David Leach at Lowerdown in 2002 with the willow tree plate
These four plates from the Leach Pottery show the evolution in decoration from a beautifully decorated willow tree through to the highly stylised standardware version of the design.
The design on the first plate is very similar to one in the Milner-White collection at York City Art Gallery which was purchased by Eric Milner-White in 1951. The elegant brush strokes suggest that it is probably the work of Bernard Leach.
I showed the second plate to David Leach when I visited him at Lowerdown Pottery back in 2002. David told me that it was probably his work but that Kenneth Quick also decorated these plates. I have included an image of David with the plate below.
On the third plate, the design has been simplified. It could be the work of a less skillful decorator or maybe the potter was not given the time to produce a detailed image.
The final plate is included in the Leach Pottery standardware catalog from the 1940s onwards. Here the design is highly stylised. The plate is displayed in the catalog with the lines horizontal rather than vertical. So is this final part of the evolution showing the transition from a Japanese willow tree to Cornish waves off St. Ives?
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