20p charity shop find sparks huge Poole pottery collection which could sell for thousands

Posted on 03/02/2020 in Press Coverage

An ‘amazing’ collection of Poole pottery sparked by a vase bought for 20p in a charity shop decades ago could sell for thousands of pounds at auction.

Some 127 pieces of Poole pottery will be sold in a specialist ceramics sale on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers - and it could be love at first sight for collectors.

Rare, quirky and important historical pieces are among a rich array of objects collected by Nottingham couple Peter and Barbara Hillier. They are parting with their precious Poole after a 40-year love affair with the eclectic pottery, and the collection comes with impressive pedigree.

Not only are the couple founder members of the Poole Pottery Collectors Club, Peter has given talks on the ceramics and is a former lecturer in printed textiles. Before retirement, he was course leader for BA Decorative Arts at Nottingham Trent University. He also worked as a freelance print designer and designed for Liberty, Viyella and Courtaulds. Consequently, he has a fine eye for creative excellence.

He said: “I like the decorative elements and appreciate the sheer skill involved in making Poole pottery. The first piece I bought was a 1920s vase featuring little sprigs of flowers. It cost me 20p in Nottingham’s old YMCA charity shop in 1980.

“I thought ‘maybe I’ll start to build a collection’. An antiques stall in Nottingham began looking out pieces for me and it developed from there.

“We bought a couple of pieces from famous auction house Christie’s and tried to build a good collection.

“Our favourite pieces being sold are the highly decorative wares from the 1920s and 30s designed by Truda Carter. There are also moulded ceramics. For example, there’s an elephant, a bowl featuring elephants and a cherubic head which are quite rare.

“The earliest piece is a tile dating back to the 1880s/90s. There is also a very simple striped vase which was made during the First World War.”

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “It’s an extraordinary collection which encompasses around 80 years of Poole Pottery history. It takes us right back to the earliest years of the company, which started out as a ceramic tile manufacturer, and includes everything from pots, vases, bowls and plates to ornamental animals and birds, tiles and even brooches.

“We’re proud to be selling Mr and Mrs Hillier’s collection. It’s exceptional and we hope to see it make in excess of £5,000.”

Poole Pottery was originally Carter’s Industrial Tile Manufactory and originates from Stoke, Staffordshire. Founded in 1873, Carter’s provided the foundation for Poole Pottery. In the 1920s, Jesse Carter joined forces with designers Harold Stabler and Phoebe Stabler and potters John and Truda Adams to produce Art Deco pottery.

During the Second World War Poole Pottery produced many lines including Twin-tone and Traditional. Much of the traditional range was based on the work of Truda Carter (1890-1958), chief designer in the 1920s.

The Carter company also produced much of the ceramic tiling used on London Underground stations built in the 1930s.

The Poole Pottery Collection will be sold on Friday, February 14 at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS, as part of our February 13-19 Antiques & Collectors Auction. Catalogue due live on February 7/8. To view the

Free Valuations

To find out more, or arrange a free valuation of ceramics or glassware, please email [email protected].

Hansons offers free antique valuations in Nottinghamshire every month. Experts will be at the National Civil War Centre, 14 Appleton Gate, Newark, NG24 1JY, on February 4 and March 3, 10am-1pm. For more dates, please visit,