Robert Ayton

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Post by studio-pots January 24th 2023, 5:42 pm

Last summer Robert went up to York and afterwards sent me an email with the attached image and the following text:

"This might amuse you. I was visiting an exhibition of pots from the Bill Ismay collection in York City Museum. I spotted the pot below which they attribute to Janet Leach.

Robert Ayton - Page 2 Ayton_10

I am pretty sure it’s one of mine which Bill bought in the Harlequin about 20 years ago."

It did amuse me to see one of Robert's pots mis-attributed to Janet Leach in this exhibition but the Museum were less amused when Robert's daughter contacting them.

Their reply included the following, "I have looked at the very extensive and meticulous provenance records made by W.A. Ismay (who purchased the piece to add to his collection, before donating it to us). There is no record that Ismay bought anything by Robert Ayton, so if it is by Ayton, Ismay purchased it believing it was by Janet Leach."

This after telling me by email just a few months earlier that Bill's record of purchases during the last 10 years or so of his life were not extensive or meticulous.

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Post by 22 Crawford St. January 24th 2023, 9:02 pm

...well their wording translates as "we don't care .f off!"
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Post by NaomiM January 24th 2023, 9:43 pm

As if Ismay would make a mistake Big Laughter

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Post by studio-pots January 24th 2023, 10:23 pm

NaomiM wrote:As if Ismay would make a mistake Big Laughter
such as that when buying a pot with no Leach Pottery seal and no JL personal seal.

That's the kind of mistake that someone that knows very little about British studio pottery would make, isn't it?

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Post by NaomiM January 24th 2023, 10:26 pm

Some people just don’t like to admit they’re wrong. The big auction houses are just as bad

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Post by 22 Crawford St. January 25th 2023, 12:35 pm

....does go back to my argument to you all that everyone should mark pieces on the base with a little pencil or label pieces. Two tiny letters would have done it in this case. We all go to such effort to find out what things are then don't bother marking them ....what happens if you go loopy and get .....cant' remember the word.......... altimeters?
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Post by studio-pots January 26th 2023, 1:12 pm

22 Crawford St. wrote:....does go back to my argument to you all that everyone should mark pieces on the base with a little pencil or label pieces. Two tiny letters would have done it in this case. We all go to such effort to find out what things are then don't bother marking them ....what happens if you go loopy and get .....cant' remember the word.......... altimeters?

I was told by Helen Walsh, who carried out the research into Bill's collection and wrote the Yorkshire Tea Ceremony book, that during the last 10 years of Bill's life, when he suffered from ill health, his record keeping was poor or non existant. She also told me that there were a number of pieces in the collection that had not been identified however I don't know if they are all later collected pieces or not. One problem with Bill's records appeared to be that most were hand written and difficult to read, so a label on a pot might not have helped.

In the case of this Robert Ayton pot there would have been no records. However, what has happened is that someone has looked at this pot by Robert, which does not have a Leach Pottery seal or JL personal seal, and decided that it was made by Janet Leach for a reason only they can explain. What you can't see in the photo of Robert's pot at York Museum is that it has pride of place next to a Bernard Leach charger.

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