The Bruce Willis Collection
Marblehead Pottery from the Hollywood Hero

Los Angeles – An extraordinary assembly of Marblehead pottery from the collection of Bruce Willis will feature as part of the 20th Century Decorative Arts Auction on 27 October at Bonhams Los Angeles.

The highlight of the 25 lots will be a green glazed earthenware corseted vase, with geometric decoration of stems and squares, designed by Arthur Irwin Hennesey and decorated by Sarah Tutt. The vase is estimated at $40,000-60,000.

Initially, Marblehead Pottery was part of the therapy program developed by Dr. Herbert J. Hall for patients with nervous disorders. Hall hired Arthur Baggs, a student at Alfred University, to lead and oversee the program, teaching pottery to Hall's patients.

In 1915, Hall sold Marblehead Pottery to Baggs as a separate commercial venture, and it remained a small operation of six craftspeople, many of whom began their apprenticeships as patients.

This carefully-curated collection conveys the consignor's keen eye for the pottery's recognizable purity and restraint, and this particular group exhibits diversity in style, form and technique.

Created during the American Arts and Crafts movement, the collection brilliantly articulates Marblehead's artistic development and will appeal to ceramic enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Commenting on the sale, Dan Tolson, Bonhams Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts in Los Angeles, said: 'This extraordinary auction features a rich variety of masterpieces of design and decorative arts from across the 20th century.

'It ranges from one of the most important private collections of American arts & crafts ceramics to masterpieces of 1950s furniture design by seminal Danish designers, Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner.

'Other highlights of Scandinavian design include the exciting rediscovery of a documented abstract stoneware bowl by revered Danish artist Axel Salto, whose whereabouts were unknown for the previous 60 years.

'The auction will conclude with an epic Dale Chihuly masterwork installation from one of San Francisco's most renowned restaurants of the 1990s Zeitgeist, Postrio.'

For more information about the auction, please click here.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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