A key figure is the London designer and ceramics dealer Horace W Elliot, who visited the area regularly from 1883-1914, commissioning and designing pieces to sell in his Bayswater showrooms.
It was Elliot who in 1890 registered the design for the characterful ‘wild pig’ jugs (often inscribed Y Mochyn Gwyllt), that are perhaps the most recognised Ewenny products.
Those few pieces with a strong sense of Welshness that can be closely tied to Elliot command a premium.
The latest Welsh sale at Rogers Jones (24/15% buyer’s premium) in Cardiff on November 19 included – via a vendor in Kansas City – a fine 11in (28cm) yellow and brown slipware jug that was signed to the foot Copyright Horace Elliott and to the base Elliott, London 1893.
Clearly a piece of which he was proud, its wing-form handle is accompanied by a sgraffito poem reading: Here is a mixture, of Earth and Heaven, An Angel’s wing to a pitcher given, Take hold of the wing, for a handle,pray! Or the vessel of earth may fly away.
In generally excellent condition (some minor glaze loss is to be expected with these wares), it was guided at £700-1000. Doubtless the American vendor was delighted when bidding reached £6500 – a record for a Horace Elliot pot.
Rogers Jones set a record for Ewenny pottery when a slipware wassail bowl and cover by the Claypits potter William Williams inscribed and dated 1832 took £15,000 in July 2021.
The key figure in the history of Welsh porcelain is William Billingsley (1758-1828).
He took his own porcelain recipes and lifetime’s experience in the ceramics industry to both the Nantgarw factory in the Taff Valley and the Cambrian Pottery of Swansea. An experimental soft paste porcelain was made in Swansea from late 1814-17.
Among the most recognisable forms are a series of gryphon or mask head-handled cabinet cups with three claw feet and 6in (15cm) diameter saucers. Some of the best are decorated with named scenes such as these from a private collection in south-west England.
Against a deep blue and lavishly gilt ground are reserves painted with landscape vignettes titled Tenby from the East and Tenby from the Hotel. In fine condition, it made £5200 (estimate £4500-5500).