ANTIQUES & COLLECTING: Collecting Diary - Impressive Collection of Picasso Ceramics Up for Auction

Article excerpt

Byline: by Harry Hawkes

Love it or hate it, you just cannot ignore the striking work of Pablo Picasso. For later this month a sale of more than 100 ceramic works by the artist is expected to burst through the pounds 3 million mark at auction.

The sale, at Sotheby's Olympia premises in Hammersmith Road, London is the largest sale of his ceramic pieces for 10 years. Two impressive private collections have been brought together for the auction, scheduled for Wednesday, October 26.

A Sotheby's spokesman said: "A wonderful and varied selection of ceramics is represented by more than 100 plates, bowls, jugs, tiles and vases decorated with classic Picasso motifs. Two distinguished private collections form the auction's core, including numbered editions, unique works and several rare examples. Estimates range from pounds 1,000 - pounds 35,000 and each individual piece offers a fantastic opportunity to acquire a work by the greatest master of 20th century art at a fraction of the cost of a painting or sculpture by him.

"The most valuable piece in the sale is a striking painted and glazed earthenware vase made in 1951 in an edition of 75. It was one of Picasso's earliest designs and also one of his largest, measuring 75.5 cms in height"It has a saleroom estimate of pounds 28,000-pounds 35,000.

"Other works include a painted and partially glazed earthenware pitcher entitled Femme du Barbu and an earthenware plate entitled Visage de Femme.

"The pitcher is expected to fetch pounds 4,000-pounds 6,000. Visage de Femme is estimated at pounds 5,000-pounds 7,000. A painted terracotta dish made in 1957 is one of only 200 made and is expected to sell for pounds 4,000-pounds 6,000."

Two very rare earthenware tiles are unique works by Picasso from 1956 and are estimated to sell for pounds 9,000-pounds 12,000 for one the second, painted and partially glazed is expected to fetch pounds 8,000-pounds 12,000. A Picasso ceramic design cast in silver is expected to fetch more than pounds 15,000.

In addition to the large collection of Picasso ceramics the sale includes a small group of works by the French artist Jean Cacteau. He produced several designs under Picasso's influence in the late 1950s. One painted and partially glazed white earthenware plate is estimated to sell for pounds 1,800-pounds 2,500.

Nearer home, other events which are attracting collectors in the next few days are: Today and tomorrow: Britain's second biggest collectors' fair opensits doors to several thousand sellers and buyers from 8am-5pm each day, with admission costing pounds 4 daily into the former RAF bomber base at Swinderby, near Lincoln. …