Our newest exhibition at Sharpe’s Pottery is the extraordinary pottery made by Bretby Art Pottery! You and your family/friends are welcomed to come along and enjoy the exhibition in its full glory. It is also completely free to attend so we encourage everyone that can come, to come!


Henry Tooth, the main mastermind behind Bretby Pottery, was born in 1842 with a significant gift for art and drawing. Tooth was working as a theatrical scene painter and because of his talent, he was noticed by Christopher Dresser, who was an important designer at the time. Dresser then invited Tooth to pursue pottery under T.G Green. After 4 years, Henry resigned at T.G Green and offered a partnership to William Ault (an ex- manager of T.G Green). Ault accepted, and therefore Bretby Art Pottery was born.  


Business at Bretby Art Pottery commenced on 25 October 1883, and less than year into business their iconic trademark was officially registered. The Rising Sun, also known as ‘Sunburst’, became their trademark as Tooth was inspired by his time as a scene painter since it was easy to draw, and it could be marked into the clay easily. Bretby’s Art Pottery had many famous trademarks; another of one of most significant marks was the country of origin, which would be put on the underside of the pottery as either a straight or curved ‘ENGLAND’ print. Regardless of the fame that rose from their trademarks, modern pieces produced at Bretby have no impressed marks, instead a simple back stamp or replica of the ‘Rising Sun’. 


The partnership between William Ault and Henry Tooth was unfortunately terminated in 1887, but they both went on to form individual companies named ‘Ault & Co’ and ‘Tooth & Co’. According to members of the public, ‘Tooth&Co’ had ‘’some of the most clever and beautiful designs of art pottery ever conceived’’. 


This exhibition is on until the autumn, so you have plenty of time to come and attend. Entry is free during normal museum opening times so why drop in and see what you can discover?