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Today - a phoenix from the ashes but sadly now gone (2016)
Lowestoft Porcelain shut down in 1802, the result of a plan to withdraw from the market by ageing owners who were tired of the exercise - only to re-open 198 years later.
Peter Knight, a Lowestoft businessman operating Peto Craft, brought the firm back to life when in the year 2000 he set up "Lowestoft Porcelain 2000" to make porcelain in the style of the old Lowestoft ware, as well as later more modern forms. The firm was opened officially on Mothers' Day 2001 with premises partly in London Road South (the old Peto Craft premises) and partly at the "Kiln" at the Peto Gallery, but then expanded and moved to Redgrave House, Battery Green Road. The implication of the name of the house will not be lost on students of Lowestoft Porcelain!
However, since this was written, Lowestoft Porcelain 2000 has disappeared and is now beginning to attract collectors. Many heritage shapes were produced; tea bowls, teapots, cutlery, Sparrow beak creamers, Loving Cups, Water jugs and the famous Birth tablet. He gave many local people opportunities to be creative and to grow in confidence , but sadly Peter died in December 2011. It was expected that this might be the end of the venture - but not so!
Sally Rivett, the proprietor of "Your Coasters" has worked with and alongside Lowestoft Porcelain for 8 years and her interest and love for china continues to grow. She has now been given the opportunity to keep this historical name and certain products in production and will continue to work with local talented artisans, one of whom,
Colin Challis has also been busy painting his second set of highly popular bird beak jugs which are also available to buy through Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as creamers of the traditional type.
a sparrow beak creamer and Colin painting
The original Lowestoft China factory had various specialisms, one of which was the production of birth tablets, and this was continued by the new firm. Promotion by Lowestoft Journal stimulated considerable interest in the Birth Celebration tablet, where customers and collectors alike are recognising the heritage and individuality of these family heirloom pieces. My own family has them - they are a perfect gift to celebrate any occasion. (Births, Christenings, Anniversaries, Weddings, Graduations, Retirements and Awards), and they are recorded in the company ledger but the details are lodged with the Suffolk County Archivist in perpetuity.
An anniversary birth tablet in its presentation box
These celebration tablets (birth tablets in the 18th century) may be obtained from Sally Rivett as well, and she has recently introduced a new one called "The celebration of Life" tablet". This unique Tablet will depict the name and date of birth on one side and the date of death on the reverse, and may be found on a new website now being constructed which will enable online purchases. There are still many shapes which were made at Battery Green Road which can be hand painted to order today.
Lowestoft Porcelain products are also showcased at Ferini Art Gallery Pakefield, Lowestoft & Lowestoft Art Centre. Since this paper derives from my family history it might be approriate to mention the Southwold Tankyard.
William Mewse's tankard
I had the good fortune to visit the new premises in Lowestoft a few years ago and was received by Mr Knight and most of his staff who were not only intrigued by the relationship to the Aldreds and Mewses, but made me a replica of the tankard which now sits proudly in our welsh dresser.
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