MARKS

Most Aller Vale art pottery is marked with an impressed mark as illustrated below.

Unmarked pots have features which, in conjunction with the decoration and the ‘feel’ of the pot, will give a collector confidence in attributing a pot. Elements of ‘feel’ are the weight of the pot, they are nearly always reasonably weighty in the hand, and the depth of the reflection of the glaze. The pots were given a lead-based glaze before firing which results in a strong reflections ( you will often see such reflection when you try to take a decent photo of a pot), sadly many of the pottery employees suffered from lead-poisoning in their later years.

POTTER'S MARKS

These are known as Potters’ marks, presumably the Turner, although it could be the thrower or the decorator.

They are all hard to find and are on early pots, probably the 1880′s. The Crescent and the Maltese Cross are more likely to be found, whereas the ‘Bowtie’ and the ‘ T ‘ are rarer.

 

 

 

 

 

Miniature pots in white clay and decorated with flowers, usually a stylised 5-petal forget-me-not, and unglazed base with a ‘swirl’ are ‘attributed’ to Aller Vale. I have seen a marked example and these photos show a rare marked example with a ‘Bowtie’ mark.

OTHER IMPRESSED MARKS

These marks are impressed and are more or less easy to find as described in the descriptions attached to each picture.

The rarer marks appear at the top of this section.

Some retailers in Scotland seemed to prefer that the shop name appeared on the base, see Retailers page for some photos

OLD, PRE ALLER VALE MARKS

Before the formation of the pottery John Phillips had made stoneware domestic and building items on the site. Early pottery production was in plain terracotta and this was shown at exhibitions in 1880 before the conversion of the pottery.

OTHER MARKS

This painted, underglaze mark was used, I believe, after the amalgamation of production with the Watcombe pottery and appears on mottoware. I reckon that it was employed on pottery orders that specified Aller Vale wares after the original impressed mark stamps had been lost. The 2 pots shown here are ‘classic’ Watcombe Jugs, usually with cottage decoration, one is Scandy decoration, pattern code N1 and the other the Butterfly pattern, code H1. I have also seen Watcombe pots with ‘Watcombe’ hand-painted on the base in the same style as this Aller Vale mark.

The HH&Co mark was used when the pottery was taken over after the death of the founder, John Phillips, in 1897. It is rarely found but when it is the pots are usually of good quality, especially the brightness of the colours, which may indicate that they changed to commercial pigments. The rarity of the mark, say 1 in 50 or so of the Art pottery, could mean that the potters did not like being reminded of the new owners and ditched the stamp…..pure conjecture!


AV-N1-wat-base


AV-H1-wat-base