In 1896, William Hart and Alfred Moist were already partners when set up their new pottery at Haven Road, Exeter. They invited Joseph Moist, Alfred’s brother a turner in Staffordshire to come to Devon to join them. Their pottery was named the Devon Art Pottery, although HM Exeter was the mark used and this is how collectors refer to the pottery.*
The early pottery made was similar to that previously done at the Exeter Art Pottery but later from about 1902 the business benefited from the work of two top decorators who previously worked at the Aller Vale Pottery, Charles Collard and William (Bill) Howard. Their scroll work is identical to that done when at Aller Vale, so this makes any unmarked pots difficult to attribute unless one matches up known pottery shapes. During this period some pots were made with a light brown and even textured clay, not at all like the darker brown clay speckled with white and black usually associated with this pottery.
A great many motto ware items were made with H&Ms own distinctive scandy pattern and two styles of ship decoration and cockerels. There was also a daisy pattern but very few cottage wares. Worth finding is the early period novelty pig, owl, cat or mythical creature animals. In the later years kingfishers and moorland stags were used to decorate jugs, bowls and plates and these usually carry a Royal Devon Art Pottery mark.
* Research by Joan Allen
Pottery marks and backstamps with dates and more information for this pottery as well as over 250 other Torquay, Devon and West Country potteries can be found in the TPCS Marks Book see ‘Products for Sale’