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The Martin Brothers’ mediaeval inspired saltglaze grotesques; William de Morgan’s preoccupation with Isnik and hispano-moresque wares and the fascination with Chinese high-fired glazes exhibited by the likes of William Howson Taylor and Bernard Moore are all notable examples.

It is those Chinese inspired glazes that will be a major feature of a single-owner sale to be held by Sotheby’s Olympia next month. On May 2 the auctioneers will be selling the first part of the Albert E. Wade collection, devoted to the work of three British artist potters: William Moorcroft, Bernard Moore and William Howson Taylor’s Ruskin pottery. (Further selections of Moorcroft and Ruskin plus Mr Wade’s Poole pottery will follow in part two later this year).

Albert Wade’s (b.1932) interest in antiques began in his teenage years when he discovered Austin’s of Peckham, then one of England’s largest antique emporia, en route to cricket matches on Peckham Rye.

He started to collect art pottery in the early 1960s when interest in this field was still in its infancy, beginning with Moorcroft then moving on to Ruskin and Bernard Moore.

Of the 400-odd lots offered at Sotheby’s, 150 are devoted to Moorcroft, 45 to Moore and the largest slice, 211 lots, to Ruskin pottery. It is rare for this much Ruskin pottery to go under the hammer; the last big offering was probably the Ferneyhough sale at Sotheby’s in 1993.

The Wade selection offers a plentiful choice of glaze types, shapes, dates and prices: from soufflé to flambé to matt and crystalline glazes and from small groups of jewellery or buttons priced in the £200-300 range up to impressively large vases like the example shown left which is estimated at £4000-6000. This stands 18in (41cm) high, is dated to c.1926 and has a glaze of deep ox blood with purple and green speckled inclusions.