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Book-end - Sylvan


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Poole (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1930 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carter, Stabler & Adams Ltd. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stoneware with mottled green glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Flat backed book-end of stoneware in the form of a three-masted sailing galleon and glazed with a mottled green glaze, and the base is decorated with moulded wave shapes.

Place of Origin

Poole (made)


ca. 1930 (made)


Carter, Stabler & Adams Ltd. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Stoneware with mottled green glaze

Marks and inscriptions

Moulded within a rectangular border


Height: 22 cm, Width: 20 cm, Depth: 7 cm

Object history note

One of a pair of book-ends CIRC.558&A-1976.

Historical context note

Carter, Stabler & Adams were sensitive to the demands of the fashion-conscious market and interested in experimenting with different glazes. The 'Sylvian' mottled glaze was introduced by the pottery in the early 1930s. The green of this book-end is very typical of the period. This book-end or mantlepiece ornament is a mass-produced version of an original galleon designed by the sculptor and partner of the firm Harold Stabler (1872-1945) which may have been modelled on a famous local pirate ship, the 'Harry Paye'. The galleon was frequently used as a symbol for the Carter, Stabler & Adams pottery.

In the 1930s this bookend would have added a cottagey effect in the decoration of homes in the rapidly spreading suburbs and would have evoked nostalgic images of Raleigh and Drake and Britain in its greatness as a sea-fearing nation: a symbol of freedom and life's rich passage.

Harold Stabler trained as a wood-carver and metalworker in the Arts and Crafts style. He became dissatisfied with this approach and in 1912 he became a founder memeber of the Design and Industries Association and is well-known as the designer of posters and tiles for the London Underground. He taught at the Royal College of Art from 1912 to 1926.
[Susan McCormack, 'British Design at Home', p.112]

Descriptive line

'Sylvan' stoneware book-end in the form of a three-masted sailing galleon, with a mottled green glaze, made by Carter, Stabler & Adams Ltd., Poole, ca. 1930.

Labels and date

made by Carter, Stabler & Adams Ltd., Poole, about 1930

Circ.558-1976 [23/05/2008]


Stoneware; Glaze



Subjects depicted



ELISE; Ceramics; Stoneware


Ceramics Collection

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