Devon Mottoware, Moonflasks & Moggies

Our 16th July General Antiques auction will include a large collection of Torquay pottery wares ranging from mottoware trays, grotesque figures, candlesticks, to chargers and puzzle jugs.
It comprises approx. 40% of the lifetime collection of Barry and Ivy Jones of Ipswich, who were well-known members of the Torquay Pottery Society. The remainder of the collection will be sold in our 6th August and 3rd September auctions.

Torquay pottery is an umbrella term, which encompasses several pottery works in the area, which were operative for approximately 100 years from the mid-19th century. The discovery of large deposits of fine red Devon clay in the 1860s coincided with the growing market for domestic and souvenir stoneware. The most famous works were Watcombe, Longpark and Aller Vale, although there were several smaller potteries and a lot of overlap of potters between the works. Some potters from one factory would go to work in other, or even start their own potteries, therefore styles become increasingly similar over time.

The Torquay potters' century saw the rise and fall of many distinctive art movements, which they tried to emulate. Therefore, items can be found which epitomise Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco. Above all though, Torquay wares are distinctive for their cottage designs, floral and sailing motifs, mottos (often in the Devonshire dialect), and grotesque figures (commonly cats).

Our sale includes examples from the more famous works as well as by Lemon and Crute, Exeter and Barton potteries. Notable pieces include a pedestal vase decorated by William Higginbottom (with distinctive crows feet mark), a Brannam pottery spoon-warmer and an Aller Vale dragon form posy vase.

We are open for viewing on Friday 15th 12-7pm and live bidding is available via


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