In my July 31st posting I said that as well as running the Low Lights Pottery, North Shields, "Carr & Patton also took over the Phoenix Pottery, Ouseburn, in 1847. Bell writes that their partnership was apparently dissolved a year later, with John Carr continuing at the Low Lights Pottery and John Patton at the Phoenix Pottery. Separating their wares of the 1850s might be difficult."
The next day Ian Holmes reminded me of a jug he purchased last year. It has a mariner's compass transfer signed 'J P. Newcastle and North Shields' (see below left detail). Ian Sharp has a jug with a very similar mariner's compass transfer on his website, but it is signed 'J C. Co N Shields' (see below right). The '&' appears to be obscured by a break in the transfer.
It seems clear enough that the right detail refers to the John Carr & Co partnership of c1850–1854. The left detail is more confusing. It must have been engraved after 1848 when the Carr and Patton partnership dissolved (or else why aren't both sets of initials on the transfer?) and John Patton took over the Phoenix Pottery, Ouseburn (Newcastle). But it suggests he still had some stake at the Low Lights Pottery in North Shields after that date. Perhaps with the Phoenix Pottery being a new venture for John Patton, he simply wanted to make clear he was the same J P who'd worked in North Shields for 15 or so years.
Now here's the exciting bit. The John Patton jug has one of the ship transfers that appear on the bowl in my July 20th blog post. So it now seems more likely that the bowl is Patton than Carr. This would explain why the third ship transfer on the bowl doesn't match those on the plaques attributed to Carr.
The jug unites a transfer from the plaques in group 1, in my July 30th blog post, with a verse transfer that appears on plaques similar to those in group 2. The dimensions of the verse plaque are 210 x 185 mm which is slightly bigger (5mm) than the group 2 average. So if the plaques were made before 1848 they are Carr & Patton. If they were made after, they could either be John Carr's Lowlights Pottery, North Shields or John Patton's Phoenix Pottery Ouseburn. N.B. it wouldn't be surprising if J C and J P continued to decorate their wares in very similar ways. For what it is worth, I think the verse plaque was made by J P. But there's still a reasonable chance the ship was made by J C.
For completeness, here are the images of Ian Sharp's jug, with John Carr's initials. This verse transfer doesn't particularly help our cause, as to my knowledge it never appears on plaques.
And finally, for anyone who thought this was going too well, take a look at the mariner's compass transfer that appears on plaques attributed to John Carr (click to enlarge). Though clearly based on the same source, the transfer is simpler in design and both the plaques below have the initials J H at the bottom. If you can tell me why, please get in touch!
One obvious difference between the two transfers above is that the larger plaque on the right, whose detail is shown in the centre, has shading over the initials J H. Perhaps Carr acquired the transfer plate from another pottery, and had it re-engraved to obliterate, or at least reduce the prominence of, the initials.
Stephen Smith lives in London, and is always happy to hear from other collectors. If you have an interesting collection of plaques, and are based in the UK, he will photograph them for you. Free advice given regarding selling and dispersal of a collection, or to those wishing to start one. Just get in touch...
This website is indebted to collectors, dealers and enthusiasts who have shared their knowledge or photos. In particular: Ian Holmes, Stephen Duckworth, Dick Henrywood, Norman Lowe, Keith Lovell, Donald H Ryan, Harold Crowder, Jack and Joyce Cockerill, Myrna Schkolne, Elinor Penna, Ian Sharp, Shauna Gregg at the Sunderland Museum, Keith Bell, Martyn Edgell, and Liz Denton.