Vividly decorated and attractive tall pair of vases by Lemon & Crute, Torquay c1920. Tall baluster-form body with elongated foot and wide, angular shoulder and rim. Twin writhen handles to foot. Loosely hand-painted irises over a richly glazed blue ground creating a very striking pair of vases. Each vase signed in script to base “Lemon & Crute Torquay”. The vases measure approximately 32.5 cm in height.
The Lemon and Crute Pottery was established when Tom Lemon (a thrower from Barnstaple) and Harry Crute (a local Torquay decorator) took over the Tor Vale pottery in 1914. They paid relatively good wages and employed first class workers – apparent in the quality of the pottery produced. Tom and Harry split up on good terms when Tom left the business in 1926, going to Weston-super-Mare where he set up the Wessuma Pottery, later bringing in his son Cyril Lemon. Harry Crute continued working on the same site, renaming it the Daison Art Pottery which continued until 1931. Lemon and Crute wares are typified by their richly coloured glazes often painted with kingfishes, peacocks and butterflies as well as floral designs. Tom Lemon’s influence can be seen in the North Devon style handles found on many of their jugs and decorative vases. The pottery tradition in Torquay, South Devon can be traced to the Watcombe pottery founded in 1869. By the mid-1880s rival firms were established – notably the Aller Vale Pottery which started producing decorative wear in the Arts & Crafts tradition. By the early 1900s over fifteen potteries existed in the Torquay area, producing wares in the Watcombe and Aller Vale style, but also in styles with influences from the Art Nouveau movement amongst others. Torquay Pottery developed a unique style which is increasingly popular with collectors today.