Stoke-on-Trent potter's colourful collection to go under the hammer

A large collection of more than 250 ceramics created by acclaimed Stoke-on-Trent potter Lorna Bailey are set to go under the hammer. The collection, which includes Bailey's whimsical cat models, will be sold in 40 lots - each carrying estimates ranging from £40 to £150.

They are due to go under the hammer at the Halls Fine Art’s pictures, ceramics, collectables and modern design auction in Shrewsbury on June 26. The collection belongs to a couple from Shropshire.

Bailey’s colour palette is often compared to that of Clarice Cliff's, who similarly favoured bold and vibrant designs. After studying ceramics at Stoke-on-Trent College - formerly Burslem School of Art - she subsequently joined her father’s business, LBJ Ceramics, where she quickly carved out a niche market for her distinctive series of designs.

"At the heart of this collection are Bailey's whimsical cat models, brimming with playful charm," said Halls Fine Art’s ceramics specialist Caroline Dennard. "Both seasoned collectors and newcomers to collecting will find treasures ranging from limited editions with certificates to larger group lots, perfect for starting or expanding a collection.

The collection also includes ‘grotesque’ models of birds, a contemporary and much brighter play on the earlier concepts introduced by the likes of late 19th-century English ceramicists such as the Martin Brothers. "These colourful pieces are infused with distinctive and vibrant colour palettes reminiscent of the fashions seen in the Art Deco period of the 1920s and early 1930s," added Caroline.

"The scope of variety of her work means that there is much to see and collect for those with whom her work finds favour, be it an angular sculptural jug, an amusing feline companion or a characterful bird model. To add to the delight, many of the animal models are named, which only serves to add to the sense of personality imbued in them."

Bailey retired from the ceramics industry in 2005, leaving behind a dedicated collector’s club and a fanbase well beyond the UK. "Prices for her works have increased in value since then, defying market trends seen in other sectors of the industry," said Caroline. "Nearly all of the models are in pristine condition, having been lovingly displayed at the vendor’s family home in dedicated display cabinets."

If you're on the lookout for local news, we have you covered with our FREE email newsletter - sign up in the box at the top of this story or click here.