Rago is holding two important auctions of ceramics, Early 20th Century Design (it’s all American art pottery)(February 14, 2015 11.00 am EST) and Modern Ceramics and Glass (February 14, 2015 3.00 pm EST). Catalogs can be browsed online. Rago also just closed a giant online auction of Roseville Pottery.
Above image: George E. Ohr, Exceptional Vase (detail), Estimate: $35,000 — $45,000.
The most valuable work for the Early 20th Century Design Auction is a George E. Ohr vessel from the Bob Ellison collection with an estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. It’s is rare for a work of any significance by the Biloxi potter to come up for sale (mostly it’s small brown works in the $2,000-$5,000 range with transparent glaze) and it will be interesting to see what price it reaches. Its glaze surface is pink-to-maroon, not as bright as some in this range, but certainly a winner.
Ohr has a strange market in that the major 600 works in his oeuvre are nearly all owned by about eight collectors and a handful of museums, including the Metropolitan in New York (the latter works gifted by Ellison). This has made it nearly impossible for an important Ohr collection to be developed. Ellison is the first of this cartel who is beginning to let out substantial works so maybe the market is about to break open and rise?
The sale also has excellent work but with surprisingly low estimates for Teco, Fulper and others.
The second auction is an exciting collection of fine American studio pottery and ceramic sculpture from the 1930’s and 1940’s, with some later work as well. Included are F. Carlton Ball, Aaron Bohrod, Waylande Gregory, Adolf Odorfer, Thelma Frazier Winter, Henry Varnum Poor (Rago’s sored a record for this artist a while ago when his 1927 tile panel for the Shelton Hotel fetched $11,250 on October, 18 2014) Glen Lukens, Harrison McIntosh and others.