Thank you to the collector who sent me the photos below. The plaque, at first glance, is nothing out of the ordinary. The transfer is one found commonly on larger plaques attributed to John Carr's Low Lights Pottery, North Shields.
What makes this plaque unusual is the impressed mark 'LONDON' on the reverse. So does this mean there was a pottery on the banks of the Thames churning out lustre plaques?
I'm afraid not. It seemed more likely that a North East pottery had used the LONDON imprint on a plaque destined for a London distributor or retailer. Dick Henrywood directed me to the Northern Ceramic Society newsletters 83 & 110, in which John Cockerill and Clarice Blakey discuss the use of the 'LONDON' impressed mark. Their articles confirm that it was used by several potteries in the North East. Blakey states:
The five reported users of the LONDON mark are:
Middlesbrough Pottery, 1834–52
Isaac and Thomas Bell, Albion Pottery, 1860–63
Carr & Sons, Low Lights Pottery N. Shields, 1844–c 1900
Malkin, Walker and Hulse, British Anchor Pottery, Longton, 1858–64
Fell & Co, St Peters Pottery, Newcastle on Tyne, 1817–1890
So we are back to where we started, with a plaque, most probably John Carr & Co, stamped LONDON for distribution there. As always, if anyone else has an item of lustreware marked LONDON, please share it.
P.S. I think this explains the mystery mark on a Carr-type plaque, mentioned in my 30 May 2010 blog post. Look at the mark above. Isn't it just possible that a cataloguer might have mistaken an indistinct impress, particularly if viewed upside down, for 'MOORE'?
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.