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Shelley Library

  Shelley Chintz      
    Title Shelley Chintz
    Author Kelly L Moran
    Publisher Thaxted Cottage Publishers
      221 Driscoll Way
Maryland 20878-5210
    Date April 1990
    ISBN 0 9516525 0 8

This beautifully produced book documents the chintz production of the Wileman and Shelley potteries. Chapters cover the 19th century production, the early 1900s, the 1930s and the final years to 1966. The book also has a description of what a chintz is and contains a bibliography. Of the 135 pages in this hard backed book, just about every one has at least one colour illustration. A joy to peruse and a must for any chintz collector.

Book Review

Shelley Chintz - A Review by John Barter
(This review first appeared in The Shelley Group Magazine, Issue 56, June 2000)

What can I say? On opening this book full of sumptuous floral extravaganzas on every pay, my jaw dropped. I only wish my garden was full of these delights! Kelly Moran has sourced examples of all known chintz patterns used by Shelley starting with the early Wileman period in 1885 on china, passing through the pottery patterns from 1913, then the chintz patterns from 1935 on both china and pottery and finally, there is a full review of the years from 1940 to 1966.
Many of the Shelley Group members who attend the annual Shelley Weekend of the American National Shelley China events will have met Kelly and will have recognized her enthusiasm for Shelley. This is obvious in the book, with its many colour photographs. There is a least a page for each pattern. Some show examples of the pattern on items borrowed from collectors around the world and others include reproduction of the relevant page from the Shelley pattern books in the archive at Royal Doulton.
Kelly spent several weeks at Royal Doulton, spoke with chintz collectors on four continents and interviewed Ray Reynolds, the last decorating manager at Shelley, and Chris Davenport at length. Interspersed throughout the book are fascinating black and white photographs supplied by workers from the factory with information about their connection to the factory and the Shelley family. Kelly also reveals important information about the manufacturers of the lithographs both in the UK and on the continent. On opening the book one finds a real piece of Maytime chintz lithograph superimposed on a printed photograph of a finished piece of the same pattern, showing how the colours become so vivid only after being fired for six hours at eight-hundred degrees Celsius.
To summarise this is an extremely well researched 'must have' book for all those who need a reference guide to the Shelley chintz production throughout the factory's history. It reflects the popularity of chintz to the buying public of the time, its particular importance to the Shelley export market between 1940 and 1966 and its contribution to the survival of the factory for many years. Kelly also comments on the rarity of many of the patterns using multiples of teapot symbols, rather like hotel stars, to indicate the collectability of each one. The prose are both serious and learned but also fun and delivered in a warm effusive style that is easy to read.