The Ridgway Homemaker Pattern is a classic retro design that is now becoming very collectable. The range was mass produced in the 1950s and 60s and was sold exclusively through Woolworth’s stores.
The pattern was created by Enid Seeney and was manufactured by Ridgway Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent. The pattern was to be used on the Metro shape designed by Ridgway designer Tom Arnold. It was Tom Arnold, himself, that asked Seeney to create a pattern that could be produced in large quantities using the new the Murray-Curvex litho process.
The pattern was applied in reverse to the bottom of a gelatine pad (or ‘bomb’). The wet paint was then transferred to the piece in a way that would allow it to mould to the shape. This process made all-over patterns such as Homemaker possible.
The pattern was later released on Cadenza shape. The Homemaker pattern was initially given the name ‘ Furniture ‘. It was first shown at exhibition in Blackpool in 1956 but only took off when spotted by a Woolworth’s buyer in 1957. It was trialed in a few London shops and proved a success appealing to the contemporary market of the late 1950s and 1960s.
The pattern itself was a distinctive black on white featuring illustrations of the latest home furnishings and utensils against a background of irregular black lines. Items illustrated included a boomerang or kidney shaped table, a Robin Day armchair, a Gordon Russell type sideboard, plant holders on legs, tripod lights and lamp shades, and a two seat Sigvard Bernadotte style sofa.
Homemaker was produced in large quantities from 1956 to 1970 so few pieces are rare. The range is becoming increasingly collectable and prices at auction are rising. Rarer pieces include the Bon Bon Dish, the Cadenza Teapot and other teapots and coffee pots. (Click for current Ridgway Homemaker items on ebay).
The plates are the most common items to find. 7″ plates estimate £5-£8 each. 9″ plates estimate £8-£12 each.
Did you know?
The pattern was also produced in a Red colour. This red and white colourway was produced in very limited numbers as a trial in 1960 and as such are very rare. There are very few examples coming to traditional auction houses or ebay and very few in shops. A single plate such as the one below sold on AntiquesAtlas for £350/$483.