Situated in Airth, North of Alloa, on the estate of the Earl of Dunmore.
The origins of the pottery is likely to have begun life as local pottery, producing utilitarian redware pieces to the local area.
Peter Gardner was born 7th June 1834 and was the third generation of potters at Dunmore.
In 1866, Peter took over the pottery and began producing pieces of exceptional quality and in designs and glazes previously unknown to Scottish pottery.
The Countess of Dunmore is said to have taken an active interest in the works, and introduced the pottery to the Prince of Wales in 1871, with Queen Victoria reported to have purchased pieces at the 1886 Edinburgh exhibition.
The works were sold to Robert Henderson, who shortly later sold it to Thomas Harrison, a potter from England. Harrison died in 1912 and his widow continued the works until 1917, when it finally ceased production. It was to lay vacant for several decades before the remains of the works were demolished for a housing estate.
Initially a local red ware pottery, Peter Gardner changed production to aesthetic decorative wares.
Mazarine blue, heavy led based majolica glazes in yellows, blue, green and mottled colours. The wares are extensive, and many are imitations of highly prized art potteries of the day.
Grotesque animals, including toads, pigs, rabbits, dogs, fish etc.
Jugs, vases, urns, plaques, garden pottery, baskets, majolica leaf dishes and teapots were produced in some quantity.
As well as Royal patrons, Dunmore pottery wares were sold from a tiled showroom on the estate grounds and exhibited at exhibitions, with international orders surely being made, however no paperwork survives.
Articles in SPHR
Articles in Bulletin (Members only)
Typical Backstamps & Marks
Impressed “Dunmore”, “Dunmore Pottery”, “Dunmore Pottery Co”, “Peter Gardner’s Dunmore Pottery” (with Maltese Cross)
- No pattern names were used
Other Publications & Links
From J Arnold Fleming’s “Scottish Pottery“:
“Before closing the subject of Dunmore, I should like to add a little more about Gardiner himself. A tall, handsome man of jovial disposition, he was at heart an artist, and to visit him was always a delight, as he was invariable in the middle of some wonderful scheme for decorating his ware. I remember him showing me a room in his house, the walls, floor and ceiling of which were entirely composed of his coloured glazed pottery. Although a remarkable display of craftsmanship, I must confess that sitting in this room I was in constant dread lest some heavy portion of the ceiling might crack and fall down on my head.
He also took a keen interest in his garden and… delighted in showing his guests the quaint grotesque pottery figures and coloured glazed hens and dogs peeping out from under the shrubs and flowers in all sorts of cunningly contrived nooks, and no one enjoyed the surprise and occasional start of the visitor at those unexpected appearances more than himself”.