Torquay Pottery

Torquay Pottery

Torquay Pottery Pomade Pot

I came across this little pot at a Boot Fair this weekend and immediately recognised it as Motto Ware from the design and the terracotta material but could not quite see the maker’s impress mark on the bottom in the bright sunshine. I mused for a while over whether to pay the asking price as I could hear that there was a crack somewhere from the dull sound given off when putting the two parts together, but the motto ‘Pomade’ made me think that this was likely to be an old piece as it is only in more recent times that the use of this grooming product has come back into fashion.

Research this morning has shown that Torquay Pottery was one of a number established within a small area of the town from 1860 onwards which included Babbacombe, Watcombe and Aller Vale. The Torquay Pottery Collector’s Society website is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in the makers of this area and their wares. It helped me to clarify that although a generic term given DSC03287to pottery made in the area, there was an actual ‘Torquay Pottery’ established in 1908 by Enoch Stadden which used various marks including Hele Cross, for their location, and also Royal Torquay Pottery which was used from 1924 until the pottery closed, sometime in the 1940s and so my little pot stamped ‘TORQUAY POTTERY ENGLAND’ possibly pre-dates this change of name.

With a mid-blue ground, the lid has a diving Kingfisher motif which was a popular decoration among a number of the makers from the area and remains a favourite with collectors.  Of course pottery lovers are looking for perfection and this is not a pot that I will be able to sell on but for me, the rarity and age of an item trumps any minor condition issues and I’ll be adding it to my ‘precious things’ box where it joins a few pieces of early Aller Vale and a Torquay Terracotta Company Bottle Vase which I picked up a couple of years ago. Who knows, maybe one day I will have enough shelf space to put these things out on display but for the time being they are carefully wrapped and put safely away.

If you have a favourite piece of Devon Pottery, a favourite maker or would like to know more about my finds please do get in touch via the Contacts page.