A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 8 September 2016

More Pottery Buildings - and another mystery church

Though the rate of arrival is now officially reduced, a few more ceramic "ornament" buildings for my ECW towns have sneaked under the wire of late. From the Tey Pottery "Britain in Miniature" series, I'm now really just keeping an eye open for particularly good bargains on a couple of odd buildings which I fancy; I was very pleased this week to get a very cheap example of the splendid Anne of Cleves' House (Lewes), in excellent order, and at a great price, since the collectors normally really go for this one, and prices are usually around £40 to £50 on eBay. Scrooge McFoy, naturally, did not pay anything like that amount.

I also secured a couple of nice churches - these are not from Tey, but are similar in style, and were made as part of John Putnam's "Heritage" series.

The first is, apparently, a miniature of St Michael's Parish Church, Blackawton, Devon, which building dates from the 14th Century.

The other is simply labelled "Church with Tower", which is certainly true, but the configuration with the narrow circular tower (spiral stairway?) joined onto the central square tower is a bit unusual. Anyone recognise the church? - it really doesn't matter, obviously, but I am gently interested.

All these pictures are lifted straight from eBay (for which thanks), and the buildings will be retouched (a little) and matt varnished (a lot) before they appear on any battlefields.

So - no prizes, but does anyone know the unnamed church?

***** Late Edit - Footnote *****

I've only recently become familiar with these ceramic miniature buildings, so I know very little about them, and don't really wish to know more than I need to understand to get a feel for the ranges and their availability. I am not, I remind myself, a proper collector, since I wish to use them in my toy soldier games rather than deploy them artistically on the piano. 

In case you care, Tey Pottery was founded by Carol Maxted-Massey, who produced various styles of ornamental pieces, at one time working with her brother. The factory was initially at Marks Tey, Colchester, though they later moved to 3 separate factories in Norfolk (at Hainford, Lenwade and Banham). They produced teapots, animal miniatures and painted tiles, but they also produced ranges of miniature buildings - I am particularly interested in the Britain in Miniature series, but there were others (usually smaller in scale), and they also did a number of out of catalogue or special order pieces which appear on eBay from time to time. Out of interest, I obtained a pdf history of the maker, so I have a better understanding of what is out there (and some of it is marvellous). Ms Maxted-Massey moved to Spain in 2002, and production ceased at that point.

John Putnam was a teacher who took early retirement in the 1970s so that he could concentrate on his great passion for ceramic modelling and sculpture. His output included his "Heritage" range of buildings, which became very popular. His factory was at his home, a farm near Blackawton, Devon (hence the choice of the church model illustrated above). His work was popular in the USA, so in later years he travelled to New England in order to add some American buildings to his range. John Putnam died some years ago, and his family moved to Totnes - I believe the pottery concern still exists, but whether they are still trading, and whether any new pieces were ever added, are unknown to me. 


  1. Do not know the name of the church but the manor house in your first photo is a Beaut!

    1. It certainly is - it is one of a number of the larger pieces which were painted and textured all round - many of the more common pieces are plain white or cream at the rear.

      I am also keeping an eye open for Oliver Cromwell's House and the Mermaid Inn in the Tey range, both of which are rare and much sought after. I may start unloading some of the less satisfactory specimens in my town, to make room for the better ones!

  2. Had a very enjoyable lunchtime learning far more than I knew about early church design and layouts... but couldn't find it, though I did see some similar one's... it's a "stair turret" by the way and the church design is "cruciform"... :o)

    1. Thank you for your efforts, young sir. This is the power of the internet - potentially, all over the country, people are now wasting their own precious time to try to find an answer for my stupid question about a church I will never even see or visit. It's wonderful, really.