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19th-century Wedgwood blue dip Jasperware Campana wine cooler, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Freeman’s

Premier single-owner Wedgwood collection graces Freeman’s Feb. 15 sale

 

19th-century Wedgwood blue dip Jasperware Campana wine cooler, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Freeman’s
19th-century Wedgwood blue dip Jasperware Campana wine cooler, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Freeman’s

 

PHILADELPHIA — Freeman’s announces the sale of Ellis and Suzanne Rubin’s far-reaching collection of ceramics. Spanning the entire history of Wedgwood production from Wedgwood & Bentley to the 21st century — and complemented by fine examples from various modern and contemporary ceramic artists — the impressive and important collection will be presented across multiple sales. The first single-owner auction of Wedgwood will be held Wednesday, February 15, and additional property will be offered as single-owner sections in departmental sales throughout Freeman’s Winter-Spring 2023 auction season. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Freeman’s Division Director of Decorative Arts Tim Andreadis said, “The Rubins’ collection is one of the best Wedgwood collections in private hands, with both archetypical and rarely-seen examples. We are honored to partner with the Rubins for these sales, which will surely excite established and emerging collectors.”

Circa-1920s Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Bubbles II Malfrey pot, estimated at $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Freeman’s
Circa-1920s Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Bubbles II Malfrey pot, estimated at $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Freeman’s

All the Variety and Perfection: The Wedgwood Collection of Dr. Ellis F. Rubin & Suzanne Borow Rubin borrows its name from an early advertisement in which Josiah Wedgwood vows to “make it his constant endeavor to give to his manufacture all the variety and perfection he is able.” While the auction has a particular focus on Wedgwood rarities, it exemplifies the depth and breadth of the renowned manufacturer’s output and illustrates its long-lasting commitment to experimentation and innovation. Featuring early creamware, Black Basalt, iconic Jasperware, Fairyland Lustre, Keith Murray Art Deco designs, and compelling studio forms, the sale celebrates the pottery and is a testament to the Rubins’ decades-long contribution to the Wedgwood collecting community.

Collection of Wedgwood pieces that will appear in the February 15 auction lineup, varying estimates. Image courtesy of Freeman’s
Collection of Wedgwood pieces that will appear in the February 15 auction lineup, varying estimates. Image courtesy of Freeman’s

Motivated equally by personal passion and intellectual curiosity, Ellis and Suzanne Rubin spent more than 60 years building the ceramics collection that filled their Bucks County, Pennsylvania home. From her father, Dr. Sydney Borow, Suzanne developed an interest in and appreciation for art that she later shared with and cultivated within her husband.

“With Suzanne the granddaughter of a collector and the daughter of collectors, I had no hope of avoiding being drawn into collecting,” Dr. Rubin remarked. Together, the couple enthusiastically traveled the world, attended seminars, joined numerous societies, and befriended collectors, dealers and curators, deepening their knowledge while chasing rare forms and unique examples.

19th-century Wedgwood encaustic-decorated black basalt handled urn, estimated at $1,000-$1,500. Image courtesy of Freeman’s
19th-century Wedgwood encaustic-decorated black basalt handled urn, estimated at $1,000-$1,500. Image courtesy of Freeman’s

Throughout the years, selections from their collection have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Wedgwood 250th Anniversary exhibition at the DAR Museum in Washington, D.C., and, most recently, at Classic Black in 2020 at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While expanding and refining their collection has been a continual source of enjoyment for the Rubins, they now desire to enlighten and inspire the next generation: “We realize it is time to disperse and share our collection with other enthusiasts. We hope that everyone will enjoy our collection as it spreads to a wider audience.”

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