John Oldham and Terence Bacon have bequeathed 100 items of studio pottery to The Hepworth Wakefield gallery.

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Studio pottery gift to Wakefield gallery

Two collectors of British studio pottery have bequeathed 100 pieces from their personal collection to The Hepworth Wakefield gallery in Yorkshire.

Terence Bacon and John Oldham are long-standing patrons of the museum and have collected works by well-known studio potters including Dame Lucie Rie (1902-95), Angus Suttie (1946-93) and Alison Britton (b.1948).

However, the main part of the works that will go on display at the gallery are 43 pots by John Ward (b.1938).

The gallery said this collection of Ward’s work is “one of the most significant in private hands, and features examples of the forms developed by Ward over 50 years”.

Other artworks in the bequest are paintings and works on paper by British artists such as Craigie Aitchison, Leeds-born Trevor Bell (1930- 2017), Sir Terry Frost (1915-2003), Rose Hilton (1931- 2019) and Euan Uglow (1932-2000).

Bucks saleroom goes for rebrand

Buckinghamshire’s Dickins Auctioneers has rebranded to Claydon Auctioneers.

Auctioneer Louise Gostelow took over the running of the business in November 2019 after buying out fellow shareholder John Dickins (who founded the business in 1999). She decided to rebrand following her takeover.


Louise Gostelow of Claydon Auctioneers.

The firm in Middle Claydon, near Buckingham, employs around seven people and plans online-only sales this month: antiques, collectables and pictures on April 27-28 and paintings and prints on April 29.

Museum buys Chiswick pastel

Chiswick Auctions has negotiated the private sale of a pastel by Joseph Vivien (1657-1735) to the Sinebrychoff Museum in Helsinki.

The early-18th century work titled Lady shown in the Guise of Minerva had been researched last year by specialist Laetitia Masson.

“I knew by the delicate handling of the pastel medium that the work had been created by an important hand,” she said. “I immediately consulted Neil Jeffares, author of Dictionary of Pastellists Before 1800, who fully attributed the work on the spot.”


Lady shown in the Guise of Minerva, a pastel by Joseph Vivien bought by a Helsinki museum.

Vivien, the first pastellist to join the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1701, was the dominant artist in the medium during the later years of Louis XIV and the Régence.

The work had failed to sell in Chiswick’s November sale with an estimate of £6000- 8000 but, after the museum had expressed an interest, negotiations led to its recent purchase by the ‘friends’ of the Sinebrychoff for £17,000.

Portrait link to Pride and Prejudice

Dealer Philip Mould has sold a portrait miniature of the woman who inspired a classic Pride and Prejudice character to the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

Painted by William Wood (1769-1810), the miniature depicts Mary Pearson, and was offered by the London gallery for £7500.

Pearson was the daughter of a naval officer and was engaged to Henry Thomas Austen, a dashing young man in ‘regimentals’ and brother of Jane, in 1796. After meeting Pearson, Jane remarked to her sister that their mother would be “disappointed” with the reality, having seen the bride-to-be depicted – possibly in this portrait miniature.

The 3½in (9cm) high watercolour on ivory, is in a gold frame with plaited hair to the reverse. Before being offered by Mould, it was passed down through Pearson’s family by descent – it is thought to have been returned to the Pearsons following Henry’s clumsy breaking of the engagement. Jane was responsible for returning the jilted lover’s letters.


Portrait miniature sold to Jane Austen's House Museum by Philip Mould.

Pearson went on to marry twice and lives on famously as the supposed inspiration for Lydia Bennett in Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice.

It is one of a number of acquisitions recently made by the museum and was purchased with support from the Beecroft Bequest and the Art Fund.

A trio of miniatures depicting the author’s neighbours the Digweed family was also recently acquired. These went under the hammer at the Dominic Winter saleroom last July. One sold for £1600, while the other two made £1650 each.

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In Numbers


The number of months most artists will be able to sustain themselves under current coronavirus conditions, according to a survey (of 82 artists) by UK art rental consultancy ARTIQ. It showed that 56% had cash reserves to last up to two months, with 85% making less than £20,000 from their art. Patrick McCrae, ARTIQ chief executive, said: “Without government support, we risk losing some of our finest emerging creatives, forcing them to find other sources for income rather than nurturing their talent.”