Obituary: Alan Firth, 1934-2015/Sale of collection
Alan Firth together with his wife Pat (1934-2012) were collectors well known to many in the studio pottery world. THEIR RARE COLLECTION INCLUDED 21 PIECES BY HANS COPER AND SOLD FOR £990,000 From their small bungalow on the outskirts of Leeds they assembled a collection of over 350 pots over a thirty year period from 1974. They began buying during a particularly good era for studio ceramics and were quickly attracted to the work of Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, visiting the artists in their studios to learn about pottery and purchase work. Over time their collection developed, often with challenging new work from potters like Ewen Henderson, Carol McNichol and Charles Bound. But it was classic refined forms that dominated their interest, works by potters such as Magdelena Odundo and Martin Smith were particular favourites. Later they moved into collecting other crafts from furniture and textiles to jewellery and glass.
Their collection was of such high quality that they were regularly asked to loan to important exhibitions such as ‘Hans Coper’ at the Sainsbury Centre in 1983, and the British Council international touring exhibition ‘Contemporary British Crafts’ of 1988/9 to which they loaned a seminal Alison Britton pot.
We are entering a period when many collections formed during the late 20th century are being dispersed. It seems fitting given the Firth’s interest in buying and selling through auction that their collection of over 500 items is to be sold, providing others with an opportunity to own the objects they so lovingly brought together.
The sale, entitled ‘Studio Ceramics, Modern and Contemporary Design: The Alan and Pat Firth Collection’, will be held at Adam Partridge auctioneers in Macclesfield on Friday 16th October 2015. The collection will be on view in Macclesfield from Wednesday 14th. A London viewing will be arranged over three days at the end of September (dates and venue tbc). For further information, please contact Jason Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org. See more details of auction sale here