Visitors to the gallery are fascinated by lidded pots and can’t resist looking inside. David and I pretend not to notice the chink of lids as they move around the displays. We know the pleasure of seeing how well the lid fits, and discovering the finish of interior surfaces.
This lidded bowl is meant to be used as a sugar bowl, but it has all the beauty of a lidded box. The base is a footed hemisphere with a wide slightly altered rim, in which the domed lid is set. The glaze is a dark celadon over an iron oxide base, with delicate wax resist floral decoration. A narrow pale stoneware shelf is exposed when the lid is removed, its colour echoed in the unglazed foot ring.
The blue lines tracing transitions in the form and linking decorative elements allude to blue and white china, the muted colours to Victorian furnishings. The style is so distinctive that I feel saddened not to know the maker. There is a mark inscribed on the base under the glaze, and I can just make out the name ‘Marjo’ or similar. I am half-inclined to think that this is the ACT potter Marjo Jones, although her mark in the 1986 directory is given as ‘MJ’.
Postscript: I have now confirmed that this is Marjo Jones’ work.