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Remarkable Rheads come back into focus at auction in Exeter

30 January 2014Written by ATG Reporter

The second tranche of ceramics, paintings, sketches and ephemera produced by various members of the Rhead family of potters was sold at the latest fine art sale held by Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter.

The Rhead-Cronin collection was formed by Richard Harry Rhead-Cronin, the son of Marie Rhead and nephew of Charlotte Rhead, with all items gifted or passed down through the family.

The 45 lots included previously unrecorded patterns and forms - many of them eagerly contested by dealers and collectors.

The financial highlight was this 12in (30.5cm) pâte-sur-pâte porcelain vase made by Frederick Alfred Rhead  (1856-1933), probably for Minton.

'Darker Draught'

The text below the central scene of an angel holding aloft a blue bowl is taken from the verse 48 of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: And when the angel with his darker draught draws up to thee-take that and do not shrink.

Aged just 14, Rhead (who had studied under his father at the Newcastle-under-Lyme School of Art) was apprenticed to Minton for seven years working under pâte-sur-pâte master Louis Solon.

Estimated at £1500-2000 for the sale on January 22-23, the vase was competed by two phones to £17,000.

The buyer's premium was 19%.

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