Articles At A Glance
As seen in The Antique Shoppe Newspaper, March 2008
This is a follow-up article as a result of the interest shown in the article I wrote in the April 2006 issue of this publication. That issue contained the history and origin of the clay and the making of Torquay Pottery. Torquay Pottery was popular in the 20th century, and still attracting many collectors in the 21st century. Since the history was mentioned, I will briefly state that the pottery was made in the South Devon area of England beginning in 1869 from red clay found in the grounds there. It is no longer being made. For a while the pottery was neglected because it was common, everyday earthenware. Today it is very collectible!
Hopefully you have read my previous articles from 2006 & 2007 concerning Torquay Pottery. You may be interested to know there were numerous companies in existence. After collecting many different pieces, my husband and I ended up with over 1300 pieces. We have finally downsized to 400 pieces. Since Jerry says he can't find or afford a coffin large enough (for a much later time when needed) to hold the remainder, we will have to get
rid of many pieces. After being involved with
Torquay for almost 40 years, we have learned so much about the pottery and
the companies. Yet, we are still reading so many new articles and books
that we realize we still have much learning to do. It'swww.1980warriors.blogspot.
As mentioned previously the dark red clay used in producing T orquay Pottery was rediscovered in 1869. This took place in the grounds at Watcombe House. Watcombe Pottery, as it eventually became known, found a ready market for its products. Torquay Terra-Cotta Co. was established in 1875. In 1881 an existing pottery near Kings
Kerswell, later known as Aller Vale Pottery, also went to the production of terracotta and other Art wares. By 1890 Aller Vale was already beginning to look for a new class of customer. There were many holiday visitors looking for something bright and cheap to take home as a souvenir. Hart & Moist started operation in the late 1800's. Then along came Daison Pottery during the early part of the 20dl Century. Also Bovey Tracey Potteries in North Torquay followed the excitement. Another company was Lemon & Crute.
A couple of minor firms in the St. Mary church district showed up. The Longpark Pottery, in existence from 1883-1957 was one of the largest in that area. Some of the same decoration codes used by Watcombe and Aller Vale were now being used by Longpark. After different companies came into existence, Watcombe & Torquay Terra Cotta factories were finding it difficult to keep going with their traditional terracotta wares. Watcombe was able to continue until it was obliged to close in 1962. In 1905 Torquay Terra-Cotta Company went out of business. The depression of the 30's followed by the War took its toll of the pottery companies. I believe Dartmouth and Babbacombe Potteries came into existence about the middle of the 20dl Century and ceased production in the early part of the 21st Century. We have enjoyed pottery from both of these companies.
Patterns on the pottery are adorable, with the Cottage being the most popular. Other patterns were the Cockerels, Scandy, and Ships; being found on 'Devon Motto Wares'. Art Pottery carries stylized flowers and foliage, gorgeous Daffodils, Scrolls in multi-colored slips & Kingfishers. Lavender Devon Violets are found on adorable scent bottles. All patterns were hand painted!
Marks used to identify the pottery by different companies are too numerous to mention. Some of the marks were done with a black rubber stamp, incised, painted, impressed and scratched.
Codes also describe the types of patterns used. It is fun to know the descriptions, marks, patterns and identifying codes Inscriptions on Torquay Pottery are unique. Many of the mottoes were done in a Devonshire dialect. Three of my favorite mottoes are "A Place For Everything and Everything In Its Place". There is hardly a day that verse doesn't run across my mind when I find things out of place. We have a hedge at home between our neighbors lawn and ours and I am reminded often with "A hedge between keeps friendship green". "To a friend's house the road is never long" is a sentimental motto. A few of my other favorites & makers are as follows:
"Be the day weary or be the day long, At last it ringeth to evensong" - Longpark.
"Do not cross the bridge until you cum to it" - Torquay.
"0 list to me ye ladies fair, And when ye wish to furl your hair, For the safety of this domicile, Pray place your lamp upon this tile (on a curling iron tile)" - Watcombe
"Snore and you sleep alone" (on a candlestick) - Longpark
"Be happy while you're living, For you're a long time dead" - Aller Vale
"Unless the kettle boiling B, Filling the teapot spoils the T" (appears on a teapot) - Aller Vale
"See a pin let it stay, Bad luck yours all the day" - Brewer
Like me, you too can adore these mottoes and proverbs! It is fun to collect; however, it is rewarding to know the history behind each piece. It has been in my life 38 years and has taken my husband and me many places we would never have traveled to: England,
Scotland, San Juan Islands, Canada and several States in the U.S.
We hosted the US Exhibition of Torquay Pottery in 1986 at Sauder's Museum in Archbold, Ohio. At that time Jerry and I were Coordinators of The Torquay Pottery Collectors' Society for US and Canadian members. TPCS exists in England. Actually we were fortunate in having the presence of Honorary President Ian Green and Membership
Secretaries Shirley and Brian Everett from England. Having them as guests in our home was a plus. An exhibition was also held in England the same year.
My husband and I are co-founders of North America Torquay Society, www.torquayus.org founded in 1990. If this article arouses interest on your part, please send a #10 SASE to Mrs. Gerry Kline, 604 Orchard View Dr., Maumee, Ohio, 43537.
We welcome all letters and questions! Refer to Schroeder's Antique Price Guide for further information. NATS is a great club to join. Yearly conventions are held where there is a large variety of books, memorabilia and pottery for sale. There are seminars, slide shows and talks from very knowledgeable members. Likewise, TPCS is open to membership.
If you have any questions, you can Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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