A tile maker and earthenware manufacturer at the Great Western Pottery, Heathfield,
Newton Abbot, Devon. Candy & Co. was established by Frank Candy in 1850 and operated
as a tile manufactory until sold to J. Howard Fox in about 1880. The Fox family remained
in control of the business until at least the 1950s. The Candy & Co. Ltd business
entered receivership in 1991 and was subsequently sold to new owners. Further ownership
changes followed and production ceased in November 1998 and the pottery was demolished
Candy & Co. was a large-scale manufacturer of tiles, glazed bricks, and other architectural
and industrial ceramics throughout its life, rivaling companies in the Staffordshire
Potteries. It was also the parent company of the Devon & Courtenay Clay Co. Ltd,
one of Devon’s largest miners and suppliers of ball clay to the pottery industry.
Ornamental tiled fireplaces were an important Candy line meeting a demand stimulated
by public interest in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ and ‘Art Nouveau’ styles of the late-19th
and early 20th century. Tiled fireplaces were still listed as an important product
in a 1952 profile published in the Pottery Gazette. Kitchen and bathroom tiles for
the post-war housing boom dominate manufacture in the 1960s and beyond.
Domestic earthenware and ornamental and art pottery was introduced from about 1916
under the name ‘Wescontree Ware’. According to an article in the Pottery Gazette
(Vol. 77 pages 1755-56) the domestic ware followed the company’s manufacture of porous
stoneware pots required for the wet batteries used in British submarines in the First
World War. These were slip-cast domestic wares including the usual jugs, bowls, vases,
lamp bases etc were described in a contemporary publication as ‘articles of household
utility and ornament’ and decorated with ‘plain, mottled and metallic’ decorative
glazes developed in course of the tile business.
Production of hand-thrown art ware was started in the mid-1930s and these attractive
Art Deco influenced wares were sold under the trade name ‘Candy Ware’, and by 1939
were being sold through the London shops such as Liberty & Co., and for export. Production
of art ware ceased during the Second World War but was resumed briefly before closing
in the 1950s when the business returned full time to the manufacture of tiles. The
art ware of Candy & Co. Ltd is little known and probably under-rated by collectors.
The company used the trade names ‘Wescontree Ware and Candy Ware and these names
form the basis of most marks. The initials ‘N A’ for Newton Abbot appear on many
Turner, I. N. (2000). Candy Art Pottery. Hillian Press, Derbyshire.