Posts Tagged ‘China’

A birthday mug

September 2, 2016

Ethel Mary Gye was the first born child of Joseph and Lucretia (née Redstone). Her birth was marked by the purchase of a specially decorated mug and this mug is now in Market Lavington Museum.

Ethel Mary was born in 1909 and her parents lived on White Street in Market Lavington so this mug is now a genuine antique. In terms of value, though, it is next to nothing, unless you happen to share name and birthdate with our Ethel Mary.

It’s a pretty little mug with no maker’s mark. It looks as though it spent its life in a china cabinet. It hasn’t seen much, if any, actual use.

1901 birthday mug for Ethel Mary Gye

1901 birthday mug for Ethel Mary Gye

As we see, the writing spreads too far round the mug for a single photograph so here’s a more side on view.


Here we can see the Gye surname and see that the birth date was December 12th in 1909.

Mugs like this were fairly common amongst slightly more well off folks. We have three of them at the museum.


Another mustard pot

May 26, 2016

We had a couple of these, so why not a third. Artistic folk always reckon a collection of three looks better than a pair. This one was given to us by a former resident of the village who has the sad job of clearing his deceased parents’ home – a home in Market Lavington.

A mustard pot with full local provenance

A mustard pot with full local provenance

This is, of course, Workman’s Hall China.

This is market Lavington Workman's Hall crockery

This is Market Lavington Workman’s Hall crockery

When we last featured some of this china we commented that it was almost 150 years old. Now we can report that it has passed that milestone. This pot and all the other pieces we have were made and dated 1865 so they are now 151.

This dates from 1865 so is now over 150 years old.

This dates from 1865 so is now over 150 years old.

The Workman’s Hall was a temperance hall and offered people a chance to have a meal and maybe a game with just soft drinks. Many folks took advantage of this establishment, noting its proximity, when built, to The Bell Inn and The Green Dragon. Those requiring alcoholic refreshment could nip out and have a drink very easily. It is doubtful as to whether the hall actually did much for the temperance cause.

But they did produce crockery which has lasted well. And like this mustard pot, items of the set are still finding their way to our village museum.

Thanks to Adrian for bringing us this and other items.

A chair at the museum

January 9, 2016

Like virtually all museums up and down the country, we are chronically short of space at the moment. But as ever, we welcome new artefacts for display and this beauty arrived just before Christmas. It is shaped like a chair, but is, in fact, a small china ornament.

Crested commemorative armchair for Market Lavingfton

Crested commemorative armchair for Market Lavingfton

We can see this is crested commemorative ware and the badge on the seat is, indeed, labelled ‘Market Lavington’.

A crest for Market Lavington

A crest for Market Lavington

Perhaps the sheep in the middle represents the local breeds – the Wiltshire Horn sheep.

There is a bit of doggerel on the back of the chair.


The old arm chair

I love it, I love it and who shall dare to chide me for loving the old arm chair.

The maker was Swan China of England.


We claim no knowledge or expertise with regard to these items and to suggest it dates from before World War One is no more than a guess.

What does seem a trifle amazing is that items like this – essentially tourist trinkets – were made with a Market Lavington crest and sold by a number of local shops. This one belonged to a lady who was born in Worton and may well have used Market Lavington as her shopping centre.

A delightful item – and our curator couldn’t resist finding one of his granddaughter’s little dolls and getting her to take the weight off her feet.


Commemorative Ware

December 10, 2014

A recent gift has added another piece of local commemorative ware to our collection. In this case it is a small dish with an image of Market Lavington Church.

Commemorative dish showing St Mary's Church in Market Lavington

Commemorative dish showing St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington

The dish – about 10cm across was made by Britannia Designs of Dartmouth. We estimate it to be mid to late twentieth century – that fits with the history of Britannia Designs. The church image may be loosely based on this earlier postcard.

A postcard showing a very similar view of the church

A postcard showing a very similar view of the church


Workman’s Hall china

November 8, 2014

From time to time we show a little of our crockery which was made for use in the Workman’s Hall. This facility opened in 1865 and the large variety of china ware dates from them.

Today we can see what might be mustard pots, or something similar.

Lavington Workman's Hall mustard pot from 1865

Lavington Workman’s Hall mustard pot from 1865

There we see one pot with the motif used on all of the crockery.

Here we see the slot in the lid for a spoon. We guess that at one time there’d have been a small, matching china spoon.

Slot for a spoon. Sadly we have no spoon

Slot for a spoon. Sadly we have no spoon

These pots also have a handle.

A carrying handle

A carrying handle

These lovely items are now all but 150 years old and are on display in our kitchen room.

There is much more of the crockery – some on display and some safely stored.

The Workman’s Hall was a temperance institution, but non-drinkers were very capable of being first rate trenchermen!

Blue and White China

August 25, 2014

First of all, in our photos it looks less than blue. But it is! Honest!

Blue and White Poppy pattern chine by T Till and Sons

Blue and White Poppy pattern china by T Till and Sons

We are looking at vegetable tureen and a serving plate. There is also a sauce boat.

Matching tureen and lid

Matching tureen and lid

This china carries this makers’ mark.

The makers' mark

The makers’ mark

These items were made by T Till and Sons and the design was called Poppy. If you want to know more about these Staffordshire potters then visit the website at

Now what makes these items so special to our museum in Market Lavington?

The answer is simple. These items are the remains of a dinner service that belonged to Alf and Louisa Burbidge. Alf and Louisa lived in the cottage which is now our museum so these items are in their very rightful place.

In fact we have quite a full history of these items for when the Burbidges died the crockery went to Mrs Lily Gilbert. Lily was born a Shore and her brother had Married Flo Burbidge, the daughter of Alf and Louisa.

The items were given to the museum by Lily’s daughter, Mrs Clarke in 2001.

After fifty years, the Poppy china had come home. And you can see it now in the kitchen where once it would have been used by Louisa and her family.

Workman’s Hall Crockery

October 8, 2013

Edward Saunders, a son of Amram, left money in his will to build a temperance hall in Market Lavington. The hall was built and opened in 1865 and was called the Workman’s Hall. It provided almost all the facilities a workman might want. Food was available along with many forms of entertainment. There was a reading room as well but of course, there were no alcoholic drinks. Soft drinks were available.

The crockery provided for serving meals was lavish in scale and prettily decorated. We have seen some of it before on this blog (click here). Today we are looking at a vegetable tureen.

Vegetable tureen from the Workman's Hall, Market Lavington and dating from 1865

Vegetable tureen from the Workman’s Hall, Market Lavington and dating from 1865

Sadly, the tureen handles have gone but we can still see this is a delightful piece.

The simple decoration shows up to good effect around the lid handle.

The colouring is simple and the decoration is elegant

The colouring is simple and the decoration is elegant

And of course, the piece carries the Workman’s Hall motif.

Workman's Hall, Lavington, 1865 - the motif on all of the crockery

Workman’s Hall, Lavington, 1865 – the motif on all of the crockery

We have plenty of this crockery on display in the kitchen area at the museum and much more, like this tureen, which is in store.

More Royal memorabilia

August 17, 2013

Many folks get caught up in the excitement that surrounds royal events. Perhaps they purchase items that later they regret just a tad. Is this a case in point?

Royal Commemorative plate at Market Lavington Museum

Royal commemorative plate at Market Lavington Museum

It’s a boxed plate commemorating the Queen’s Golden Jubilee which took place in 2002. It says it is a limited edition which might imply rarity or quality. In fact it was limited to ten days of firing which presumably means hundreds of thousands of these small plates were made. However, we are told that the plate was made…


Who ‘we’ the plate makers are, it doesn’t seem to say anywhere. But the makers thoughtfully provide a small plastic stand for display purposes.


The plate on its stand

This has arrived at Market Lavington Museum via a Market Lavington church fete. It arrived at the fete from a Canada Rise home. As we can see, it is a transfer printed item, actually, about saucer sized but we are delighted to have this piece of cheap memorabilia at the museum.

Wash ewer here!

August 5, 2013

Yes, we have a wash bowl and ewer here. They were used at Crossways, a house on the King’s Road in the past.

Apparently the house had rather primitive plumbing facilities. Pat, who lived at the house writes:

‘The plumbing at Crossways when we bought it in 1972 was fairly primitive. There was a bath and lavatory upstairs and, amongst other facilities a copper for boiling clothes in the kitchen, and an outside lavatory. Like all early houses on the Kings Road ridge, the house had its own well. There was a pump by the back door which was still in place in 1972 though mains water had been available since the 1930s.’

 The previous occupant was Mrs Hawes. She was poorly and a neighbour (Mrs Bee) brought water to her room in a ewer. The water was tipped into a bowl for Mrs Hawes to use.

We have very recently been given ewer and bowl.

Ewer and wash bowl from Crossways, Market Lavington

Ewer and wash bowl from Crossways, Market Lavington

Both items are in a blue glaze with white interiors. We discuss whether they are a deliberate pair or have been put together because they so nearly match.

They are large items – the bowl being similar to a round washing up bowl. There are no makers’ marks to help identify them.

Disposal of the water was now a problem – carrying bowls of water about is fraught with danger. But – in Pat’s words again,

‘It would have been hazardous to carry a full basin of dirty water downstairs so, reputedly, the procedure was to use an exterior drain system.

At the top of the stairs is what looks like a small cupboard.  If this is opened, a small brown earthenware sink is revealed. This can be clearly seen from outside above the back door. The dirty water from the sink runs down a pipe into the main house drainage system.’

Thanks to Pat and Sue his wife, for keeping these items for over forty years and then, when the time came, passing them on to the museum. As we have a ‘Getting up in the morning’ display this year, ewer and bowl have been added to it.

More Market Lavington Commemorative Ware

June 23, 2013

The making and selling of ‘china’ with images of a locality and the name of the place has been going on for years.  Commercial organisations have had a go. Some have worked nationally and have thus either made to order or have selected holiday destinations where visitors want to take home a memento of their stay. We have such items in Market Lavington. This little pot is an example of local commemorative ware from about 100 years ago.

Market Lavington commemorative ware from the early 20th century

Market Lavington commemorative ware from the early 20th century

This was made for and sold by Arthur Walton. It is stamped with his name on the base.


This little trinket was made for and sold by Arthur Walton

This little trinket was made for and sold by Arthur Walton

Mr Walton had the department store occupying much of the heart of the village.

A recent arrival at the museum represents the more charity end of the market. Items were ordered for a specific purpose and probably with a specific set of people as potential purchasers. This time, the item is more than a mere trinket. It’s a mug, perfectly suited to drinking tea from.

This mug has recently been added to the Market Lavington Museum collection.

This mug has recently been added to the Market Lavington Museum collection.

Items in various styles were made to raise money for church restoration during the 1980s. This is believed to be one of these items.

This one is bone china. The company named ceased trading in 1996

This one is bone china. The company named ceased trading in 1996

As we can see, this is bone china and the manufacturer’s name is visible. As far as we know this firm went out of business in 1996 so there won’t be any more mugs like this.