Pilkington began an art pottery division in 1898, just in-time to enjoy the peak of the English Arts & Crafts Movement. They contracted the talents of England’s prominent designers and had a stable of in-house artists, as well.
As the new century progressed, Pilkington found itself making a splash at international design exhibitions: in Liege (1905), at The Franco-British Exhibition (1908), and in Brussels (1910). Perhaps their most interesting “viewing” was unexpectedly, in a private home. In 1913, then-King George V and Queen Mary were visiting Lord Derby whose estate was near the pottery. Lord Derby had several Pilkington pieces prominently displayed in his home and the royal couple were impressed. Not long after, Pilikington was granted a “Royal Warrant of Appointment” meaning that they could advertise the fact that they supplied the royal household (“By appointment to his majesty…”). With this, the company began to call itself “Pilkington Royal Lancastrian.”
In addition to outside “celebrity designers,” Pilkington had many talented in-house artists and craftsmen. One of these was William Mycock who designed and decorated the jardiniere shown above. The piece is surrounded with an incised, stylized botanical pattern. Mycock then hand-painted the blue and aqua glazing.
Please click on the photo, above, to learn more about this piece.
More about William Mycock tomorrow.