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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Kaya Passadhi, by Jean-Marc Huss
Lot # 339 - Kaya Passadhi, by Jean-Marc Huss
Jean-Marc Huss (French, b. 1958). Oil on canvas titled Kaya Passadhi. With information on verso stating Kaya Passadhi "Tranquility of the Spirit". Wooden Statue - 15th century Nepal, representing Tara, one of the female wisdom aspects of Buddhahood. Singed on verso; 59 x 29 1/4 in.
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Richard Notkin (1948, USA)
Lot # 53 - Richard Notkin (1948, USA)

Nuclear Nuts Teapot
Stoneware;  ht. 5, wd. 8 in.

Strauss, Cindi (ed). Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics. New Haven and London: Yale University Press in association with Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2012.

One Person Exhibition, Garth Clark Gallery, NY, 1991. 

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Tim Rowan (1967; USA)
Lot # 180 - Tim Rowan (1967; USA)
Serrated Sculpture
ca 2004
Wood-fired stoneware; ht. 7, wd. 25, dp. 23 in.
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Tony Marsh (1954; USA)
Lot # 71 - Tony Marsh (1954; USA)
Perforated Vessel ca 1990
Porcelain: dia. 20.25 in.

Marsh studied at Shimaoka Pottery with Tatsuzo Shimaoka whom Japan named a Living National Treasure in 1996 (see lot 4). From 1978 to 1981 Marsh worked for Shimaoka as a student and apprentice. However when it came to his own vision he did not follow the Japanese style. Rather he made his vessels transparent, opening up their volume with thousands of carefully placed hand drilled holes. Marsh is currently the chair of ceramics, California State University in Long Beach.
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Marina Scene by William Lester Stevens
Lot # 351 - Marina Scene by William Lester Stevens
William Lester Stevens (American, 1888-1969). Oil on canvas, unframed. A painting showing a marina scene in Maine with two sailboats and two figures on a dock. Signed l.r.; 16 x 20 in.
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Group of Tiffany Studios Gilt Bronze Trays And Bowls
Lot # 192 - Group of Tiffany Studios Gilt Bronze Trays And Bowls
A group of six Tiffany Studios gilted bronze bowls and trays, including one in the Abalone pattern and two with stylized borders. Each marked Tiffany Studios New York 1707, 1721, 1749 (2), 1728, and 1747; diameters range from 14 to 8 in.
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Roseville Mostique Vases
Lot # 66 - Roseville Mostique Vases
Ten Roseville Mostique Vases
Graduated sizes, all with yellow or peach spade design. 
Ceramic; tallest: ht. 15, dia. 8 in., smallest: ht. 6, dia. 3 in.
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Thonet Molded Plywood Chairs
Lot # 124 - Thonet Molded Plywood Chairs
A set of six Thonet molded plywood chairs. Each with manufacturer's paper label; ht. 32, wd. 17.5, dp. 20 in.
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<i>Nancy Outside</i> with Charcoal by Jim Dine
Lot # 376 - Nancy Outside with Charcoal by Jim Dine
Jim Dine (American, b. 1935).  Etching and aquatint on paper, signed above plate and dated 1981, also with charcoal flowers rising upward from lower margin, edition 5/9; sheet size 35 3/4 x 24 3/4 in.
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Jane Sauer (1937, USA)
Lot # 21 - Jane Sauer (1937, USA)
Black Night
ca 1988
Fiber; tallest ht. 18 in.

Fiber artist and sculptor Jane Sauer focused primarily on painting in the early part of her career and earned her BFA at Washington University in St. Louis in 1959. The work of the feminist fiber artists of the 1970s inspired Sauer to experiment with textiles. She returned to Washington University, this time to the School of Architecture, where she studied design from 1976-1978. She soon perfected her basketry technique. Sauer’s sought-after woven sculptures often consist of pairs or small groups and explore human relationships, particularly those in her own life. This trio is woven from waxed linen thread and paint is applied almost like a glaze. Her list of honors includes two NEA grants and taking first place at the Fourth International Exhibit of Miniature Textiles at the British Crafts Centre in London. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. Today Sauer has a gallery, Jane Sauer Gallery, in Santa Fe that showcases craft and art and still weaves occasionally but less than she would like.

Reference: Pulleyn, Rob. The Basketmaker’s Art. Asheville (NC): Lark Books, 1992.
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Rick Dillingham (1952-1994; USA)
Lot # 24 - Rick Dillingham (1952-1994; USA)
Untitled Globe
Raku; ht. 10, dia. 9.5 in.
Artist signature Dillingham Oct 83-8 incised on base.

Considered the most sought-after of all the forms by Dillingham, this "Globe" has all the classic beauty that made Dillingham a significant figure in the ceramics movement of the 20th century. Surfaces in bright green and orange glazes highlighted with gold leaf, the fractured "shards" are reassembled like a quilt and create power and history within this vessel form.
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Julian Stair (1955; Britain)
Lot # 82 - Julian Stair (1955; Britain)
Pair of Tea Bowls with Base
ca 2004
ht. 4, wd. 7.25, dp. 3.75 in. (cups ht. 2.5, dia. 3 in.)
Artist stamps on the base of each piece.
Stair has exhibited internationally over the last 30 years and has work in over twenty public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Council, Museum of Arts and Design, NY, Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Boymans Museum, Netherlands.
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<i> Rush Hour </i> by Robert LoGrippo
Lot # 242 - Rush Hour by Robert LoGrippo
Robert LoGrippo (American, b. 1947). Oil on canvas, housed in a gilt frame. The painting is a view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge, in "American Naive" style. A hand-written inscription in the back of the frame reads: " 'Rush Hour'. Artist retains all rights of reproduction for ever. Bob LoGrippo. 1990." Signed l.l.; 27.5 x 21.5 in. (sight).
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Albert Green (1914-1994; USA)
Lot # 7 - Albert Green (1914-1994; USA)
Large Teal and Brown Lidded Vessel with Pigtail Pull
ca 1970-80
Glazed Stoneware; ht. with lid 8.5, dia. 16.5 in. 
Stone gray speckled interior.

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Ken Ferguson  (1928-2004; USA)
Lot # 181 - Ken Ferguson (1928-2004; USA)
Teapot with Bamboo Handle
ca 1968
Stoneware; ht. 7.5, dia. 7 in.
Artist stamp at base.
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George E. Ohr (1857-1918; USA)
Lot # 2 - George E. Ohr (1857-1918; USA)
Puzzle Mug
ca 1890-1905
Manganese and lead-glazed earthenware; ht. 3.5, wd. 3.5, dp. 4.5 in. 
Artist G. E. Ohr incised signature with faux screw head on base. 

George E. Ohr, called “The Mad Potter of Biloxi”, is often considered the first true Art Potter of the early 20th Century in the USA. These “Puzzle Mugs”, which were a frequent form he loved to make, were a mysterious wonder as you could sip a liquid out of them despite their having holes in the walls of the mug. Ohr would astound his audiences with these forms, which were quickly purchased at the various fairs he would attend.
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Large Collection of Museum and Festival Posters Signed by Dale Chihuly
Lot # 397 - Large Collection of Museum and Festival Posters Signed by Dale Chihuly
American, late 1970s-early 1990s. A collection of twenty-one posters advertising for museum glass exhibitions, music festivals, and ballets. Each poster features glass works by Dale Chihuly, and each poster is signed by him. 25 x 38 in. (largest).

Consignor's immediate family members, Bernice and David Phillips, were close friends with Dale Chihuly from an early age. During frequent trips to Tacoma to visit their family, the consignors developed a friendship with Chihuly and his mother.

For more information and pictures, please contact
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Tiffany Studios Pine Needle Pen Rack
Lot # 191 - Tiffany Studios Pine Needle Pen Rack
A Tiffany Studios pine needle pen rack with green slag glass. Signed Tiffany Studios New York. Includes three fountain pens from Aiken, Lambert & Co., Mark Ferth, and one marked Sterling; ht. 4 in.
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Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011; USA)
Lot # 22 - Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011; USA)
Wood Fired Bowl
ca 1990
Stoneware; ht. 3, dia. 6.5 in. 
Artist signature incised on base.

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David Shaner (1934-2002, USA)
Lot # 124 - David Shaner (1934-2002, USA)
Pillow Pot , 1985
Reduction fired glazed stoneware
ht. 3.5, wd. 9, dp. 6 inches
Artist stamp on foot

The most desirable of Shaner's surfaces, this black glaze was a treasure in the career of this artist. Acquired from Blue Herron Gallery, Deer Isle, ME.
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