Robert Fournier

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The Independent Online

Emmanuel Cooper's excellent obituary of Robert Fournier [12 March] had one error, writes John Wallace. Fournier's Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery was published in 1973, not in 1952.

Robert may well have conceived the idea in 1952 but he became so exasperated by publishers' scepticism that he threw away the manuscript in a clear-out. One week later, his publisher-to-be wrote to say he liked the concept and did Robert have anything to show? Undaunted, he began again. In spite of this setback and the loss of all the photographs by the designer, who left them on a train, the book was produced in nine months. The fourth edition continues to sell today.

Robert's gentle exterior masked a formidable determination. This was just as well for the dictionary, and in many other instances during a long, eventful and productive life.