of single floret sprays in the motif style deftly applied in a colour scheme of blue and grey, which has a soft yet strikingly fresh effect seen on their new Sunbuff body, with dishes and plates scalloped at edges. This had the merit of being shown recently at the Contemporary Exhibition of Pottery etc held at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It is available en suite. That same quality of distinctiveness characterises the treatment of the banded decorations which figure on the rims of many of the new designs. They have a decidedly fresh appeal, the outcome of highly skilled direct brushwork. The relief they afford to the contours of the shape and the body colour is more subtly conveyed and embodied by a slight tone contrast in a carefully gradated scheme of extended tonal harmonies than by sharp contrasting lines of colour which if easier expressed in the way of relieving bands may instead of enhancing the general colour effect of the design obscure or retard its appeal. How successful they can be is seen in the captivating One-O’clock design. Here in the soft green and grey of relieving bands are resolved out of the careful juxtaposition of a differentiating tone in slight contrast to the surrounding field of colour, the changing colours themselves being accompanied by a change of tone. This design gives as it were a lead to the effective use of the motif centre in the decoration of modern table services, a noticeable feature about the new Gray wares. One, No (A)2967, which had just arrived from the works when your representative called, made in the Sunbuff body, has a yellow band interspersed with a centre motif of a hare-bell flower in natural colouring, which whilst giving a contrasting harmony to the main colourings breaks pleasantly the linear continuity of band and edges of dishes and plates and avoids a unity which may appear monotonous. A new shape on the Sunbuff body introduced in tea ware is the Queen’s, altogether neat and practical, lined with gold finish, done in a range of six groundlay colours, – lacquer rust, royal blue, yellow, green, turquoise, and peach. Prices are very reasonable, and the sets are supplied boxed complete. There is available a new cider beer set (perhaps as seen in this advertisement image ), with tall shaped broad mouthed mugs and bold curved easily gripped handles, done in the same body as the garden furniture designs with a semi-matt finish. For the gift trade is a sensibly shaped ashtray with deep trough, made in two sizes, the larger being 4ins square, on plain stand, and done in a variety of self-toned colours, including green, blue, brown, etc. An attractive table decoration is provided in flower rings with candlesticks, in colours to match the services. There has been a considerable run on the round shape bulb bowls, and available stocks have been used up. A good range of sound shapes in kitchenware is made in brown and grey, blue and coral finish; also roller pins with double rollers for pastry, a new type. In decorative pottery, six different designs of plaques, in rich colours are shown; they are a departure from the accustomed floral type of decoration, which has now been discarded by the firm. New shapes in lamps, modelled in one piece, shown, available in a range of nine colours of groundlay background which is enriched with floral ornament. They are also done in plain self-tone colours. One attractive design with shade to match is the Low Mushroom shape (perhaps this shape ), hand-painted to suit table services. Another is the Low Globe shape (perhaps this shape ), having all-over floral hand-painted decoration with green groundlay background effect, a distinctive and fresh scheme. Expressly designed for table use, they are decorated to match dinner and tea ware.