A to Z Anthology

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W is for White Wares

When I makes tea I makes tea,
as old mother Grogan said. And
when I makes water I makes water.
So I do, Mrs Cahill, says she.
Begob, ma'am, says Mrs Cahill,
God send you don't make them
in the one pot

James Joyce, Ulysses.


Why did the chapter on white wares, which closed the first edition of TMOE, get promoted to chapter 1 of later editions of the book? Author Steven Moore says: "Many people regard white wares as the poor relation of pottery,so I wanted to redress the balance.

"The money made from these items enabled Maling to produce the range of decorative wares which are so much appreciated by today's collectors."

This advertisement from the January 1937 Pottery Gazette shows a range of domestic wares. Such items are often marked C.C.(cream coloured) - a robust clay body which could stand the wear and tear of daily use in the kitchen. The C.C. mark dates from the 1890s to the 1930s. It is impressed and often sits above an impressed date mark in mm.yy form.

The white ware range also included chamber pots and urinals. Perhaps it was thought indelicate to advertise these goods alongside kitchenalia!

This durable body, with the application of an appropriate logo, was also sold to hotels, railway and shipping lines, canteens, local authorities and the military. Had you taken coffee in the Grand Hotel, Bulawayo, around 1930, it would have been served in a Maling cup.

With regard to the military connection, our eyes are drawn to the white cross in the background of this advertisement. It reminds us of searchlight beams scanning the skies over wartime Britain to detect incoming German planes. Of particular use to the RAF were photographic developing trays used in support of reconnaissance missions over enemy territory.


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