Bookends by Horace E. Potter of Ohio with tile manufactured by Ernest A. Batchelder in California.
Each of this pair of bookends is a figure ceramic tile by Batchelder in a bronze frame by Potter.
Horace E. Potter (1873-1948) was a distinguished metal worker and jeweler, and is listed in Davenport’s and other listings for artists. Potter lived in Cleveland, Ohio, and his home became a center for artists and craftsmen in 1908. It was later called Potter Studio. He and his fellow craftsmen sometimes incorporated other craftspeople’s objects into their own work. Potter admired Batchelder’s tiles and made bookend sets utilizing Batchelder tiles. Potter fashioned spare but elegant close-fitting bronze frames for the Batchelder tiles, and the tiles are held in place by some sort of adhesive.The frames are marked Potter Studio with, in this case, a serial number.
Ernest A. Batchelder (1875-1957) is very well known as a pioneer in the American Arts and Crafts movement. He was a renowned maker of ceramic art tiles and teacher of the pottery craft. He began making tiles for sale from his backyard kiln in 1910 and by 1912 he moved to a business location in Pasadena California. These bookend tiles are handmade, fired pottery in the early Arts and Crafts style. The image is that of an an abstract oak tree bearing two (enlarged) acorns, with birds in the tree shown at each of the four corners. Acorns, oak trees, and oak leaves became familiar naturalistic images used by artists of this genre. This particular tile is pictured in the 1912 catalogue for the Batchelder Tile Company of Pasadena, and is identified only as number 67.
The above reprint of the 1912 Batchelder catalog of Plain and Figure Tiles can be obtained from Mr. Brian Kaiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.