Delightfully decorated Arts & Crafts “Morris Ware” bowl by George Cartlidge for S Hancock & Sons c1920. Wide footed bowl with angular sides. Beautifully coloured tudelined floral design on a blue ground. Mottled blue over cream internally to the bowl. Printed factory mark for S Hancock & Sons to base, together with “Geo Cartlidge” (for George Cartlidge) and design number C19-13. The bowl measures 29 cm in diameter and 6.5 cm in height.
George Cartlidge (1868-1961) was a talented designer and ceramicist – known for developing and adopting new styles and techniques. He apprenticed at the Sherwin & Cotton Tile Works, Hanley where he became one of their most prolific and successful designers. Around 1912 George was employed by S Hancock & Sons where he worked on designs for the company’s “Morris Ware” range produced from c1916 to the mid-1920s. Strongly reminiscent of William Morris’ Arts & Crafts designs popular during the late 19th and early 20th century – one can only assume that the name “Morris Ware” was specifically chosen to emphasise this connection. Many of the shapes he developed for Morris Ware were also used for subsequent ranges designed by F X Abraham and Molly Hancock. George subsequently travelled to America where he continued to designed tiles for a manufacturer in Newport, Kentucky. While in America, he continued to send his designs back to England for production.
Sampson Hancock, a prominent Wesleyan Methodist, established S Hancock & Sons in 1891, based at the Bridge Works in Stoke-on-Trent. Sampson died in 1900 and the business was continued by his three sons - Jabez, Harry and Arthur. By 1935 the business hit financial difficulty and was restarted as S Hancock & Sons (Potters) Ltd. – moving to the smaller Gordon Works, Hanley (renamed the Corona Works). By this time, it was a significantly smaller enterprise, employing around 150 people. However, the restarted company was not a financial success, finally going into receivership and closing in 1937.