A glazed ceramic vase created by George Ohr, who dubbed himself the Mad Potter of Biloxi, is up for sale through Christie’s in London as part of a curated auction of modern and contemporary ceramics.
Bidding has opened for pieces in the auction, Un/Breakable, and closes Oct. 2.
Ohr died in 1918, when ceramics were considered more utilitarian objects than art. Even so, he predicted that his artistic genius would one day be recognized and he would be famous. He was right.
The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi is named after the potter and a collection of his ceramics are on permanent display there. Ohr’s work gained wide recognition beginning in the 1960s, with other artists and collectors finally beginning to take note of his genius.
Christie’s auctioned a group of three Ohr vessels about a year ago. The auction house valued the group at $3,000 to $5,000. The vessels sold for $35,000. Ohr had signed two of the vessels, while the third bore an impression: “G.E. OHR/BILOXI.”
The vase currently up for auction was created around 1900, Christie’s website says. The base is stamped, “Geo E. Ohr.” It is 7 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. Christie’s estimates its value at $7,860 to $10,480.
The unnamed owner acquired the vase from the Garth Clark Gallery in New York.
A Christie’s news release about the auction describes Ohr and his work: “He created a prolific, diverse body of work in the late 1890s and early 1900s that was astonishingly ahead of its time.
“Glazed ceramic vase . . . with its exuberant biomorphic shape, fringed lip and shimmering, mossy glaze, is a charming demonstration of his pots’ unique character.”