One-offs, specials, and workman's pieces

The products of Premier Pottery Preston were not mass-produced. Everything was hand-made. In such an environment, inevitably pieces were produced that were not intended for the retail market but were family gifts, experiments, or simply giving rein to the potter's creative spirit. Although perhaps not strictly 'Remued' many such pieces are nowadays amongst the most interesting and sought-after.

They are often incised with the potter's name or initials. Quite a few are signed by the principal throwers at Premier, David Dee and Allan James. Others were involved too; industry potters, sometimes moonlighting from jobs at bigger potteries; and studio potters, notably Margaret Kerr, Una Deerbon and John Castle-Harris.


'Workman's piece'; a one-off item made by a pottery worker at the end of the day, which would then be glazed and fired along with the rest of the production.

Images; Catherine Webb research collection
Ashtray, signed D.Dee and Margaret Kerr.  Length 19 cm.
Collection; Shepparton Art Gallery 1987.2
Height 22 cm. Base incised
Margaret Kerr, Melbourne

Images; Catherine Webb research collection
Vase with applied grapevine, signed D.Dee 1933
Height 18.5 cm.
Vase
Early-looking glazes and gumleaves.
Height; 14 cm
Signed P.E.Horsley


Pierced work

Pierced decoration never featured in Premier's commercial production but they did make some pierced pieces.


Base incised A.James  1935  Melbourne
Height; 32 cm.
Catherine Webb research collection
Base incised A.James  1934
  Catherine Webb research collection
Lidded bowl.
Unsigned. 
Attributed to R.Hawkins

Animal decoration


 
 
Images;  Catherine Webb research collection
Bowl with two dragons. Attributed to Margaret Kerr. Base incised Remued  PPP  1933.
The names were concurrent in 1933 & 34 but this piece is unusual in that it carries both. 
Diameter 32 cm.
Extravagantly decorated with gumleaves, gumnuts and blossom, and a goanna surveying the interior.
Base incised Remued  Hand Made. Height; 40 cm.
   Catherine Webb research collection
Large bowl with creature
(bunyip? Loch Ness monster?)
Base incised A. James 1933
Height 16 cm, diameter 20 cm.
      Images;  Norman Collection
Vase with applied grapevine, signed A.James 1933. This piece is the earliest recorded with a branch-handle on a vase (ie not a jug)
Hurnall's Antiques & Decorative Arts
Large vase with applied grapevine. Height 39 cm.
Incised D.Dee  Premier pottery.
'Remued', and sometimes named signatures too, were incised by anyone given the task. The D.Dee signatures at left are unquestionably by David Dee but this one appears not to be.
Ashtray, signed D.Dee and 'Mrs.Remued'!
'Mrs.Remued' was presumably Noni Deumer?
Hurnall's Antiques & Decorative Arts
Three pieces signed A.James, with koalas modelled by John Castle-Harris.
Elaborate modelling of wood grain and shapes. Heights(L-R);  28 cm: 26 cm;  14 cm.
[For more pieces from Hurnall's Antiques & Decorative Arts click here]
Three-handled jardiniere by Allan James.
Incised  Mum  Alan 1941. Height 41 cm.

The spelling is interesting. According to the James family his name had a double 'l' but here he has used a single.


Workman's pieces 
A workman's piece was a one-off item made by a pottery worker at the end of the day, which would then be glazed and fired along with the rest of the production.
None of the pieces shown here is signed Remued but all display glazes that suggest Premier Pottery origins ('suggest' only - not 'prove'). Nothing is known about most of the the potters but for some (ALN; Lea Biggs; P.E.Horsley) other pieces are recorded that are clearly not from Premier.
    Image; Eric Smith
Ship vase
Trough vase in the form of a galleon's hull.
Dimensions; 17 cm long, 6 cm high.
Base incised  ALN. There are also pots that suggest ALN later worked at Kerryl.
Norman Collection
Tea caddy
Slab-built square lidded box.
Height excluding lid; 7.3 cm.
Signed Lea Biggs

Base incised Remued 42 s
These gumleaves and gumnuts differ from the usual. Thought to be by a worker at Premier, trying his hand at the Remued style using a standard Early Series 42 s 'ginger jar' vase.
(A not-so-innocent explanation is also possible - see under 'Pitfalls'!)  No other decorated 42 s is known.
Modelling and Painting
        Collection; Stuart Lawson
Premier sold - or gave away - unglazed blanks that could be used by china painters, and there is an account of painted pieces being sold door-to-door in the 1930s. The piece on the left also has a painted name; R.Rangan (Reba Rangan, an opera singer from Melbourne. Her paintings are found on non-Remued pottery too).
Both pieces here are Early Series 119. Other Remued shapes are also sometimes found painted.


Collection; Isabella House, NW Vic.

Jug with modelled and painted tree and landscape.
Base incised Remued 1934
Height; 14.5 cm.
Collection; Bradley Stephan
Jug with modelled and painted tree.
Base painted (not incised) Remued
Height; 16 cm.

            Hurnall's Antiques & Decorative Arts
Detail from an exceptional pair of PPP floor vases (see Tall vases)
Signed; left R.Hawkins, right T.Evelyn Woodrow.
[Up to top of page]
  Collection; Di Biles
  Image; The Peoples Potteries
Basket
Hand-modelled basket with unusual twist handle. Unsigned. Base incised 53 (the year perhaps?)
Hurnall's Antiques & Decorative Arts
Vase with finned reptilian creature. Base incised Remued Hand Made. Height; 28 cm
   [Click image for enlargement]
 
    Hurnall's Antiques & Decorative Arts
Height 17 cm. Base incised WJD - Walter Dee.

   Collection; John Fortuna
Shoes
Length; 12 cm. Bases signed Nile.
Other shapes are also recorded with the same signature and Remued-like glazes.

 
       Collection; John McGrath
Height; 19 cm. Base incised Margaret Kerr, Melbourne
Height; 17 cm.
Two similar examples recorded, so definitely not a 'one-off'.

Stella Moore
The bases of these pieces are incised Remued and have a painted signature Stella Moore. They are not standard Premier shapes and are un-numbered. Note the unusual feature of incised or impressed decorative swirls.
We have been unable to find any information about Stella Moore (can you help? - please contact us.)

Height; 20 cm.
Height; 18.5 cm.
Recorded in New Zealand.
Collection; Allan & Myrtle James
Image; Catherine Webb research collection

   Bowl like Early Series 53
   Incised A. Ward  1935.  Height; 7.5 cm.
Unlike other workman's pieces shown here, the Premier Pottery origins of this piece are beyond question. Alec Ward started work at Premier in 1931 at age 14 and would have been 17 or 18 when he signed this bowl.  A similar bowl is recorded signed A. Ward 1936 Melbourne. He continued at Premier until the war when he went to work in the nearby munitions factories.
(Our thanks to the relatives of the late Alec Ward, who contacted us via this website.)

       Collection; Tim Anderson
     Vase with dragon
Height; 23cm. Base signed R.Stamp.
Extravagant applied dragon decoration.