Rod Jellicoe

The late Rod Jellicoe.

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We were soon great friends and remained so ever since. Rod was an amazing individual.

From that humble start he grew into a top London dealer with international clients including the rich and the famous. His enthusiasm for his early English ceramics was infectious and he fostered many important collections in Britain and abroad.

Rod was not an enthusiastic lecturer. He was extremely nervous and that inhibited his performance. However, put a pot in his hand and, whether discussing with an individual or a group, he and the pot became alive in a way few people could achieve.

His interest in his ceramics covered every aspect both aesthetic and practical. He loved shards as they could tell you so much about the production process. In America he was a revelation to museum curators when he visited their collections. He could pick up a small fragment of excavated pot and identify which site in Britain it was from.

Rod was responsible for two ground-breaking exhibitions in London. One came from the shards of Isleworth rescued from the Thames by Ray Howard and Norman Bayliss. They took them to the pottery dealer Garry Atkins, who recognised they were porcelain so sent them across the road to Stockspring Antiques, where Rod was dealing from at the time.

From these few shards he and Anton Gabszewicz were able to provide an exhibition and catalogue that put Isleworth back on the map.

The other ground-breaking exhibition in his own shop in London was on the porcelain of William Reid, another neglected potter due to misinterpretation in the past. Finally, Liverpool porcelain got the recognition it deserved: it had been a dumping ground for less attractive pieces for too long.

Rod was also instrumental in working on the early porcelain of John Bartlam and many will remember the teapot that sold at Woolley & Wallis for a £460,000 hammer price. Rod bought it on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Great affection

Rod will be remembered with great affection by very many collectors, be they beginners or aficionados. He would take time to explain pieces to a novice without pressure to buy or find a pot that enhanced some aspect of a well-established collection.

One top dealer described Rod as “too academic” but those who knew his robust sense of humour and fun and who shared in his enthusiasm for his wares would not agree.

He was a generous, kind and lovely man who will be missed by ‘potoholics’ around the world. Maurice and I felt very honoured to be his friend and I know that is true for very many more.

I am sure we all send our thoughts and condolences to Eusebio Andújar, his husband, and all Rod’s family.

From Lyn Hillis