Owner of ‘important’ New Zealand pottery collection Simon Manchester dies

Wellington arts personality and prolific ceramics collector Simon Manchester has died Manchester was known for his extensive New Zealand pottery collection. It is understood Manchester had been ill His family confirmed he died on July 18.  Fellow collector, friend and arts enthusiast Jim Barr said Manchester would be sorely missed A tall man with long hair that was often kept in a ponytail, usually seen sporting a leather jacket, he cut a distinctive figure when out and about READ MORE: * The house of 2000 pots * Collector’s valuable pots reduced to shards Barr said Manchester was a born collector whose apartment was “chocka” with art pieces which could be found in every room  “He couldn’t have one of anything. He collected everything.” While pottery was his main focus – Manchester owned more than 1000 pieces – he also had paintings and a collection of classic New Zealand tourism posters Manchester’s pottery collection was “probably quite an important one”, Barr said “He could be much more wide ranging than public institutions. Simon’s collection told the full story of New Zealand ceramics – not just the top makers “It’ll be a big blow for local auction houses.” A 2014 The Dominion Post  article stated Manchester’s interest in pottery surfaced in 1987, when he was given a couple of boxes containing 15 pieces of Crown Lynn pottery as a sort of surety for a loan to a mate who couldn’t pay his drink-drive fine   The collection featured pots by Roy Cowan, Muriel Moodie, Chester Nealie, Richard Stratton, John Parker, Katherine Smyth, Doreen Blumhardt, Jim Greig, Barry Brickell, Paul Maseyk and Raewyn Atkinson, among others   About 150 pieces in his uninsured collection were destroyed during the 6.5 magnitude Seddon earthquake, however Manchester was undeterred and continued to build his collection, Barr said Manchester was a regular lender to Wellington’s City Gallery. Director Elizabeth Caldwell expressed sadness at the news of his death  

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