Faience wares were first produced in 1905 by the Torquay potteries and in the September of that year Watcombe placed advertisements in the Pottery Gazette. This type of decoration, with its green borders and central cream bands, decorated with cottages, farm buildings, waterwheels, animals, birds and scenes we know as faience ware. Later it became known as "Devonshire scenes". In addition to Watcombe, other potteries that made faience decorated pieces, included Longpark, Torquay Pottery, Lemon & Crute and also the Crown Dorset factory, owned at the time by Charles Collard.
The painting was very skilled with much detail. The experienced decorators, who produced this work, painted it with pigments. Devon cottages were very popular and are often seen in a variety of styles. These were, of course, eventually to become the cottages of motto wares. As people travelled more for visits and to take holidays, the tourist trade was born. Faience wares were the first real holiday souvenir pieces, but as we approached the 1914-18 war, the potteries suffered. The men went into the services and the quality of the painting was affected. After the war the work force was depleted and they looked for more simple patterns to make. Hence the cottages on motto wares which were more straightforward and could be produced faster.
Faience wares were continued up until the 1930s, but the quality had declined with less detail. There was, however, still a market and more and more different designs were produced, especially personalized commissions. Some were also produced for the potters and workers on special occasions such as weddings, births, etc.
Faience wares were a special interest of Ken Hall, a former Chair of TPCS. Collectors interested in faience ware should obtain a copy of Torquay Pottery Faience Wares - The Ken Hall Collection from which the above description is taken. This book is available from our Products Manager .
Unmarked "Gypsy pot" or cauldron