“Under the hammer” is standard auction parlance, but it sounds ominous when it’s used for a ceramics auction. There is nothing ominous about the British collection that Cowan’s Auction will be offering on Friday, May 9th: 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. A couple is downsizing their lives and the most exceptional group of British studio pottery is being offered.
CFile cannot find a US auction in the recent past that comes anywhere close to matching this group. Aside from the stalwarts including Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, Shoji Hamada (not British but key to this tradition) there are also works by important potters that rarely are seen for sale. Here there are works by Nora Braden, William Staite Murray and the surrealist T. Sam Haile. Work by those who studied with Leach and Cardew from Richard Batterham to Ray Finch and Mark Hewitt is also in the group.
There is also a sale of a wide group works by American ceramists, some Europeans and a selection of superb, singular works by two Japanese potters.
Descriptions of some of the works follow in the photographs below.
Garth Clark is the Chief Editor of CFile.
Above image: Bernard Leach (1887-1979; Hong Kong/Britain), Pilgrim Plate “The Wanderer,” ca. 1979, wax resist porcelain; 1.25″ x 12″, artist stamps on base.
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