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During the period 1869 to 1970, some 20 potteries of varied size and longevity created hand crafted pottery in the Torquay area of South Devon.  Collectively these firms produced a wide range of souvenir ware, fine art pottery, and architectural and decorative terracotta . Although many collectors are first introduced to their work by the pots decorated with cottages and cute sayings, the range of these potters' arts included many different styles of decoration. There are many "themes" around which collectors focus their collections.  Themes can be subject matter (e.g.cottages, place names, mottos, florals, animals, windmills, boats, grotesques) or decoration style (e.g. faience, barbotine, terracottamolded cottages).  Some collectors seek out pots by specific decorators, others by pattern code or pottery. Clearly the number of permutations and combinations within categories are endless and many of us just collect pots that appeal to us!

The North American Torquay Society has produced "Celebrating 25 Designs" as part of its 25th Anniversary Celebrations. This beautifully illustrated book shows the 25 designs that are most collected by N.A.T.S. members.

The potteries also produced many commemoratives including every coronation and jubilee between 1887 and 1953. Ms Virginia Brisco's considerable research of these pots is published in Torquay Commemoratives and Advertising Wares available from our Products Manager. "Approaches to Collecting Torquay Pottery" by NATS member Bob Lookabill in the Summer 2008 edition of The Torquay Collector is an excellent reference for ideas in starting a collection.  Back issues of the magazine can be ordered from our Products Manager.

Another source of suggestions for collecting themes can be found at pages 41 et seq. in "Torquay Motto Wares" edited by Virgina Brisco.  Ms Brisco's article "Collectors Guide to Buying Mottowares" in Lets Collect Devon Pottery Issue Number One is also helpful.  Both these books are available from our Products Manager.

On our Pots for Sale page you will find links to members and dealers who have Torquay pottery for sale. We also include a suggested guide for selling a collection or even a single pot.

On our Links page you will find links to related societies, places of interest to Torquay collectors, and services such as pottery restoration or places to stay.

The theme displays at our Annual Conventions convey some idea of the ways in which a collection could be built.

Cottageware             Mottoware            Terrracota          
Faience                   Barbotine              Grotesque