July 1 – It's the beginning of the summer AUCTION season for Quimper pottery! For many years, the traditional dates for important Quimper auctions have been Easter, the beginning of July, and the beginning of December. The advent of the Internet, with on-line auctions and extensive auction information on line, has perhaps made these dates seem less significant – after all, basically there is Quimper pottery for sale somewhere public all the time now – but the best pieces that come up for public sale still often show up at these auctions.
Although the catalogues (or versions thereof) are available on line, the arrival of those big white envelopes is an awaited-for event. All of these sales include items other than Quimper pottery, but the covers tell it all – it's Quimper in the spotlight. (Here's the best part about the catalogues: you get to see and keep a record of pieces that have rarely if ever been seen on the market. And that's because there were many pieces that are not catalogued anywhere that have found their way to the marketplace for many different reasons, so even the most experienced Quimper collector – which I am far from being – still has surprises in his or her future.)
The first auction is in Douarnenez on Friday, July 3 – the auction house of Thierry-Lannon of Brest conducts this sale, and Bernard Verlingue is the expert. On the cover, there is an almost surrealist piece by Léonardi, another (quite rare) by Roger Le Ball of a scolding grandmother, a Paul Fouillen vase, and a Nicot statue of a farmer with a calf. And inside, tempting photos of botanical plates, statuary (lots of dancers and children), and handsome Odetta pieces as well as pieces by contemporary artists Olivier Lapicque and Patrice Cudennec.
On Sunday, July 5, Yves Cosquéric holds the Adjug'Art auction in Douarnenez, assisted by experts Didier Gouin and Alain Le Berre. His cover features a hand-modelled glazed terra cotta piece by Yvonne Jean-Haffen (pupil and close friend of Mathurin Méheut), which portrays a woman from the Isle of Ouessant and her sheep in conversation with a miller. The piece is monogrammed and dated, probably manufactured by Henriot, and it is estimated at 4-5000 euros. Inside, there are pieces from every Quimper period – something for everybody!! It will be most interesting to see what happens at this sale ...
And on Monday, July 6, Oriot-Dupont holds their sale at Morlaix. The cover of this catalogue features a rare and handsome piece by René Yves Creston: Nominoë, a duke or prince from French/Breton history, in armor on his horse. This catalogue also features Quimper from all the major production periods, and there is a special group of pitchers. An exceptionally rare Porquier publicity plaque for snuff bottles would look wonderful at my house, but it is already rumored that its gavel price will be triple the estimated value of 3-5000 euros.
Time for me to get to work: check out the offerings for interested clients, see which pieces look better in photos than in real life and vice versa, take photos, discuss bids. You can investigate the catalogues yourself on line:
Thierry-Lannon – http://www.thierry-lannon.com/php/article/fo/index.php?cle=vxd613422469128mzocnp20zA29200906&id_vente=517&titre=VENTE%20ARTISTIQUE%20-%20FAIENCES%20DE%20QUIMPER
Adjug'Art – http://www.brittanybyways.com/AdjugArt050709.pdf
Oriot-Dupont – http://www.morlaix-encheres.com/fr/Art/lots/16/0/
And I'll be reporting in through this auction season, so stay tuned!