Handthrown plant pots: a history

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We are delighted to have sourced some vintage handthrown terracotta pots. Each pot that we sell we can guarantee has been lovingly replanted time after time for well over fifty years. Because they are all hand made they are all slightly different, no two are the same, and because they are genuinely old, they may have slight imperfections and signs of age.

Unlike today’s terracotta pots, these pots were fired at high temperatures and as a result have survived years of harsh winters.

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One of the major manufacturers of handthrown pots at the turn the century was Richard Sankey & Son Ltd. Founded in 1895 the Nottingham based company was able to produce 60,000 handmade high quality clay pots and saucers in a day and distributed across the world. Their pots were all produced by hand until 1939.

By the 1960’s the porous characteristic of clay pots was found not to be essential for healthy plant growth, opening the way for plant growers to adopt plastic pots. Richard Sankey invested in new high-speed injection molding machinery and by 1965 80 per cent of pots produced were plastic. In 1976, almost 100 years after the first clay pot was made, the last was produced.

Our pots don’t have the characteristic “Sankey Bulwell” stamp typical of Richard Sankey & Son but we can guarantee that each pot has a unique story to tell.

Story & photos courtesy of Bulwell Photos 

 

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