John Maltby

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John Maltby (1936-2020) was one of the outstanding British studio potters of his generation and features in many noted public and private collections. We offer a free appraisal of any Maltby works submitted to our auctions. 

John Maltby Overview


John Maltby spent much of his childhood by the sea in Cleethorpes and this informed his work throughout his career and indeed similarities to the Cornwall painter Alfred Wallis can be seen, ‘naïve’ in style but not in execution. Maltby went through several phases of training moving between the departments of Goldsmiths College before eventually settling in Devon with his wife Heather and working for David Leach at Lowerdown Pottery.  This was the crucial development in Maltby’s journey to becoming an artist in clay in his own right (or the ‘artist potter’ according to Leach) using his very personal inspirations and experiences to create works which in their own way are as original as those of the Martin Brothers.

Maltby’s idiosyncratic vision and technical prowess proceeded at full flow over the following decades as he produced an astonishing array of works which spoke to him and would, in time, speak to many others. These included totemic sea birds, often dangling their fresh catch of fish, enigmatic female figures with cubist features that Picasso or Modigliani might have recognized, and vessels bearing stony faced travellers or ‘boat people’ travelling to or from destinations unknown.

John Maltby at Auction 

Wilson55 are well known for offering John Maltby works at auction, having previously sold a vase and footed dish for £850 respectively and a large square dish for £750.  We welcome enquiries regarding the valuation and potential consignment of works by John Maltby and other studio potters in our specialist sales.

Our specialist Modern Art & Design auctions are held four times a year and cover a wide selection of furniture, studio pottery, ceramics, glass, print & multiples, paintings and more.  For a free, confidential auction valuation of your collection, to enquire about any of our lots or to enter your own collection into one of our specialist sales, get in touch: or fill in our online valuation form below. 


Meet the Expert

James Spiridion

Auctioneer and valuer specialising in Modern Design. James has recently returned to the North West after spending the last few years as a valuer in Scotland, during that time James also featured on Paul Martin's Auction Showdown for Channel 5 as a 'Rival Auctioneer'.



Free Auction Valuation

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