Peter Pilven

Mystery potter #15: Penny’s Peace Pottery

PPP. Celadon mug PPP. Celadon mug. Base

This white stoneware mug with pale celadon glaze and waratah decoration is marked with the impressed stamp PPP next to a map of Australia. In style it alludes to a long tradition of functional stoneware with Australian floral motifs but the wedged shape, the extreme paleness of the glaze and the pink stamens in low relief lend it a post-modern feel. There is a deftness to this piece that makes me surprised that I can’t identify the mark. It was one of four bought on eBay in 2005 from a Sydney seller and that is all I know about the provenance.

The initials PPP will resonate with Australian collectors because they stand for Premier Pottery Preston and were used in the form of a black underglaze stamp from 1929-1933 on Remued pieces. The two contemporary potteries that I can find with these initials – Poole’s Pony Pottery and Pumpkin Patch Pottery – seem unlikely candidates.

Peter Pilven, who lectures in ceramics at the University of Ballarat, signs his works Pilven or Peter Pilven. Pat Pearson, a potter active on the north coast of NSW in the 1980s, signed her work with a P in a triangle or her full name. Peter Petruccelli, who worked as a potter from 1968 to 1997, signed his ceramic pieces Petruccelli or stamped them Petruccelli Ceramics UBeaconsfield (for Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria). I don’t have marks recorded for Peter Pine, an Armidale NSW potter with an entry in the 1981 directory, or for Pat Pennington, a Leura NSW potter with an entry in the 1990 directory.

This puts paid to potters with the initials PP. I give up when it comes to places. At least I know that it is an Australian mark!

This mug was made in around 1988 by Heather Barrett. The PPP stands for Penny’s Peace Pottery. See Heather’s comments below.