Scintilating Spongeware

The Carmarthen Antiques & Flea Market, South Wales’ biggest antiques and collectables event, is back on Sunday June the 17th. With up to 200 stands inside and out on Carmarthen’s showground no other event in the region rivals it if you’re looking for a few hours of treasure hunting!

Fair organisers Robert and Carol Pugh are celebrating 25 years of organising antiques events at the showground this year and are thrilled that the Flea is going from strength to strength. Their fairs not only continue to attract discerning antiques enthusiasts from Wales and beyond but a new generation of ‘vintage fans’ are boosting visitor numbers.

Thanks to potters like Emma Bridgewater, spongeware is one of the things attracting the younger crowd. Emma Bridgewater’s latest mug design commemorating the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle has helped increase the demand for and interest in vintage spongeware. The technique evolved in Britain during the 19th century when potteries in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England began using fine-pored sponges to print simple, coloured patterns onto inexpensive earthenware. Amongst the spongeware offered for sale at the event are three Staffordshire pieces dating from the last quarter of the 19th century. All eye-catching pieces reasonably priced between £45 and £75. You’ll also find a rare Llanelly Pottery spongeware jug dating from around 1850 and an unusual hand painted plate with a spongeware border from 1840.

Llanelly Spongeware Jug.JPG
Staffodshire Spongeware.JPG
Woo Gilchrist