Auction dedicated to solo collection attracts record audiences

Art Daily
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Annie Turner (British, b.1958), 'Mussel Box'. Sold for: £1,140.
Annie Turner (British, b.1958), ‘Mussel Box’. Sold for: £1,140.

LONDON.- On Thursday 14 May, Maak’s auction dedicated to the collection of Dayabandhu attracted the highest rate of new registrations and some exceptionally strong results. With 93% sold by lot and 153% by value, the overwhelming pattern showed pieces that resonated most closely to Dayabandhu’s unifying eye and understanding for texture and form exceeding their estimates.

“Studio ceramics are proving to be a welcome distraction from the current challenges we face due to COVID-19. On Thursday 14th May, there seemed to be a momentary sense of normality indicated by strong results from this sale. We are delighted the sale was able to celebrate the remarkable and dedicated passion of Dayabandhu” – Marijke Varrall-Jones, Founder Director, Maak

Exceptional interest and strong prices were witnessed once again for John Ward whose Oval Pot with Dipped Rim (Lot 83) sold for £13,200. Other contemporary makers who exceeded the estimates, in this the secondary market, included Akiko Hirai with her piece Moon Jar (Lot 167. Estimate £700-£900) which sold for £6,600 and Ewen Henderson whose Tea Bowls (Lot 71 – Lot 75) each sold for over £800. Shozo Michikawa, another maker whose pieces resonated well within the collection for their rugged form, continued the theme with some record prices reached. Michikawa’s Twisted Bottle Vase (Lot 126. Estimate £700-£900) sold for £3,840 and Twisted Vase, £2,640.

The Unifying Eye sale celebrated the support for makers and collecting passion of Michael Evans, also known by his Buddhist name Dayabandhu. Having built the collection up over the last 30 to 40 years, he amassed some some 1200 objects that he cherished and lived with in his South London apartment. He was well known selecting works that fully represented the core and unique quality in every makers work. Although many of his pieces celebrated the raw materials used in ceramics, he also chose the deeply quiet pieces by contemporary artist Edmund de Waal. Several of these porcelain works sold above their estimates such as the 1995 piece, Lidded Vessel (Lot 148. Estimate £1,500 – £2,000) which fetched £9,000.

Like all working in the creative industries, Maak have carefully considered their response to the global pandemic and made the decision to offer the single, cohesive Dayabandhu Collection as planned for their May auction. Taking the decision to host two subsequent auctions with a curatorial theme in June and July has meant that the auction held on 14 May concentrated on this solo presentation of 177 Lots. The interest and understanding for the unique passion of this single collector proved overwhelming and indicates that the market for individual works of ceramic and affordable art can still flourish in these uncertain times.

Maak are known as the leading auction house dedicated to studio pottery and for their bespoke specialist knowledge. To further engage with their clients, they have launched a new initiative to hold two additional summer auctions. These will be kicked off with the June sale Form Over Function: The Abstract Vessel and in July, Movements in Monochrome will bring together diverse pieces with shared tones of black and white.