Archive for the ‘Mystery Potter’ Category

Mystery Potter #2 – Xella, Kella, K Ella

Standing 19cm high and measuring 21cm end to end, this amazingly detailed figure of a North American Blue Jay is another favourite from my collection, unfortunately it’s also a complete mystery!

Marked to the base either Xella 584 or X-ella (Kella, K ella, or K-ella) and bearing a Queensland “We Make it Great in The Sunshine State” sticker, this is either a very interesting piece of late 1980’s Australian pottery or a sticker swapping impostor.

Naturally, I’ve checked and double checked the books, I’ve googled furiously and e-mailed knowledgeable collectors, all to no avail.

Throughout my chats with collectors and dealers regarding this piece, one worrying constant keeps popping up. People keep asking me if I’m sure the sticker belongs to this piece? All I can say is that the sticker looks to be contemporary with the age of the item and also looks to have been in it’s current position for quite some time. I do believe it is Australian made from Queensland but do have to admit that this easily removable sticker is the only thing linking this piece to Australia and Queensland.

Scat pottery were producing similar, highly detailed figures of native and non-native birds in the 1970’s so it’s nothing we haven’t seen from Australian companies before.

The name Xella seems to be of French origin and means “From the Mountain Home”  which seems kind of fitting given the material used to produce this amazing bird.

If my Xella Bird proves to be an impostor I’ll be a little up upset but have to admit, no matter what the outcome, this little birdy still has a place reserved in the shelves of my collection. Granted though, if it isn’t Australian it might be pushed a little towards the back of that shelf. LOL

Posted: May 8th, 2011
at 9:10am by Tim

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Categories: Australian Pottery,Mystery Potter

Comments: 2 comments

Mystery Potter #1 – Denise – Solved!

A short while ago I was contacted by a woman named Denise to let me know that the mystery potter referred to in my last post was none other than her Mother, Eileen Gunning.

Eileen started the pottery in her Burwood (Sydney) backyard naming it after her eldest child, “Denise”.

The wares produced were sold through the Princes Hotel and another long gone retail establishment which Denise can’t recall.

I tried to e-mail Denise for a little more information but the address she left isn’t working for me and I have not heard back from her.

Denise if you are still out there please contact me again as I’ve got a few questions for you.

So, that’s one mystery solved…..

Can’t be too many left to sort out?! LOL

Posted: May 1st, 2011
at 1:27pm by Tim

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Categories: Australian Pottery,Mystery Potter

Comments: 1 comment

Mystery Potter #1 – Denise

The little Koala ashtray shown below has sat in my cupboard for some years now, long forgotten and covered in dust. Purchased for only a few dollars, I wasn’t worried who made him even though he is signed.

Then, only a month or so back I found the Scottie dog ashtray shown below right by the same mystery potter.

There seems to be no mention of the mystery “Denise” in any of the noted text and a bit of sniffing around revealed I wasn’t the only one with a bit of Denise in the cupboard.

All  the pieces I have seen are certainly well made enough to suggest they are from a commercial enterprise of some level and dating from around the first half of the 1950’s.

I guess this shouldn’t be too hard to sort out, we are already half-way since they are all signed Denise. All we need is the last name. Should be easy right? LOL

If you have any idea who the mystery Denise might be or if you have a Denise in  the cupboard please leave me a comment below.

Posted: February 13th, 2011
at 5:37pm by Tim

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Categories: Australian Pottery,Mystery Potter

Comments: 4 comments