Midwinter Stylecraft 'Bali Hai' serving bowl (Fashion shape)
Serving dish in 'Bali Hai' by Midwinter, useful either as a salad dish, fruit bowl or as a decorative piece. Produced on the innovative 'Fashion' shape, part of Midwinter's groundbreaking Stylecraft range.
The firm of WR Midwinter had been in existence since it was founded by William Robinson Midwinter in 1910, but only reached prominence when Roy Midwinter, son of the founder, joined the firm in 1946 after being demobilised from the Royal Air Force. Having seen disappointing sales results on a Canadian trip, he was advised to look at the organic forms being introduced in California by the likes of Eva Zeisel and Raymond Loewy.
Roy Midwinter’s response was to commission designers to work on what was to become the Stylecraft range introduced in 1953 – a revolutionary modern shape of rounded-off square shaped plates and bowls with only a very narrow rim which were decorated with a variety of new festival-style brightly coloured patterns many of them by Jessie Tait who had worked under Charlotte Rhead. Sketches of the south of France by Sir Hugh Casson, who had been Director of Architecture for the Festival of Britain in 1951, were adapted as a design called ‘Riviera’. The Stylecraft range continued in production into the early 1960s.
The ‘Fashion’ shape, released in 1954, went even further in terms of adopting an organic form, by abandoning the rim of the early Stylecraft range and curving all the edges between surfaces. It became part of the Stylecraft range, but usually with the term “Fashion Shape” included on the backstamp. New designs by up-and-coming designers such as John Russell, Terence Conran and more designs by Jessie Tait, as well as a reworking of the ‘Riviera’ pattern into a new design called ‘Cannes’ followed.
In the 1962 Midwinter introduced the ‘Fine’ shape designed by David Queensberry (Marquis of Queensberry) which was based on a more classical cylinder form, and later in 1972 came the chunkier Stonehenge range. After financial difficulties in the later 1960s Midwinter merged with J&G Meakin in 1968 and was taken over by the Wedgwood Group in 1970 with the Midwinter name still being used up until 1987.
- Height approx. 5.5cm
- Width approx. 23cm
- Length approx. 22cm