It’s good to hear that the local historian Nigel Daly is to publish a book on the life and work of the North Staffordshire artist Robert Bateman, one the the “last romantics” in the school of Burne-Jones, and also one of the Bateman family sired by botanist and garden designer James Bateman (Biddulph Grange). Nigel wants to locate images of Robert Bateman’s large major oil painting “Saul and the Witch of Endor”, given into the trust of the Potteries Museum — but since mislaid. It was last heard of in Longton Town Hall in the early 1950s. If you know anything of it, please contact Nigel at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Above: Robert Bateman, “Three Women Plucking Mandrakes”. The mandrake root was reputed to produce a deadly scream when plucked from the earth, and the root has accumulated many strange superstitions over the centuries. Picture: Wellcome Trust collection.