Lovatt & Lovatt

Lovatt & Lovatt was originally founded in 1865 by James Calvert, who named the pottery after himself. It was situated in Langley Mill, Derbyshire, and was known for its stoneware and earthenware production.

In around 1880, James Calvert’s son, William Henry Calvert, joined the firm and three years later William entered into a partnership with the Lovatt brothers of Belper, Derbyshire. Albert and John Lovatt had previously been employed by Joseph Bourne & Son of the Bourne Pottery in Denby.

This partnership saw the company rebrand as Calvert & Lovatt, and their output changed from utilitarian stoneware products to more decorative pieces like incised and glazed jardinieres, vases, and bowls. By 1895, William Calvert had left the partnership and the brothers changed the name to Lovatt & Lovatt.

The company excelled during this period and by 1913 had registered as a private limited company, Lovatt & Lovatt Ltd. Unfortunately, the post-war period saw many potteries suffer a downturn in profitability, and despite numerous cutbacks, Lovatt & Lovatt Ltd entered voluntary liquidation in 1930.

In 1931 the Langley Mill Pottery was renamed Lovatts Potteries Ltd when it was acquired by James Oakes & Co. (Riddings) Ltd. The company underwent a phase of modernisation and this helped to increase its output and profits. Like many companies, the onset of the Second World War saw the production of decorative wares put on hold, and the factory focussed on utilitarian homewares.

By the 1950s the company was once again producing decorative pieces, some of which gained plaudits from the Council of Industrial Design; sadly these wares were not met with the same enthusiasm by the general public, and by the end of the decade they had sold the pottery to Joseph Bourne & Son of Denby.

Despite merging, Joseph Bourne & Son and Lovatt Potteries Ltd remained separate, and in 1967 the latter was once again renamed to Langley Pottery Ltd. By 1976, however, it was decided that both companies should be amalgamated into Denby Tableware Ltd.

The original Langley Mill Pottery site was eventually closed in 1982 and demolished. Denby has since changed hands several times but continues to produce high-quality tableware to this day.

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