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Wedgwood Liberty Ware teawares plus two albums assembled by Lillian Gary Taylor documenting the project, estimated at $8,000-$12,000 at Freeman’s.

Wedgwood Liberty Ware archive emerges in third Rubin collection sale at Freeman’s Jan. 25

PHILADELPHIA — An archive related to the Wedgwood Liberty Ware project designed to raise money for victims of the First World War will be offered at Freeman’s on Thursday, January 25. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000 as part of the third tranche of the remarkable Ellis and Suzanne Rubin collection of Wedgwood ceramics. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The driving force behind Liberty Ware was the Baltimore society figure Lillian Gary Taylor (1885-1961). She created the design – a center shield with the American stars and stripes, surrounded by the flags of the 11 Allied countries – and used her wealth and connections to sell more than 9,000 pieces.

Alongside two Liberty Ware tea services, one in bone china and another in Queensware, this archive includes two albums she assembled that together document the entire project, from the original Wedgwood factory proof designs to arrangements with the wholesalers William H. Plummer & Co. Included alongside letters, original drawings, receipts, invoices, and canceled checks are personal notes of thanks for tea services sent to important dignitaries, among them President Woodrow Wilson, former President Theodore Roosevelt, and then-British Prime Minister Lord Arthur Balfour.

Freeman’s is currently selling the far-reaching Rubin collection across a number of sales. The content, displayed together in the couple’s Bucks County, Pennsylvania home, represents 60 years of collecting. It spans the entire history of Wedgwood factory production from the 18th century to the 20th century.

Following two exclusively Wedgwood auctions in 2023, this 305-lot offering begins with the neoclassical forms made in the 1770s under the Wedgwood & Bentley partnership and closes with some of the factory’s more adventurous 21st-century models. In between are multiple examples of black basalt, caneware, jasperware, creamware, majolica, pate-sur-pate and the 1930s designs of Alfred Powell and Keith Murray.

Various iterations of Daisy Makeig-Jones’ Fairyland lustre ware number close to 40 lots. Particularly scarce are pieces in the so-called Nizami range, inspired by Persian literature and named after the 12th-century dramatic poet Nizami (1140-1203). Made in the 1920s, these survive in small numbers. A cup and saucer and a rectangular box and cover are estimated at $4,000-$6,000 and $3,000-$5,000 respectively. Both had been bought by the Rubins at James D. Julia sales in 2015 and 2005.

Rubin pieces by other British factories in this sale include those by William de Morgan, Royal Doulton, Royal Worcester, and George Jones, plus some Continental wares by KPM and Wilhelm Schiller.