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Horace Elliott (1851-1938) – London’s Forgotten Potter

On 14th May, HHCG was treated to a most interesting talk by Jonathan Gray, entitled “Horace Elliott” London/Welsh Art Potter (1851-1938) . Jonathan is an Hon Research Fellow at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and his work on Horace Elliott is part of an agreed research plan – the Welsh link being Horace’s engagement with various potterys at Ewenny, near Bridgend.

Jonathan discussed how Horace Elliott was, in his day, a well-known London Arts and Crafts potter, with relationships at various potteries in England, Scotland, Wales and Germany during his 54 year ceramics career (1880-1934) – the best known of these being Brannam, Denby and Ewenny. 

Selling first through someone else’s shop near the British Museum, Elliott established his first retail shop on what is now Queensway in Bayswater, and had other premises in St. James’s, Knightsbridge and Chelsea before moving to Streatham in 1904/05, where he would spend the next 30 years before he retired aged 83. In the early 1890’s, he was standing exhibitions with the likes of Doulton, Royal Worcester, Minton, Elton and others, so was for part of this period part of the “premier league” of British ceramic producers.

Jonathan showed examples of Elliott’s work and designs at these various centres and outlined Elliott’s approach to selling wares, which included bazaars. Elliott’s moulds are now in the National Museum of Wales.

Jonathan is aiming to publish a book on Horace in Spring 2022. He is meetings secretary for the English Ceramic Circle. He has published widely, including The Cambrian Company, Swansea Pottery in London 1806-1808 (2012) and edited the two volumes which accompanied the Welsh Ceramics in Context Seminars run in 200/2003.



We were particularly pleased to welcome back one of our favourite Guest Speakers, Anne Howarth, an independent Scholar and Lecturer, whose background spans 2 decades within the V&A, British Museum and many more prestigious Collections of Art
We settled down to our first Zoom Meeting in the comfort of our own homes to hear the lecture on Medieval and Renaissance Enamel, which has its roots in an ancient technique of melting powdered glass onto metal, usually gold or silver, and developed over the centuries to modern times.
We had the opportunity to view examples of decorated Celtic relics from the earliest times. The Holy Thorn Reliquary, housed in the British Museum is an amazing example of Byzantine Art in the 1390’s; made of gold, enamel, encrusted with pearls, rubies, sapphires. Other methods and techniques were developed over time and by the 1500’s Nicholas Hilliard, (National Portrait Gallery) was painting finely decorated miniature enamels embellished with pearls and diamonds. Decorated watches, lockets and snuff boxes were to follow, leading eventually to modern designers of the day.
The lecture was a very clear example of the benefits of Zoom, where members were able to examine close up the craftsmanship the beauty of some of the objects. There were too many illustrations to mention here but I am sure many of us will be visiting the extensive V&A collection to see these objects for ourselves. I hope those Members who were not able to take part this time will join us on Zoom for our next Lecture in May.