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In the booming market of British studio pottery, potter John Ward (b.1938) is attracting particular attention.

Unlike the works of Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, whose prices have become unattainable for some collectors, Ward is leading a new wave of potters gaining traction on the secondary market.

Chorley’s May 15 Modern and Contemporary Art and Design sale at Prinknash Abbey Park near Cheltenham will include a handful of sculptural pieces by Ward from the studio pottery section.

Among them is this 8in (20.5cm) high stoneware tailed bowl, in a matt black and white glaze from 1995, estimated at £3000-5000. It was acquired in 1995 from The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Arden, and comes with a copy of the original receipt and exhibition labels to the bowl.

chorleys.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


An archive of material relating to the family of Mary Anne Evans (1819-80), known by her pen name George Eliot, has come to light at Nottingham saleroom Mellors & Kirk.

The group contains letters, photographs, inscribed psalm books and a copy of a 'George Eliot Birthday Book', which contains numerous entries, from 19th century and later, marking birthdays and deaths of many members of the Evans family. It also includes an undated letter written by the author to her half-sister Fanny.

It has passed by descent and is estimated at £2000-3000 in a sale on May 10.

mellorsandkirk.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


In the age of huge sponsorship deals in football, it would be unheard of today for a new signing at a top club to be given a shirt that was 10 years out of date. But that’s what happened to Joe Mercer (1914-90), the footballer turned manager, who arrived as a player at Arsenal in 1946 from Everton.

Textile rationing after the war was still in place and the club utilised these unnumbered shirts, made by provider Bukta in the 1930s, as training kit. Mercer went on to win titles in 1947-48 and 1952-53 and the FA Cup in 1950 while at Highbury.

It is among of series of lots consigned by Mercer’s granddaughter to Graham Budd’s sale at Sotheby’s in New Bond Street on May 21-22.

Estimate £1500-2500.

grahambuddauctions.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com


The Kilburn White Horse, cut into the hillside on the North York Moors, is said to be the largest and most northerly hill figure in England, measuring 18ft (97m) long and covering about 1.6 acres. The White Horse was designed and financed by Thomas Taylor, a Victorian businessman, who had seen the famous Uffingham Horse in Berkshire and wanted to create something similar for his home village.

He commissioned artist Harrison Weir (1824-1906), with the help of the village school, to lay out plans on the hillside using a grid pattern. A team of 31 volunteers completed the limestone figure in 1857.

This 14½ x 18in (37 x 45cm) pen and ink drawing by Weir is dated 1857 and shows the grid pattern. It is estimated at £3000-4000 at Dee Atkinson & Harrison’s art and antiques sale in Driffield, East Yorkshire, on May 11.

dee-atkinson-harrison.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com