This later Gray's backstamp for its products destined for Heal's incorporates the 'spinning top' motif that was also used as a Heal's trademark.
Heal's famous four poster bed trademark was created by Ambrose Heal in 1904. It was incorporated into this special adaption of Gray's N2 Clipper backstamp for products supplied by Gray's Pottery in the early 1930s.
AE Gray had a long association with Heal & Son and, in particular, with Harry Trethowan, manager of Heal's pottery and glass department. These two men were regularly working alongside each other on committees charged with 'improving art in industry' and 'raising the standards of product design for the home'. They both sat on the influential 1931 Gorell Committee.
My dear Edward 23/5/1951
I must write you on this day, for it was a rare May 24th that produced you, & you have made your fine contribution by your good life, to Home & Empire.
I am proud of our Friendship, & I want to thank you for all you have been to me: Sir Ambrose Heal wishes to join with me in this greeting, & to wish you many more years of activity & happiness: It has been a long journey, but it has been a worth while journey.
My wife would also like to send you a message today, for she remembers you always with affection.
I myself could write more, but it might sound too extravagant, if I said all that was in my heart, & all that can truly be written about you:
My affectionate regards to you both and may your Birthday be a day of much Blessing.
Yours ever Harry
P.S. You are by no means an old Horse
but I like the idea of Leisure in the Country. H.T.
Two Press articles are worthy of note in the context of the association and influence between Gray's Pottery and Heal & Son:
Pottery and Glass March 1946 p7:
Harry Trethowan records memories of his career. He mentions various people with whom he had formed important links (such as), Ronald & Gresham Copeland, AE Gray, William Moorcroft and Frank Wedgwood.
Pottery and Glass June 1953 p182:
.... an article on the pottery and glass department of Heal & Son Ltd .... The department has become renowned in the pottery and glass trade for the development of its own tableware patterns, in fact, Heal's trade was largely built up on these exclusive, mainly hand-decorated designs. They were developed in conjunction with great names in the pottery trade such as Wedgwood, Copelands, George Jones, Carter Stabler & Adams, and Grays Pottery.
Trethowan wrote a most affectionate letter to Gray on his 80th birthday in 1951: (Above).
To assist reading, the text is transcribed: (Right)