Walking Ware is designed by Lustre Pottery. It is popularly collectible and although the value of some pieces has risen substantially, others can still be purchased relatively cheaply on Ebay.
The most popular search categories are Walking Ware, Carltonware and Lustre Pottery. As there have been occasions of ‘passing off’ and due to the number of designs, patterns and colors within the Walking Ware range, it can sometimes be difficult for the newer collector to differentiate the real from the fake.
Designed in 1973 the Walking Teaset was originally handmade in earthenware by Roger Michell and decroated by his partner, Danka Napiorkowska in their own studio in Yorkshire. Signed Lustre and dated on the base of the feet, these versions are extremely rare although occasional Ebay sightings have been known.
Its immense popularity during the ninteen-seventies led to the development of a jointly owned backstamp with Carltonware who manufactured the designs in their thousands for the next 13 years. These versions are the most likely to appear on Ebay and are usually found in the Carltonware or Carlton Ware category.
In 1986, an expansion in the free-trade market produced massive problems for the pottery industry and Carltonware closed down while Lustre Pottery moved to Cornwall where they made some final pieces from the left over moulds. These versions have appeared on Ebay on occasion and are signed Lustre on the base only.
The Price Kensington factory in Stoke-on-Trent continued to make some of the Walking Ware but it was not marked and neither was the decoration on these pots stipulated by Danka. It was the only factory however to gain Roger’s permission to continue small-scale production of Lustre’s Walking Ware designs and come up fairly often on Ebay although they are often mistaken for Carltonware Lustre Pottery versions. These unmarked versions can be difficult to differentiate from those that may have been illegally made from original moulds. The best place to get advice is Lustre Pottery or a Walking Ware Publication.
Pots wrongly described as Walking Ware are deemed as ‘passing off’ and if seen are removed.
It is now known that some unmarked versions were made by Rising Hawk just after they were established in 1976. The feet on these versions are small and much more handmade looking than the Carltonware versions.
In 1998, Lustre Pottery produced 2 limited edition walking teapots, the cross legs and the knobby. These studio designs were entirely new and each one was carefully numbered and signed on the base of the feet RSM & DN Lustre. Very few have appeared on Ebay although they are worth looking out for as the edition has now been closed.
In 2005, Lustre Pottery registered a new Walking Ware trademark to launch a newly-designed, 12-piece teaset. This teaset is made in porcelain and is part of a limited edition of 100 only. It is again, a studio version, entirely handmade and decorated by Roger Michell. The significance of this range is that they are studio versions, handmade and decorated by the original designer and are available in limited numbers. Some early pieces have recently been auctioned on Ebay.
Prior to this in 2006, Roger designed the French Set teapot, limited to just 100. The teaset includes cups, sugar bowls and milk jugs, all signed on the base but only the teapots are numbered. Again, some early versions have been seen on Ebay.