Rye Pottery’s Sussex Pigs on the BBC

Sussex Pigs - ceramic pigs painted individually to order and waiting to be fired in the kiln
Sussex Pigs – ceramic pigs painted individually to order and waiting to be fired in the kiln

Now nearly the end of April and we’re still very busy hand-crafting, painting and packing our Sussex Pigs.  We have been thrilled to find ourselves mailing our charming traditional Sussex wedding presents all over the country –  and indeed the world – since our appearance on the BBC’s Flog It Trade Secrets back in February.

We’ve also been delighted by how many Sussex and Kent residents spotted Quin’s television appearance, and have snapped up pigs for their own mantlepieces or to give to friends and family for weddings and anniversaries. It’s been wonderful to have so many people so keen to support a 200 year-old tradition and a ceramics firm that still decorates AND produces in Britain.

Obviously the idea of one as a wedding present instead of a real live pig has reminded us all of the more rural and leisured way of life in the 18th century – though no doubt we’d all have been thrilled to be given a real pig 200 years ago.

In our Sussex Pig archive files we have some black and white pictures of two early 19th century Sussex pigs that are owned by the Museum at Williamsburg Virginia; unfortunately when visiting ourselves, the curator on the day was unable to tell us how they had acquired their pigs. So if any of our collecors on the other side of the pond ever visit the museum and can find out more we’d love to know.

Back in Rye it’s wonderful to still be talking to customers every day who spotted our appearance on the Beeb. Many of them it seems have been waiting for the good weather so they can not only visit us, but enjoy a full day in Rye, not least lunch in one of the many great places to eat here.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Click here for more information about our Sussex Pigs

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November and no Downton Abbey to watch!

So the third Downton Abbey series has finished, what are we all to do I wonder, on dark winter Sunday evenings?  At Rye Pottery we are busy planning all the changes involved in the next Cole generation of Joshua and Tabitha taking over from Tarquin and me.

There will be lots of changes with all their new ideas and energy, but I am very pleased that they still want to go on making the lovely Neal French Country House figures, which fit so well with the Downton Abbey lifestyle.

Elegant and stylish the Rye Golfers, Gardeners and Cook all blend into the Downton story, perhaps in the next series they will even employ a Male Chef rather like our Escoffier Chef!  I was pleased to realise that we already have 2 Rye Cricketers for the anuual Downton versus the village match, though our Batsman and Bowler are from a rather earlier cricketing period they make quite a good match for Mr Carson in his whites I felt!

The Rye Bowler: James Lillywhite  played for Sussex and England, and also had a few games for Rye, before retiring and helping his family found the famous Lillywhites sportswear shop in Piccadilly.

Biddy Cole

Presents for Downton Abbey fans

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