This pretty little piece of Filey creamware would probably have been used as decorative receptacle for something perfumed – pot pourri, for instance.
Pierced creamware, with its lace-like decorations and often elaborately twisted handles, became highly fashionable in the late 1700s, usually from potteries in Staffordshire or Leeds. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Senior family were making reproductions of 18th century creamware at the Leeds Art Pottery at Hunslet. The head of the family was James ‘Wraith’ Senior, who worked with his two sons George William (1882-1970) and James Junior (who died in 1917), and his brother-in-law, John Thomas (known in the trade as JT) Morton (1875-1956).
Morton was apprenticed to James Senior in the last decade of the 1800s. He and his son returned to work with the Seniors from 1907 until just before the First World War, when he left, eventually establishing his own pottery at Airy Hill in Filey in 1933, where he made pieces which are very difficult to distinguish from Leeds creamware. He also made agateware, named for its mimicry of the layers and colours – usually blue, green and brown – of the cut agate stone.
The Airy Hill pottery closed during World War II, and reopened only briefly afterwards in 1947. John Morton then moved to Burniston, where he worked until his death in the 1950s.