Press Release - 4 April 2011
From humble beginnings in rural Natal, Ardmore Ceramics has grown into an extraordinary South African success story, capturing the attention of avid collectors both locally and internationally. Produced in the heart of the Caversham Valley, these exuberant ceramic works are created by artists who draw on local folk-lore and the fauna and flora of the African landscape for their inspiration. Embodying the heart and soul of Zulu tradition, early works had a naivety reminiscent of 18th Century English Staffordshire pottery, yet today’s pieces are often breathtaking in their sheer splendour and dramatic intricacy, appealing to a wide audience as a result of the sophisticated use of colour and pattern.
This sophistication, together with the drama and artistry inherent in each work, totally captured the imagination of Christopher Greig, of Charles Greig Jewellers fame, when he first saw Ardmore ceramics on exhibition in 1992. Believing they would compliment his stores, Christopher immediately purchased a collection of Ardmore to display in their jewellery stores, and his instinct was confirmed when the works were snapped up by clients. This positive synergy between the two brands has continued, with the jewellers hosting several exhibitions of Ardmore ceramics at their up-market stores. July 2007 saw the opening of the fifth such collaboration, the ‘Great Cats of the World’ exhibition, and Stephan Welz and Company Pty Limited are delighted to be offering a significant piece from this exhibition at their forthcoming auction in Rosebank on 20th April.
Lot 690, an urn and cover dramatically decorated with painted lion and leopard amongst stylised ferns, and applied with these animals modelled in fight, epitomises the splendour of Ardmore. The use of colour and pattern, together with the dramatic detailing, reveals a sophisticated sense of form and design, and with a pre-auction estimate of R35 000 - 45 000, will be a worthy addition to any serious Ardmore collection.