Making a collection of the various items decorated with seagulls is a popular theme and it can be a challenge to acquire all the examples shown here. The majority of seagull ware was made between the wars when many tourists came to Devon on holiday by train and what better souvenir to take home than a pot decorated with a seagull to remind them of the seaside.
The Barton, Lemon & Crute and the Royal Torquay potteries have all been credited with being the first to decorate pottery with seagulls. A big influence on the South Devon potteries production of seagull decoration must be Harry Crute. He was an artist potter who excelled in painting nature scenes. Harry worked at, managed, partnered or owned seven different potteries where he decorated and no doubt trained many others, the seagull decoration being just one of the many designs he excelled at.
Below is the list of potteries that produced seagull ware and further below in the gallery are examples of some of the different seagull variations that may be found.
Barton: The seagulls flying are less common than those standing on rock. Usually found facing left.
Dartmouth: These seagulls are always standing on rock. They also made moulded model and eventually they did a few by transfer prints. They possibly produced wall hanging models.
Watcombe: Those flying are more common, those standing are uncommon. They are mainly be found with cliffs and sails seen in the light blue back grounds and the birds are usually facing left.
Royal Torquay: These can be facing left or right, some are less well painted but are found on a greater range of items
Lemon & Crute: These seagulls are mostly shown out over a wavy sea with no rocks
Daison: These are similar to Lemon & Crute
Wesuma: Again these are similar to Lemon and Crute but may be of lesser quality.
St Marychurch: These can look like Watcombe as this small pottery was started by potters who had worked at Watcombe but they mostly made small items.
Babbacombe: These seagulls are in two main styles, one with a sail boat in the background and the other showing several birds flying over white waves.
Devon Tors: Often can be two seagulls flying over rocks.
Devonshire Potteries: These can be plumper birds flying over rocks with others small in background.
Sandygate: A less interesting black and white transfer printed copy of a Babbacombe design of a bird on rocks with sail boat in background.
Kingswear: They used exactly the same as transfer printed image as for the Sandygate seagulls
Devonmoor: They produced model birds and possibly some flat backed wall hanging models
Plymouth Gas Fired: This is scarce pottery of any sort to find especially any with simple seagulls on.
Wembury marked pottery: Thought to be an outlet for the Lemon & Crute pottery.
Honiton: Rare if found
No seagull pottery is known to have been produced by Aller Vale, Longpark or Hart & Moist.