Archive for the ‘Koala’ tag

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

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: Australian Pottery,Mystery Potter

Comments: 4 comments

My Favourite Pieces #1 – Newtone Koala

One of the few animals in Bakewell’s Newtone range, this cheeky looking fellow would have to be one of my favorite pieces of Australian pottery in my collection,  and not just because I got him for free (he was a birthday present from my girlfriend Sarah). Produced circa 1935, with hand painted details most likely by Daisy Merton and modeled by either Daisy Merton or Jack Moss. This is in my opinion just about the best looking free-standing Koala figure produced by any of  the big Australian names from the 1930’s to the 1950’s hands down.

Most credit goes here to what looks to be the exceptional detailing provided by Daisy Merton. There were two other paintresses working for Bakewell Bros at the time (Joy Yeoman and another who it seems may not have ever signed her work) but as with the eyes being the key to an Orpheus Arfaras MCP Disney figure those stoner eyes and cheeky grin have Daisy’s name written all over them not to mention the fantastic gum-leaf and trunk detailing.

This piece does also come in the standard Newtone green and brown drip glaze combination (if you have seen it in another colour please let me know) and has also been spotted with a Trent Art Ware sticker on it but this is either the result of a sticker swap by an unscrupulous seller or older Bakewell’s stock purchased by Trent when they took over the Newtone line. If any of these were produced during the Trent period in the 1950’s it is most likely the green and brown drip glaze pieces as I think their later wares show they didn’t have the decorating talent available to pull of something like this.

Like with most Australian pottery there are copies about most notably the ones made by both Pates and Diana albeit with a different less complicated and easier to cast base covered in flowers which Newtone or Trent may have produced also. I have been told that Diana worked from the original molds which they purchased from Bakewell’s but at this stage I haven’t been able to confirm this. Strangely I have not seen an Asian copy of this figure but even more strangely is the fact that this piece is original to Bakewells at all given the amount of pieces they copied from Beswick!