William Staite Murray, M mark

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NaomiM
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William Staite Murray, M mark  Empty William Staite Murray, M mark

Post by peterart December 28th 2016, 10:42 am

Hi
I purchased stunning large heave pot but I am not able identify the mark.
Can anyone help me out , please?
Many thanks
Peter

William Staite Murray, M mark  Dsc_0020
William Staite Murray, M mark  Dsc_0015
William Staite Murray, M mark  Dsc_0017
William Staite Murray, M mark  Dsc_0016
William Staite Murray, M mark  Dsc_0018
William Staite Murray, M mark  Dsc_0019

Hi
I purchased stunning large heave pot but I am not able identify the mark.
Can anyone help me out , please?
Many thanks
Peter


Last edited by NaomiM on March 22nd 2022, 3:51 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Not be positively ID'd yet)
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Post by NaomiM December 28th 2016, 1:03 pm

Might be William Staite Murray's M mark

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Post by peterart December 28th 2016, 3:04 pm

Many thanks. I am learning re;studio pottery
Take care
Peter
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Post by studio-pots December 28th 2016, 3:37 pm

The brushwork and it being heavy do point to it being William Staite Murray and the mark looks fine but it would be good to see a larger clearer image of the mark to confirm.

If it is Staite Murray a very good find.

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Post by studio-pots March 13th 2019, 2:09 pm

I have just noticed that Deptford boy and one of the fathers of studio pottery in the UK does have a thread so here goes.

Born in 1881 over his father's premises in Deptford High Street, Murray began potting around 1915 in Kensington with Cuthbert Hamilton, before moving to his own premises in Rotherhithe. He ceased potting at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 when he moved to Rhodesia to avoid the war, and died in 1962.


He is probably best remembered for heading the Pottery Department at the Royal College of Art in London from 1926 until 1939 and for his association with artists of the time, such as Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood, and asking "artist prices" for his pots.

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Post by studio-pots March 13th 2019, 2:12 pm

Here is a modest bowl of his


William Staite Murray, M mark  Wsm_ar10


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Post by studio-pots March 13th 2019, 2:15 pm

and the mark on the base of the bowl.

William Staite Murray, M mark  Wsm_ma10

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Post by Harold Stewart January 22nd 2022, 2:52 am

A state Murray bowl, verynice,
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Post by studio-pots January 22nd 2022, 8:56 am

Being a dealer, I tend to only put photographs on this site after items are sold, as was the case here. Surprisingly, from my point of view, there was renewed interest in his work a few years ago that led to prices going up. However, this seems to have levelled out now, as more items have come on the market.

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Post by philpot January 23rd 2022, 8:30 am

An interesting observation. Generally I would have thought William Staite Murray was a very much a specialised area in British Studio pottery collecting. Given that the people who used to collect his work have either stopped collecting, or are no longer here.
Is there a new motive in collecting his work?
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Post by 22 Crawford St. January 23rd 2022, 7:06 pm

Yes I looked into this and wrote something somewhere about it. Often museums are very picky and choosy and only want the best from donated collections. Where they do have to take a whole collection they tend to wait a suitable period then sell off what they don't want. Where we think our carefully acquired collection will be proudly displayed for all to enjoy the reality is that it will mostly be in the basement in boxes and then after twenty or thirty years quietly sold off to raise funds for the museum.

I do have to mention J. M. W. Turner, who bequeathed his entire studio on his death in 1851 to the country on the understanding that it would be displayed in a bespoke gallery dedicated to his work. The Clore extension was only added in 1986 some 135 years later.

Changing displays in the Clore Gallery feature work from the Turner bequest which comprises 300 oil paintings and many thousands of sketches and watercolours (including 300 sketchbooks). The Bequest, including all works left behind in Turner’s studio at his death in 1851, forms the vast majority of the Turner collection at Tate.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain/clore-gallery


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Post by NaomiM March 22nd 2022, 3:14 pm

There is a very interesting article in the Ceramic Review No.92 (1985) written by Reggie Hyne (a part time potter and architect) who lived near Staite Murray's old studio at Bray Court near Maidenhead (Muriel Rose was mistaken when she wrote he was at Brockley in Kent in her book Artist Potters in England). Hyne paid a visit when a relation of Staite-Murray (Mrs Stuart Murray, his nephew's widow) had put the house up for sale (not sure of the exact date; the article is based on his talk in 1984 but includes photos from the mid-70s). Actually it was two houses; the smaller Arts & Crafts cottage was originally a gardener's house with a connecting door.  
The old sherd and sagger piles were still there, along with the kln and studio, although part of the gardens had been lost to the motorway. Staite-Murray and his wife had left in a hurry at the outbreak of war in 1939, fleeing to Rhodesia (as it then was) to stay on his cousin's farm, and leaving unopened letters and dirty dishes behind in his rush to leave. He expected the war to be over quickly, and to return in a few months. He asked his long time assistant Molly to clear up in 1940 when he realised he wouldn't return any time soon (he didn't return until 1957, after his wife died). He asked Molly to keep his glaze recipes a secret which she did. Presumably the new owners of the property cleared the rubbish piles later, but Hyne was allowed to pick through them while he was there.
Also interesting that Molly made a few of her own pots while working for Murray, although her mark isn't recorded, and Staite-Murray's wife decorated some of his tiles. Hyne tracked Molly down and she recalls having to nag Murray to make tea bowls which were used as kiln fillers (Molly wasn't her real name but a nickname used by Murray, and she preferred anonymity so Hyne also sticks with 'Molly' at her request).
Murray hated making domestic ware or lids and saw his work as sculpture and priced his wares accordingly - in 1939 his tea bowls were priced at 4 guineas each; his larger pots ran into hundreds of pounds.
His pots were characteristically wide lipped and heavy bottomed, and tended to suffer from cracks on the base and bloating.


Last edited by NaomiM on March 23rd 2022, 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by studio-pots March 23rd 2022, 8:01 am

Here's a photograph of Staite Murray's birthplace - above what is now a Cash & Carry in Deptford.

William Staite Murray, M mark  Deptfo10

The area has changed a little since it was his father's corn and forage merchants.

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