Charles Alexander Presents
A two month project in preparation, Ripley Auction presents for you 200 lots (totaling about 300 pieces) of pottery from the collection of Charles Alexander. Amassed over a period of fifty years, it represents many manufacturers, particularly those from Indiana. Selections include Overbeck, Karl Martz, Muncie, Brown County, Martz and Marshall Studios. The remaining lots consist mostly of Roseville, due to its availability; Rookwood, if it was affordable; Fulper, because of the fabulous glazes; and examples of unfamiliar potteries and those merely acquired by chance.
As an art major at Arsenal Technical High School, I was fortunate to have fine teachers who taught me not only the rudiments of pottery, but the design principles used in its production. Continuing as an education major at Ball State, I was required to take many different classes, including pottery. One instilled in me the aesthetic of the evolution of a form; how the earth itself could be molded or thrown into a structure-the form then emerging into perfection. Because of this background I applied it to the pieces I was finding and ultimately acquiring in my own search for collectible pottery.
While actively flea marketing and attending Ball State University, I was naturally amazed to find pieces of pottery stamped MUNCIE. The first recorded piece in my voluminous records reads: “Sat.15th October, 1977. Muncie Pottery Art Deco type marked candleholder-blue glaze or paint on white clay .25 ” Obviously a piece of Ruba Rhombic, I was aware of the design origins but I had no idea such high style was ever manufactured in Indiana. Simple vase shapes I purchased later were matte green drip over rose glazes, and searching only for marked pieces, I was surprised to find later that Muncie was known as “The Rainbow Pottery.” Thanks to the tutelage of Willard & Virginia Heiss, from whom I acquired a few of the pieces offered herein, I particularly fell in love with the Orange Peel and Peach Skin glazes. Though Virginia’s first love was Marblehead and Overbeck, she was a tireless researcher and advocate for Muncie after Willard’s death. Because of access to the Heiss photographs and catalogs, I was aware of shapes no one else even considered. The matte green covered candy dish was purchased at the AAPA Convention Sale when Virginia and I went to Cincinnati one summer. Kind enough not to be jealous, she was elated for me as she knew where the piece was in case it was needed for reference. The salamander wall pocket came from the Heiss collection, and due to its rarity was always wrapped in a box-as it has been for my twenty years of possession. Since the piece wasn’t even on display, I began wondering why I was keeping it. Questions like that and discussions with fellow collectors made me rethink my ultimate goals in collecting. I thus came to the subsequent decision and major conclusion that I didn’t really need every known example, every known shape, or every known glaze iteration. I am hopeful that these items will be appreciated by others for those many reasons.
Some of these pieces I have had for almost fifty years. One of the earliest recorded buys in my notebooks is from “Sunday, 22nd August, 1976. Cowan yellowish-green glaze, Cowan, RG; Bargersville, $3.75.” Apparently the color chartreuse was NOT in my vocabulary. but that purchase certainly made me go to the library and get a copy of Evan’s Art Pottery book and research it..Time will tell how wise an investment that piece was, as it is offered in a lot with two similar pieces.
Later on we feature EVEN MORE fresh-to-the-market Art Pottery from two additional collections.
Paintings, Ceramics, and Prints by Indiana Artists: Mary Beth Edelson, Rudy Pozzatti, James Spencer Russell, Bing Davis, Vlasek-Hails, Bobby Ray, Mae Engron, Carl Pope, Dick Hay, James Sampson, John Bernhardt, Marvin Lowe, George Deem, Gerald Boyce, Frances Streit, and a LARGE Bryan Tarlton Autumn Landscape.
PAIR St. Clair emerald green paperweight art glass lamps.
Gustave Baumann color woodcut, “Washington Barnes Cabin”, edition of 50.
Art Deco and Machine Age: Frankart L250 seated nude lamp, R. Lalique 1926 ‘Roger’ dresser box, Jugendstil Marzi & Remy Beer Stein, Toulouse-Lautrec ltd. Photogravures, Farberware chrome weeping nudes, Walter Von Nessen & Ruth and Wm. Gerth, and Russel Wright for Chase, Erte ltd. ed. serigraph, Moser, Murano art glass, Nouveau jeweled stained glass windows, Westinghouse Micarta cocktail trays, Josephine Baker Bakelite powder boxes, EM Washington Black Americana / Jazz Age woodcuts, Cab Calloway’s Cat-ologue 1939 Jive Dictionary, African Djembe drums, and carved tribal relief storage chest.
MCM Furniture and Lighting!!
Modern Art original paintings and prints: Luis Romero, Clave, Calder, Trova, Luis Lopez, Ansei Uchima, Roger Bezombes, and Matt Groening Macintosh Computer Poster!
Outsider Artist folk art Noah’s Ark by David James, hand pieced quilts, Adirondack antler lamp,