Collecting FINE CARLTON WARE with Glen Holman
This Cape Town collector has fond memories of weekends and holidays spent hunting for new pieces
The affair with Carlton Ware wasn’t love at first sight for Canadian-born UCT Finance Professor, Glen Holman. “But after six months of carefully contemplating a large orange ‘Hollyhock’ bowl, which sat on the coffee table of a house I shared with an ex in London, I decided I was in love. The romance with the ex didn’t last, but the bowl did and my passion for Carlton Ware grew stronger over the years.”
THIS PAGE: 1 ‘Tiger Tree’ patterned Veloxshaped bowl, early 1940s. 2 Oversized Oriental-style stretching bird flower vase.
3 Egyptian fan-footed bon-bon dish with a hint of Art Deco, late 1920s.
Glen’s impressive Carlton Ware collection, displayed behind glass and under lock and key, is believed to be one of the three most important in the world. The other two are an Irish high-end collection, and an English archival collection that aims to have one of everything produced by the company.
“As Carlton Ware produced 6 000 different colours and 4 000 shapes in varying combinations, compiling a collection that’s not specific is rather daunting. I focused my attention on the Art Deco period, but I also have earlier Art Nouveau pieces and a few from the mid-century modern period. I particularly like the three-footed Velox bowls because they display so well when tilted on their side. Essentially, I collect pieces I like,” says Glen.
While living in London, Glen was an active member of one of the many Carlton Ware collector clubs, even helping to rename the ‘Flower and Falling Leaf ’ pattern to ‘Flower and Falling Leaves’ after the discovery of a second leaf. “The fun part of collecting is the hunt. I will always have very fond memories of summer weekends and bank holidays spent in the English countryside searching for desirable Carlton Ware.”
THIS PAGE: 4 Very rare, and one of Glen’s favourites, a ‘Red Devil’ (Mephistopheles) bowl, c. 1935. 5 ‘ Floral Cornets’ ginger jar with Jazz Age geometric flash. 6 ‘Armand’ lustre ginger jar with butterfly detailing. 7 Large 26cm baluster deep-red vase with ‘Flower and Falling Leaves’ pattern, which Glen helped rename. 8 Ornate ‘Hollyhocks’ gondola bowl with gilt edging. 9 Matt-glazed Velox bowl with ‘Bell’ pattern from the Art Nouveau period (early 20th century).