SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION TO ARTICLES IN BULLETINS 107-110
The pattern on this garden seat is from the painting Swarm of Bees, Autumn and is well documented in the Dictionary, vol.1. page 38, after first being spotted on a birthday card by Judith Busby and recorded in these pages in the Autumn of 1980.
The seat measures 485 mm. high x 345 mm and has no marks. It was in a dilapidated state and much restoration was necessary but, copied from Chinese originals, garden seats are rare in blue and white. Two were shown in the True Blue exhibition and are illustrated in the catalogue (Case 22/4 and 40). They were both by Spode and bore the pattern Gothic Castle. Other Spode examples bear Italian and Caramanian patterns, (See Drakard and Holdway). All resemble our seat in many details. Only one, the Italian, has piercing on the side which partially resembles the piercing on our seat although that on the top is different. Dictionary II records another seat by an unknown maker, but without reference to any pattern. Minton made them with poychrome prints c1870 (Batty and Turner:1979, Price Guide to 19th and 20th Century British Pottery, p. 100).
A PUZZLED CHINAMAN
This very bizarre item by an unknown maker is 270 mm. high, has a width including the handle of 223 mm. and a girth of 114 mm. It is, of course, a puzzle jug, and consists of a circular tube which opens into a flared pierced top. Within the tube is a model of a white Chinaman in a hollow disc pierced like a six-petalled flower. Surrounding the neck is a serpent with three (spout) heads. The pattern is a Chinese landscape with temples and large flower vases. The border, flowers and scrolls. There are no marks and we have been unable to identify the pattern. Any assistance with attribution would be gratefully received.
Two items from our most recent bulletin, No 108, July 2000, and some further information on a platter shown in Bulletin 107.
From Bulletin 107, followed by a picture of another platter from the series.
The flowers in the border are roses, daffodil, dog rose, geraniums, convolulus, and others I cannot identify. In the top centre of the border an eagle is hovering.
There are no maker's or workmen's marks, printed or impressed.
From Bulletin 109
The 'Stylised Convolvulus' pattern (also called 'Stylised Lotus Flower' pattern) illustrated by Trevor Kentish in Bulletin 108 bears similarities to the inlay work of George Bullock, a cabinet maker, designer and sculptor. The border pattern, in particular, closely resembles an inlay design used by Bullock on furniture. George Bullock was active in Liverpool from 1804 to 1814, forming several partnerships at various addresses in Bold Street. He then moved to London, where he continued his work until his sudden death in 1818 at the early age of 35.
The accounts of the Herculaneum Pottery at Liverpool reveal that Bullock had numerous business dealings with the factory between 1807 and 1811. These included purchases of clay for modelling purposes and orders to the factory for the firing of pieces, including 'figures' and 'lion's heads and claws'. For this reason, the Stylised Convolvulus pattern has been linked with Herculaneum, as it seemed possible either that Bullock designed the pattern expressly for the factory, or that he allowed the Herculaneum engravers to copy his designs.
However, no marked piece in this pattern has yet turned up, although I have seen several different shapes in the pattern, including a supper set segment and cover which has the same knop as the tureen cover shown in the photograph. But again, none of the shapes found so far resembles any shape known to have been used at Herculaneum. Bullock's stock in trade in Liverpool was sold in 1814, and his London stock in 1819. It is not known what happened to his original designs, but many of them were copied out by Thomas Wilkinson of Birmingham in 1820, in a scrapbook known as 'Wilkinson's Tracings' (now held by Birmingham City Museum). It seems possible, therefore, that some of the designs could have found their way to Staffordshire, or elsewhere.
STYLISED CONVOLVULUS - from Robin Greeves
With reference to the pickle from Trevor Kentish in Bull 108, I believe I may be able to shed some light on the manufacturer. As a collector of leaf pickle dishes I have eight examples with the deeply indented dark blue handle identical to the one illustrated although, unfortunately, not that pattern. All my examples are undoubtedly Ridgway; no other factory represented in an extensive collection matches this particular feature.