The Rhead-Cronin Collection

Published 26th November 2013

A selection of ceramics, paintings, sketches and ephemera from the Rhead-Cronin Collection.

A selection of ceramics, paintings, sketches and ephemera from the Rhead-Cronin Collection.

During most of December 2013, Nic Saintey (Head of Ceramics) will be regularly blogging about Rhead Pottery as he prepares for sale a collection of nearly a hundred and fifty items of ceramics and other items that have a direct provenance to the Rhead family.

Most collectors are familiar with the work of Charlotte Rhead (1885-1947), but fewer perhaps know of the work of her elder brother Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880-1932) and her younger sister Adolphine (Dollie) Rhead and, perhaps, many are unaware of her talented father Frederick Alfred Rhead and his equally impressive brothers George Woolliscroft Rhead junior and Louis Rhead – a Staffordshire dynasty formed by George Woolliscroft and his wife Fanny.

The Rhead-Cronin Collection was formed by Richard Harry Rhead-Cronin (the son of Marie Rhead), late of Honiton, Devon who was the nephew of Charlotte Rhead. It comprises wholly of items gifted or passed down through the family and includes many patterns and pieces previously unrecorded.

Whilst the collection focuses primarily on the family's ceramic output, both Nic Saintey and Daniel Goddard (Head of Pictures) will be reporting their progress on the Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood Blog Site as the elder Rheads were also talented painters, engravers and illustrators whose body of work and influence spanned over half a century and two continents as Frederick Hurten Rhead, Louis Rhead and Harry Rhead emigrated permanently to America working for the Avon Pottery in Roseville and their own concerns.

Between them, they worked for perhaps twenty differing companies including Minton, Wedgwood, Doulton, Wileman & Co, Woods, Burgess & Leigh and AJ Richardson and countless others providing pieces, often of exhibition quality, that included the classical, but also spanning the formative years of the Art Pottery movement right through the fashionable decades of the Art Deco period.

The Rhead-Cronin Collection will be offered in two parts - on Tuesday, 17th December 2013 as part of the EX81 Auction and on the 21st/22nd January 2014 as part of the Spring 2014 Fine Art Sale. Both sales are likely to cause a stir with bidders on both sides of the Atlantic being able to bid live on the Internet.

In the meantime, why not follow either Nic Saintey's Blog or Daniel Goddard's Blog as they prepare the Rhead Cronin Collection for sale. We will also be tweeting any discoveries using the hashtag #RheadCroninCollection via @BHandL on Twitter.

Nic's first blog contains Rhead family photographs and is called A Family Affair. In it he says "Every now and then a good job comes along, one that really engages your attention, something that has interesting pieces with a story to tell, an opportunity to research something novel, everyday a new discovery".

Don't take our word - discover it for yourself.


  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Art Pottery
  • Art Deco
  • Charlotte Rhead
  • Frederick Hurten Rhead
  • George Woolliscroft Rhead
  • Adolphine (Dollie) Rhead
  • Frederick Hurten Rhead
  • Louis Rhead
  • Harry Rhead

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