Modern Ceramics

Cowan's has partnered with Garth Clark and Mark DelVecchio, internationally renowned dealers, authors, and scholars, to present semi-annual Modern Ceramics Auctions. These are the first regular auctions in the United States focused solely on modern and contemporary ceramics.

Department Director

Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, Directors

Contact Information
We are always accepting exceptional consignments.
Contact Maureen Buri at

Garth Clark
Garth Clark is the author of over 50 books and 250 essays on 20th century and contemporary ceramics. He has received numerous honors for his work including being made a Fellow the Royal College of Art, London and honorary doctorates from Staffordshire University in Britain and the Kansas City Art Institute among others. In 2005 he was the recipient of the College Art Association's Mather Award for distinguished art journalism. In 1981, together with Mark Del Vecchio he founded the Garth Clark Gallery in Los Angeles and then New York, and Kansas City. In 2007 the gallery was closed and a new entity Clark+DelVecchio, private dealers, was formed in Santa Fe, NM.

Mark DelVecchio
Mark DelVecchio is the author of the highly-acclaimed "Post Modern Ceramics". He has received the Visionaries award from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, a lifetime achievement award from the Friends of Contemporary Ceramics and an honorary doctorate from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has directed the Garth Clark Gallery since 1981 overseeing the presentation of more than six hundred exhibitions during the life of the gallery.  Together with Dawn Bennett and Garth Clark he organized the massive Ceramic Millennium Conference in Amsterdam in 1999 that attracted 56 national delegations and 3,500 attendees. He is now director of Clark+DelVecchio in Santa Fe, NM.


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Group of Books by Elbert Hubbard
Lot # 399 - Group of Books by Elbert Hubbard
A group of five books by Elbert Hubbard incluidng Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Painters, Little Journey to the Home of Robert G. Ingersoll, The Book of the Roycrofters, Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book and Elbert Hubbard of East Aurora by Felix Shay.
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John Risley Wire Rocker, Settee and Chair
Lot # 301 - John Risley Wire Rocker, Settee and Chair
John Risley (American, 1912-2002). Lot of three includes a figural enameled iron settee, rocker and chair in the shape of a seated couple, a nun and woman with a purse; settee 50.5 x 36 x 27 in.
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Albert Green (1914-1994; USA)
Lot # 247 - Albert Green (1914-1994; USA)
Three Tea Bowls
ca 1986-94
Stoneware; tallest ht. 3 in.
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Beatrice Wood (1893-1998; USA)
Lot # 105 - Beatrice Wood (1893-1998; USA)
Folded Turquoise Crater Bowl
ca 1965
Earthenware; ht. 6, wd. 12, dp. 7 in.
Artist signature on base. 
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<i>Paul McCobb</i> Dining Table and Side Chairs
Lot # 142 - Paul McCobb Dining Table and Side Chairs
Danish, 20th century. Paul McCobb dining table with two leaves and five side chairs, table leaf and one chair labeled Planner Group Designed by Paul McCobb Winchendon Mass Furniture Company; ht. 29, lg. 40, wd. 30 in., each leaf wd. 10 in., chair oah 30.25 in.
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Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Lot # 213 - Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Grosse Tête, Profil Droit
ceramic sculpture on wood stand
stamped Madoura Plein Feu, incised Edition Picasso, numbered 32/50, all at base
oah. 11.75 in. 

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Michael Lucero (1953; USA)
Lot # 119 - Michael Lucero (1953; USA)
Chameleon on the House
Earthenware; ht. 9, 10.25, dp. 3.75 in.
Artist signature and date on base.

In 2010, Lucero began a series of "Teapot" forms that both abstracted the shape and added his bright glazed palette to create something more than a teapot. At the core is a "house" and from there is simply the beginning. Few of these works were exhibited and are rarely seen in collections.
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Daum Nancy Table Lamp
Lot # 224 - Daum Nancy Table Lamp
French, early 20th century. A Daum Nancy red and yellow mottled shade on a wrought iron base with stylized twigs and leaves, in the manner of Edgar Brandt. Shade marked Daum Nancy France, with a hammered iron heat cap.; ht. 13 in., shade dia. 4.75 in.
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Byron Temple (1933-2002; USA)
Lot # 227 - Byron Temple (1933-2002; USA)
Covered and Tied Box
ca 1998
Stoneware; ht. 4, wd. 5.25, dp. 4 in.
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Art Deco Diana Table Lamp
Lot # 232 - Art Deco Diana Table Lamp
American, 20th century. An art deco table lamp featuring a bottom lit metal lamp base having angular sides, with an etched glass design of the goddess Diana resting on the base; ht.14.25 in.
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Adrian Saxe (1943, USA)
Lot # 164 - Adrian Saxe (1943, USA)
Ampersand Teapot
Porcelain; ht. 8, wd. 7.5, dp. 2 in.
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Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso Vase and Dish
Lot # 255 - Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso Vase and Dish
Dino Martens (Italian, 1894-1970). A bianca nera vase and bowl, each having bands of black and white and aventurine copper. Vase with partial Made in Italy label and full Aureliano Toso label on underside; vase ht. 15.75 in., dish l. 8.75 in.
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Olymische Spiele Munchen 1972 Poster by Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Lot # 235 - Olymische Spiele Munchen 1972 Poster by Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austrian, 1928-2000). Olymische Spiele Munchen screenprint in twenty one colors with metal imprints in five colorsand electrostatic application of felt fibrils. Published by Edition Olympia, 1972. Numbered 2514/3999; 40 x 25 in.
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Jun Kaneko (1942, Japan/USA)
Lot # 60 - Jun Kaneko (1942, Japan/USA)
Striped Tumbler
ht. 5.5, dia. 3.75 inches

An early and wonderfully decorated tumbler form by the master of ceramic color Kaneko.
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Louis Vuitton Trunk
Lot # 134 - Louis Vuitton Trunk
France, early 20th century. A monogrammed Louis Vuitton wood strapped leather bound trunk, featuring a wood and canvas interior insert. Serial number 766455; ht. 20, wd. 39.5, dp. 21 in.
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Harrison Van Horn Coffee Table
Lot # 121 - Harrison Van Horn Coffee Table
A large Asian-inspired red lacquer coffee table in the style of Karl Springer, by Harrison Van Horn with label on underside; ht. 15, wd.40, dp. 40 in.
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Karl Hagenauer Art Deco Sculpture of a Standing Figure With Dog
Lot # 316 - Karl Hagenauer Art Deco Sculpture of a Standing Figure With Dog
Karl Hagenauer (Austrian, 1898-1956), 20th century. A plated brass sculpture of a figure and a hound, affixed to a trapezoidal base; stamped Hagenauer / Wien with stamped workshop mark; ht. 16.5, wd. 11 in.
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<i>Rookwood</i> Standard Glaze Vase, by Sallie Toohey
Lot # 261 - Rookwood Standard Glaze Vase, by Sallie Toohey
American (Cincinnati), 1898. A Rookwood standard glaze vase decorated by Sallie Toohey. With Rookwood logo, 12 flame mark (date 1898), artist's initials and shape number 568B; ht. 9 in.
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Peter Voulkos (1924-2002, USA)
Lot # 53 - Peter Voulkos (1924-2002, USA)
ca 1961-62
Stoneware; ht. 9, wd. 10 in.

This is an important work, an early prototype for Voulkos’ later champagne buckets. It was a gift to the current owner from the artist himself. Giving the pot away was an example of Voulkos’ often spontaneous generosity. During an art tour in the mid 1970s lead by Kansas City dealer Myra Morgan, Voulkos used the piece to hold names and awarded the lucky winner an unfinished pot. (The piece was eventually fired and sent to the winner.) Then to everyone’s surprise he handed the piece to its current owner saying, “It's yours.” The work is neither signed nor dated but its authenticity is not in doubt. It is from Voulkos’ Abstract Expressionist period (1957-1964) and judging by the glazes being used, the type of foot and general handling of the clay and throwing, is likely to have been made around 1961-62. The exaggerated throwing rings, the asymmetrical rim, the splash of blue glaze all contribute to the pot’s dynamism and almost frenzied energy of this work.

References: To see other work from this period see both:

Slivka, Rose. Peter Voulkos: A Dialogue with Clay. Boston and New York: New York Graphic Society, 1978.

________. Peter Voulkos Retrospective. Tokyo: Sezon Museum of Art, 1995.
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Richard Zane Smith (1955; USA) Wyandot
Lot # 32 - Richard Zane Smith (1955; USA) Wyandot
To the Glory of God
Earthenware; ht. 10 in. dia. 12 in.
Artist signature and date on base.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Zane Smith is regarded as one of the most unique contemporary Native American potters today. Of Wyandot heritage his works consist of small hand rolled coils of natural clays, inspired by prehistoric corrugated pottery of the Southwest which then is slip painted.
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