Pretty pair of matching Art Pottery vases from the Watcombe (Torquay ware) factory, each of bulbous form with opposing twin handles. With the inscribed mark ‘WATCOMBE TORQUAY’, the pair can be dated to between 1870-1874. They have a mottled base colour of differing shades of purple upon which are painted pansy-like flowers, leaves and stems.
The Watcombe Terracotta Clay Company established a pottery at St Mary’s Church in 1869 to make ‘art manufactures’. An experienced art director, Charles Brock, was appointed manager and skilled workers were recruited from Staffordshire. By 1877 there were over 100 employees. Much of the output was for outdoor use but jugs, spill vases, candlesticks, tobacco jars, teapots, cream jugs and small busts may be found but they are not common. In 1901 the Watcombe Pottery amalgamated with the Aller Vale Pottery to become the Royal Aller Dale and Watcombe Pottery which continued to operate at St Mary’s Church until 1962.
Excellent – no chips, cracks or restoration. Some age-related crazing and a tiny fault on one of the vase necks possibly as a result of the firing process (see pictures).
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