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