Tube-Lined Crown Ducal by Charlotte Rhead

4921 - Golden Leaves
Tube-lining: Brown
Enamels: Scarlet
Lustres: Dark brown, light brown, green & orange
Glaze: Off white
Frequency Ranking: 1/50
Design Date: 1937
Production Period: 1936 - 1942. Then throughout 1940s & 1950s, possibly into 1960s. Also beware modern reproductions.
Pattern Name: The name Golden Leaves is recorded in the pattern book and also mentioned in trade journals of the period.

Pattern 4921 Golden Leaves
Golden Leaves is the most common of Charlotte's tube-lined designs for Crown Ducal and was no doubt a huge commercial success for the company. More than 10% of  tube-lined fancies are in this pattern, which considering that Golden Leaves was designed in early 1937, (about half way through Charlottes time at Crown Ducal), signifies that Charlottes decorators must have been active with this pattern fairly continuously from 1937 onward.

It should be noted that between 20% and 25% of Golden Leaves examples have base markings, or, are on shapes that indicate they were made after Charlotte had left the company.
The design elements for Golden Leaves were not new ones for Charlotte as they are clearly a development of her Elesmere/Wenlock/Breedon tableware print design together with a border similar to that used for Byzantine, (2681). We are fortunate that research by Gerrard Shaw is able to confirm the history and design attribution of these tableware patterns which is well presented in his thesis and book. The tableware patterns were very popular and were produced in several colourways. The three original versions were released in early 1935, Elesmere, (4009), in blue/yellow/green, Wenlock, (4010), in pink/yellow/green and Breedon, (4011), in orange/yellow/brown. Another couple of variations, in almost Golden Leaves colours of scarlet and grey, (4230 & 4299), were released in the spring of that year. Then in the summer of 1936 pattern 4820 appears with the leaves in green and flowers in orange, yellow, brown and red.
Crown Ducal Tableware
The success of these latter versions probably triggered the transfer of the design to fancies and the creation of Golden Leaves. There was a final tableware version in greens and orange and yellow, pattern number 5003 which was named Stretton. So, with seven versions in tableware and her best selling tube-lined design these attractive arrangements of flowers and leaves were probably her greatest commercial contribution to A G Richardson & Co Ltd.
Pattern 4921 Golden Leaves
There are colour variations to be found of Golden Leaves where the lustres are substituted with enamels. The most frequently found has a Cairo green border, leaves in pale brown, a different shade of green and the usual scarlet for flowers and dots in the border. Other elements that are different in this version are that the diagonal bars in the border are left uncoloured and sometimes the scarlet dots in the border frieze are absent. The rarest version has only the one shade of green, Cairo green on the leaves, and light brown for leaves and the border. Flowers are in scarlet as before but no examples have been seen with scarlet dots in the border frieze.

The green enamel leaves and border variation make up about 2.5% of the Golden Leaves sample seen and the brown enamel bordered version less thhan 1%. Virtually all of the examples with these variations are signed and so are presumed to have been made during the main production period before Charlotte left.
References of the period:
Pottery Gazette and Glass Trades Review, June 1937 page 797

A treatment which has been christened “Golden Leaves” is a very arrestive item in the most recent series of productions. This consists of a design executed in autumn colourings upon an off white glaze of semi-matt texture. A full range of pieces is offered in this series, all of them capable of retailing at a very reasonable figure. We have pleasure in giving an illustration of a group of pieces in this new range of ornamental wares.

This photograph from the June 1937 edition of the Pottery Gazette shows four examples of Golden Leaves. From left to right vases in shapes 211, 212, 132 & 133.

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trades Review, February 1938 page 215

.... and the “Golden Leaves”, one of the best sellers of last year, promises to retain its firm hold upon the market....

Golden Leaves vases
Collectors who are considering purchasing a Golden Leaves item should be aware that there are modern reproductions of the design in circulation. The design may be copied quite faithfully but will be moulded and decorated with modern ceramic paints and clear glaze, rather that tube-lined in slip clay and finished with enamels, lustres and the off white, slightly mottled glazes that Charlotte would have used. Sadly these reproductions can occur on shapes similar to those that Crown Ducal used and also BursleyWare shapes from when Charlotte worked at H J Woods Ltd. The base markings may also incorporate Crown Ducal backstamps, but can usually be identified as a modern reproduction because they have printed Charlotte Rhead signatures rather than tube-lined marks on the base.

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