Welcome to the Torquay Pottery Collectors Society  (TPCS) publications page.  You will find books and booklets published by the society about the potteries, the pots and the people who created them.  The books have been created over the past several years documenting the information and research carried out by society members and recording their findings. 

All these books are available to members of the society at our meetings at the prices listed.  However if you are buying through our website, you will need to pay postage as well.  This cost will depend on the price of postage to the location of your choice plus the price of packaging.  Please see the pricelist for the total cost for the book you have selected.  If you wish to buy more than one book or booklet, please contact me at <>  for a discount on postage, letting me know the books you are interested in buying.  Please pay immediately once you know the full amount and the book or books will be dispatched for you to enjoy as soon as is practicable.

Torquay Pottery Collectors’ Society Books

Torquay Commemoratives and Advertising Wares by Virginia Brisco

ISBN  0 9515089 11            Torquay Pottery Collectors Society, 1991       97 pages   £4.80

Torquay Commemoratives and Advertising Wares cropped

This A5 format book provides a comprehensive guide to the commemoratives produced by the Torquay & South Devon potteries.   The potteries had a prolific output and produced commemoratives for all the coronations and jubilees between 1887 and 1953, as well as a wide variety of military, political, local and personal commemoratives.  The majority of these commemoratives were made from local clays and decorated with traditional coloured slips and sgraffito inscriptions. The potteries expanded into the growing market of advertising wares in the early twentieth century and this book shows the great diversity of items that were created. With black-and-white photographs, colour photographs and illustrations this book provides a very good introduction to Torquay potteries contribution to commemorative and advertising wares.

Torquay Pottery Faience Wares   :   The Ken Hall Collection

ISBN   0  9515089 89            50 pages            £5.20

A former chairman of the TPCS, Ken Hall’s core interest was for Faience Wares. An expert in the subject, he acquired named pieces throughout the United Kingdom, along with others decorated with animals and birds. This catalogue contains his faience ware collection. Faience ware, a term given to wares decorated in coloured pigments, was first produced by the Torquay Potteries in 1905. Although faience wares were produced up until the 1930s, the most superb pieces with the most detailed decorations, date from 1905 to 1914, just prior to the outbreak of the First World War. The catalogue was produced as a tribute to Ken Hall and his collection. The beautiful colour photographs in Torquay Pottery Faience Wares do just this, while at the same time providing a comprehensive introduction to faience wares for the Torquay pottery collector.

Torquay Pottery: A Local Story – Compiled by Andy Violet

Torquay Pottery Collectors Society – 2001.

80 pages – £6.00

Originally produced as a catalogue to accompany a major exhibition of Torquay pottery, held in Newton Abbot, South Devon in September 2001, Torquay Pottery – A Local Story is both a great introduction to the Torquay Potteries for a beginner’s overview of the subject of Torquay pottery, and a very useful tool in identifying finds.

Produced in A5 format it contains full colour captioned photographs of all the 471 pots which appeared in the exhibition. In addition, there are over eighteen pages of text, giving a good outline history of all of the potteries in the Torquay area, which existed between 1869 when the Watcombe Pottery commenced manufacture, and 1969 when the little St Marychurch Pottery closed, some seven years after the Watcombe Pottery had closed. After reading this catalogue, the complete beginner will have a broad understanding of the incredibly wide range of wares manufactured by the Torquay potteries and will, furthermore, come to appreciate them in their historic perspective, showing the variety of styles produced for the ever changing tastes of the Victorians and Edwardians and how the artistic movements of the time, and two World Wars, influenced the patterns and decorations used by these “local” potteries. Even the more advanced collector will be delighted and amazed by the number of different patterns and shapes which remain to be collected, although even this wide assortment only really scratches the surface.

Torquay Pottery Mark Book – Edited by Keith Poole

Torquay Pottery Collectors Society – 2007

5th edition. 2007 80 pages £5.20

This Torquay Pottery Mark Book is a must for anyone collecting Torquay Pottery and the various associated potteries. This revised edition has just over 400 pottery backstamps and pottery marks, and includes the associated potteries in North Devon, Somerset and Dorset, plus trade outlet marks, along with an index to the contents of the book. The format is a handy DL size, which will fit happily into a jacket pocket or handbag.

Wesuma Ware   The story of T W Lemon & Son, Weston-Super-Mare

ISBN 0 901104 15 9      1997    32 pages    £5.20

Published by North Somerset Museum Service, the text of this booklet is based on a dissertation by Veronica Millen- Walters for the University of the West of England, Bristol. 

Torquay Mottowares – Edited by Virginia Brisco

Torquay Pottery Collectors Society – 1997

ISBN   0 9515089 0 3         64 pages      £6.00

Originally published in 1989, this is the third print run of 1997. 

This A5 volume contains 64 pages with 55 plates, 15 of them in full colour. The term “mottoware” is used to describe any type of ceramics that has writing on it, and this volume is a detailed illustrated guide to the mottowares produced by the many potteries in the South Devon area, the products of which are collectively known as Torquay pottery. The development of these mottowares is profusely illustrated, from the early Aller Vale examples in the 1880s, down to the demise of the potteries in the 1960s. The subject is looked at, not just from the historical angle, for there are sections on how to identify and date them, and how they were made. There are examples of the many designs including, ships, cockerels, scandies and cottages. Further sections deal with miniatures and children’s wares, mottowares with a Christmas theme, puzzle jugs and scent bottles, and a final section lists some of the many mottoes which have been found on them.

The Artisans of the Torquay Potteries – Compiled by Andy Violet

ISBN   095 15089 70      The Torquay Pottery Collectors Society, 2004

95 pages £6.00

Originally published as a catalogue to accompany an exhibition “The Artisans of the Torquay Potteries” at The Torquay Museum in 2004, this A5 format book illustrates, in full colour, all the beautiful pots that were in that exhibition, together with biographies of the artisans featured in the exhibition : William Higginbottom – Master Turner, Alexander Fisher Senior – Ceramic Artist, Alexander Fisher Junior; The Birbeck Family of Decorators – William Birbeck, John Holland Birbeck, Alfred Birbeck and Henry Turner Birbeck; The Influence of Dr. Christopher Dresser – Designer; Domenico Marcucci – the Italian Artist; Charles Collard – Master Potter; William George (Bill) Howard – Pottery Artist; Blanche Georgiana Vulliamy _ Designer, and Harry Edmunds Crute – Pottery Decorator and Artist.

The Artisans of the Torquay Potteries is a truly useful book for those seeking to obtain a quality collection by knowing what to look out for.

Devonmoor Art Pottery and Its Manufacture  by John Hobbs

ISBN  0 9515089 6 2       Torquay Pottery Collectors Society, 2000              65 pages       £5.20

Of square format, Devonmoor Art Pottery and Its Manufacture, researched and written by John Hobbs, an enthusiastic collector of Devonmoor Art Pottery Toby jugs, this book is a comprehensive history of the Devonmoor Art Pottery, which was located in the village of Liverton, on the very edge of Dartmoor. With full colour illustrations, photographs and illustrations to enhance the text, and a list of the known paintresses and painters, along with the pottery marks and backstamps, this book is a must for any Devonmoor pottery collector.

Dartmouth Pottery – A Collectors Guide Edited by Virginia Brisco

ISBN    0 9515089 2 X          Torquay Pottery Collectors Society, 1993        88 pages       £4.80

Based on the original research and extensive photographic collection of Reginald Score, Dartmouth Pottery – A Collectors Guide provides a great introduction to collecting Dartmouth pottery. With black-and-white and colour photographs, the book contains a brief history of the Pottery, and a comprehensive guide to the waresproduced from the late 1940s through to its closure, along with a selection of the Pottery’s backstamps with their dates.

Lets Collect Cottagewares – by Virginia Brisco

ISBN    0 9520045 0 X      Virginia and Bill Brisco, 1992     90 pages       £4.80

Cottagewares are synonymous with Torquay pottery, a pattern which was produced by virtually all the South Devon potteries, and indeed the associated potteries in Somerset and Dorset. Let’s Collect Cottageware is a thorough introduction to cottagewares and the potteries that produced them. From the early pigment painted faience cottage designs to the later cottage mottowares, including the much sought after “Winter Cottage” wares. With black-and-white and colour photographs, this book looks at them all, along with detailing the individual cottages of the known decorators who executed them, and some of the many mottoes which have been found on cottagewares.

Christopher Dresser and the Torquay Potteries  by  Laurence Rogers

ISSN   0951 6751       20 pages       £2.00

This article was reproduced from the TPCS magazine of January 1994 and produced as this booklet.  Christopher Dresser provided designs for many potteries and his influence can be seen in some of the pots produced by the early Torquay Potteries.   The article looks at the pots created in the Dresser style at the Watcombe Terracotta Company and some of the other early Torquay potteries to identify this connection.

The Art of the Torquay and South Devon Potters – Edited by Keith Poole

ISBN   09515 3 8    Torquay Pottery Collectors Society, 1996     212 pages       £20.00

This beautiful book was published by the Torquay Pottery Collectors Society in 1996, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Society. A substantial hard backed A4 size book, The Art of the Torquay and South Devon Potters is packed with information, illustrations, black-and-white and colour photographs. The book focuses on superior examples of the Torquay potters’ art. New collectors will be amazed by the range of pottery produced and by its quality.

The book is also well suited to the more enthusiastic Torquay pottery collector, interested in the art pottery illustrated, as well as those interested in the rich heritage of South Devon. It illustrates the work that the pottery workers, artists, designers, decorators, turners and throwers of Devon produced, as well as some reminiscences of several pottery workers, together with details of many of the old pottery skills, production methods and much more. The contents are well indexed, with the book also containing some pottery marks and pattern styles, along with a detailed list of past pottery workers and the potteries where they worked.

Contents : Century of Ceramics; Royalty and the Torquay Potters in the Victorian Era; John Phillips and the Villages of the Three Wells; Early Days at the Torquay Terracotta Company; Watcombe; Exeter Art Pottery; Art Ware of Longpark Pottery; Lemon & Crute, Tor Val and Daison Potteries; Torquay Pottery Company; Devonmoor Art Pottery; Torquay Grotesques and Model Animals; Birbeck Family of Decorators; William Higginbottom – Master Turner; Alexander Fisher (Snr.); Domenico Marcucci – The Italian at Aller; Charles Collard and the Scroll Patterns; Bill Howard – Pottery Artist; Christopher Dresser and the Torquay Potteries; Grotesque by Design; Torquay Pottery Pattern Codes; Decorating Techniques; Devon Tors Pottery; Bovey Tracey Pottery; Longpark Pottery; John Skinner of Kingskerswell; Who’s Who of Pottery Workers; Watcombe Flower Pots and Wall Pockets; Marks and Backstamps.

The Devonshire Dialect including Dialect Dictionary   by Clement Marten

60 pages   £ 4.00

Have you ever wondered what that motto means?  Well here is your chance to try and work it out.  This book contains over 800 dialect words and phrases with a guide to pronunciation and usage.