Charles Hubert Brannam

Charles Hubert Brannam

Charles Hubert Brannam was initially trained in the business by his father. He left school (Featherstone's Academy for young gentlemen at 1, Union Terrace) at the age of 12 after winning the Art Prize. He was sent to work with his brother-in-law William Britton, a local photographer.

He later became a member of the Literary and Scientific Institution where he was influenced by one of the teachers, Alexander Lauder. He received encouragement from a local dignitary Mr William Frederick Rock, especially when he won the Queen's Prize for Drawing in 1870. He then educated himself in the theory and practice of ceramics and sent two vases to Rock who invited him to London where he studied pottery in the museums.

By 1879 friends persuaded his father to allow him to start producing his own work. Charles took over the Litchdon Street pottery by 1881 when his father retired and was apparently dissatisfied with the quality of the ware and the general organisation. He was responsible for the development of the art pottery department and the future success of the business. He recruited highly skilled designers, especially William Baron and John Dewdney, but continued to throw the ware himself.

In 1885 he received an order from Queen Victoria and this brought good publicity to the pottery. The year after, Charles registered the name "Royal Barum Ware". His father's obituary in 1897 states: "it was left to Mr Brannam's only son to strike out a new line which made Barum Ware famous throughout the world. Mr Charles Brannam, who received all his technical training under his father, early showed quite a genius for the work, and as the result of constant study and persistent experiment he produced a class of ware which is quite unique, both as regards exquisite colour and lustre and artistic finish".

Charles was a very versatile man and he won both rowing and pigeon competitions. He continued to take an interest in the pottery until his death in 1937.