The English pottery firm Arthur J. Wilkinson. Ltd. created this pretty Art Deco pitcher in the 1920's. The company was located at the Royal Staffordshire Pottery in Burslem, in business from 1885 to 1964. Although this piece is unmarked, we've had an identical, smaller one in the same pattern and we show the mark from that pitcher in one of our photos. The mark dates from circa 1910, while the pattern dates from the 1920's, when Clarice Cliff worked for the pottery and the vogue for less fussy, more geometric designs began. To quote the website thepotteries.org: "With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, creative output of the factory ceased, with much of the workforce being drafted into the Armed Forces. Wartime restrictions on decorated pottery were to continue into the 1950's and the factory was never to produce pottery in the style or quantity of the pre-war period."
The tall graceful shape of this tankard pitcher is accented with the black and white bands around the mouth and spout; there is another geometric band encircling the body that's overlaid with four transfers of flowers and their foliage. The high, arched handle is hand painted with black designs and the ridged, flared base has a narrow black band above it. Typical of Art Deco designs, the decorations are restrained yet dramatic and very, very eye-catching.
Measuring 13 inches tall at the lip of the spout, with a mouth 5 inches across and a base 6 1/2 inches in diameter, this is a large pitcher that weighs 4 pounds, 3 pounces. There is minor darkening of the interior bottom and the piece is covered with an extremely fine network of crazing, but since it is unstained, it is not obvious until examined up close. The overall condition is excellent; there are no cracks, chips or repairs and the pitcher displays beautifully, perfect with or without a flower arrangement.