The Torquay Terracotta Company (TTC) was started 1875 at Hele Cross, Torquay by Dr. Gillow as senior director, with Thomas Bentley manager in charge of pottery manufacture and decoration. The decorators/artists employed were Alexander Fisher who was in charge of the Artist Department with Holland Birbeck, Messrs. Clarke, Grocott, Skinner and Walker also a Miss Bridges and Miss Paulton.

The company produced very high quality decorative pottery often similar and in competition with the Watcombe Pottery. These included terracotta moulded figures and busts as well as vases and urns decorated with enamels. Many plaques and other items were finely painted with flowers, birds or outline figures. A notable employee who joined the company in 1875 was the master turner William Higginbottom. His work can be identified by the “Birds Feet” mark on the base of the turned pottery items. Later about 1890 when these terracotta pottery items became less fashionable TTC produced a range of flown glazed pottery and these are usually back stamped Stapleton. Unfortunately the company failed to keep up with the changing demands and fashions so eventually had to close in 1905.

Reference: The Art of the Torquay and South Devon Potters. Articles by V. Brisco, R. Firch & E. White.

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’.

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