torquay ware jug

Torquay Ware Jug

With the introduction by law of holidays for workers, and the growth of cheap rail transport, visits to the seaside became very popular in late Victorian times. The visitors liked to take a cheap memento home, creating a large market for souvenirs. Thus china trinkets became very popular.

The earliest china souvenirs showed transfer printed views of the resort. Typical of this early view-ware are the pink cups on display in the museum galleries.

W H Goss introduced crested china circa 1881. Initially crests were applied to models of ancient artefacts in local museums. As its popularity grew the range diversified and other pottery firms, such as Arcadian, Carlton and Willow, copied the idea. Crested wares were at the height of their popularity from Edwardian times until the 1920s.

Besides view ware and crested china there were also a considerable number of domestic items produced with floral and bird designs, with motifs such as “A Present from Weymouth”.

Much souvenir china was made in Germany, including view-ware and cheap crested china. Other souvenir china was printed with floral designs and simply carried a message like “Souvenir of Weymouth”. In the 1920s some of the previously crested items appeared with the “Lucky White Heather from …….” motif.

Devon and Dorset were other sources of souvenir pottery and there is an example of Torquay ware in the collection.

Links to examples from the museum collection:

Souvenir China – Early View Ware

Souvenir China – Later View Ware

Souvenir China – Miniatures

Souvenir China – Domestic items

Souvenir China – Other models

Souvenir China – Weymouth Crests

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