1960's St Ives lampbase, JS mark. John Shelly maybe

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Post by abstract*toad Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:35 pm

This one may divide opinion. Purchased in the 1960's from the St Ives studio, but the mark is not a St Ives stamp, as far as I know.
Looks more like the mark used by John Shelley, to my eyes at least.
I'm baffled, anyone any ideas as to who the potter is and how it was sold from St Ives ?
I'm certain that it was purchased there. The buyer of this kept a meticulous record of what they had bought and from where it came, along with when it was purchased. Unfortunately, they have now passed on.
Any help with this piece welcomed.

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Post by abstract*toad Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:37 pm

One more of the impressed mark.

1960's St Ives lampbase, JS mark. John Shelly maybe  Img_2524
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Post by denbydump Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:54 pm

Did St Ives ever make lamp bases? Not seen one before.
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Post by studio-pots Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:55 pm

When you say St. Ives do you mean the Leach Pottery or another pottery or studio there?

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Post by abstract*toad Sun Nov 07, 2021 2:20 pm

He'd got it marked as the Leach Pottery, which I'm certain it's not.
Everything else I had from this person's collection tallies up perfectly, date wise and the markings, except this one piece, very odd.
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Post by abstract*toad Sun Nov 07, 2021 2:54 pm

I know very little about the Leach Pottery, so cannot comment with any great conviction as to whether other potters (in the 1960's) could make something there and not include the St Ives seal along with their own mark. This seems unlikely to me, but is it a possibility?
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Post by NaomiM Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:13 pm

I think John Shelly is the best fit for the mark, but no mention of him being at St Ives. Possibly they were just stocking it as a favour to the potter or maybe he potted there while on holiday (if that was ever allowed) Shrugs

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Post by abstract*toad Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:59 pm

Thanks Naomi. I agree (reference the mark), it looks like one of his, but how it ended up down there is beyond me. Maybe, as you mention, they were selling pots for other folk also.

Reference lamp bases made there, comment by Denby. No, I've not seen or been able to find any reference to any either, so it seems an unlikely fit, what with the mark also being wrong. Having said that, as I mentioned previously, some of you folk will have forgotten more than I actually know about St Ives.

Thanks everyone for your help, greatly appreciated 😊👍
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Post by philpot Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:00 pm

There was a Tim Stampton who worked at the Leach St Ives 1965-67 but there is no record of his actual mark.
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Post by NaomiM Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:34 pm

If it was made at the pottery, even by a potter on sabbatical, then I'd expect it to be accompanied by the St Ives mark

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Post by philpot Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:37 pm

Agreed Naomi. The phrase 'St Ives Studio' needs clarification. Lamp bases were never ever part of the standard ware range. indeed I don't think I have ever seen a lamp base from a significant Leach potter. They were never ever part of the whole Leach Anglo/Oriental ethos.
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Post by abstract*toad Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:37 am

philpot wrote:There was a Tim Stampton who worked at the Leach St Ives 1965-67 but there is no record of his actual mark.

Thanks for the link philpot. Ill look into this and will update if I discover anything relevant.
Regards St Ives studio, I should have put Leach St Ives studio in the title, as that is where the buyer documented its purchase being from.
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Post by abstract*toad Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:37 am

I contacted Tim Stampton and he kindly responded. He confirmed that this was not one of his pieces, but did say that similar pieces were made there in his time at the studio. Unfortunately, he has no idea as to whom the mark belongs to.
It may well be, as previously mentioned, a JS mark for John Shelley.
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Post by philpot Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:39 pm

John Shelly lived near Totnes from 1961 to 1995. There were several galleries in that area in those years including Dartington near Totnes and the Devon Guild at Bovey Tracey. Both these are very near the A38. If he travelled from up country it would have been very easy to buy from those outlets while on his journey,
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Post by abstract*toad Thu Nov 18, 2021 12:04 pm

It was possibly one of several pieces in an exhibition at the Leach studio, the original buyer was adamant it came from there.
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Post by philpot Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:57 pm

Then of course, what do you mean by 'Leach Pottery'? David Leach lived at Bovey Tracey and showed frequently in those two local galleries!
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Post by abstract*toad Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:25 pm

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Bernard Leach's pottery in St Ives, Cornwall.
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Post by philpot Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:15 pm

I am not being funny abstract. But memories play tricks. Unless you write it down or have a receipt or some evidence, then an exact memory of where you bought every single object in a collection from 60 years ago would be unusual. I can't remember where I got things from 20 years ago!
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Post by abstract*toad Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:54 pm

I agree Phil, just from my own day to day experience of my own failings, memory wise, what you say makes perfect sense.
With regards the base and the person who bought it, he was thorough in his records of what he'd bought, where he'd got it and when. Saying that, it's possible a mistake has been made, I won't rule that out, but it would surprise me greatly.
I think it's probably fair to say that I'll not be getting to the bottom of this mystery piece.
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