A Pottery Collector - Michael Evans aka Dayabandu

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Post by studio-pots on April 25th 2020, 3:51 pm

Dayabandu, along with Bill Ismay and John Shakeshaft were the three former customers of mine that possessed the largest and most diverse collections of studio ceramics that I have had the pleasure to see. The images in the article and indeed the text don't really do it justice. The reason for publication today is that some of the collection will be available in the next Maak auction. However, having looked briefly at the forthcoming auction there is much more to come at some point.


https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/apr/25/ceramics-michael-evans-london-council-flat-dayabandu

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Post by dantheman on April 25th 2020, 4:51 pm

Collections like that seem even more special when you find them in unlikely locations

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Post by studio-pots on April 25th 2020, 5:07 pm

The Council flat angle makes a good story but he wasn't a Council tenant, who bought the flat that he lived in.

It was just that when he moved there he wanted somewhere near to the London Buddhist Centre and this fitted the bill. It was a fairly spacious ex-Council flat in a small block near Bethnal Green tube station. The images don't do the collection justice but at least they show that he bought what he liked and he had pieces that most people on this Forum would be able to buy should they wish.

I used to kid him when he changed his name and became a Buddhist proper because he seemed to have forgotten the bit about giving up all of his worldly goods.

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Post by philpot on April 25th 2020, 7:37 pm

https://maaklondon.irostrum.com/AuctionIndex/2017530?PageNumber=1
The collection offering at Maak.
On seeing the photos in the Guardian they reminded me of the photos of Bill Ismay's collection in situ. Which was also a fairly small house. Amazing illustration of one individuals collecting life. Brilliant collection But just too much. Not enough space to see or appreciate. More does not neccesarily mean better.
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Post by NaomiM on April 25th 2020, 8:14 pm

Doesn’t bother me. Big Laughter
I guess some people see “clutter” rather than individual pots

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Post by studio-pots on April 25th 2020, 10:53 pm

Unlike Bill and most people on here, Dayabandu's collection was all on show. It was cluttered but you could see it all and spend many hours investigating it. I know that it wouldn't suit everyone but I don't think you would have every got bored with seeing it.

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Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 25th 2020, 11:32 pm

Just how I like it. Strong sturdy shelves packed two deep shoulder to shoulder with lovely pots. The eye dances.

Gaps are only there for more pots tomorrow. If they are double ranked and shoulder to shoulder then you would need x4 the shelves to space them out.... bugger that.
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Post by studio-pots on April 26th 2020, 12:50 am

When I went to visit John Shakeshaft to see his collection some years ago, he spent a long time showing me around the house and getting me to guess who specific pots were by. I impressed myself with how well I did and then we went to have lunch in his dining room.

Over lunch he mentioned his "Hans Copers" to which I replied that I hadn't noticed any. After lunch we went back to his lounge and at the back of the shelves with probably three rows of pots in front of them were 3 or 4 modestly sized cycladic Copers. Hidden because other pots purchased years after had been placed in front of them.

At least today they can be seen in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

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Post by NaomiM on April 26th 2020, 1:06 am

Showed my mum the article, and after looking at the packed shelves, and knowing what my collection looks like, she asked me if the family would mention it if they broke any of my pots while I was away, or would they try to blame each other (I’m down in Somerset looking after her after she injured her elbow over the Easter weekend). I said, no, they would blame me for “putting it somewhere where it could get broken”

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Post by philpot on April 26th 2020, 7:25 am

It does raise an interesting point. What do you do with a a large collection made over many years? Most museums do not want it, most relatives do not want it. Although if some of them knew the value of the Coper's in the Shakeshaft collection they might change their mind.
In the end they often come up for auction. Which often makes for a very interesting browse, as pieces appear that have probably never seen the main light of day before.For instance Mary Gibson Horrocks in the last Wooley and Wallis sale had some very inteesting Leach tiles. Minor, but fascinating.
It will be very interesting to see how this latest Maak sale goes, given these most extraordinary times we are living in. After the 2008 finsncisl crash, Studio pottery prices bombed for a number of years. Bonhams - who had extraordinary success in studio pottery with Cyril Frankel- gave up selling it completely. Even now, the major auction houses are only tiptoeing slowly back into the area,
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Post by studio-pots on April 26th 2020, 4:32 pm

This sale is slightly different from the norm, as Dayabandu is still alive and in care, so I imagine his flat and contents are having to be sold to pay for some of this.

Other customers/former customers of mine have taken various options with one following John Shakeshaft's approach, in leaving his collection to the Fitzwilliam. This with the same proviso as John had, in that they can sell what they do not want to keep, to raise funds for the museum. Sadly, in this case the Museum has already put red dots on several pieces, which means that when I am called over to buy to make space on his shelves in order for him to continue buying, the Lucie Rie's bowl with prices labels like 3/6 on the bottom are out of bounds.

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Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 26th 2020, 4:49 pm

But SP all museums sell stuff from their basement to fund themselves. They just normally wait till you have gone and a decent amount of time has passed and do it discreetly. No decorators table out the front.
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Post by studio-pots on April 26th 2020, 5:03 pm

22 Crawford St. wrote:But SP all museums sell stuff from their basement to fund themselves. They just normally wait till you have gone and a decent amount of time has passed and do it discreetly. No decorators table out the front.

I am sure you are correct but...….

In the past some collections were taken with the agreement that it was all kept, such as the deal that Bill Ismay did with York. I know that took several years to be agreed even back then and it is all legally binding.

The difference now is that I think it would be impossible to do such a deal and "Shaky" took a long time to do the Fitzwilliam deal even though he had a significant number of important pieces.

I suspect that the Fitzwilliam will keep no more than 20 of my living customer's collection when he dies, although I haven't told him that.

Another customer with a totally chaotic cluttered house has only persuaded the Ashmoleum in Oxford to take a few specific pieces and the rest of the house contents will be dealt with by the executors as they see fit.

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Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 26th 2020, 6:47 pm

Well everyone would like to be remembered, even if it is some little dusty paper label to the side of a bit of dried mud.

Ismay was the exception.

I'll donate a bench to my local park.

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Post by studio-pots on May 14th 2020, 5:28 pm

I have just seen the results and it seems as if the "extraordinary times" and the lack of the ability to view in person didn't make much difference to the prices realised.

Several were very surprising, for example, the 3 small Alan Wallwork pots that were all less than 5 inches tall. The buyer in each case paid £682, £930 and £806.

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Post by philpot on May 14th 2020, 9:29 pm

The coming recession/depression does not seem to have effected the studio pottery market yet. But to a true 'collector' in the modern art market (with the completely bonkers $$$$ spent on crap in the comtemporary art market) it is , the prices raised are still chicken feed.
Some substantial prices" £2.200 for Chris Carter, £2,400 for Aki Moriuchi -hammer price that is- and several other significant high points, it was an interesting sale. It says something that £11,000 for a black John ward piece does npt raise any eyebrow.
Funny you mention the Alan Wallwork. I was watching them as well. They they just an ordinary part of his work. Nothing wrong with them, yet nothing fantastic either. £200-£300 would have been a good price for them. For what they were, the prices they went for were very unusual.
Which raises the question. What sort of buyers are buying them? New collectors with more money than judgement?
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Post by studio-pots on May 15th 2020, 12:01 am

Marijke took a very rich client base with her when Bonhams closed down their department. I imagine that building on that base you get people that would buy from the CPA or the likes of me plus many, who would think such things were beneath them. It has always been that way but since the wider interest over recent years in studio ceramics the gap has become even greater.

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Post by philpot on May 15th 2020, 7:31 am


         Her website is certainly the go to place nowadays for top line British studio pottery nowadays. Values, marks, images going back to 2011.
            Its sobering to think what you could get for your money back then! Laughter
https://maaklondon.irostrum.com/Home/Search?PageNumber=10&QueryString=ward&SelectedSearchType=Search%20A
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