Linthorpe Pottery Small Vase

. c1880.

A small two-handled glazed earthenware vase (100x80mm) designed by Christopher Dresser and made by the Linthorpe Pottery. Green, blue and brown glaze with a floral Aztec design to each side. The base is marked "Linthorpe 944" and impressed with the "HT" monogram of Henry Tooth.

In 1879, Christopher Dresser, with a businessman called John Harrison, founded a pottery at Linthorpe in Middlesbrough. Dresser’s aim was, in part, social and philanthropic: to help relieve unemployment and poverty in a poor part of England. But Dresser was, by this stage in his career, one of the most inventive, radical and influential designers in Europe. At Linthorpe, he wanted to produce pottery unlike any that had been seen before. Dresser was the Art Superintendent from 1879-1882, responsible for all the designs. Even after leaving the pottery, he continued to submit designs. On Dresser’s recommendation, Henry Tooth, an artist from Buckinghamshire, was appointed as pottery manager. Tooth also left in 1882 and his HT monogram dates Linthorpe work to the three years before then.
Dresser’s designs for Linthorpe incorporate the vast range influences he had absorbed up to that point: Egyptian, South American, Islamic, Japanese and Celtic. And much of his work reflects his early study of botany and natural history. Overlaying everything is a pronounced Arts and Crafts ethic and aesthetic. This beautiful little vase with its floral, Aztec design brings together many of the elements which make up Dresser’s distinctive genius.