Specialist's Picks: 20th Century Design


Prior to the auction on Wednesday 29 May, specialist John Black talks to us about his personal favourites from the sale.


Lots 211-223 The collection of Alan Spencer-Green ceramics

This collection of ceramics comes from the self-taught potter Alan Spencer-Green (1932-2003), who was inspired by a visit to Japan and the studio Shoji Hamada in 1955, after completing national service in Korea. He set up a studio in Wimbish, 11 miles from our auction rooms, and held his first show at Primavera in London in 1961.
I especially love the aesthetics of the collection that consists of light porcelain and stoneware bowls in light coloured glazes, of yellow, green and duck-egg blue – they are remarkably soft in feel and some have the incised designs typical of Japanese and Chinese Pottery.
Spencer-Green’s works are now exhibited at museums worldwide.

Alan Spencer-GreenLots 211-223


Lot 62 A pair of Arts and Crafts laurel wood console tables, designed by Montagu Norman the Governor of the Bank of England 1920-1944

I love the evolution of these tables. They started life as a single centre table. They were designed by Montagu Norman for his private residence Thorpe Lodge in West London. Inspired by leading members of the Arts and Crafts movement, he employed Walter Knight Shirley to remodel the house in 1904. Norman designed much of the furniture for the house himself – he was also known to have bought works from the Guild of Handicrafts and from Arts and Crafts exhibitions and was inspired to design in the manner of Gimson and Barnsley. A photograph of the table is shown beneath a huge embroidery in the Peacock Room. At some stage after the house was sold in 1955, this single table was converted to two consoles tables or radiator covers.

Lot 62 A pair of Arts and Crafts laurel wood console tables, designed by Montagu Norman

Lot 62



Our 20th Century Design Auction takes place on Wednesday 29 May 2019. To find out more about the forthcoming sale, or to discuss potential consignments, please get in touch:

johnblack@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778



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