Lampshade painted by Quentin Bell, £4700 at Adam Partridge.

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Evans, a former mechanical engineer and local government officer who was later known by his Buddhist name Dayabandu, amassed around 1200 mainly post-war ceramic works in his home on a council estate in east London. Some of the best pieces were sold by London specialist Maak in 2020.

The colourful designs of Quentin Bell (1910-96), the second and younger son of Clive and Vanessa Bell and nephew of Virgina Woolf, represent one of the very last links with the Bloomsbury Group.

Growing up at Charleston near Lewes in East Sussex, he had first turned to pottery in the 1930s. However, most of his work dates from the 1970s-80s when, after retiring from teaching jobs at Newcastle, Leeds and finally Sussex universities, he worked with the Fulham Pottery and from a workshop at his home in Firle, Sussex.


Markings on lampshade painted by Quentin Bell, £4700 at Adam Partridge.

Spike in demand

This lampshade, decorated with a very Bloomsbury scene of three dancers on a stage, was signed and dated 1989. The estimate of £80-120 set for the auction on January 5 was certainly tempting (the vendor could reasonably have expected it to make £500-800). However, the hammer price appears to be new territory and may be linked to the recent spike in demand for pieces by the Omega Workshops.

A number of Quentin Bell lamps with pottery bases intact have appeared for sale in recent years and made significantly less.

Two with figural Fulham pottery bases sold for £3400 each at Cheffins in Cambridge in October 2015 and another made £2200 at Duke’s in April 2022.

Got the goat


Martin Brothers jug with grotesque goat mask, £6400 at Adam Partridge.

Evans began his collecting life buying British art pottery (particularly Moorcroft) and the earliest piece in this tranche of the collection was a 10in (26cm) Martin Brothers jug.


Martin Brothers jug with grotesque goat mask, £6400 at Adam Partridge.

This typically quirky take on the salt-glazed Bellarmine decorated with a grotesque goat mask had been bought at Sotheby’s in 2003. In this latest sale it was estimated at a modest £1000-1500 but sold at £6400.