1929 - the Ringtons connection
In 1928, Maling had begun their long association with Ringtons tea merchants
of Newcastle. Ringtons sold tea door-to-door, and it was decided that
it would be a novel advertising 'gimmick' to sell the tea packaged in
a caddy produced by Maling. The first example was square in shape and
decorated in 'Willow' Pattern (or 'Broseley' as it was known in the pottery).
The following year saw the opening of the North East Coast Industries
Exhibition - a tribute to the artistic and commercial diversity of the
region. Maling produced a series of hexagonal tea caddies, depicting castles,
bridges and cathedrals, many of them local.
The association with Ringtons lasted until 1962, and items produced included
teapots and jugs (often in the Blue 'Chintz' pattern), as well as flower
vases (decorated with embossed violas and pansies).
WARNING - Fake 'Willow' tea caddies have been known about for some time.
Their distinguishing feature is a lid which is noticeably domed rather
than flat, and an overall crudeness in the quality of decoration and potting.
Modern reproductions have been legitimately produced for Ringtons by other
potteries. These are usually, but not always, miniature versions of the
originals. Caveat emptor!