The Palm Beach Artisan’s Coveted Pottery Is Coming To Sotheby’s Home
From Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to the Duchess of Windsor, a veritable Who’s Who of tastemakers have collected Dodie Thayer’s distinctive pieces, forming a cult of design personality around a Florida mom and housewife who started her business experimenting with a kiln in her garage.
Thayer, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 91, became widely known for her handcrafted, highly detailed pottery, which began on a whim in 1968 when she picked up a kiln in a craft store. The fact that Thayer herself painstakingly molded, fired and glazed each piece by hand – a process that could take up to two weeks for a single tureen – only served to make her pieces more coveted and collectible.
With their unmistakable glaze, which Thayer called Duncan Irish Green, and vegetal imprint, the tureens, platters and plates were like catnip for hostesses and designers in Palm Beach and far beyond. Thayer’s work was featured in the pages of magazines ranging from Architectural Digest to Gourmet and collected by the likes of everyone from C.Z. Guest to Brooke Astor. After being a longtime collector and admirer, Tory Burch convinced Thayer to collaborate with her for the Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch collection that launched in 2017. It was the only commercial partnership that the potter ever agreed to, although she was approached numerous times over the span of her long career.
Like Lily Pulitzer, Thayer’s pottery represented the one plus ultra of Palm Beach chic, and was available at Kemble Interiors and Au Bon Gout, each icons in their own rights. And despite many knock-offs and homages, nothing can compare to Thayer’s original creations, which will undoubtedly become even more collectible and cherished by the select few who are lucky enough to own them.