V.A.P. (Victoria Art Pottery) 'grotesque' pottery spoon warmer glazed in Burgundy by William Ferry, late 19th century, impressed stamp 'V.A.P., W. F.', 14 cm high, 14 cm wide. V.A.P. Is considered to be one of Australia's first true Art pottery firms. It commenced operations in Albion Street, Brunswick (Melbourne) in 1896; until 1912 under the inspirational guidance of Brothers Graham and William Ferry, as well as a collaboration with Richard Sturrock. English born, the Brothers learned their trade at the Linthorpe Pottery under the direction of the master designer Christopher Dresser whose influences can be strongly recognized in V.A.P. Work. Other influences and designs can be seen in both Burmantofts and Ault pottery. Although a successful firm in its day, the Ferry Brothers could not compete with the mass produced English wares that began to flood the market in the early 20th century. As a result V.A.P. Pieces are scarce and highly desirable.
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- Grotesque - Grotesque decoration is any fanciful ornament applied to furniture and decorative arts, and includes distorted faces, mythical animals such as satyrs and sphinxes and less frequently fantastical fruit and flower forms.
The Martin Brothers who set up their pottery at the end of the nineteenth century in Southall, Middlesex derived their fame from their hand made models of grotesque stoneware birds.
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