Many everyday household objects are treated with little
reverence during their working life. Household pottery (both practical
and decorative) is often used with no regard to its artistic and cultural
value. As time passes, these everyday items assume a new importance, both
as classic examples of the art and culture of the period and as memories
of happier times. Hornsea Pottery is a classic example. The many hundreds
of different lines they produced from 1949 to the present day are becoming
increasingly collectable, with "dealer" prices sadly reflecting this.
However, a quick search through your local charity shops often turns up
treasures at reasonable prices. It's a safe bet that you'll find examples
of the Heirloom or Bronte range in every third visit!
Pottery is located in the seaside town of Hornsea on the East Yorkshire coast
between Scarborough and Hull, and was founded by two brothers, Colin (pictured
right in 1952) and Desmond Rawson in 1949. At first the new venture operated from
a small terraced house near to the sea front, but as production increased, consequently
moved to the current location, the site of an old pottery that made roofing tiles
during the mid 19th Century. A large proportion of the site was gradually developed
into a leisure and retail park which attracts over one million visitors per year.
This park became the first acknowledged factory shopping village in the UK, now
known as Hornsea Freeport. Sadly Colin passed away in January 1999, he will be
missed by a great many people.
all "collectables", the prices you pay at antiques fairs have already exceeded
the true value of Hornsea Pottery and people are looking for the logo, then doubling
the price. Although a natural consequence of increasing demand and decreasing
supply, this is a shame since many amateur collectors are often priced out of
The Hornsea Pottery
Collectors & Research Society
Formed in 1992, The Hornsea Pottery Collectors and research
Society is the place for all serious collectors of Hornsea Pottery. As
well as their expertise in identifying rare pieces, members are often
in touch with each other to exchange items and news. Meetings are held
at regular intervals throughout the year, where the auction is the highlight
for many people. Magazines whet your appetite between meetings.
Something you really can't do without is "the"
book. Written and compiled by Brian Heckford and Brian Jakes, it lists
99% of all known Hornsea Pottery, along with historical notes, reference
numbers, colour photographs and a complete history of Hornsea Pottery.
The 220 page hardback costs only £25 plus £6 postage &
As if this wasn't enough, the price includes the latest copy of the price and rarity guide to make sure you
know what you should be paying for what. Contact the Society for more
Back to ephemera
These were made in blue, green and brown, there were three types of
ashtray, made between 1966-67.
A range of stacking tableware. The first Hornsea product to
feature cups, saucers and plates, it led to the hugely succesful Heirloom
range. It also featured their first Coffee Pot, following the introduction
of instant coffee! Produced between 1965-66.
The Fauna range was one of Hornsea's biggest sellers. Usually in the
form of posies or vases, a huge variety of "fluffy" animals
were produced. Many Fauna mould were bought reused by Eastgate, but
these are quite easy to spot by the logo underneath. Produced between
(below) Produced between 1961-63, the Cruet set was part of a range of 14. Early
pieces have a blue banding, changing to grey in later years. The bands of colour
were applied by a fine spraygun. The small cactus pot cost 1/9.
(left) Produced between 1955-59 & designed by John Clappison, fresh
from the Royal College of Art. The interior was glazed yellow, changing
to blue in 1959. The stripes were formed by hand! There were 17 variations.
For the many hundreds of Hornsea obsessed Windows
users, here are a few classic patterns for you to use as wallpaper on