The auction features the first selection from an outstanding private collection of 20th Century Japanese ceramics. The exquisite collection has more than 250 pieces, including works by critically acclaimed Mingei and Sodeisha artists. To feature will be traditional tea ceremony wares and also more avant-garde sculptural works. The Parisian collector began collecting French ceramics before going on to discover British ceramics during his years living in London.

MIHARA KEN (Japanese, b.1958) 'Serenity' Boat Form, 2006 MIHARA KEN
(Japanese, b.1958)
'Serenity' Boat Form, 2006

The Contemporary Ceramics auctions at Bonhams proved invaluable at this time and his early interest in the works of Bernard Leach quickly lead him to Hamada Shoji and on to the world of Japanese ceramics. The vendor was greatly advised by the renowned Japanese ceramics specialist Robert Yellin. A lot of the works were purchased from his Yakimono Gallery, Kyoto, and some of them from Yellin's own collection when his book Ode to Japanese Pottery was published in English, back in 2004. A number of works in this collection are reproduced in this book.

Other works were purchased from Mainichi, the leading auction house of Japan. This collection offers a rare opportunity to view and  works by some of the Japanese ceramic masters and Living National Treasures.

Maak is world known for specialising exclusively in studio ceramics and contemporary ceramic art, which Director Marijke Varrall-Jones has been working in for over 10 years.

"The vast majority of our clients are private individuals who have been building their collections of studio ceramics over many years and decades. As such they are highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic - ceramics is their passion rather than a commercial exercise. We are fortunate to work closely with private collectors when gathering works for sale,'' commented Marijke Varrall-Jones.

''It makes for a rare and privileged position where we are able to foster close working relationships with our collectors when putting together our auctions. Art collections are rarely static entities, they evolve and change over time to reflect new interests and changing tastes of the individual. As such our buyers are frequently also sellers - passing on pots that they have outgrown and replacing them with new additions to their collections. Our clients often describe their compulsion for collecting studio ceramics as an obsession – they just can't help themselves!"

A great selection of British works will also be on view, including works by leading modernist potters Lucie Rie (1902-1995) and Hans Coper (1920-1981.)

LUCIE RIE (Austrian/British, 1902-1995) AR Bowl, circa 1972 LUCIE RIE
(Austrian/British, 1902-1995) AR
Bowl, circa 1972

HANS COPER (German/British, 1920-1981) Small Cup on conical foot, circa 1972 HANS COPER
(German/British, 1920-1981)
Small Cup on conical foot, circa 1972

 

EWEN HENDERSON (British, 1934-2000) AR Large Buttressed Form EWEN HENDERSON
(British, 1934-2000) AR
Large Buttressed Form

GORDON BALDWIN (British, b.1932) AR ‘Painting in the Form of a Bowl’, 1988 GORDON BALDWIN
(British, b.1932) AR
‘Painting in the Form of a Bowl’, 1988

Pieces by Ewen Henderson and Gordon Baldwin will also excite collectors. Henderson was taught at Camberwell School of Art by Rie, Coper, Dan Arbeid and Colin Pearson. He identified Duckworth as one of the most important of his multiple influences. He developed a highly individual aesthetic language. His volatile forms were built up by hand from thin layers of laminated stoneware and porcelain clay, the colours and textures intrinsically incorporated into the surface with slips and glazes. The outcome is highly textural, irregular vessels that resemble metamorphic rock or fragments of volcanic lava. Henderson really worked his materials, taking risks with a skill that allowed him to create forms that appear on the point of collapse. Henderson described his work as 'drawing in three dimensions' as he pushed the boundaries of ceramic art into the direction of pure sculpture.

Another ceramicist devoted to exploring clay as a medium is Gordon Baldwin. His sculptural forms examine the relationship between form and surface. They are all vessels in the abstract sense that they contain space although there is no suggestion of functional purpose. This sense of contained volume is simultaneously contrasted and unified with the surface in his abstract painterly marks. His works perhaps owe more to sculpture or even painting than pottery and this ambiguity is emphasised in his series of works entitled 'Painting in the form of a Bowl' from circa 1980. Baldwin's use of clay is in many ways incidental, explaining himself how 'every artist needs some material to do his thinking in.'

Over to Scandinavia, pieces by Stig Lindberg (Swedish, 1916-1982), the 'grand dame' of Danish ceramics Gutte Eriksen (Danish, 1918-2008) and an unusual early work by Bodil Manz (Danish, b.1943), originally from the renowned J.W.N. van Achtenburg Collection are all included in the sale.

STIG LINDBERG (Swedish, 1916-1982) AR Bottle Vase STIG LINDBERG
(Swedish, 1916-1982) AR
Bottle Vase

Search out Maak on Barnebys here.

The pieces are available to view at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, 5 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 4UY.

Comment