Spanning the entire history of factory production from the 18th century to the present day, the first tranche of this substantial collection will be offered as a 249-lot auction on February 15 with extra lots appearing as specialist sections in various departmental sales throughout the first half of the year.
The firm’s director of decorative arts Tim Andreadis describes the Rubins’ collection as “one of the best Wedgwood collections in private hands, with both archetypical and rarely seen examples”.
The collection covers classic 18th and 19th century wares – particularly basalt, creamwares, pearlwares and jasperware – through to 20th century classics such as Daisy Makeig-Jones’ Fairyland lustre, the Art Deco designs of Keith Murray and Powell-decorated Arts & Crafts wares.
All the Variety and Perfection: The Wedgwood Collection of Dr Ellis F Rubin & Suzanne Borow Rubin takes its name from an early advertisement in which Josiah Wedgwood vows to “make it his constant endeavour to give to his manufacture all the variety and perfection he is able”.
More than 60 years of collecting
The couple spent over 60 years building the ceramics collection that filled their Bucks County, Pennsylvania home.
“With Suzanne the granddaughter of a collector and the daughter of collectors, I had no hope of avoiding being drawn into collecting”, Dr Rubin remarked.
Together, the couple travelled the world, attended seminars, joined numerous societies, and befriended collectors, dealers, and curators, deepening their knowledge while chasing rare forms. Many pieces were bought at specialist sales such as those conducted for many years by Skinner in Massachusetts.
Selections from the collection have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Wedgwood 250th anniversary exhibition at the DAR Museum in Washington, DC, and, most recently, at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Estimates range from $80-120 for a pair of Napoleon Ivy pattern Queensware serving bowls to $15,000-20,000 for a Fairyland lustre malfrey pot and cover in the Bubbles II pattern.