Thursday, 23 December 2010

Art Pottery Figures #6 - Anne Acheson

Anne Crawford Acheson CBE (1882-1962) was an Irish artist/sculptor, born in Portadown, Northern Ireland who later lived in County Down, Antrim and London. She studied at the Belfast School of Art and at the Royal College of Art, London. She studied under Edouard Lanteri. She was awarded the CBE in 1919 and was a Member of the Society of Women Artists from 1923.

She Exhibited widely including;
Grosvenor Gallery - 2
Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts - 4
International Society - 1
Walker Gallery, Liverpool - 8
Manchester city Art Gallery - 1
Royal Society of Portrait painters - 8
Royal Academy of Art - 25
Royal Society of British Artists - 2
Royal Hibernian Academy - 4
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours - 5
Royal Miniature Society - 5
Royal Society of Women Artists - 17

Known to have designed the figures "Posy" and "Beau Brummel" for Ashtead Potters and the following figures for Royal Worcester.

  • RW2919 “Tangles” a nude child playing with their hair. 24cm tall c1931
  • RW2920 “Logh Neagh Mary” old lady carrying a basket. 18.0cm tall c1931
  • Rw2931 “Dublin Flower girl” a seated girl holding flower with a basket. 16cm tall. C1931
  • RW2930 “Betty” a kneeling girl cuddling a kitten. 9cm tall c1931
  • RW2936 “Argentina” a Spanish Dancer. 20cm tall c1931
  • RW3001 Betty powder bowl
  • RW3006 “Sweet Nell of Old Drury” Nell Gwynne with oranges. 23cm tall c1933
  • RW3157 “Child with Butterfly” 12cm tall c1936
  • RW3161 “Mermaid” Mermaid riding a fish. 13.5cm tall c1936
  • RW3198 “the Queen in her Parlour” seated Queen 15cm tall c1937

Monday, 20 December 2010

Art Pottery Figures #5 - Aline Ellis

We were introduced to the art of Aline Ellis at an auction viewing during my normal monthly round of sales. I had not heard of her or even seen any items by her before this sale. As we entered the viewing room we were surrounded by hundreds of art pottery figures, animals, pots and works of art. Boxes of broken horses, groups of farm animals and more dogs than Crufts. We needed to know more; the auction had done it's work as the sale coinsided with an articule in the Sussex Life Magazine.

 Well !! We just had to buy some and we certainly had ago. We thought what we could sell these for, especially the animals and on sale day we had a 
clear limit on the lots we were interested in. This list was soon torn up as my colleague waved her paddle as if she was at Wimbledon and we got caught up in a furious bidding battle for some of the better groups. Fortunantly some other were seling a little nearer our original limit.

Time for a break and over coffee "so exactly how are going to sell these !!" You of little faith was the reply and she was right. We sold all bar one dog, althought the average profit was small, well tiny. So who was Aline Ellis - well here is an intro.

Aline Ellis was an artist, potter and sculptor with life story rather reminiscent to that of Beatrix Potter. She was born in Bishop Auckland in 1886 to a prosperous middle class family, She was a keen horsewoman and from her earliest days showed a talent for drawing and carving models of animals. She went on to study in Bushey, Hertfordshire. Most probably at the art school run by the prominent equine artist Lucy Kemp-Welch rather the the established School of Art run by Herbert Herkomer.

She lived at Ebury Lodge, Little Hadham, Herts where she established a pottery. Many of her pieces are marked “Ebury” or with a simple monogram of entwined EA. She was a well respected artist in her own day with reviews on her work appearing in the Times, Country Life and The Field.

She specialised in animal sculptor in pottery, particularly of dogs and equine subjects. She also illustrated several books  and I recall seeing several paintings of horse at the sale, which I guess were portraits.

She was commissioned to design a series of animal figures by Alex Dickin in the USA which were produced by Royal Worcester c1940. Aline exhibited widely including at the Fine Art Society (74) and at the Royal Academy.

Also recently featured on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, when her art was well received.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Hugh Wallis (1871 - 1943)

Hugh Wallis is a name familiar to those of you who are interested in arts and crafts metalwork, although many, including "Fine Art Auctioneers" still call him "Wallace". He is usually associated with the myriad of copper trays decorated with chased patterns marked HW. There is of course far more to his art and here are a few examples of his print/multiples.

Typical marks found on metalwork.

Hugh Wallis was born is in Kettering and in the 1890's he trained as an artist at the Herkomer School of Art at Bushey in Hertfordshire. He is recorded as a flower and figure painter and was competent enough to have exhibited widely, including:

Glasgow Institute of Fine Art - 1 picture
Walker Gallery, Liverpool - 2
Manchester City Art Gallery - 2
Royal Society of Portrait Painters - 2
Royal Academy - 12

He went into business initially as a painter having a studio at 7 Market Street, Altrincham in 1900.finally settling at 72 The Downs where he had his metal workshop. He was still describing himself as an artist in 1918. It is not known where he trained as a metalworker. There has been some reports of Keswick like work with Wallis' marks, but this is only hearsay. He employed 5 or 6 craftsmen working in his studio behind the Downs.

He produced a wide variety of objects including trays, shallow dishes, vases, bowls, fire screens, coal bucket and wall light. He is known to have produced the lighting for the Altrincham Council chambers as well as trophies and presentation gift. Usually made in copper or brass with some silver plated items and a few hallmarked silver items. The copper items would originally have a dark chocolate coloured patination and a tinned pattern. Both are usually polished off.

This is an example of paper cut or block print by Hugh. Everyone that I have seen has had a painted signature. They were created by applying the colour through a card pattern. Similar to stencilling or the French pochoir.

They are rarely seen and are usually still life compositions of flowers in vases within a chequered border. The borders are similar to those found on his metal work. Some have a grained background which I guess is simulate a marquetry effect, like the wooden panels produced by Rowley Gallery during this period.

Mostly these date from the mid 1920's.

Other owned include;

.... and his usually product - the copper tray.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Art Pottery Figures #4 - Robina Hornsby

Here we have a mystery artist/potter; Robina Hornsby. I found this model quite a few years ago and sold it easily to a Polar Bear collector. It is a pottery sculpture of a Polar Bear similar in style to those of John Skeaping. The modelling was good but the quality of the pottery was poor.

No biographical details have been found on this artist. Yet the painted marks and numbering would suggest that more than one example/design were made.

Can anyone help ??

Monday, 13 December 2010

Art Pottery Figures #3 - M S Binyon

Miss Mary Sims Binyon (1882 - 1976) Artist/Modeller. She was the daughter of the architect and artist Brightwen Binyon and lived in Suffolk and in Bushey, Hertfordshire. He died in 1905 and is buried in Bushey churchyard.
Miss Binyon probably attended the Herkomer School of Art in Bushey and was also a pupil at the Bushey School of Painting between 1906 and 1916, training under Lucy Kemp-Welch. She exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1916. I can't trace whether her exhibited work was a painting or scultpture. Neither can I establish where she received pottery instruction.

I have owned 3 different models signed by this artist and all glazed in green.
  • A young girl kneeling to feed a lamb. It is a 14cm tall and glazed in a matt green and has an incised signature and pencil note of “No12” and a price of “24/- with stand”. I assume that these were produced for sale. Also seen in a paler green.
  • A bird of prey is 15cm tall and has a painted signature and decorated with a similar matt green glaze.
  • A Japanese lady dressed in a Kimono was 21.5cm tall and signed on the underside. Again glazed in green with black details.

I have also seen a large pottery cockerel by her, glazed in an oatmeal colour and a seated bull cast in bronze. Examples of the parrot and the girl with lamb are in the Bushey Museum collection.
Typical marks are incised or painted name.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Art Pottery Figures #2 - M Blyth

I have owned and seen about 6 or 7 art pottery figures signed "M Blyth", they have all been very well modelled and painted. The artist must have had the technical knowledge to fire quality ceramics as these are as good as some items produced by artists such as Stella R Crofts or Gewndoline Parnell.

Looking at the models they are all hollow cast, which suggests production from a mould with hand finishing and glazing.

But who are they ?? I have always refered to her, as the modelling of the children is for more sympathetic then perhaps a man would produce. Each is signed "M Blyth" incised either to the back of the base or underneath.
Here are 3 that I have remembered to photograph. They will enlarge if clicked on.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Ivy Anne Ellis exh 1920-1939

This is one of my favourite woodblock print artists and over the years I have chased down quite a few prints and books by her. However, in recent years I have struggled to find much. So here is some info and a few photos.

Ivy Anne Ellis was a Birmingham based artist with her studio in Edgbaston. She trained at the Birmingham School of Arts and Crafts and worked with the respected artist Bernard Sleigh early in her career. She was mainly a book illustrator and print maker using the woodcut, linocut and wood engraving techniques.

She exhibited 27 times at the Royal Society of Arts, Birmingham between 1920 and 1939.

She signed her works with various marks including signatures, seals and monograms cut within the plates or blocks. Some examples include; 

Her book illustration work was extensive and includes;
 XII Sonnets by Havelock Ellis (1930)
 The Book of Ruth (1930)
 Verses Grave and Gay by Bernard Sleigh (1933)
 Winged Idyll by John Stone (1936)
 Kanga Creek: An Australian Idyll by Havelock Ellis (1938)
 A Wreath of Flower Legends by Rose S Dugdale (1950)

Clicking on these photos should enlarge them.

I have recently been contacted by a friendly blogger who has provided a photo of a painting by Ivy. Certainly a similar feel but a less precise technique, lovely though. It is titled "The Little Dutch Girl" and cost £5.00 at the time, which I would suggest is c1950, may earlier. From the original label we know she was then living in Chipping Campden, a well known arty town in the Cotswolds much associated with the arts and crafts movement and the Guild of Handicraft.

She is titled "Dawn" - reminds me of Eric Gill but with colour !

From the same reader as provided these picture, I am advised that Miss Ellis was Bernard Sleighs mistress and the address on the label was where Sleigh lived in his later years. 

for Ivy Anne Ellis works forsale try -

Friday, 3 December 2010

Monart, Vasart & Strathearn Glass

I will try a brief introduction to these Scottish glass manufacturers and follow up later with examples of the glass.
Monart Glass
The North British Glass Works was founded in 1865 by John Moncrieff, making industrial and specialist glass items becoming John Moncrieff Ltd in 1905. In 1924 they diversified with the introduction of an art glass range marketed as Monart Glass. It has been generally accepted that the name having been derived from MONcreiff and YsART with a few suggesting MONcrieff ART glass. 

The Ysart's were a family of Spanish glass blower who had been employed c1921. Initially the father Salvador (1878-1955) and eldest son Paul (1904-91) were hired with the other sons joining latter; Antoine (1911-42) Augustine (1905-56) and Vincent (1909-71). Salvador Ysart had previously worked in France at Schneider and from c1915 in Edinburgh.

Many of the Monart shapes were designed by Isobel Moncreiff the wife of John Moncrieff junior. She designed over 300 shapes from 1924 - 1933.  Although production of Monart was always a very minor part of the glassworks output it was a success and was retailed by leading shops such as Liberty and Tiffany. 

Production continued until 1939 and resumed after the war on a smaller scale under the direction of Paul Ysart with production finally ending in 1961.

Marks -
Largely unmarked except for export items to America, which had the etched mark "Monart Glass Made in Scotland" 

Paper Labels -

  • 1924 - 25 Monart Ware in the centre with Moncreiff's around the edge

  • 1925 - 30 Monart Ware in the centre with Moncreiff's Scotland around the edge

  • 1930 - 61 Monart Glass in centre with Moncreiff Scotland around the edge

Shape codes also help dating with size codes (Roman numerals) before shape codes (letters) followed by pattern code (numbers) being pre war whilst post war the shape is first followed by size, as above.

Vasart Bros
This glassworks was set up in 1946 by Vincent, Augustine and Salvador Ysart in Perth producing similar art glass to that made at Monart. Much of their output was mould  blown with a degree of hand finishing. They used much finer enamel colours than used at Monart, which were supplied by the ceramic industry supplier Wenger. This allowed a far more even colours.

In 1956 they formed an association with Perilli Glass and produced glass ashtrays for the Teachers Distillery. This led to Teacher's becoming majority shareholder in 1964. By 1965 an new glass works had been built at Crieff and at this time their name was changed to Strathearn Glass.

Marks -

  • 1947 - 52 acid etched
    script VASART
Labels -

  • 1952 - 56 printed VASART

  • 1956 - 64 Vasart/Glass/Handmade
    in Scotland

Laszlo Bruckner - Potter

Laszlo Bruckner was an Austrian potter working in London from about 1949 until the 1960's and previously in Vienna in the late 1930's. He specialised in pottery animals and ceramic jewellery.

Mark - a stylised B in the form of a bird together with "made in England"

Known to have produced models of;
Large Horse
Small Horse

More information on this artist is needed. Someone must have lived next door or bought these when new. Help !!