Heirloom was Hornsea’s first complete range of tableware, and was designed by John Clappison in 1966 – in production from 1967-1987.
Its distinctive screen printed black pattern, along with the well designed forms, were so hugely successful that from 1968 the entire production at Hornsea was given over to it for a period.
Heirloom – as with other good designs – continues to be popular on the secondary market – now with a whole new generation discovering it.
The straight sided cylindrical shapes were designed to be stackable and were finished with polished wooden lids and airtight rubber seals. Many of the storage jars/canisters also had the name of the intended contents (flour, sugar etc.) moulded into them.
Items such as the straight sided bowls, egg cups, coffee cups and tea cups were also stackable.
The large rectangular handles on items such as the teapot and coffee pot were beautifully and ergononmically designed – as well as having non drip spout.
The plate-ware was left undecorated except for a series of concentric grooves around the rim.
The colour variations of Heirloom were “lakeland” (a dark moss green), Midnight blue, and Autumn brown. The blue was discontinued early in the production as it was not as popular at the time – however now it is highly sought after and collectable. The Autumn brown is the one I come across most often now here in Australia.
If you want a thorough and well researched history of Hornsea Pottery – I recommend locating a copy of the book “Hornsea Pottery 1949-1989” Brian Heckford & Brian Jakes (out of print, but still around in second hand book stores) ISBN 0 9526828 0 X.