Batterham pots

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Post by croker February 14th 2022, 3:29 pm

There is to be a collection of Batterham's pots from the potters estate to be auctioned in Wooley's and Wallis  on the 16th March as part of the design sale also a collection of Batterham's work at the Goldmark gallery on the 26th February . It will be interesting to see if the recent price rises in his pots hold with such a large volume hitting the market.
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Post by studio-pots February 15th 2022, 12:02 pm

I wondered where Goldmark got his Batterhams from and I see that they are from Mike Dodd's collection. Knowing many of the buyers of Richard's work, I think that might help with the prices there.

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Post by philpot February 15th 2022, 4:52 pm

An interesting juxtaposition of sales. Goldmark has 130, and presumably Wooley and Wallis has fair number. Goldmark price's are always high, so it will be very interesting to see their price point for Mike Dodd's Batterhams. I wonder if jaws will drop at the hefty prices? Happy
         Equally, as has been said above, that must be circa 150+ Batterham pots at high end prices hitting the market at virtually  the same time. That is a lot of pots in  a small specialist market.
          A Batterham teapot went at Bearnes in Exeter today for a Hammer price of £320. That seems to about auction market value. One wonders what teapots in these upcoming sales will go for!
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Post by croker February 16th 2022, 2:16 pm

Hi Philpot, It could actually work in our favour with the Goldmark exhibition going first, perhaps with the initial saturation of pots buyers might be less inclined to buy at woolly's , wishful thinking perhaps?. I have already been surprised this year when nearly all of Washington's pots at Sworder's found homes.
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Post by philpot February 16th 2022, 6:02 pm

I will be just looking I am afraid. I have enough Batterham pieces! Funnily enough I bought my first Batterham piece from Wooley and Wallis back in the late 90's. A big cut sided bowl, which I actually used to knead Bread in! A very good mixing bowl it was as well!
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Post by croker February 16th 2022, 6:37 pm

My pottery interests are elsewhere at the moment but if one of his large vases were to appear at a reasonable price then i might have to consider it, i have already been buying this year and with a number of auctions on the horizon i think we will spoilt for choice .
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Post by philpot February 16th 2022, 8:07 pm

I downsized from a large detached four bedroom house, to a three bedroom bungalow! It is much easier on the knees! Sold a fair bit...Casson, Malone etc but still have a fair bit. I am only really collecting in a limited way now.
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Post by croker February 16th 2022, 8:35 pm

I have no ambition to own such a large collection such as yours but i am trying to put together a representative collection of a few potters i find interesting . Most of us are hoarders in one way or another for me it's books and it's difficult to let go, at one time i had a collection of English delft which was in danger of engulfing every room in the house (well a bit of an exaggeration)but it had to go ,no point in storing it in boxes .I know what you mean about the knees ,terrible getting old isn't it. Happy
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Post by philpot February 17th 2022, 10:17 am

Pesonally I would not but buy one of his very large vases without seeing one. They are generally thrown in two pieces, and the results can be slightly more variable than the rest of his work. However, given their rarity and demand for his work I would very much doubt if you could get one at a decent price.
The midsize vases circa 15 in or so (he seems to have slightly varied the size over the years) are probably much better examples of his full craft. They are uniformly superb, and in groups are most impressive. His cut sided bowls are a good bet too. Superb examples of his craft.
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Post by croker February 17th 2022, 10:35 am

You're probably right given the present interest in Batterham and as much as i like some of his work i don't think i would go overboard on buying a piece ,i am more interested in a number of other potters at present and think i will wait until good examples of their work appear in auction. Do you still make bread?.
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Post by philpot February 26th 2022, 4:29 pm

https://www.goldmarkart.com/exhibitions-and-events/all/207-richard-batterham-the-mike-dodd-collection

A video of the Mike Dodd collection of Batterham Pots at Goldmark Gallery. Pots were on sale from today 26 February to buy at the shop only on Saturday and Sunday. The remainder -if any are left!- go online for sale on Monday 28 February.
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Post by croker February 26th 2022, 5:20 pm

It will be interesting to see if any of the very high priced pots sell as i have heard of prices of £20,000 being asked . I looked at the video , and as much as i respect Batterham's work, a lot of the exhibition did give the impression of an upmarket kitchen ware outlet, i am not sure his work shows well en masse.
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Post by studio-pots February 26th 2022, 6:01 pm

Richard said several times to me that he was not an exhibition potter and never wanted to be. He wanted to make functional pots that people used and so it looking like a "kitchen ware outlet" would probably have suited him.

After all when I used to visit Alan Wallwork down in Dorset his kitchen was completely full of Richard Batterham pots that he used everyday.

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Post by croker February 26th 2022, 6:32 pm

That's exactly how i view his pots ,superb pots for every day use, his large vases stand well as individual items , but his other pieces just by their nature were made to be used, Philpot said he has a batterham bowl for doughmaking, Would Richard Batterham have been happy to see his kitchen bowls being put into glass cabinets and drooled over as art objects ,from what i have read i don't think so. It's the galleries job to promote them as art objects (higher prices) and buyers will never use them because of the large sums of money they have invested
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Post by studio-pots February 26th 2022, 8:53 pm

Most of my customers that have bought Richard's pots from me recently will use them but they weren't these prices.

Richard wanted his work to be used and, you are correct, he wasn't very happy for them not be be used. However, he wasn't against pots in cabinets as, say, Ray Finch and Michael Cardew.

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Post by philpot February 27th 2022, 9:26 am

I would think that the very large lidded jar is the most expensive piece in the Goldmark sale. They did the nudge bit several times in that video.
If you want to judge what market prices might be have a look at the Primavera Cambridge website. They have a number of pieces there. Cheap they are not!
The debate over the intrinsic art value of Batterham's pots should/ would probably be the matter for another thread. But he was a very admired potter, especially buy his peers. His pots also fit into that VAGUELY 'English' and Arts and Crafts image that goes with the wealthy emigrating to the country. It fits the zeitgeist of the times in a small way.

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Post by croker February 27th 2022, 11:58 am

Good morning Philpot , The lidded jar was priced at £12,000 and i believe it sold, in comparison the most expensive piece in the Waistel Cooper exhibition at the FAS is priced at £25,000 .
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Post by philpot February 27th 2022, 3:38 pm

Sheeeesshh! Thanks for that Croker. Goldmark have done a remarkable job in the upselling of studio pottery. They have always clearly reach a segment of the market that other studio pottery galleries do not. Even so, £12,000 is a significant price achievement,
Bot on the other hand, I have seen a number of of people who were obviously previous Goldmark buyers, trying to sell their purchases on the secondary market. But who were very shocked when they go nowhere near what they paid for it!
But as you say with the recent Waistel Cooper exhibition, like for like the that Batterham might be the better buy!
It behoves an interesting discussion about potters who were previously thought of as slightly more ordinary than the former upper echelon!

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Post by croker February 27th 2022, 3:55 pm

Yes as you say the secondary market is to a degree the real barometer of a potters desirability in the market place ,the problem is a glass of wine at a viewing and a bit of salesmanship are excellent for opening wallets, as for the Waistel Cooper exhibition there were not to many red dots appearing up until yesterday. It will be interesting to see how Batterham's pieces perform in Woollys sale, there is also a large vase in MAAK.
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Post by philpot February 28th 2022, 4:26 pm

A Baker's dozen or so Batterham's in the March Wooley and Wallis sale.
If my memory is correct I think I remember reading in some Wooley blurb that these were actually consigned to auction by Richard Batterham before his death. Only after his death did it say that it came from his estate. Nice selection, but only one Gosh WoW very big vase.
If it was me, I would go for the cut sided pieces there. He was the very best potter at that part of the potter's art.
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Post by studio-pots February 28th 2022, 8:07 pm

I have just looked at the Goldmark website and seen the prices of the still available Batterham pots.

I think it's time for me to get off the roundabout before I become too dizzy.

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Post by croker February 28th 2022, 8:32 pm

Yes i know what you mean ,some large galleries seem to have no problems in getting people to part with their money with all their hype, Goldmark see to have the ability to sell anything to their 'collectors', Batterham's pots are excellent but this quantum leap in their fortunes can't be maintained ,can it? .Do the buyers at these exhibitions ever look elsewhere for price comparisons.
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Post by philpot March 1st 2022, 11:18 am

Those Goldmark prices are at least a factor of 10 from what Batterham prices were going for 5 or 6 years ago.
It s all brilliant marketing of course. In today's market, what potter is more marketable than Richard Batterham? A year long retrospective tribute exhibition at the V&A with accompanying book? That is the sort of level of official blessing that only potters like Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper have had! And that was decades ago.
Equally his work fits in with the huge burgeoning of the Arts and Crafts movement over the past 20 years. The flight to the country and small rural towns which has been emphasised by Covid.
His work is viewed as almost the perfect example of high English country craft.
Then of course his work is easier to understand. It is difficult To appreciate the work of the broadly defined Leach/Cardew Anlgo Japanese school without an education in English studio pottery of the last 100 years! But Richard Batterham's work is simpler and more straightforward just to understand in visual terms alone.
So the perfect potter for the Zeitgeist of the moment. With the gallery with the perfect clientele for his work!
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Post by studio-pots March 2nd 2022, 3:56 pm

croker wrote:Yes i know what you mean ,some large galleries seem to have no problems in getting people to part with their money with all their hype, Goldmark see to have the ability to sell anything to their 'collectors', Batterham's pots are excellent but this quantum leap in their fortunes can't be maintained ,can it? .Do the buyers at these exhibitions ever look elsewhere for  price comparisons.

Goldmark and myself do share some customers and always have but I have no doubt that none of the people that have bought Batterhams from me will have bought from this show. You can never say never but I have been in discussions with several of them in a similar manner to this discussion. Therefore I have an good idea about most of them and their buying.

I have never been a salesperson and so have not attracted the type of buyer that needs the reassurance of bullsh*t or the reassurance of bidding up to a stupidly high figure at auction. I guess those people won't look elsewhere, as from my experience they never have. Throughout my dealing career, it is always something that I have never been able to fathom.

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Post by philpot March 2nd 2022, 7:11 pm

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/criterion-auctioneers/catalogue-id-criter11055/lot-f3df788c-6ba4-4869-b851-ae460125a21d
£2600 hammer price for a large Batterham vase in a timed auction at Criterion Auctioneers North London. To see what little clue they had, the vase is described as 'Terra-Cotta'.
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