Compton Pottery Joan of Arc Bookends, Arts and Crafts, Guildford, Surrey, England, c.1895
Here we have a wonderful and rare pair of Compton Pottery Joan of Arc figural bookends. Set against a Fleur De Lys background the bookends feature a superbly painted, fully armoured and haloed St Joan with her longsword, sitting astride a war horse.
These terracotta models were given an initial firing but not glazed. After firing, they were cold painted using egg tempera and finally wax polished, a medieval technique in keeping with Arts and Crafts values.
Presented for sale in very good condition. There is the expected light wear to the Tempera paint and a small tinted in flat chip to the front right of one.
Mary Seton Watts, the Scottish wife of pre-Raphaelite painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts together opened the Watts Gallery in the Surrey village of Compton in the late 19th century, designed in the Arts and Crafts style.
Mary, being the principle designer at the Compton country potteries, set up local evening classes and because of the rapid mechanisation within the nationwide farming industry, also took on many local redundant agricultural labourers to teach them useful new pottery skills. She was guided and influenced by her friends, Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane and William De Morgan, who were major creative forces within the Art Nouveau movement.
The output of the Compton group resulted in the formation in 1899 of the Compton Potters’ Arts Guild (PAG), consequently, many of the manufactured wares were stamped with this symbol.
The innovative terracotta garden ornaments and wonderful painted models produced by the local workers, recommended by Gertrude Jekyll, expanded into a production centre of mainly Gothic Revival, Arts and Crafts and latterly Art Nouveau pottery, these marvellous products were featured by many London shops, including Liberty & Co.
Late 19th century.
Stand 7 ½’’ tall x 6 across. o/a approx. Unmarked but a known and catalogued Compton design.
Fine condition, with only a tiny nibble to the front right of one, and both with only very minor surface wear commensurate with age.
The Compton Pottery by Hilary Calvert and Louise Boreham
Ref Number: 221142H