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A journalist kindly send us this bio. and notification of the forthcoming auction on 5 January 2024 at Adam Partridge Auctioneers in Macclesfield. I will merge this thread with the Adam Partridge thread in due course
DAYABANDHU POTTERY AUCTION
Dayabandhu was born Michael Charles Evans on 9 January 1939 and lived in the Midlands village of Sheepy Magna. His education at Market Bosworth Grammar School was followed by a successful career in local government. The dawn of Dayabandhu’s passion for ceramics can be traced back to the early 1960s when he became interested in a couple of Doulton Lambeth stoneware pots belonging to two of his aunts. They promised he could have them once he owned a home in which they could be placed, according to The Guardian newspaper in 2020. The generosity of his relatives evidently fuelled his enthusiasm for collecting and over half a century later the art market is repeatedly excited by the appearance of examples from Dayabandhu’s collection.
The dedication to ceramics that was ignited by the two pots gifted by his aunts only intensified with the passage of time. By any measure, Dayabandhu was a serious collector and his focused acquisition over the course of his life included works ranging from the pioneers of the studio ceramics movement to contemporary pieces by some of the current generation of artists working today. An interesting aspect of his approach is that his diverse collection reflects how he followed the careers of some now-prominent ceramicists from their beginnings. In April 2020 Dayabandhu auctioned a small portion of his collection to fund his care home fees. He died on 12 December 2022, leaving his estate to the London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green located close to where he lived.
The autumn newsletter of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order records Michael Evans’s public ordination on 22 November 2007 at the Padmaloka Retreat Centre in Norwich, reflecting the developing intensity of his commitment to his chosen spiritual path. From this point onward he was known as Dayabandhu, which, the newsletter explains, means, “Kind, compassionate brother, kinsman or friend", or more concisely, "Kind friend". Opinion is divided over whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy but it is generally agreed that it involves accepting the concept of “non-attachment”. Devotees should abandon commitment to aspects of life which have “possession” in common - material goods, relationships and even an individual’s self-regarding centre. Michael Evans began his Buddhist journey in the early 2000s and it might raise in one’s mind a question about the relationship between him and his important ceramics collection. It might pose an intellectual challenge to the Buddhist idea of repudiating possession, simply because of the sheer quantity – and outstanding quality - of ceramics which Dayabandhu collected during his lifetime. By 2020 he was reported to be curating an estimated 1200 works at his east London flat.
Yet, it can also be argued, perhaps more persuasively, that there is no contradiction at all between Dayabandhu’s spiritual engagement and his devotion to the particular aspect of the physical world, ceramics, for which he had a consuming passion most of his life. A compelling clue is a remark in the interview he gave to the i newspaper in 2004, in which he says that the way some collectors buy ceramics – “…for the names on the bottom of their pots…” – is not a motivator for him. He told the newspaper journalist: "I don't buy for investment – that doesn't even come into it for me. I only buy what I like.”
“Buy what you like” has long been sound advice when it comes to acquiring art in its diverse forms and it is apparent that Dayabandhu’s collection is very well liked indeed, judging by some of the hammer prices in recent years, when various pieces which once had pride of place on his shelves have subsequently gone to auction.
Gallery owners Kit and John Hart got to know Dayabandhu through his visits to their Hart Gallery over the course of two decades. They recall a warm and dedicated collector: “He became a friend and not just a client. It was always a pleasure to see him at the gallery, often with one or two of his friends. He always carefully considered and discussed each purchase.
“A condition he eventually set up was that we had to deliver his purchase, and have coffee and pastries with him and inevitably talk about his pots. This was certainly not an onerous condition and one that we looked forward to. We also arranged for our staff to have this opportunity. One memorable occasion was when we had to take away a chair to make room for a large Charles Bound pot otherwise he would not have had room for it.”
Kit and John also recall the importance of the spiritual path taken by the man who they first got to know as Michael Evans: “He changed his name and was very insistent that we used his new name. It was clearly important to him. It now seems odd to think of him as anything other than Dayabandhu.” The closeness of the friendship is also reflected in the Christmas card which Dayabandhu sent to Kit and John, in which he revealed that he had been diagnosed with dementia. In 2012, when the Harts closed their gallery, Dayabandhu wrote in that year’s Christmas card: “I am going to miss you both, very much indeed, as you have become part of my life over the past 20 years or so.”
Passion, focus, dedication, humility, simplicity, generosity, caring, friend. Just a few of the words which can, without fear of contradiction, be used in any description of Michael Charles Evans, a.k.a. Dayabandhu, whose renowned collection is now being made available for others to enjoy as he did.
Carrot cake is just fake cake
Thanks for that Naomi. It is an interesting and fascinating piece. One suspects all of us collectors can see a bit of a mirror of ourselves there somewhere.
- Number of posts : 6241
Location : cambridge
Registration date : 2010-11-06
It might be worth keeping is separate, Naomi, as it might be easier to find in the future.
Now you should know by now that Potty and I need to see your bottom - we're funny that way!
Carrot cake is just fake cake
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