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Quinn's to auction 1,000-piece William S. Lieth American art pottery collection on Dec. 7
George Ohr small lobed and folded bowl, green glaze. Impressed on bottom: G. E. Ohr, Biloxi, Miss. 1 1/2in high x 4in dia. Estimate $3,000-$5,000 Quinn's Auction Galleries image.

FALLS CHURCH, VA.- The 1,000-piece art pottery collection of William S. Lieth will be auctioned by Quinn’s Auction Galleries on Saturday, Dec. 7. A vast and impressive array, the Lieth collection includes masterworks from such great names as George Ohr, Kataro Shirayamadani, R. Guy Cowan, Newcomb and Wayland Gregory.

Lieth amassed one of the largest and most diverse collections of Cowan pottery in private ownership. It contains more than 500 pieces, including one of the only 25 “Eve” sculptures ever made by R. Guy Cowan, founder of Cowan Pottery. Eve was created by Cowan in 1928. Just three years later, in 1931, Cowan Pottery went out of business. The sculpture is decorated in terra-cotta glaze and estimated to bring $2,000-$4,000. Also featured is a pair of metallic elephant bookends estimated between $400 and $600. These bookends feature an uncommon bronze metallic glaze that was used by Cowan Pottery. Also included are works by Cowan Pottery’s Thelma Frazier Winter, Margaret Postgate, Walter Sinz and Alexander Blazys.

Some of the most desirable items in the sale are the seven pieces by famed Biloxi, Mississippi, potter George Ohr. Included is one of Ohr’s famous lobed bowls he nicknamed his “Mud Babies.” The form demonstrates a refined clay with collapsed folds in a green glaze. Ohr’s impressed signature, “G.E. Ohr, Biloxi, Miss,” is on the bottom beneath the remnants of an uncontrolled glaze (est. $3,000-$5,000).

The second-largest portion of the Lieth collection features incredible works from Rookwood Pottery. An 1882 pitcher created by Maria Longworth Nichols, who established Rookwood Pottery Co. in 1880, is one of the top entries. Its decoration features a scene of an owl perched on a tree branch eating his caught dinner with a fork (est. $1,500-$2,000). Rookwood works by Kataro Shirayamadani include an 1894 vase decorated in Rookwood’s standard glaze with a foliate design (est. $1,500-$2,000). Other noteworthy designs include pieces by Anna Marie Valentien, Sara Sax, Matthew A. Daly, Elizabeth Lincoln, and Sally Coyne.

The collection also features Newcomb pottery from the women’s college of Tulane University in New Orleans. The Newcomb selection includes a bud vase created by Joseph Meyer and decorated by Marie De Hoa LeBlanc. The decoration features a white clay body with a blue, green and yellow glossy glaze with a daffodil pattern (est. $3,000-$4,000). Other works include pieces by Ada Witt Lonnegan, Mazie Teresa Ryan, Maude Robinson, Sadie Irvine and Lillian Ann Guedry.

No American art pottery collection would be complete without Roseville, and the Lieth collection boasts some of the most elusive patterns and forms. The 120-plus pieces of Roseville feature patterns such as Ferrella, Monticello and Futura.

Quinn’s Auction Galleries Dec. 7 Pottery Auction featuring the collection of William S. Lieth will commence at 11 a.m. Eastern. For additional details on any lot in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail Visit Quinn’s online at The auction catalog may be viewed online at

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