Potty About Pottery
To say the late Mr and Mrs Firth had a passion for pottery would be an understatement. Over a 40 year period the couple spent a total of £27,000 acquiring ceramics and in the process built up a collection of over 300 pieces which they kept in their one bedroom bungalow in Leeds. It was only when Mr Firth passed away in 2015 (his wife Pat had died in 2012) that the couple’s relatives discovered the horde of pottery that was crammed into their house. They called in Jason Wood, a ceramics expert from Adam Partidge auctioneers, to take a look. With pieces stacked up so high that they almost touched the ceiling, Mr Wood likened the bungalow to a “tomb of precious stuff”. Mr Wood added “At first the garage looked like there was nothing of value, but in amongst spanners and oil cans there was contemporary art wrapped in newspaper and stuffed away in drawers. It was an incredibly impressive collection in a completely domestic setting.” As well as pottery, there was also silver, jewellery, glass, textiles, and furniture items, so many pieces that it took three days to remove all the valuable items and a further five months to record them all. The family then had a second shock when the collection fetched £990,679 at auction, a staggering 10 times the value of the Firths’ house. Now that’s pots of money.