Torquay Devon Mottware Quirky Mottos and All

Posted by Ruth Weston on


A quirky and fun English art pottery, begun really as a cottage industry from several modest potteries in the Devon area, especially the Torquay area, of Southern England from local red clays, from the 1870s until the factories closed in the 1960s. 

It is usually of red clay decorated with bright glazes, cottages and mottos or sayings that run the gamut from proverbs and sound advice to nearly outrageous. Always fun and different and very collectible!

There is a wonderful collectors society that used to publish a wonderful quarterly magazine…. The Scandy, named for the stylized foliage often seen on the pottery. Also featured is the traditional cottage.

There are also flowers, the Kingfisher bird, a cockerel and other designs.

The mottos span folk wisdom, proverbs, advice, folklore and were often in dialect.

Very collectible.

Here are some examples from Time Was Antiques noted with motto and which pottery if known… 

The eggcup above says

Speak little but think much... 

with the traditional cottage on the back. Made by Aller Vale pottery, Torquay Devon in the 1940-1950s.

 a souvenir cup and saucer from Tiree, which a village in the Hebridees of Scotland, made by the Royal Watcombe pottery in Devon between 1958-1966

A rolling stone gathers no moss

From Longpark pottery in Torquay from 1905-1922 is this cream pitcher bearing the Scandy design...

The motto is in dialect and is:

Elp yersel tu craim


I hope you enjoyed a glimpse at a few examples of this fun pottery genre...

to see more examples at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos, or visit this link for the Cottage Ware and Motto Ware category


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