Joseph Bourne & Son (Ltd) and its successors produced domestic and ornamental stoneware
over a period of some 200 years and in the 20th century, the pottery has been well
known for its kitchenware, ornamental ware, art pottery and tableware.
Over the course of its life the Denby business has produced a vast array of useful
and decorative wares including, but not limited to the categories listed here:
Bottles, jars, flasks, bowls, vases, jugs, candle sticks, money boxes, loving cups,
tygs, ginger beer bottles, pharmacy wares, snuff jars, tobacco jars, ash trays, spill
vases, owl jugs, water filters, agricultural pottery, bulb bowls and other garden
ware, headstones, funary urns, butter churns, milk churns, commemorative wares, teapots
(including the Nevva-drip), coffee pots, tea and coffee ware, table accessories (cruets,
butter dishes, knapkin rings, etc), tableware, lamp bases, book ends, kitchenware
(jugs, bowls, strainers, jelly moulds, spoon rests, containers, stewpots, marmites,
casserols, etc), toilet sets, puzzle jugs, character jugs, animal feeding bowls,
spittoons, jardineres and stands, how water bottles, footwarmers, animal models,
wall pockets, flower holders, wall plaques, and so on. Many of these could constitute
collections in their own right.
The business continued throughout the Second World War and, from the 1950s, became
an important producer of tableware and giftware in addition to the ornamental and
art pottery associated with the well known designers Albert and Glyn Colledge. Numerous
trade names have been associated with the Denby business including Danesby Ware,
Tigo Ware, Glyn Ware, and Glynbourne Ware used on the now highly collectible ornamental
Early salt-glazed ware
The clay beds exploited by William and Joseph Bourne produced a vitreous stoneware
that was highly suited to the manufacture of containers for liquids, and flagons,
bottles and jars of all sorts, finished with a salt-glaze, were important products
together with other utilitarian stoneware for the rural community.
The Danesby Ware name was introduced in about 1924 and the ‘Danesby Ware’ mark was
applied to most of the ornamental stoneware that had come to dominate the pottery’s
output. Shapes tended to be simple, either thrown or slip-cast, often with surface
relief decoration and covered in a monochrome glaze. Vases, jugs, jardiniers and
stands, owl jugs and a host of other ornamental wares*- were produced under the Danesby
range up until at least the Second World War. ‘Electric Blue’ ware, decorated with
a streaky, high-gloss blue glaze is one of the most recognizable and collectible
ranges of Danesby Ware. It was manufactured up to at least the mid-1930s.
Art Deco wares
Bourne were followers rather than leaders of the art deco style, however, mainly
existing shapes were decorated with the hand-painted abstract floral patterns typical
of the British art-deco period.
Glyn Ware and Glynbourne Ware
Glyn Ware displaced Danesby Ware as the trade name for Denby’s hand-painted decorative
stoneware in the 1950s. Glyn Colledge was the designer and most of the patterns were
collages of foliage and floral motifs painted in pastel colours under a semi-matte
glaze. The early Glyn Ware bears a ‘Glyn’ signature, often barely decipherable, but
lacks a Denby backstamp, allowing the ware to qualify as purchase-tax exempt. Other
Glyn Ware patterns include hunting scenes, and other rural activities painted in
Glynbourne Ware was introduced in the early-1960s and whilst continuing the botanical
inspiration and muted palette of the early Glyn Ware, is more recognizable as a mass-produced,
but still hand-painted, product. There are similarities to the work of Charlotte
Animal models were produced in the 1930s. A rabbit, available in seven sizes mimics
the Shore & Copestake ‘Sylvac’ models, but dogs and other domestic animals were also
‘Tigo Ware’, launched in 1953 is strikingly different to Denby’s traditional ware.
It was designed by Tibor Reich a textile designer and textile manufacturer from Stratford-on-Avon.
The range includes tableware, table accessories such as small dishes and trays decorated
in solid colours, usually including a black, vases and even small animal figurines.
Much of the range has scraffito decoration and Denby used a special white clay to
contrast with the dark, often black, glaze. There are attractive, scraffito-decorated
plates with semi-abstract representations of figures in Reich’s unique style. Reich
was a versatile designer and may have been drawn ceramics in order to complement
his textile designs. Perhaps most striking is the black and white tableware and vases
evocative of the Beswick ‘zebra-striped’ ware and Midwinter ‘Zambesi’ of the same
period. Tigo Ware now recognised as classic 1950s design and is highly sought.
Tableware and kitchenware with names like Cottage Blue, Manor Green and Homestead
Brown designed by Donald Gilbert were important Denby products in the 1930s and were
re-introduced in the 1950s as the company became predominantly a producer of tableware.
In the 1970s as Denbyware Ltd, the company continued to produce the highly successful
tableware manufactured by its predecessor in the 1960s. Oven-to-table ware was an
important new product in the 1970s and the company greatly expanded its presence
in the North American market. Stylish dinnerware and tableware, including the oven-to
table ware for which Denby is also well known, continued to be the mainstay of the
company’s business into the 21st century.
'Harvest' is a little known variant of the ever popular 'Greenwheat' pattern, with
the wheat head depicted in pink rather than the original green. 'Harvest' was introduced
in 1965 and finally discontinued in 1990.