Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Dingley’s gallery in Stratford-upon-Avon, which ran from 1966 to 1991 (first in Meer Street, then Chapel Street), showed a wide range of applied arts, but concentrated particularly on studio ceramics, showcasing potters such as Bernard Leach (1887-1979), Lucie Rie (1902-95), Hans Coper (1920-81) and John Ward (b. 1936).

A series of exhibitions – the displays often put together by Dingley’s partner, the textile designer Guido Marchini, proved influential. Lucie Rie said she had never seen her work look as good as it did in her exhibition at the gallery in 1983.

Although Dingley did not consider himself a ‘collector’, he acquired many good pieces included pots by Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Joanna Constantinidis, Geoffrey Whiting and John Ward, as well as a good collection of 19th and 20th century pictures.

They will be sold to benefit two charities for living potters and artists by Oxford auctioneer Mallams on December 5. The 55 lots are expected to bring in excess of £100,000. Highlights include a stoneware ‘sack’ form vase by Hans Coper (estimate £20,000-30,000) and a Lucie Rie turquoise bowl with manganese rim (estimate £3000-5000).

Demand for the works of the first, second and third generation of British post-war ceramicists, now runs parallel to that of Modern British painting. Once the preserve of a small number of devotees, pots by a coterie of blue-chip makers have reached new heights in recent years.

Dingley’s is one of a number of single-owner collections that are coming to market in the next couple of months.

Other collections

A large collection of studio ceramics acquired by a lady in Somerset over a 30 year period is to be sold by Lawrences of Crewkerne across 35 lots on October 10.

Works by John Maltby, Alan Wallwork, David Leach, Edmund De Waal, Walter Keeler, Mike Dodd, Rosemary Wren, John Leach, Janet Leach, Seth Cardew and Alan Caiger-Smith are included with estimates ranging from £100-£1500.

The British Art Pottery sale at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on November 27 includes 19 ceramics by Camberwell School of Art graduate Linda Gunn-Russell (b.1953) and the collection of Tony Hill whose favourite potters include Nic Collins, Michael Cardew and Mo Jupp.

Based in Wakefield, and a potter himself, Hill was a lifelong friend of near neighbour William Ismay, whose collection of over 3600 pieces was given to York Museums Trust in 2001.

Cheshire-based Adam Partridge, sellers back in 2015 of the £900,000 Firth collection, are hosting two studio ceramics sales in October. Specialist consultant Jason Wood is curating an auction of contemporary ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent on October 10 timed to coincide with the final days of the 10th British Ceramics Biennial.


A 16in (39cm) earthenware plate signed by Bruce McLean (b.1944), dated 2015 and numbered 40/100. Estimate £500-700 at the October 10 sale held by Adam Partridge at the British Ceramics Biennial at the original Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent.

The sale will feature works by current and former exhibitors with the proceeds from the sale helping support The Clay Foundation, the charity which runs the Biennial.

Partridge’s regular Studio Ceramics & Modern Design auction will be held the following day on October 11 in Macclesfield.


Phillips’ Design sale in London on October 17 includes this 6in (15cm) porcelain footed bowl by Lucie Rie dating from 1985. Decorated with a golden manganese glaze, two terracotta bands crossed with vertical sgraffito lines and a turquoise ring, it was bought by the vendor in 1990 at the Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney. Estimate £15,000-20,000.