BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

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BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by bishbosh on January 2nd 2016, 4:46 am

The mark on this bowl looks, to me, like Bernard Leach's personal mark but I'm not 100% convinced, especially since there are no other marks. Having trawled through Google, it seems that, as well as the potter's personal mark, there is usually the St Ives/Leach Pottery mark. I'm wondering whether I'm either mistaken about the mark or I've purchased a fake. Any comments would be appreciated.





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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by studio-pots on January 2nd 2016, 8:24 am

There are pots known to be by Bernard Leach that just have his personal seal, so the lack of the St. Ives one is not something that tells you that it's not by him. You should be concerned though, as you are.

It isn't possible to get the weight and other small clues from images but looking at the stoneware body, the foot and the glazing they all seem to make the idea that Bernard made this bowl not an unreasonable suggestion.

However, what to me suggests that it is not by him and that it was made to deceive is the personal seal. The font of the letters don't look right and the top loop of the B is larger than the bottom loop when it should be the other way around.

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by bishbosh on January 2nd 2016, 12:10 pm

Thank you for your response - a bit disappointing but not surprising - I thought it was too good to be true since I found it in a local charity shop priced at 1!

I had wondered about the style of the letters but it was the L that I wasn't sure about.

If it helps at all, the bowl weighs 308g on my scales. It measures just short of 7cm in height, the diameter at the top is 13cm and, at the foot, about 5cm.

Are there any obvious signs that it is a fake that I could look for?

I'm still a bit of a novice but I have noticed that there is a certain 'feel' to the real thing. The lighting in the shop where I found the bowl was very poor so I couldn't identify the mark but it felt good in my hands and I liked the glaze. Unfortunately, I don't have anything to compare it with since I've not yet had the chance to hold a bona fide Bernard Leach bowl!

I appreciate your help.
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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by studio-pots on January 2nd 2016, 12:42 pm

The L looks dodgy too.

Finding the real thing in a charity shop isn't out of the question and if it only cost 1 it isn't a costly way of gaining experience, which is what is needed when collecting/dealing in studio pottery.

It is a well thrown bowl and the weight and dimensions that you have supplied confirm that. That is the most significant thing, other than the mark, that says to me that this isn't by Bernard Leach. Bernard wasn't a very good thrower and his pots tend to feel heavy for their size and especially so as he got older. The stoneware body used for your bowl doesn't look 45 years old from your images but if it was that would be about the time that Bernard threw his last pots and they would have been heavy. Your bowl is not. I suspect to find a bowl thrown that well by Bernard you might have to go back pre-War or to the 1950s at least and the bowl doesn't look that age.

So there isn't one thing to look for just various signs that add up. That I'm afraid you can only gain through experience.

Worth keeping the bowl for reference.

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by bishbosh on January 2nd 2016, 1:25 pm

Thank you.

I agree, it was 1 well spent for the experience and I still like it so there is no loss.

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by studio-pots on January 2nd 2016, 1:54 pm

It looks a good bowl.

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by NaomiM on January 2nd 2016, 2:54 pm

I had a very nice pot with just a BL mark. Probably an unrecorded potter rather than a fake.

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by denbydump on January 2nd 2016, 3:02 pm

NaomiM wrote:I had a very nice pot with just a BL mark. Probably an unrecorded potter rather than a fake.

Hmmm, But surely any British potter, even with the same initials, would be wary of using such a similar well-known mark?
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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by NaomiM on January 2nd 2016, 3:10 pm

Might be American. The brush work and foot does seem to have a Japanese influence. Tiny possibility it was made by Leach while in Japan?

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by Potty on January 2nd 2016, 4:11 pm

I think the mark differences could be due to the shape of the pot (and how it was stamped) and angle the pictures have been taken. (in the other picture the bottom part of the B looks bigger)

I would not be surprised if it was a genuine piece anyway.

Also were it a fake (a decent one), you would assume it would have the ST Ives seal too?

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Re: BERNARD LEACH BOWL?

Post by NaomiM on January 2nd 2016, 4:56 pm

Might be BI and the other marks are spurious

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