Offered for sale is a wonderful iridescent green glazed, twin handled pottery vase in the style of Dr Christopher Dresser by Watcombe Pottery.
It has impressed marks to base, the presence of "Made In England" dates it after 1921
This is a classic piece of Watcombe Art Pottery, made in the dark red earthenware clay of the region and finished in an iridescent green glaze with lustrous brown handles and interior.
Watcombe Pottery was established in about 1870 following the discovery of a bed of fine red clay at Watcombe House, Teignmouth Road, St Mary Church, north of Torquay. number of potteries grew up or turned to art pottery in the west of England in the 1870s and 1880s. Documentary evidence is lacking, but it is assumed that Dresser designed for the pottery from about this time.This prompted the owner a G. P. Allen to establish the Watcombe Terracotta Clay Company off Teignmouth Road, St. Marychurch in 1869 with Charles Brock a Staffordshire potter to train the local workers and supervise the experienced Staffordshire ones like William Samuel Bond.
Classical styles of the period like terracotta busts, figures, urns and jugs were produced first, undoubtedly some of these and later works of enamel decorated terracotta were influenced by the designs of Dr. Christopher Dresser. There is no documentary evidence of Dresser's collaboration with Watcombe but it is usually accepted on stylistic grounds. Dresser visited Japan on several occasions and in 1877 presented the Emperor with European artefacts including one example of Watcombe pottery.
In 1901 the Watcombe pottery was acquired by Hexter, Humpherson and Co., who also owned the Aller Vale pottery enabling the Watcombe pottery to benefit from the expertise of Aller Vale’s decorators using coloured slips for decoration to produce the popular motto wares for the emerging tourist industry. After the Second World War, Watcombe tried to recapture its old markets which include buying up it’s competitor, the Longpark pottery. They introduced Widecombe Fair, Polka Dot and Winter Cottage decorated pottery to their range, but in 1962 was finally forced to close down.
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