Eric White with some of his pottery collection.
Photo: BRENDAN McCARTHY

As far as he is aware collector Eric White has the most significant collection of Bendigo Pottery ware in Bendigo. And it is a joy to behold.

Proudly displaying his most treasured pieces, Mr White said while he has been collecting old bottles for 40 years, his passion for collecting Bendigo pottery began some 15 years ago.

“My son and I have been diving for old bottles for a long time but when I discovered a Bendigo Pottery teapot at the bottom of the Murray River I was hooked.”

He very carefully brought out of a display class three of his most significant finds.

The clock he is pictured with is one of two – the only two in existence.

“It would have been made in the early 1880s,” Mr White said.

The biscuit barrel, circa 1870, is worth an amazing S10,000 and the teapot is part of the Bendigo Pottery Waverley design, circa, 1900.

Mr White can identify and age Bendigo Pottery according to the glaze and trademark.

He has hundreds of pieces in his collection but since the age of the internet, the business of finding Bendigo Pottery has become more challenging.

“I’ve actually only found two pieces in op shops. When I brought home one piece for about $4 my wife made me go back to the shop and give them another $50,” he said laughing.

“I never go online to find pieces but I go to swap meets, auctions and garage sales.

“There’s nothing like the thrill of discovering a piece at the back of a shed, but even so those opportunities are harder to come by.

– Dianne Dempsey