AB: Well it's a very sweet little object, very homely and unassuming and very early, soon after he got here isn't it?
[video clip starts] What's surprising about it is that it's earthenware, I suppose, and we think of Bernard Leach's major works all being in stoneware. This looks well used. It's rather strangely balanced, the saucer being, I think, perhaps a bit small, and the pattern doesn't even follow. The pattern he's got on the cup is not the same as it is on the saucer. I'm warm to it for its completely unpretentious enthusiasm for folk tradition, but it's not his best work, is it? It's something very, very modest and touching, in a way. But not spectacular, not inspiring. [video clip ends]
AB: You know it's thick at the bottom here.
MP: I suppose at that stage in his career he wasn't as adept as he was later?
AB: No, although there's a piece that the V&A bought before that, that was made in Japan [and] that's very sleek, so maybe he helped to make it rather than made it, but we don't know that. But no, it's a very early acquisition and it's possibly from the first exhibition they had, [him] and Hamada in 1923, or something like that. Is that what David said?
MP: Yes, the latest it could have been [acquired] is 1924, I think.
AB: Yes. I like its roots in the slipware tradition and everything, so it's fascinating rather than stunning, I think.