My First ‘Design At Home’ Auction with Dawson’s

Saturday 2nd December 2017 saw my first ‘Design At Home’ midcentury modern and contemporary design auction with Dawson’s Auctions, and my return to the auction world (other than as a buyer!) after 16 years. And I loved it – every single bit of it! It was great to connect with new clients, and reconnect to […]

An American Studio Pottery Pioneer – A Forgotten Vase

Herbert Sanders Vase

It’s all about the first look, and then about identifying and questioning what first made you think “Oh, that looks like a good thing”. It’s instinctive, even if you don’t quite know what or why. But there’s usually a feature or two that mark something out from the rest. We were visiting Saugatuck in rural […]

Complex Glazes – A Vase By Dr Felix Singer

Felix Singer Ceramics Glazes Vase

I’m a great believer in writing verbal history down when possible. I always advise it when I hear family stories relating to a treasured object on the Antiques Roadshow – go home and write the story down. People forget, or stories get warped, and then it just becomes an ‘object’ that is devoid of context. […]

London Antiques Legend Alfie’s Hits 40!

Last Thursday Alfie’s Antiques Market in Church St, Marylebone, London hit a major anniversary when it turned 40. It’s almost as old as me! A day of festivities, including a lecture on 20thC Glass given by me, culminated in an intimate party, held as part of the London Design Festival. Exhibiting in a pop-up shop […]

A Decade of Fat Lava – 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago today, the first retrospective exhibition of West German ceramics of the 1960s & 70s, featuring the Graham Cooley Collection, closed at the King’s Lynn Arts Centre. Over 500 ceramics were included, and over 3,500 people came to visit. It was accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, written by me, of […]

Alla Moda ‘Flower Painter’ – Designer’s Identity Revealed!

Milvia Flower Painter

The identity of the so-called ‘Flower Painter’, who decorated a wide range of mid-century modern Italian ceramics with quirky, colourful and cool stick people, animals and other objects during the 1950s & 60s, has long been a mysterious enigma. When building Graham Cooley’s ground-breaking ‘Alla Moda’ exhibition of 2012, and when I was compiling my […]

Fat Lava As Art? A Series Of Prints

West German pottery of the 1960s & 70s, better known as Fat Lava, is a bit like Marmite. You either love it or hate it – there’s no middle ground. Although I’ve seen huge installations in art galleries and stylish illustrations produced for magazines or calendars, I haven’t seen much other ‘art’ produced with it […]

A Minton Tile and The Great Exhibition

A few years ago, I bought a Minton majolica tile (above and below) at auction that, according to the handwritten labels on the back (see below), had a rather interesting provenance to the Great Exhibition of 1851. I wrote a blog post about it appealing for more information, which you can read by clicking here. […]

Hornsea Pottery Collectors’ Weekend Event

Having missed the opportunity last year, I was delighted to be able to attend the annual Hornsea Pottery collectors’ event last week, held as part of the Hornsea Freeport‘s ‘Nostalgia’ weekend. Organised by the Hornsea Pottery Collectors & Research Society, the busy event sees exchange of information and new learnings, as well as allowing members […]

A Rare Communist & Soviet Terracotta Plaque

One of the aspects I love about my job the most is finding objects I love but don’t know anything about. It’s almost like a challenge – the piece taunts and teases me. Who am I? Where was I made? Who designed and produced me? When? What do I mean? Often looking at them periodically […]

Stuff With A Story…

The other week I had an interesting conversation over dinner with one of my Roadshow colleagues at the first Roadshow of the most recent, and 37th, season. It’s one that held great resonance for me personally, as I’m a believer in synchronicity and this isn’t the first time this subject had come up. This particular […]

Fabulous Fat Lava On Sale – Bargains Galore!

I’m sad to report that, due to serious illness, my friend the pioneering Fat Lava collector and dealer Stuart Brownrigg is having to close his amazing stand at Bygone Times in Lancashire. To that end, he will be hosting a ‘25% off everything’ sale commencing on Sunday March 9th, 2014. Both Stuart and his stand […]