Trash or Treasure: $5 find example of English majolica

Khristi Zimmeth
Special to The Detroit News


“It’s an example of a kind of pottery called Carlton Ware,” Bob DuMouchelle recently told Gerry McCarroll, pictured, about the item he brought in.


“It’s an example of a kind of pottery called Carlton Ware,” Bob DuMouchelle recently told Gerry McCarroll at the venerable downtown auction house and art gallery about a small green and brown pitcher he discovered at a yard sale. “It’s English,” he added.

Technically, it’s known as majolica, but is not “a particularly rare or unusual example,” the appraiser said, pointing out the English registry mark on the bottom. “What’s strange is that there was something more, but it has been ground out over the years,” he added.

According to the antiques website, “Carlton ware was made at the Carlton Works of Stoke-on-Trent, England, beginning about 1890. Carlton ware, Chintz pattern dishes with a design of flowers, was popular from the 1920s to the late 1950s. The firm traded as Wiltshaw & Robinson until 1957. It was renamed Carlton Ware Ltd. in 1958. The company went bankrupt in 1995, but the name is still in use.”

Extensive information about the pottery and its history can be found at the fascinating website, which has a company timeline, articles about the pottery, marks and identifying factors and photographs of patterns and designs. It’s perfect for anyone interested in starting a collection or finding out more about a personal piece, the appraiser added.

DuMouchelle couldn’t identify McCaroll’s pattern because of the missing information on the bottom, but said the incised crescent moon on the bottom is consistent with English pottery and Carlton Ware. “I do like the feather design” he said. “It’s a nice piece of majolica. The execution isn’t the finest, but it’s a fun piece and worth up to $40 in its current condition. It’s definitely a great $5 find.”

Looking closer, DuMouchelle pointed out a small flaw in the finish work, which would ultimately bring down the price a bit. “It would be worth more if it was perfect,” he added.

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.


About this item

Item: Carlton Ware majolica pitcher

Owned by: Gerry McCarroll

Estimated value: up to $40

Appraised by: Bob DuMouchelle