Of Interest

Turquoise bowl with white openwork flowers applied.
Tall vase decorated with gold-trimmed, vividly colored Chinese-style scene.
Openwork vase composed of low-relief fish figures.
White ceramic latticework bowl, crested at one end.

Keep in-the-know regarding Wedgwood-related events and other news-you-can-use. And if you are aware of current activity on the Wedgwood topic that you’d like to share and have posted here, please email wsbbarnett48@gmail.com.

Current Auctions & Results

Wedgwood Collection of Betty Issod Auction Highlights

The sale of Betty Issod’s Wedgwood collection took place at Lion and Unicorn in Florida on February 19th. Consisting of 352 lots, it ranged from five-digit Fairyland Lustreware to $1 books, and took the auctioneers seven hours of patient bidding to complete. While many of the descriptions were either incomplete or incorrect, the time and effort, along with every lot a single-object-only (no multiples regardless of value), it seemed to have paid off. Betty, 98, of Wisconsin and Florida, was a Fairyland expert and dealer of Wedgwood in general. While this auction offered 53 pieces of spectacular Fairyland and ordinary lustres by Daisy Makeig-Jones, along with some important basalt pieces, it also included modern jasper trinkets, some of which realized outrageous prices. One such example, the 1976 Washington medallion pill box, usually found on eBay for $40, hammered at $500.

Below are some highlights. Note that the prices do not include the 25% buyer’s premium, taxes and other fees.  

  • -Fairyland Flame Vase: c1920; 11 1/2” h: $18,000
  • -Fairyland Cat & Mouse Lidded Vase: c1920; 11 1/4” h: $5,000
  • -Fairyland Spiderweb Brooch: c1920; 2” dia.: $2,500
  • -Basalt Dolphin Salt: 19th C; 5” h: $475
  • -Basalt Bacchus & Faun Statue: 19th C; 18” h: $3,000
  • -Brown Jasper Moon Flask: early 20th C; 5 1/2” h: $1,700
  • -Sky Plateau II by Glenys Barton: 1977; 9 3/4” dia.: $2,200
  • -Queen’s Ware Toothpick Holder: (described as made 1890, but is 1930s); 2 1/4” h: $300
  • -Washington Jasper Medallion on Silver Box: 1976; 1 1/2” dia.: $500  
  • -Bone China Shell Comport: c1894; 7 1/2” h: $550
  • -Earthenware Sunflower Oil Lamp: 19th C; 16” h: $1,300
  • -Six-pc Variation Geometric Designs Plates by Eduardo Paolozzi: 1979; 10 1/2” dia.: $2,000 

To view the results of the entire sale, visit the Lion & Unicorn website.


Wedgwood at Upcoming April Bonhams-Skinner Sale

The European department at Skinner, in Marlborough, MA, will be holding two April auctions. The majority of the Wedgwood will be in the “Live” sale set for April 19th, and the “Timed Online” one, April 20th. The Wedgwood portion currently consists of approximately 125 lots featuring black basalt to include encaustic decorated wares, a nice selection of Fairyland Lustre, jasper wares in a variety of colors and forms, and modern examples. Consignments are currently being accepted through the end of February and inquiries can be directed to Stuart Slavid at stuart.slavid@bonhamsskinner.com or 508-970-3278 or visit https://skinner.bonhams.com.

“All The Variety and Perfection” Wedgwood Auction Highlights

Some of the best Wedgwood examples were offered for sale on February 15th by Freeman’s Auction of Philadelphia. Titled All the Variety and Perfection: The Wedgwood Collection of Dr. Ellis F. Rubin & Suzanne Borow Rubin, it represented the first wave of several sales of the Rubins’ collection to come. In it were 249 lots spanning the history of Wedgwood production from the 18th to the 21st centuries.

Grouping of results against estimates showed that 25% hammered above estimate; 23% within; 43% below; and 9% were passed. However, this is misleading in that the estimated range and minimum opening bids Freeman established were very aggressive, in my view, keeping many bidders out. Conversely, Bonhams-Skinner strategy is to assign very low estimates to engage a broader audience. Thus, the proper barometer is actual vs. going market prices/conditions. In the Rubin sale I found the results were extremely healthy, given today’s climate.        

Below are some highlights. The prices include the buyer’s premium.

  • Pr Porphyry Snake-Handled Vases: c1790; 14 5/8” h: $5,985
  • Caneware Beehive Bench Honey Pot: c1810; 7” h: $3,780
  • Basalt Encaustic Urn: c19th C; 9 1/8”: $6,300
  • Pr Green Jasper Tri-color Aesthetic Period Vases: c1880; 6 1/2” h: $630
  • Majolica Fan Garden Seat: c1880; 16 1/2” h: $5,040 
  • Pr Powder Blue Gilded Vases: c1910; 10 3/4” h: $882
  • Christopher Dresser Chocolate Stoneware Fish Vase: c1870; 6 1/2” h: $12,600
  • Fairyland Lustre Bubbles II Malfrey Pot: c1920; 9” dia.: $20,160
  • Eric Ravilious Boat Race Day Vase: c1930; 10” h: $3,528
  • John Dermer Studio Pottery Vessel: c1970; 18 3/4” h: $1,512

To view the entire auction results visit Freeman’s website.


Potomack January 31, 2023 Auction Review

The Ramage Sale:

Potomack Auctions held the sale of the Dr. Nancy and Andrew Ramage of Ithaca, NY, Collection, on January 31st, which included 274 lots of English, American, and Asian Pottery, of which 40 were Wedgwood. While estimates are rather arbitrary, of the Wedgwood lots, 18% hammered at above estimate, 25% within, 43% below, and 15% passed. The prices of the lots highlighted below do not reflect the 25% buyers premium. For complete results, visit The Potomack Company.

  • Creamware Medallion of Thomas Bentley by Hackwood, c1778: $1700
  • Creamware Teapot w/ cabbage rose design, c1775: $175
  • Encaustic Basalt Egyptian Jug, mid-19th C: $550
  • Lot of 3 Caneware Millicent Taplin Jugs, c1930: $275
  • Creamware Tureen “Agricultural Implements”, c1810: $500

Bonhams-Skinner December Sale Highlights

Bonhams-Skinner December 2022 online sale of British Pottery and Porcelain included 85 lots of Wedgwood, many of them with multiple pieces. Our review usually includes an analysis of hammer prices as compared with pre-sale stated estimates. However, with Bonhams adaptation of Skinner into its website format, that data disappears upon sale, as does ease of general navigation and search options.      

Here are some highlights. Prices include the now 27.5% buyer’s premium. Visit Bonhams Skinner to view all the results.

  • Pr Green Jasper Classical Figures on Stands: late 18th C; 7 ¼” h: $2805
  • Dark Blue Jasper Freeform Jug: late 19th C; 10” h: $2295
  • Harry Barnard Creamware Tankard: late 19th C; 4” h: $510
  • Marsden Ware Vase: c1885; 12 5/8” h: $153
  • 7 Miniature Lustre Items: c1920: $1448
  • Fairyland Lustre Elves on a Bridge Plate: c1925; 10 5/8” dia: $4080 

Upcoming Exhibitions & Reviews

None to show at the moment.

Antiques Shows

Upcoming Spring 2023 Antique Shows

  • March 17 & 18: Manchester Antiques Show, Manchester, CT; Congregational Church 
  • March 18 & 19: Duxbury Spring Antiques Show, Duxbury, MA; High School
  • March 19: Malden Antiques Show & Sale, Malden, MA; Anthony’s
  • March 19: Tolland Antiques Show, Tolland, CT; Middle School
  • March 25 & 26: Hingham Antiques Show & Sale, Hingham, MA; Middle School
  • March 26: Milford Antiques Show, Milford, NH; Hampshire Hill Athletic Club

Current Publications

Wedgwood: Craft & Design

Looking back at key moments in Wedgwood’s design history, this book, written by Catrin Jones, curator of the V&A Wedgwood Collection, celebrates the manufacturer’s visual power and great design from its founding in 1759 to the present day. It highlights the internationally renowned V&A Wedgwood Collection containing around 80,000 objects. Published by Thames & Hudson, it will be available May 2023 via most book sources: $19.95

Beyond Wedgwood Blue

The Ruthmere Museum in Indiana held an exhibition, “Beyond Wedgwood Blue”. Now available is a catalogue that features highlights of the exhibit and the history of Wedgwood. Visit: http://ruthmere.wildapricot.org/Exhibit-Catalogues

The Radical Potter: The Life and Times of Josiah Wedgwood

by Tristram Hunt

A scintillating biography of Josiah Wedgwood, the celebrated eighteenth-century potter, entrepreneur, and abolitionist. Purchase on Amazon

Book cover of "The Radical Potter," background a closeup of blue jasperware.

Newsworthy Bits & Bytes

The loss of a Wedgwood legend

The Wedgwood Society of Boston is saddened to learn of the recent death of Diana Edwards, author and 18th century ceramics expert. Diana lectured on the subject of Wedgwood and British contemporaries worldwide.

You can read her full obituary from the Baltimore Sun here:

Spectacular V&A Wedgwood Addition

The V&A Wedgwood Museum has just made an exciting new acquisition of this glamorous ‘Campanula’ tea and coffee set designed by Paul Follot (1877-1941) for Wedgwood in 1923, accompanied by the design drawings. The set was previously owned by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld who was the director of Chanel until his death in 2019 and was acquired from his estate. It is a rare and unusual example of Paul Follot’s designs for Wedgwood, and a wonderful example of the Wedgwood company’s tradition of working with innovative artists to create their designs.

Remembering a friend: Dorothy-Lee Jones Ward

We are most saddened to learn of the death of Dorothy-Lee Jones Ward (January 11, 1927 – August 4, 2022), of Sebago Lake, Maine, and Wellesley, Mass. A WSB past president as well as that of WIS, she was a most gracious lady and Wedgwood legend, serving as mentor to many of us. Her love and expertise was also in the field of glass, as an antiques dealer, and later the founder of the Jones Museum of Glass and Ceramics in Maine. You may find the complete obituary here. A memorial service will be held at Doherty’s Funeral Home, 477 Washington St., Wellesley, Mass., on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 1 pm.

Members’ Choices

Submitted by Peggy Kerner

I love this piece in my collection because it is so unusual. It is called a “Bouquetière” which is a fancy word from the French for flower pot. They are usually oval or round in shape, have a pierced lid to hold flower stems or branches, and were made in the late 18th to early 19th century. Mine is made of white terracotta biscuit covered with matte black slip and glazed inside to prevent staining. It is 8 1/2 inches high and 11 inches wide and dates to 1785. It was originally in the Oxborrow collection, and a similar example is in the Beeson Collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Submitted by Ron Frazier

Spotted by my son Forrest many years ago and knowing it was Wedgwood, he scooped the piece up. This Imari (Japanese) style 9” Vase is in a Pearl Ware body and has a production date-code of 1886. Imari style is based largely on two colors, a dark underglaze blue and a dark red, and is a crowded design. Along with other patterns of stylized floral shapes, the Imari range became popular in England during the early 19th Century and appears in various renditions (usually described as Japan Patterns) on Wedgwood’s Queen’s Ware, bone china, and whiteware, as well as pearlware. Japanese designs became popular after the international exhibitions in London in 1862 and Paris in 1889.