Several years ago I spotted 5 ‘New Chelsea’ China side plates for sale on Australia
Ebay, autographed on the front side by G W Kearvell. I duly won the bid for these
plates and despite their long journey they arrived undamaged. With few G W Kearvells
on our Family Tree it was easy to trace Gordon William Kearvell, son of William
Richard Kearvell (1887 - 1956) and Catherine Louisa James (1884 - 1956). Gordon’s
birth and early years were spent in South Africa where his father , a soldier in
the Army Service Corps, was posted.
Alan Kearvell, Gordon’s son, replied to my query about his father’s work in the
Potteries to advise that “most of his working life was spent with New Chelsea China
(where he became Art Director) in Longton where we lived but he also worked in his
earlier years for Barretts in Burslem and Fieldings in Fenton.
In about 1960 he set up in business himself buying best china (and tiles) from local
factories and decorating/firing the ware himself. He traded under the name "Kearvell"
which was stamped on the bottom of the china in gold - we possess a small amount
of this ware still. This period was fairly short and he subsequently traded as "Mancourt
Potteries" - it was all hands to the pump at this time with my mother and I, dad`s
sister Thelma and my (now) wife`s elder sister Ada all involved to some degree.
Unfortunately dad contracted lymphatic leukaemia and died in 1964 and the business
went into liquidation."
One of Gordon’s side plates made when he was Art Director of New Chelsea China Company.
Above is a closer look at his signature which appears centrally low down in the picture
to the right.
I wonder whether the flower design was prompted by his time in South Africa as a