Maling history

1937 - Premonitions of doom

The popular Edward VIII had ascended to the throne on the death of his father, George V, and his coronation was set for 1937.

To celebrate this occasion, LE Boullemier designed superb commemorative pieces, each bearing a cameo portrait of the new King with sumptuous enamelling and gilding. They were time-consuming and expensive to produce and, just as the pre-production samples were to Mr Boullemier's satisfaction, the abdication was announced. The British public were devastated - and Maling lost a great deal of money.

Shortly afterwards, LEB was tempted away from Maling to join the New Hall factory in Staffordshire, with the promise that he would create a range of 'Boumier Ware' - each piece carrying his facsimile signature (a credit he had generally been denied at Maling).

To add to the misfortunes, the last of CT Maling's three sons died in 1937, and the pottery was then in the hands of trustees until its future could be decided. Then came the war...

Skilled personnel left to join the armed forces. A ban was introduced on selling decorated ware to the home market (and this was the very thing Maling had concentrated on in recent years). The pottery was fortunate to secure contracts to supply basic white wares for military and domestic use (such as the invalid feeder pictured here) - but the two photographs perhaps illustrate the very highest and lowest tides in Maling's fortunes, and show again why it is impossible to say what 'typical' Maling ware looks like.

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