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Their list of "blockbusters" include works by Lithgow (Queensland), Mac Diarmid, William Ricketts, Hatton Beck, Castle Harris, the Harvey School, Daisy Merton and John Campbell, as well as the aforementioned Seccombe and, of course, Mahood (if you can find any).
A lot of it shows signs of crazing but most collectors tend to accept that as a fact of life." Fading of colour is another factor. These tended to fall off over time but anything with its sticker still intact adds to its potential value.
Most of this pottery was produced at a time when smoking was common indoors, and this affects the glazes over a few decades. Studio work, such as Marguerite Mahood's, was usually permanently signed by the artist in the wet clay on the base or underneath. Knowing when to sell is as important as knowing when to buy.
This includes their own two examples of Marguerite Mahood (one shown above) plus some by the in-demand William Ricketts, a Castle Harris and works by many of the prolific Boyd family. It took the couple 25 years to amass the collection and each piece brings back a strong memory of how and when they found it.
This emotional connection makes selling all the more difficult. "We started collecting when we first met but we've decided to downsize and it would be a shame to have some of these packed away in boxes." Fortunately, there should be plenty of new collectors wanting to take over possession.
In 1979 the National Gallery of Australia acquired perhaps the finest example of all, 1947's Figure of Mermaid with Seal.