Throughout our auctions at Potteries Auctions in Staffordshire, we have sold a diverse range of art of different mediums. We are proud to have sold many pieces from local artists and we continue to look for pieces to include in our sales. Read on for more on local art that has come to auction with us recently.
Widely known for his dark and slightly haunting paintings, Jack Simcock was born on the 6th June 1929 and passed away in 2012, attending local Burslem Art school in 1949. From 1957, he began to exhibit his work at the Piccadilly Gallery in London and continued with over 50 one-man exhibitions in various galleries until 1981. One of the main inspirations for his work was Mow Cop, where Simcock and his family lived until his death. Mow Cop, a village on the Staffordshire border, is home to Mow Cop castle and the landscapes and houses that were featured in his paintings. In his autobiography ‘Simcock, Mow Cop’ he wrote “Houses were like large tombstones, the roads like paths through a graveyard”. With his dark opinion of Mow Cop, it does make you consider why he chose to live there for most of his life. It is also clear to see within his painings his dark interpretation of Mow Cop.
At first glance at his early paintings, monochrome may seem to be a distinct colour scheme. However, in a sentinel article in 1963, his close friend Reginald Haggar explained “The richness of colour that underlines the seemingly black and white affects, glints of terracotta and old gold through steely grey”. From 1980, Simcock moved away from his ‘monochrome’ style of painting, introducing more colour into his work. However, this new direction was not favoured by his collectors.
Leslie Gilbert was a water colour artist who specialised in Staffordshire landscapes. Born April 1912 in Birches Head, Stoke-On-Trent, and died 2007. At 14 he left school to begin work as an apprentice lithographic artist, creating pottery transfers for a Stoke-On-Trent firm. As his artistic hobby developed, Giblert attended classes at Hanley art school which developed his talents and led him to exhibit his work for the Royal Institute of painters for 40 years. He also held many individual exhibitions in Keele, Hanley Potteries museum and Leek.
Arthur Berry, born 7th February 1925 and died July 1994, was known for his dark mixed media portraits and industrial landscapes. Attending Burslem Art school, he later in life began to teach there himself, along with also teaching at Manchester and Chelsea colleges of art. Further into his career he showcased his work at The Gallery Manchester and the Stoke-On-Trent museum and art gallery. After his death his work was exhibited alongside similar artist Lowry ‘Lowry and Berry; observations of urban life’ at the Potteries Museum in 2015. Berry had commonly been described as ‘The Lowry of the Potteries’ as their work showed similar themes.
Harry Tittensor, born in 1887 in Burslem, studied at the Burslem school of art, also teaching there later in life. He began his artistsic career in 1900 at the Royal Doulton factory as an apprentice. Tittensor went on to design many Doulton figures such as: The Parsons Daughter, Pretty Lady, Geisha, The mermaid and Princess Badoura. In 1925 he began to concentrate on his own work, producing oil and watercolour, still life and portrait pieces. His work has been exhibited at the Royal institute of painters in watercolours, The Fine Art Society in London and The Royal Academy. He later died in 1942 at the age of 55.
Reginald George Haggar
Although he wasn’t born in Stoke-On-Trent, throughout most of his life Haggar took interest in Stokes industry, focusing most of his own work on Potteries landscapes. Born in Ipswich in 1905, he studied at Londons Royal college of art. In 1929 he moved to Stoke to work as an assistant director at Minton Pottery. Following on from his ceramic work, he taught at both Stoke school of art and Burslem school of art in 1934. 10 years later he finished his teaching career to become a full-time artist and author. In 1943 he succeeded in founding the Society of Staffordshire Artists and North Staffordshire watercolour group.
Maurice Wade, born 31st March 1917-1991 in Wolstanton, Stoke-On-Trent, was eductated at Burslem college of art. His work focused on the industrial landscapes of Stoke during the pottery manufacturing era. Wade used a limited scale of grey and monotone colours within his work which is one of the most admired factors of his paintings. Throughout his life his work was exhibited in many locations: The Royal Society of British Artists, The Societe des Artistes Francias, Royal Academy, The Woodstock gallery London and The Salford city art gallery.
Rob Pointon was born in 1981, in the Staffordshire Moorlands, now living in Cheshire. He studied at Aberystwyth University, graduating with a first-class honour’s degree in Fine Arts, also studying at the Royal Drawing school in London. ‘Rob paints entirley en plein air and has a particular interest in the use of multiple point perspective and movement within his paintings’. Rob continues to exhibit his work as the international artist of residence at Manchester airport, showcasing his work in the terminals. Also having exhibits with the Royal institute of artists, Colourfield gallery and New English art club.