22 July 2024

Lorna Bailey ceramics collection sells for £6,500 at Shrewsbury auction

A Shropshire couple’s large collection of more than 250 pieces by contemporary ceramicist Lorna Bailey sold for £6,500, double the pre-sale estimate, at Shropshire’s leading fine art auction house yesterday (Wednesday).

The collection, which included Bailey’s whimsical cat models and ‘grotesque’ models of birds, sold in 40 lots in Halls Fine Art’s 612-lot pictures, ceramics, collectables and modern design auction.

Top price went to ‘Lorna’s Jazz Band’, a set of five cat figures, which made £250, as all the Lorna Bailey lots found buyers.

Stoke-on-Trent potter Bailey’s colour palette is often compared to that of Clarice Cliff’s, who similarly favoured bold and vibrant designs.

Caroline Dennard, Halls Fine Art’s ceramics specialist, said: “We had a mixture of trade and private collectors bidding and achieved really healthy prices which shows that there is demand for this type of model. The vendors are delighted with the result.

“The auction also demonstrated that novelty and good quality art pottery is still commercial.”

More traditional tea and coffee services also sold well. Top prices included £850 for a Ridgway (Cauldon Place) ‘Savoy’ bone china tea service with 43 pieces and £650 for a Minton’s part coffee service, inspired by Christopher Dresser, together with a mid-20th century Wedgwood part coffee and tea service.

A Staffordshire mocha ware mug, circa 1800 and two mid-19th century nursery or children’s mugs also found a new home for £650.

Halls Fine Art’s reputation for being the home of Coalport auctions was underlined as an early 20th century blue batwing service and an assembled group of teawares with the same pattern sold for £650 and £550, respectively.

A 20th century Wedgwood and Barlaston ‘Queen’s Ware’ blue and white embossed tea and coffee service and a Clarice Cliff for Wilkinson Pottery Fantasque vase, ‘Umbrellas and Rain’, sold well at £500 each and four 19th century British art pottery grotesque spoon warmers made £400.

A rare Minton’s lustre cat night-light or pastille burner, believed to have been a protype, found a buyer for £320, while a late 17th or early 18th century Italian maiolica wet drug jar, Montelupo, which was used as a prop by Canadian mural artist Tom Luzny, made £400.

Highlights of the pictures section were a watercolour by William John Wainwright (1855-1931) titled ‘A Troubadour’ and a Rob Hefferan oil on canvas titled ‘Relaxation’ which sold for £550 apiece.

A hand painted sculpture titled ‘Lapwing’ by Guy Taplin (b.1939) and an Olivier Mourgue Djinn sofa for Airborne made £480 apiece. The Djinn seating range was the first furniture to use urethane foam upholstery over tubular steel frames and the model sold was deemed to be so futuristic that it was used by Stanley Kubrick in his 1968 movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

One of the surprises of the day was a mint collection of 91 DeAgostini Zippo lighters, all in their original boxes with display case, stands and hardback binders, which sold for £700 to a German buyer.

An unusual 19th century brass timepiece by Alexander Smart, London, with its original key and locking device, raced away to sell for £600 for a Newtown seller, a 1960 Rolleiflex 3.5F camera, model 2, with its original leather case, box, papers and attachments, made £550 for an Aberystwyth seller and a Clementi & Company eight-keyed cocuswood flute, from between 1802-‘21, hit the right note at £420.

Samplers sold well. A 17th or early 18th century English ‘stumpwork’ embroidered panel depicting the Old Testament story of Abraham banishing Hagar and Ishmael made £550 and an 1820 needlework sampler by Sarah Greene, decorated with a Baptist verse, sold for £500.

Alexander Clement, Halls Fine Art’s senior general valuer, Asian art and watch specialist, said: “I’m really heartened by the level of interest in the ceramics right across the board which is great credit to the cataloguing of Caroline Dennard.

“The complete collection of DeAgostini Zippo lighters also sold well and I was pleased to see the Rolleiflex camera sell for £550 because it was in really good condition with the original box, papers and leather harness.”

Halls Fine Art’s next pictures, ceramics, collectables and modern design auction is on September 18.