Bernard Leach

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Post by philpot November 19th 2022, 5:28 pm

The S with the dot mark is the standard mark for the Bernard Leach St Ives pottery. The other mark would be a personal mark, but it is not clear enough to decipher. The other marks are unusual for St Ives pottery. Possibly glaze marks or the like when they wanted tok keep a record of individual pieces.
              Unfortunately, the quality of the main photo is poor, as it too dark to see very much. A better photo would be a lot of help.
There is a lot of information on our St Ives thread!
https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t9954-the-leach-pottery-st-ives-cornwall?highlight=leach+st+ives
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Post by NaomiM November 19th 2022, 5:47 pm

It looks like an early St Ives mark on a glaze test pot. I wonder if the second mark is one of Bernard Leach’s (example below for comparison)

Bernard Leach - Page 3 1c26f010

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Post by philpot November 19th 2022, 6:20 pm

I amm looking at John Edgeler's book SLIPWARE AND ST IVES. That St Ives mark with the marks on the very end is a very unusual one. It appears in the book on two pieces from the late 1930's. The glaze codes make me wonder if it was by Harry Davis or David Leach in 1937. David Leach did a lot of experimentation in changing St Ives standard ware at exactly that time.
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Post by Sbro November 19th 2022, 7:03 pm

Hi Philpot and Naomi,

Thanks for all the fascinating info. Apologies again regarding the poor photos. I will endeavour to post better shots tomorrow.

FYI I've attached a couple of holding shots of the makers mark which I think may be that of Bernard Leach as per Naomi's posted picture. I think I can make out the small capital B lying within the curling L and a couple of dots above.

Hope this is of use.

Thanks again for all your help!

Kindest

Bernard Leach - Page 3 352ccb10

Bernard Leach - Page 3 Img_1613
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Post by Potty November 19th 2022, 7:14 pm

Congrats!

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Post by Sbro November 19th 2022, 7:29 pm

Thanks. Really fascinated by the info shared by the experts!!! A real learning curve!
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Post by philpot November 20th 2022, 8:40 am

If that mark is correct as Bernard Leach then it is a particularly rare early one.
Anyways, some homework Laughter for you. Below is a link to the Maak studio pottery auction site, which is one of the specialist auctioneers of studio pottery. There is a lot of Bernard Leach there! See if you can find one like yours and click on to the photo, you will be able to see the Bernard Leach make in the photos.

https://maaklondon.irostrum.com/auction/search?keyword=bernard%20leach
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Post by Sbro November 20th 2022, 10:16 am

Hi Philpot,

Thanks for the homework! will liven up my sunday afternoon!

I'm attaching 6 photo's in 2 posts for reference. One which catches the makers mark as best as we can along with some better ones of the pot for reference.

If you need any others please let me know.


Approximate dimensions are as follows....

Height - 13cm
Diameter of top - 10cm
Diameter of foot - 6cm

No scales at hand but there is some weight to this piece...

Thanks again for your, and everyones help and expertise. Greatly appreciated!

Kindest

Bernard Leach - Page 3 7edc1410

Bernard Leach - Page 3 162a7f10

Bernard Leach - Page 3 7ac6ad10
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Post by Sbro November 20th 2022, 10:18 am

Three further shots...

Bernard Leach - Page 3 B4885c10

Bernard Leach - Page 3 A20b0910

Bernard Leach - Page 3 Dd043010
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Post by philpot November 20th 2022, 11:20 am

Another link for you. This is to the only piece of Beranrd Leach pottery in the V&A collection that bears a BL mark that looks as though it is on your piece. It dates from 1923/24, and it is interesting comparing it with your piece.

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O19429/vase-leach-bernard/?carousel-image=2006BD6957
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Post by Sbro November 20th 2022, 12:21 pm

Hi Philpot,

Again, thank you very much for the leads to further info and for the fantastic insights. Really appreciated. The colour palettes are definitely very interesting to compare between the two pots. Would also be fascinating to ascertain what the initials on the base actually stood for!

Thanks again
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Post by NaomiM November 20th 2022, 1:55 pm

Yes, it's Bernard Leach. The other marks on it point to it being a glaze test pot

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Post by Sbro November 20th 2022, 2:28 pm

Thank you Naomi.

Are Leach glaze test pots unusual things to see?
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Post by NaomiM November 20th 2022, 2:36 pm

I don't know. Bases are rarely shown online or in museums so it's impossible to know which BL pots on display are glaze tests.

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Post by Sbro November 20th 2022, 2:42 pm

Of course, hadn't thought of that!...:)

With the info and direction that both Philpot and your good self have given me I'm now trying to focus in on the date...

Thanks again!
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Post by croker February 23rd 2023, 7:46 pm

Some of you may have already seen this vase ,it's for sale at Bearnes auction in Exeter on the 28th. A large 17 inch vase by Bernard leach with the rarer leaping salmon decoration, unfortunately the neck has been smashed at some time but most of the pieces are there. My reason for posting is to ask how many
of you leach fans would be willing to accept this piece at a reduced price of a perfect example ,bearing in mind a perfect piece would be around 10kBernard Leach - Page 3 P2230011

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Post by philpot February 23rd 2023, 8:12 pm

The Bearnes estimate is £300-£500. A perfect example would probably have an estimate of £3000-£5000. I think it all depends on how the restoration is done. The best restorers do such a good job, that you cannot really see the difference unless you actually know it  is there. If that it might well be worth a punt, depending on how much you want the piece
.
          If the restoration has been done badly with the pieces just glued together, then I probably myself would not want  to buy it. It would be an assault to my eye every time you looked at  it. Mind you, I am not
that Big a Fan of Bernard anyways. I have not got any of his work.
          So as usual, the market will tell.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. February 23rd 2023, 8:24 pm

IF the restoration is done well then there is a still a lot of enjoyment to be had from that vase. If it's invisible to the eye then I would suspect that a real price of 450-700? will easily be obtainable. I mean that's a good day or twos work for a skilled restorer? 300 for a BL smashed vase and 300 to restore it is cheap is it not? [IF it's done well]
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Post by Potteryman February 23rd 2023, 8:58 pm

I’m not a leach fan either but I love my ceramics and i wouldn’t have a restored piece of anyone’s work in my collection or shop……save up and buy a good un….it’s always going to be restored….
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Post by croker February 23rd 2023, 9:19 pm

Out of curiosity i asked a restorer friend the cost of restoration on a piece like this ,she estimates around £400- £500 , i must state i am certainly not a fan of leach or leach school ceramics .
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Post by 22 Crawford St. February 23rd 2023, 9:31 pm

Yeah, that was my point. It it's done well then 450-700 is low
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Post by croker February 23rd 2023, 9:59 pm

Hi Crawford, I think the auction house has much higher expectations. I don't think one of this type has come on the market in recent years.
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Post by philpot February 24th 2023, 10:22 am

There was the one at the Driscoll sale at Philips which went for £17000 or so of course. But it does seem to be about 4 to 5 years ago before a number sold at circa £7000 give or take from different auctioneers. There was one at Capes Dunn which had similar estimate of £500-£700 which presumably had damage. It went for £2700.
I think the main issue would be, how much of a fan one was of Bernard Leach one was, how puritanical your tastes were, and how deep your pockets were. Which would apply to any artist of course. If you cannot afford the best, how much is second best worth for you?
There do seem a lot fewer Bernard Leach collectors around now though.
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Post by studio-pots February 24th 2023, 12:42 pm

I am not sure that there are that many Bernard Leach fans currently collecting but I think if I was one and I was considering buying it then these would be my thoughts.

1. Bernard Leach didn't throw the vase but would have decorated it and the decorations is iconic.
2. Therefore the vase itself is really an artist's canvas in the same way that Grayson Perry's pots are.
3. It would be good to buy if it was cheap enough and then pay to have a good Kintsugi type repair done.

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Post by croker February 26th 2023, 10:52 pm

While we are on the subject of Leach an interesting large bowl of his has turned up at Barbara Kirk auctions on the 8th march. the bowl measures around 17 inches in diameter with interesting decoration depicting a Japanese landscape in slip with the numerals 1953 around the inside rim ,the decoration seems to be copied from one of his drawings. The date gives the appearance of being a later addition , obviously you would think it was reference to the coronation in 1953 but on a little bit of investigation it also coincided with television arriving in St Ives ,i wonder what they thought as the most important.Bernard Leach - Page 3 P2260011
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