Above image: John Ward, Vessel, circa 1995, Stoneware, flattened form with flat elliptical shoulder and tapering neck, matte black and white alternating bands over a textured surface, impressed JW seal, 27.2 x 18 x 10.5 cm
The auction will provide another opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts of studio ceramics to see and acquire works by the leading names in British and international studio ceramics, comprising nearly 300 works with estimates ranging from £200 to £10,000.
A highlight of the auction is a spectacular group of black and white vessels by renowned British ceramist John Ward (b. 1938). Not surprisingly, following the record breaking results Maak achieved for works in their May and November 2016 auctions that saw a large black and white vessel sell for an auction world record hammer price, Maak has received unprecedented levels of inquiries from collectors looking to potentially consign works for sale in future auctions. The group of seven black and white vessels, as well as two other works, represent some of the best examples by the artist and are sure to attract similarly high levels of interest.
Another work in the auction that Maak anticipates will attract international interest is a small footed bowl will delicate pale blue glaze by Austrian-born British potter Lucie Rie (1902 – 1995) dating from circa 1958. The work is being sold on behalf of the Michael Cardew Trust, which was established by Michael OBrien to help find and support ceramics graduates to make the transition from an academic environment to fully establishing themselves as working potters. OBrien studied under Cardew for many years, traveling to Nigeria to work under him at the Abuja Pottery, eventually taking over the running of the pottery on Cardew’s return to England in 1965.
Maak’s May auction includes the usual fine selection of British works that collectors have come to anticipate, but it also has a distinctly international flavor, both in terms of sources of consignments and the offerings. With works consigned from as far afield as France, Germany, Italy, the United States and Japan, it demonstrates Maak’s position as a market leader for ceramics art auction is ever more widely recognized.
A significant collection consigned to the auction comes from a prolific Italian collector who had been collecting primarily British ceramics, alongside European and American makers as well. The Piras Collection shows extraordinary variety with excellent examples from many of the most renowned British potters from the 1980’s onwards. Works range from the those by Bernard Leach and other Leach potters, to hand-builders like Ruth Duckworth, Mary Rogers, Colin Pearson and Ewen Henderson, to ceramic artists such as John Maltby and Nicolas Homoky. Also included are a group of works by the German husband and wife potter duo Karl and Ursula Scheid. Both potters were members of the “London Group,” a group of six German potters who first exhibited together at Henry Rothchild’s gallery Primavera in 1968. American makers are also represented in this auction with works by Edwin and Mary Scheier (1910 – 2008, 1908 – 2007), Peter Voulkos (1924 – 2002) and Betty Woodman (b.1930) being offered.
The auction also offers another selection of over 30 works from a significant private Parisian collection of 20th Century Japanese ceramics. The Parisian collection has galvanized a notable rise in interest in the Japanese ceramics offering a rare and exciting opportunity to view and handle works by some of the leading Mingei and Sodeisha Japanese ceramic masters and Living National Treasures.
Other highlights include a fine selection of earlier works by one of the leading names of contemporary ceramic art, Edmund de Waal, who is increasingly being assessed within the context of contemporary art rather than craft, as reflected in the prices for his more recent work. The works offered by Mark range from the early celadon domestic ware which is still so popular to his later work that represented his gradual move to ceramic installations.
Other Ceramic artists of noted featured include: Charles Vyse, Henry Hammond, David Leach, Bernard Leach, Janet Leach, William Marshall, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Ruth Duckworth, Joanna Constantinidis, Mary Rogers, Colin Pearson, Ewen Henderson, Gordon Baldwin, Carol McNicoll, Jaqueline Pnceleet, Elizabeth Fritsch, Alsion Britton, Emmanuel Cooper, John Maltby, John Ward, Duncan Ross, Ruper Spira, Edmund de Waal, Chun Liao, Claire Curneen, Hamada Shoji, Hamada Tomoo, Shumaokoa Tatsuzo, Shozo Michikawa, Kakurazaki Ryuichi, Yoshikawa Masamichi and many more.
Text (edited) from Maak Contemporary Ceramics.