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'Spectacular' Art Deco pottery goes up for auction

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

Nic Saintey, of Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood Auctioneers withsome of the  rare   collection of  Rhead family art which is   up for sale  picture: Richard Austin

Nic Saintey, of Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood Auctioneers withsome of the rare collection of Rhead family art which is up for sale picture: Richard Austin

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A rare and unseen collection of Art Deco pottery from a celebrated family is to go up for auction and could fetch as much as £50,000.

Paintings, sketches, diaries and illustrations are also included in the sale of work by Charlotte Rhead, a contemporary of ceramicists Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper.

The items are to be sold in two lots, by Exeter auctioneers Bearnes, Hamilton & Littlewoods, one next week then a second in January.

And after a pot made by Charlotte's elder brother Frederick recently sold for a half a million dollars in the USA, there is expected to be a lot of interest among collectors, including from museums looking to showcase the work of the prolific family.

Nic Saintey, a director and ceramics expert at the firm, said some of the work was "spectacular" and offered a rare insight into the work and life of the prolific family.

"It is a wonderful collection and I have had a great time learning about the family over the past few weeks," he added. "It is exciting for us and I imagine there will be some museums who will be interested in owning some of these things."

Rhead, was born in 1895 into an artistic family in the Potteries area of Staffordshire – following father Frederick Alfred Rhead into ceramics – and died in 1947.

She studied at the Fenton School of Art with her sister Dollie, who moved to Honiton to become a teacher.

The large collection, running to more than 100 lots and including many documents, was passed down and became available for sale after a relative died recently.

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