John Ward

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Post by philpot July 16th 2022, 5:26 pm

The upmarket gallery Oxford Ceramics has a new selling exhibition of John Ward's work. Some tasty (and pricey) items.
https://www.oxfordceramics.com/exhibitions/46-john-ward/works/
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Post by croker July 16th 2022, 6:39 pm

Hi Philpot, Interesting that a number of pieces are POA,, some pieces are familiar, the large flattened striped job seems to be the one showing in the workshop/studio of John Ward in the Hepworth interview. I don't know if you are aware but there is a book on Ward pottery coming out in October (not before time) a retrospective will probably follow .
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Post by philpot July 17th 2022, 7:16 am

The book looks interesting. Another one for the shelf! Lets hope a retrospective comes soon. His work deserves to be much wider known.
Those pieces POA will be the expensive HOW MUCH!!!! pieces. Mainly the black and white ones.
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Post by croker July 17th 2022, 9:57 pm

I always shy away from POA or in the case of auctions 'refer to department', this normally means expectations are high but prices could be negotiable.
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Post by philpot December 9th 2022, 5:11 pm

Which is the more significant of the coloured pieces? The Black and white ones or the green lined ones?Personally i find the Black ones a bit in your face, and the Green ones far more interesting and subtle. The market thinks that the Black Ones of higher value though! In the recent Wooley and Wallis sale there was a Black and white piece and a green piece, of a similar size. The Balck one went for £8500, the £8000. Which is the better?
https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/search/?q=JOHN%2520WARD#past-sales
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Post by Potty December 9th 2022, 5:43 pm

I would have said the white and "green" one was more iconic of his work, so would be my choice of the two.

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Post by croker December 9th 2022, 6:27 pm

I was the underbidder on the black and white piece at Woolley's, i already have two black and white pieces but this piece i thought exceptional, i think the prices for his black and white's have levelled for the present time.I have been surprised by the sudden rise in the green striped examples , i think it started with the Driscoll collection sale where a couple fetched unexpected high prices, the few that have sold recently i thought were ok but not very exciting. Should one of his large disc form pots in green and white come to market i think we could see £20,000.
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Post by studio-pots December 9th 2022, 8:32 pm

I'm not the person to ask but I have only even liked the plain ones with the white/off white glaze. I had one that I wish that I had kept but have never wished to own anything else by him. Since I began dealing they have always been popular but they're just not for me. I think it might be that my love of ceramics is all about the clay.

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Post by NaomiM February 17th 2023, 1:46 pm

John Ward - Page 3 John_w10

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Post by philpot February 18th 2023, 11:28 pm

That is really sad. Another of the greats has gone. He was a superb potter, who was always appreciated by numerous collectors of his work. The forthcoming New volume of the V&A studio pottery collection has a superb photo of one of John Ward's Black Bowls. His reputation stands very high indeed.
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Post by croker February 19th 2023, 2:47 pm

Hi philpot, As you say John Ward was a superb potter and sadly many of the great potters have now gone ( many of us collectors also have the grim reaper not far behind) .He left us with a large body of work to enjoy and has a dedicated following. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but those that have had only good things to say about him,he avoided publicity and just got on with making pots. I will certainly try to add more examples to my collection although many of his pots are now entering into five figure sums.
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Post by philpot February 20th 2023, 8:28 am

One suspects that his pots will come elusive, after a surge in prices that usually happens after a potter's death. I have seen his work compared with that of Hans Coper. A certain quietness and elusive quality of depth.
How much should one judge the quality of an artist's work by the prices it fetches at auction? It is a fairly crude and rough measure, but one that seemingly has become acceptable in society. So where does Ward stand by that yardstick? As good as Magdalene Odundo?
Or on a par with his contemporaries like Emmanuel Cooper?

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Post by croker February 20th 2023, 1:23 pm

I don't think the prices will rise much because of his death as he stopped making pots around six years ago, what i think will happen is that the b/w and striped examples will increase slightly but the plainer pieces will remain at the lower level. It is difficult to buy a b/w piece under £10,000 with premium and the striped pieces are catching up fast. I don't think the quality of an artists work should be judged on auction prices but the two seem to go hand in hand. I think Hans Coper is a world apart from any other potter and will remain so. The problem with John ward was that he was quite prolific so there are enough to go around whereas potters such as Jennifer Lee restrict their output to keep prices high.
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Post by philpot February 21st 2023, 9:01 am

Prices of Studio Pottery have probably been driven by the Baby Boomer generation in the 21st century. One of the pleasures/drawbacks of downsizing is that one's purchases of Ceramics are extremely limited by space! Mind you, with John Ward prices as they are I think I will be admiring him from aside.
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Post by croker February 21st 2023, 12:20 pm

Limitations of space are a problem for pot collectors, i guess most of us live with quite minimal interiors and a collection of pots on display can look very untidy, i suppose a pot room would be the answer but this is not always possible ,your thoughts on admiring from aside is probably a good idea,after all none of us would want to end up like Bill Ismay.
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Post by philpot February 21st 2023, 6:13 pm

The latest issue of Ceramic Review has an article on John Ward with an interview with Emma Crichton Miller the author of the recently published book on John Ward. Plus there is a picture of two of his Black pots on the front cover.
https://www.ceramicreview.com/issues/ceramic-review-issue-320/
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Post by croker February 21st 2023, 6:30 pm

Thanks for that philpot, they always seem to illustrate the black and white pieces.
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Post by philpot March 16th 2023, 6:13 pm

pieJohn Ward - Page 3 Img_0947
An interesting piece from somewhere when. A gallery I think or auction maybe. It is surprising what one has buried in old photos from yonks ago. I had forgotten all about this one ,Interesting colour combinations.
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Post by croker March 16th 2023, 8:16 pm

Nice shape and colour ,my wife has a preference for his acid green pieces. I haven't made my mind up about the yellow piece in the Partridge sale.
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Post by philpot March 16th 2023, 9:34 pm

I must have liked the Green one as I would not have taken a photo of it. I think!
That yellow and lavender? not too sure of the other colour as it is so subtle. In fact for me, a little too subtle.Very unusual, and it will probably grow on one immensely. Equally I am not too sure if the photo actually captures the essence of it. I think I would have to actually see that One in the flesh to appreciate the full delicate colour combinations to decide if I loved it enough! As I said It would probably grow on one....but then again maybe not!
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Post by philpot June 24th 2023, 6:21 pm

The Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield have an excellent display of their British Ceramics on show for a year. They have a small selection of their large John Ward holdings. These being them. We have a holiday in Yorkshire that we really enjoyed. Combine The Hepworth with the  York Centre of Ceramic Art, aJohn Ward - Page 3 Img_1013
nd you have arguably the finest selection of British Studio pottery in the country.John Ward - Page 3 Img_1014

This dramatic one was one of my favourite pieces they had in their whole show. Bravely. they had it on a shelf on the wall, and nut under glass.
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Post by philpot June 24th 2023, 6:23 pm

John Ward - Page 3 Img_1015

This was my second favourite,
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Post by philpot June 24th 2023, 6:27 pm

John Ward - Page 3 Img_1016

This green one is very attractive. But it does not have the drama of the black ones.
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Post by philpot June 24th 2023, 6:31 pm

John Ward - Page 3 Img_1017

While highly accomplished, his plain ones do not have that great Wow factor to them
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Post by philpot June 24th 2023, 6:34 pm

John Ward - Page 3 Img_1018

You do not see these  type of stripes displayed so much  It is a later development in his work.
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