How did you start collecting Torquay Pottery, here is your opportunity to put a few words and a picture or two, to share your first contact with these great potteries.
MY FIRST POT – Keith Poole
My older brother who had an interest in archaeology and collecting Victorian china wares, gave me a cutting from a antiques magazine reviewing a new book just out, The Old Devon Potteries by D.& E. Lloyd Thomas. He went on to ask me to look out for Devon pottery in our area and this I did and found a few items for him.
My son was a Cub Scout and we were helping out at the scouts annual Jumble Sale. It was from our stall that I purchased my first piece of Torquay Pottery, a cottage mottoware cup and saucer made by the Longpark Pottery and with ‘Ilfracombe’ on it and costing just 50p. Initially I had brought a cup for my brother but decided to keep it for myself as the style of this pottery took my fancy as they say. So I decided to find a few more items for myself by looking around junk shops and it was some years before I ever went to an antiques fair and collected seriously. However that cup and saucer from Ifracombe did start a long time passion of over thirty years now for collecting and researching all the South Devon potteries.
MY FIRST POT – Keith Neat
My first pot was actually a plate given to me by my next door neighbour for my sister who was in California studying for an art degree. She had chosen to complete a paper on Devon Pottery and wanted a sample to show her lecturer. I sent the plate off to my sister but was I was also given a milk jug, sugar basin and odd saucer. I contact my sister but she didn’t want them so I kept them.
Sometime later, while we were on holiday in Kent, I saw a cup for 50p in a charity shop and splashed out as I thought it would go with the odd saucer. Then I was hooked! That was 20 years ago and I now have around 900 pieces and am still looking for a shape or a size I haven’t got.
MY FIRST POT – Elspeth Mapp
As a little girl I was always fascinated by the cottage on a butter dish my mother had and used my imagination to invent stories around it. Years later the butter dish and three other items of pottery – namely a coffee pot, an inkwell and a little jug came down to me and I became more curious about them. By this time my parents had passed away so I could no longer ask them where they came from or why they had them.
My darling husband did some research on my behalf and discovered that all the pieces were made in Devon and were collectively called ‘Torquay Pottery’. The butter dish, which so fascinated me as a child, was marked Watcombe, the inkwell with a scandy design [as I later found out] came from the Longpark Pottery. The Coffee Jug with a Sailing boat with Brightlingsea on the front is from Royal Torquay and the little brown jug with a green slip colouring inside with Tavistock written on it is Watcombe. All were made around the 1920’s/1930’s and I suspect that my father, who was in the Army during the war years and based in and around Devon, bought them all back for my mother. The Coffee Pot probably caught his eye, as Brightlingsea was where some of his family lived.
So ‘My First Pot’ turned out to be my first four pots and has led me into learning about and collecting much more Torquay Pottery, of course I have now honed my interests, having learned of the vast and varied pots that come out of the Devon Potteries.
My First Pots – Peter Whight
My wife’s aunt, Irene, gave us a Watcombe Jug, almost the classic piece of Torquay, followed by an unusual Exeter pot in the shape of a Watering Can (?) and best of all a Watcombe 6″ Cat, albeit with damaged legs. This led us to buy a copy of the ‘Old Torquay Potteries’ by D&E Lloyd Thomas and we were off on the long trail of building a collection, 30 years!