Saturday, July 4, 2009
Boyd ain’t necessarily Boyd
These ramekins are incised "Martin Boyd" to the base. Many people can be confused by this and think that Martin was another of the Boyds’, but Martin is actually one of Guy Boyd's middle names. Why did he choose to use his name on these items? Who knows. In 1946, while he was studying at the East Sydney Technical College, he worked at night with Norma Flegg in her basement pottery at 21 Waters Road Cremorne in Sydney. They originally used the name “Guy Boyd” incised on the base, but in 1948, they began using the name “Martin Boyd” after Norma’s husband Leonard joined the company. Don't think that Guy did much throwing either, Most of the work was done by Les Collins who had come across from Fowlers. Les kept working away at the same old wheel until they closed in 1964. Guy returned to Victoria in 1950 but the company continued to use the name until it ceased production in 1964. They developed their own high quality glazes and at its height, employed up to eighty people. They also used a variety of other names as they produced pottery for department stores and commemorative wares. Many of the ramekins I have that are signed as Martin Boyd are smaller than his "Guy Boyd" ones. There are larger ones with the same signature most with reverse matching colours. These are typical 1950's pastel coloured interiors that contrast with their coloured exteriors. So there it is folks. Just because it says Boyd on the bottom, legally they are still Boyd even though Guy never came within hundreds of miles of them. Collect them just the same, the signature will eventually be worth something, even though from 1950 on, no Boyd ever signed them .
For the past year or so, I had seen this boxed set of Martin Boyd ramekins in an antique market in Adelaide. I was not prepared to pay their asking price, but realized that I would probably never see another set like it, so on a recent visit, I haggled the price and got them for less. They were sold by Claude Phillips Sarre a Jeweler in Adelaide, South Australia. He was born in Adelaide in 1892 and died there in 1982, aged 90, having retired at age 89. Claude was a keen athlete and sponsored the “Claude Sarre Cup” running event for many years. Claude’s son Brian continued on before retiring and selling the business in 1997. The business continues in Gawler Place, Adelaide.