ONE of the largest single-owner collections of ceramic Louis Wain cats to come on the market in recent years will be coming up for auction this autumn.
The private collection, amassed over many years by a Cotswold-based feline fanatic comprises a vast array of ceramic Louis Wain model cats and tea wares.
And they will be going under the hammer at Kinghams Auctioneers in Moreton in Marsh on October 6.
The world-famous cat artist Louis Wain’s (1860-1939) profile has been catapulted into popular culture with the recent hit film, The Electric Life of Louis Wain starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy.
Charting the artist’s rise to fame with his humorous anthropomorphised cat illustrations to his fall in popularity after the first world war and declining mental health, the film helped to raise the profile of the London-born artist and generated a resurgence in interest in his works.
The collection coming up is centered on his works in avant-garde ceramic form.
These include eight rare and highly desirable British-made ‘futuristic’ or ‘cubist’ cats which were created between 1910 and 1912.
These feline characters first appeared at an exhibition in 1914 where Wain designed a set of nine cats, a pig, and a dog. These were given ‘Lucky’ names such as ‘The Lucky Futurist Cat’ and ‘Lucky Haw Haw Cat’.
One of the rarest is ‘The Lucky Sphinx’ cat, an example of which appears in the collection. All the cats were produced in very small quantities and one batch bound for the US was hit by a torpedo and sunk.
As such all models are rare and highly sought after by collectors today. A futuristic spill vase with a paw raised even makes a brief appearance in the 2021 film on a conveyor belt.
Alongside the cubist spill vases, there is a set of four Louis Wain ‘Laughing Cats’ created for Wilkinson Pottery, each with a different coloured bowtie.
Furthermore, the is a large selection of rare transfer printed wares for Paragon China, including baby plates and tea wares.
Estimates range from £80 to over £500 with the collection potentially set to fetch up to £20,000.
Adrian Rathbone of Kinghams who sourced the collection said: “We have sold a number of Louis Wain cats over the years for high sums but to handle such a large consignment and wide range of models and wares is exceptional and exciting. We expect worldwide interest from collectors.”
For further information contact Adrian Rathbone at 01608 695695 or email [email protected].
* The next free valuation event is at Dorridge Village Hall (B93 8QA) on Thursday September 14 from 11am to 2pm. Free home visits can be arranged for large/multiple items, clients downsizing or dealing with an estate. For further information contact Carol Jones, Kinghams Regional Manager on 07802 839915 or email [email protected]