Was this extraordinary result set at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood on February 27 a marker as to future results for studio pottery ‘superstars’ or a very unusual blip? A price of £20,000-30,000 for such objects would be predicted before then.
If the works of Coper and the likes of fellow studio pottery favourite Lucie Rie are now heading for stratospheric levels, collectors with slightly less deep pockets will look at the next wave of options in this market.
As we reported in ATG No 2336, concentrating on auctions at the Adam Partridge saleroom and Salisbury auction house Woolley & Wallis, plenty of lots are on offer at ‘more affordable’ levels, and even those superstars such as Rie are accessible if buyers prepared to accept restoration or minor faults.
John Ward spotlight
One name in particular drawing interest is John Ward (b.1938). The market for his works will be tested in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design April 17 auction at Chiswick Auctions in west London.
A 16in (40cm) high sculptural studio pottery vase, c.1993, with green striped matt glaze on white ground, impressed with artist’s seal underneath, is estimated at £3000-4500.
Guided at £1500-2500 is a 10in (26cm) sculptural studio pottery vase, c.1993, with green striped matt glaze on white ground, impressed with artist’s seal underneath. Of the same date, a 7in (18.5in) Ward vase, with mottled green glaze, impressed with artist's seal underneath, is estimated at £600-800.
Chiswick notes that these three lots may be subject to Artist’s Resale Right charges.
Also covered in ATG No 2336, on March 24 Welsh auction house Rogers Jones sold a Ward 26cm (10in) tall stoneware pot for £17,500 against a £2000-4000 estimate. In good condition, it was in the classic Ward black-and-white panelled ovoid design which Ward began producing in the 1990s.
Offered in the Adam Partridge sale was a Ward 10in (25.5cm) tall square stoneware bottle-form vase with mottled green geometric pattern on off-white ground. Estimated at £800-1200, it sold at £8800.