LAMBERTVILLE, New Jersey — On Sunday another large sale of studio pottery and glass is coming up, this time at Rago (Lambertville, NJ, June 6, 2016). The size of the sale, 276 pieces (click here to view all lots) raises more questions about how many large auctions a relatively modest resale market can absorb before the field is pushed down to a new low?
The works are generally excellent and the pottery by Otto and Getrud Natzler is as elegant and seductive as we have seen in some years. Each work is a glowing gem with exceptional expressionist glazing. This market has been ebbing of late after the three leading buyers all pulled out a few years ago within six months of each other. If the prices are low, great. Buy. The Natzlers are about as sure a thing as any American pottery for future value and their classical qualities will rebound in time. It’s like ceramic candy. The question is, how much time will it take?
Next week I will be examining the American ceramic secondary marketplace in the context of a recent, huge sale of one half of the often-erotic Candice Groot Collection. The gross was impressive, more than $2 million, but the low prices per lot raised eyebrows. Critics of the Groot Dump feared that the sky was falling. So far it is still up there. But a second part, another huge sale is coming up in November and this may tilt the balance.
Is this the beginning of glut, a disastrous bear market, or will this be the start of a new collector base? Check in next week to get our appraisal.
Garth Clark is the Editor-in-Chief of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe this contemporary ceramic art market? Let us know in the comments.