Ewen Henderson

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Post by croker January 7th 2022, 12:36 pm

Thanks for taking the time to look through the exhibition catalogue ,i will measure and post later. I am not sure if i have the catalogue but if i have it will be stored in one of many  boxes  at the moment. I always like to try and trace pieces back  to see their journey. Many years ago i had subscriptions to Bonham's and other auction houses and have kept most of the catalogues , which i now find useful for research, by coincidence a superb catalogue arrived this morning from Sworder's with great illustrations and info on R J Washington on over 20 or more pages. I regret  that printed catalogues are a dying breed as there is nothing like getting a catalogue to browse through. The pot measures 18.25 x8.50 inches although because  the width varies it can only be approx . Looking through the Sworder's catalogue in a view of Washingtons workshop there is what appears to be an attempt at a Henderson type construction with mixed clays.
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Post by croker February 14th 2022, 3:44 pm

While browsing through some old catalogues i came across this image showing some Henderson pots from c1968, pots from this period c1968- 1972 seem scarce but it's interesting to see his early work and compare it to his final output, i have never seen any of his early work pre c1975 appearing on the market although there must be some out there.Ewen Henderson - Page 3 P1120010
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Post by studio-pots February 15th 2022, 12:07 pm

I have never seen anything like the above before. However, without that photograph to help, if you did come across anything looking like that you might pass it by, as you would have no idea who might have made it.

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Post by croker February 15th 2022, 9:39 pm

I think it's always good to get the full picture of a potters career but as you say identifying early pieces can be a problem without documentary evidence especially when they are so different to the style that we know them for. With Henderson we know from surviving pieces that at least from around 1975 he was producing large ancient looking pots before moving on to the laminated pieces that he's famous for. I think i will mail Anthony Shaw to see if he has any answers.
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Post by philpot February 16th 2022, 5:36 pm

The Bonhams website has a lot of Ewen Henderson. Some older pieces amongst them.
This from 1974 for instance
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/14819/lot/159/
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Post by philpot February 16th 2022, 5:57 pm

If you scroll down on the Maak website 2015 and further back there are several interesting early Ewen Henderson pieces circa 1970. It will not let me give a link tho!
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Post by croker February 16th 2022, 6:57 pm

Thanks for the links, the two pieces in Bonhams i had already logged, but the piece in MAAK at c1972 i had overlooked although i am not sure how she arrived at this date. I am trying to ascertain how quickly Henderson developed from the pieces in the photo above to his more recognisable style .He apparently had a solo exhibition in 1970 at the Bodicea gallery in London ,if they had a catalogue that would be most helpful but it's doubtful. The Ceramic review could be useful but i haven't got an extensive run of those(nor am i a member).
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Post by philpot March 7th 2022, 10:33 am

Ewen Henderson - Page 3 Img_8120

Mixed  Clays Ewen Henderson  piece from the Tony Birks collection at the Sainsbury Centre Norwich. Picure taken in June 2018. As of today's date the Tony Birks collection is in storeage, but the collection can be seen in the book ENCOUNTERS WITH CERAMICS The Writings of Tony Birks.


Last edited by philpot on March 7th 2022, 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by croker March 7th 2022, 10:52 am

Morning Philpot, can i ask when this pic was taken?
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Post by philpot March 7th 2022, 10:59 am

I have edited the info on the photo.
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Post by philpot March 7th 2022, 11:03 am

Ewen Henderson - Page 3 Img_8121

'Blue form' mixed clays porcelain made 1990. Part of the Tony Birks collection in the Sainsbury Centre Norwich Photo taken June 2018. As of March 2020 the collection was in storage.
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Post by croker March 7th 2022, 11:10 am

Thanks , i think it's a shame that they can't find room to display his collection , i would have thought the publication of this book would have been the ideal time.
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Post by philpot March 7th 2022, 4:41 pm

Ewen Henderson - Page 3 Img_8123

Porcelain bowl 1988. From the Tony Birks collection at the Sainsbury Centre Norwich.
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Post by croker March 7th 2022, 4:50 pm

Interesting stand on the large jar above, as i remember it had been quite badly damaged , the small bases on a lot of Henderson pieces make them quite top heavy and easily knocked over.
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Post by studio-pots March 7th 2022, 11:04 pm

croker wrote:Thanks , i think it's a shame that they can't find room to display  his collection  , i would have thought the publication of this book would have been the ideal time.

I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't any member of the senior curating team that had any knowledge of studio ceramics. That seems to have been the way of things in the last 30 years or so in many establishments that have significant studio ceramic collections.

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Post by croker March 7th 2022, 11:20 pm

I think you are correct, there seems to be only a small amount of interest in ceramics at the Sainsbury centre at the moment. the only parts of the Sainsbury collection that are on permanent show are the copers and some Rie pots, which i think would be disrespectful to the Sainsburys memory if they were stored . In common with most museums the emphasise is on 'fine art' ,that is what the public mainly come to see and not the ceramics unfortunately.
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Post by philpot March 8th 2022, 4:00 pm

When I took those photos 4 years ago I can remember thinking then, how badly labelled the pieces were, and how inadequate was their attribution to the donor. Shrugs
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Post by croker March 8th 2022, 4:13 pm

The Sainsbury centre is not very good at labelling or giving information on exhibits, i have suggested to them that more information should be shown as many people wouldn't have a clue who Hans Coper was,  i was told ''that's just  your opinion''. We love the Sainsbury centre  and it's exhibits but  information on exhibits is very thin on the ground.
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Post by philpot March 8th 2022, 6:20 pm

One does wonder if it is pure laziness or intellectual arrogance. The irony of course, is that a lot of their visitors have a lot more knowledge than they have!
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Post by studio-pots March 10th 2022, 11:51 pm

philpot wrote:One does wonder if it is pure laziness or intellectual arrogance. The irony of course, is that a lot of their visitors have a lot more knowledge than they have!

I read the CVs of some of the senior curators there and from that it is most likely that if you asked them who Ewen Henderson was then the most likely answer you would get back is that he was a Scottish folk singer.

Therefore I think that rather than "arrogance" the word "ignorance" should be used.

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Post by philpot March 11th 2022, 11:19 am

I see that a Big Henderson 'vase' from the Driscoll Collection went for £10,000 at the latest Maak auction. A high price for him? Is that a record? Mind you the other Henderson's in the same auction went for roughly average prices for him.
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Post by croker March 11th 2022, 12:45 pm

A piece like that is normally around £ 6,000 , the one in Phillips Driscoll part 0ne fetched about the same, both were illustrated in 'things of beauty growing' and this probably contributed to the higher price, i did bid at MAAK but only managed to buy one item, the Janet Leach charger. I guess that £10,000 probably is a record for Henderson.
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