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A Short Overview Of SylvaC Pottery

SylvaC Pottery

A Short Overview Of SylvaC Pottery

For those of you whom are regular readers of my blog, you are probably now all aware of the fact that I love pottery! Over the years I have acquired many pieces from vases to ornaments, to whole tea and dinner services. I don’t just collect one manufacturer or style; it tends to be a mixture of things that appeal at the time of purchase. Some things were given as gifts by now, sadly, deceased relatives and these items have sentimental value; a contact with the past and a loving memory. Others appeal because of their colour or style.

One of the pottery manufacturers which I do admire is SylvaC Pottery, and I have collected several pieces over the years. One or two pieces I will never part with just because I love them so much! It’s not that they are all worth a small fortune; SylvaC is increasing in value but you can still pick up the more common models for below £20. It’s just that they are unusual but still immediately identifiable as SylvaC.

SylvaC Pottery:

The company, Shaw and Copestake (SylvaC) was founded in 1894 by William Copestake and William Shaw, in Longton, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire. Copestake left in 1895 and Richard Hull became Shaw’s partner, and was joined by Hull’s son (Richard Junior) in 1936.

The trade name SylvaC wasnt registered until 1937. Pieces prior to this date were not marked SylvaC. Some were marked ‘Silvo.’

In 1938, the partners bought Thomas Lawrence Falcon pottery.  The name ‘Falcon ware’ was used for pieces produced at both the Falcon and Sylvan (SylvaC) works until 1964. SylvaC continued to thrive as Shaw and Copestake until 1982 when it went into voluntary liquidation.

SylvaC are famous for their figurines of animals; in particular rabbits and dogs, but they also produced a wide range of novelty and character wares too.

Animals

Imps/ Gnomes/ Pixies

Most of us remember SylvaC in the orange and green matt glazes but they actually used quite a range of colours. Gloss glaze was introduced in 1970.

SylvaC Ware Model 5282 White Heraldic Brass Rubbing Tankard
SylvaC Ware Model 5282 White Heraldic Brass Rubbing Tankard

 

They were also well know for their  Dinnerware e.g. pots in the shape of vegetables with faces, and Toby/ Character Jugs, which were popular commemorative and advertising pieces.

SylvaC pottery
SylvaC model 4553 Beetroot Happy Face Pot

Backmark

During the 1920s/ 30s, SylvaC used a daisy wheel logo without the brand name ‘SylvaC’ and some of the very early pieces, pre 1920, were not marked at all!

Post 1937,  SylvaC  began using a more distinctive back mark, which usually included the model number and, post 1938, the SylvaC brand name, thus making SylvaC pieces considerably easier to identify and value. The company also used foil and paper stickers with the SylvaC logo but these had a habit of falling off!

The brand name SylvaC is still in existence today, and some of the vintage pottery has started to be reproduced with similar backmarks.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my short overview of SylvaC pottery. You may not know the name but I am sure you will have seen some of these wonderful pieces!

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What Is A Wall Pocket Vase?

SylvaC 320 Pottery Wall Pocket Vase With Pixies

What is a Wall Pocket Vase? An Introduction To Wall Pockets

What Is A Wall Pocket Vase?  Today, we probably think of them as a flat backed ceramic vase, which can be wall mounted and filled with flowers but they are much more versatile than this.

A wall pocket is not to be confused with a:

  • Wall sconce, which is effectively a wall light or a receptacle for holding a light e.g. candles or, these days, electrical wires.
Meissen Porcelain Wall Sconce
  • Wall plaque a thin, flat plate or tablet of metal or porcelain intended for use as ornament.
Art Deco Cope & Co Lady wall mask
Art Deco Cope & Co Lady wall mask/ plaque

Wall pockets date back many centuries to when they were made out of cloth or wood. In fact, they are an early form of storage for those things you wouldn’t want to lose if you hadn’t the luxury of a chest of drawers or cupboards!

Cloth pockets stored things like scissors, needles and thread. Prior to the 17th Century, wooden wall pockets became popular for holding pipes, spills, candles, matches and eating utensils. Even today, you will often see a mounted wooden candle box holder in a church or stately home. Some of these may be modern reproductions but there are many antiques out there too!

Wooden wall pocket for storing candles

It wasn’t until the 18th century that we first saw stylish porcelain wall pocket vases with the arrival of the potteries in UK and abroad.

Most of these early pottery wall pockets were just too expensive for many people but, during the industrial revolution, cheaper methods of making ceramics were introduced, and the popularity of these wonderful objects just exploded.

Most potteries and manufacturers produced a version of a wall pocket including:

  • UK potteries: too numerous to mention e.g. Bretby, Royal Worcester, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Grays, Crown Devon, SylvaC, Arthur Wood.

 

  • U.S.A e.g. Roseville, whom produced wall pockets in the form of art vases which are now highly prized.
Roseville ‘Foxglove’ Wall Pocket
  • Japan e.g Noritake.
  • Germany e.g. Meissen, Dresden

This lasted until about the 1960s when their popularity started to decline as fashions in homes changed. I blame the arrival of stores like Habitat with their range of more affordable, must have, home designs: only joking!

Wall pockets can be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes from people, characters from books, musical instruments, hats, clothing, shoes, household objects, animals, birds, houses, seashells, fantasy/ mythical/ biblical  creatures, flora and fauna. In fact, just about anything you can think of! Sizes can vary from small, 5-10cm (2-4 inches), to over 30cm (approx. 1 foot).

 

Manufacturers didn’t just stop at using ceramics either. Wall pockets were also made out of glass, wood, metal, cloth and plastic.

Vintage Pink Glass Wall Pocket

There are not many survivors from this era as they had a habit of falling off walls… Just look what was used to hang this Aldridge Easter Bonnet shaped Wall pocket!

Aldridge Pottery Wall Pocket Vase: hung up with electrical flex!

Prices for antique and vintage wall pockets vary from just a few pounds to 1000s of pounds for some of the rarest designs.

They had, and still have, a multitude of uses including displaying fresh and dried flowers, living plants, herbs, storing soap bars, pan scrubs, hair and tooth brushes, filing papers, and house keys. I even heard of one lady who bought a vintage mouse shaped pocket vase and kept her pet mouse in it. The mouse was able to run up and down the flocked wall paper to its house whenever he pleased…. Ugh!

Wall pockets are still made today and from all sorts of materials and called by a range of names e.g. wall planters, holders, racks but rarely pockets or even just vases. They include reproductions of vintage and antique wall pockets, sometimes using the original moulds, to glass test tubes, holding a single flower stem or herbs, with a suction cup to enable you to stick it on to a window.

In fact upcycling of old light bulbs and chemical glassware has led to a whole range of wonderful wall mounted vases and holders. Have a look on Etsy and Amazon if you need some ideas!

Love them or hate them, these versatile household items have been with us for centuries and are here to stay!

Please click on the following link for Wall pocket vases for sale on our website.

 

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