R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

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R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by ClaraIreland2 on November 1st 2015, 6:05 pm

I purchased these 2 jugs together some time back and every so often pick them up, start researching and put them away again, no further forward.  I wonder about the maker. One of them is a Leach Pottery Jug and the other has an R : B mark inside a square.  It may be that they are not made by the same potter but some aspects make me think they are. Can anyone give me advice on these and put me out of my misery. Many thanks




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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 1st 2015, 8:11 pm

There is no real reason to think that because you buy two pots together that they somehow have a connection and even less reason to think that they were potted by the same person.

These two jugs are both stoneware and have a tenmoku type glaze so have similarities. The smaller Leach Pottery jug looks to me to be late 1960s possibly early 1970s in date and certainly after Richard Batterham spent his year in St. Ives.

The other jug is not the correct shape for a Richard Batterham jug and the handle is not correct either. Therefore even if it was unmarked I would feel very confident in saying that it was not made by Richard Batterham. The mark obviously confirms this.

Richard's son Reuben pots and marks his work but this isn't a mark that I've seen him use. Potters do change their marks on occasions but I'm not aware that he used a mark like this.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 1st 2015, 8:33 pm

I was trying to find an example of Reubens mark but couldn't. Not a mark I've seen before.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 1st 2015, 9:24 pm


Reuben's mark - best I can get tonight.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by ClaraIreland2 on November 3rd 2015, 10:55 am

Thank you for your very knowledgeable advice. Appreciate all your comments. It has closed one fruitless line of research which is great.
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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 3rd 2015, 6:14 pm

Better if one of us had been able to tell you who made it!

It is certainly someone working in the Leach style and it must be British but it isn't a mark that I've seen before.

David Leach taught for a number of years during the 1950s/60s at Loughborough and that might be the connection i.e. someone who was a student at Loughborough during that time.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 10th 2015, 12:10 pm

Seems it's most likely to be Richard Batterham's early mark. Another has surfaced on FB with the same mark and in Richard's typical shape and glaze.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 10th 2015, 1:36 pm

It isn't the simple RB seal that is always quoted (see BSPM) as being what he used on his very work, which I have assumed had been confirmed with Richard.

Without seeing the item on Facebook I can't really comment. Is it on there in an open or closed group?

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 10th 2015, 1:49 pm

It's a closed group but I'll message you the photos.
It's been suggested that the example in BSPM book may not have been verified by Batterham but has just been repeated in all the later versions because no one had an original alternative.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 10th 2015, 2:52 pm

Thanks for the message with the images, Naomi.

You might be correct about the RB mark not being verified with Richard and, if not, that illustrates one of the reasons that I might seem picky about attributions on the Forum. Once something appears somewhere it often becomes fact even though it might not be and I wouldn't want the Forum to be responsible for something like that if at all possible.

The jug on Facebook certainly looks more like a Richard Batterham jug that Clara's but I have just realised that Clara's close up of the handle, which concerned me, is a close up of the Leach Pottery jug handle. So if you're reading this Clara, a close up of the RB jug handle would be helpful.

Although the impressed seal on the two jugs is R:B if you look at the two seal marks they were not made by the same seal, which suggests that there was a time period between their manufacture, if made by the same potter, which seems likely. Perhaps that suggests that Richard wasn't the potter, unless the very short period that he used a seal, which is always quoted, is also incorrect.

I note the comments of the current owner of the Facebook jug and he suggests speaking to the previous owner about where she got it from. Has he come back with that information? If not and he does in the future that would be extremely helpful.

Speaking to Richard would be the simple answer but he doesn't do the internet and I currently don't have any plans to visit. I know that there was an article in an early Ceramic Review by Bill Ismay about Richard with images, which I'll dig out.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 10th 2015, 4:44 pm

I found the article in CR but it was from 1979 and no jugs in the images. However, the earliest image I could find of anything by Richard with a handle was a coffee pot in Pottery in Britain Today by M. Casson 1967. Unfortunately, that wasn't of much help either way.

The are some Batterham pots (no jugs) in Muriel Rose's Artist Potters in England (2nd edition) from 1966 and it states they are unmarked.


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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 10th 2015, 5:17 pm

No, he hasn't managed to contact the original owner yet.
James (who edited the new version of the BSPM book confirms that Batterham never verified the mark in the original edition.
Regarding the two stamps, one is an oval and the other a square(ish), but the R:B inside are pretty much the same; just that the one on the other jug has hit the foot rim (which might be why the mark looks oval).

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 10th 2015, 5:50 pm

Stamps for impressing potters seals do get lost and are changed from time to time but the impressed mark on the jugs does seem to suggest that the same potter was responsible for both.

However the point I am trying to make is that the lower dot on the Facebook seal is next to the slopping foot of the R whereas on Clara's seal the lower dot is below the slopping foot. That together with the different seal shape suggests to me that the same seal wasn't used for bother jugs, suggesting a time lapse between their production. The shapes of the jugs being different backs that up I believe.

Richard Batterham began potting on his own in 1959 and the earliest reference I can find to his work in 1966 (Muriel Rose book above) confirms that he wasn't marking his work then. If James is saying that the RB mark wasn't verified with Richard then I imagine the usual addition "no mark except on very early work" doesn't really have a timescale i.e. we don't know if that means 6 months or 6 years or something in between.

Do you know if James verified the RB with Richard for the new edition of BSPM?

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 10th 2015, 7:21 pm

I'm just reporting 3rd person so all I can say is it wasn't verified. Too much work to re-verify everything.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 10th 2015, 10:13 pm

NaomiM wrote:I'm just reporting 3rd person so all I can say is it wasn't verified. Too much work to re-verify everything.

Having spoken to Katerina (Evangelidou) and her husband, Graham (Ellerby), about the process of verification I'm sure a new edition would still be years away if every entry in the original had to be done from scratch.




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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 11th 2015, 9:02 am

I have contacted Reuben Batterham and he has agreed to look at the images and give an opinion.

I'll report back once I have a reply.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 11th 2015, 11:36 am

Excellent

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 11th 2015, 5:42 pm

I've had a very interesting and informative exchange of emails with Reuben and am very grateful to him for the information he has shared.

From this it appears that the information in BSPM and the source(s) from which that was taken are incorrect, as Reuben has told me that Richard's early seal mark wasn't RB but was R:B

The other phrase associated with the RB mark is "found on very early work", which to me as always suggested a short time. However, Reuben thinks it was for a period of between 3 and 8 years but agrees with the Muriel Rose book that by 1966 Richard wasn't marking his work.

We are talking of a time before Reuben was born so it is information gleaned from his father and not from personal memory.

Reuben has no idea why his father stopped marking his pots but does remember him saying on one occasion, " Why should I ? I don't brand my children".

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 11th 2015, 5:52 pm

Now coming to Clara's tenmoku jug: -

Reuben found this difficult to be certain about this, as there were things that suggested that it was by his father but nothing that made him think that it definitely was.

In the end all he could really say was that it was "quite likely" to be by his father. From his own experience he knows that when making jugs you do tend to take time to achieve a settled form that you are happy with, so they do vary in the early days. Hence "quite likely".


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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by NaomiM on November 11th 2015, 5:53 pm

Most Excellent




Reuben has no idea why his father stopped marking his pots but does remember him saying on one occasion, " Why should I ? I don't brand my children".

So he's saying we shouldn't? Wish someone had told me that before.


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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 11th 2015, 6:02 pm

Apparently, and Reuben was very pleased that he thought that way. Cheeky

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by ClaraIreland2 on November 11th 2015, 7:09 pm

I am so pleased about this update and thankful to NaomiM and Studio-pots for pursuing research about this jug. I understand the need to be vigilant about attributions and respect the principles set out by studio-pots about this. I am attaching a photograph of the RB mark jug's handle. Best regards
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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by studio-pots on November 11th 2015, 8:17 pm

It been worthwhile all around I think.

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Re: R:B Mark plus Leach Jug - early Richard Batterham

Post by denbydump on November 11th 2015, 10:39 pm

Yes it has SP, thanks for your patient research.
Now we need to go through the ID my pottery thread,
and our un-id'd boxes at home for any "sleepers"!
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