A ceramics that is part of North American Bonsai History

A ceramics that is part of North American Bonsai History.

I am now almost convinced that this is indeed a Nick Lenz pot. Not just that, but an early example of his work. I still need to establish the final link in the chain of provenance to link it to Nick Lenz. But all circumstances point to it being one of his very early works in ceramics dating to before 1987. The size and shape match, and so does the geometry (large diameter but very shallow - 12" wide, 1.5" deep inside), the clay and glaze according to Kris Springer, an expert in Nick Lenz pots. However, Nick Lenz was not known to write on a pot with a sharpie. The lack of holes for wires was confirmed by David Easterbrook as a characteristic in early Nick Lenz pots. The lack of openings on the feet are likely part of Nick Lenz’ early experimentation and in my opinion to slow down the drainage of water on such a large but shallow pot. Other experts on Nick Lenz’ work, such as Andre Flores think that all aspects of this pot point to Nick Lenz. All still needs to be looked in person more closely but the purpose of this post is to seek help from anyone that may be reading this and can fill more gaps in the chain of provenance.

Why is this pot part of American Bonsai History? Assuming all the above, it is one of Nick Lenz’ early works, at least 35 years old. At some point it was acquired by Jack and Genieve Enright while they still lived in Lexington, MA. Genieve was a pioneer female bonsai artist in the US, her work received national recognition and some of her bonsai are oon display at national collections. Jack and Genieve moved back to the west coast and Genieve was among the founding members of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association. Genieve lived to the age of 98, some time before when Genieve and Jack Enright moved to a retirement house, they sold their entire collection of pots to Josef Addis, a known pot trader and a former president of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association. The collection contained a lot of signed Nick Lenz pots and a few unsigned, the one here being one of the unsigned ones. The stature of Genieve Enright as a bonsai artist and pot collector is perhaps the strongest evidence of authenticity for this pot in the absence of confirmation by Nick Lenz himself. Josef sold this ceramic container to Rick Grève, a young but enthusiastic and knowledgeable member of the Montreal Bonsai Community who amassed a very interesting collection of pots. Rick recently felt obliged to quit bonsai and was gracious enough to sell me his entire collection of pots. With the known connection between Nick Lenz and Montreal and with the fact that Genieve was originally from Canada, this round pot has made a full circle.

This ceramic container connects east and west, north and south, past and present in north american bonsai history.

Like with a bonsai tree, I feel that the pots history adds to its value.

I call on anyone with information that can validate or invalidate any aspect of the deep mystery of this shallow pot to come forward and reach out. As a disclaimer, all experts mentioned in this post other than Josef have not seen the pot in person but through the photos below and of course their opinion may change if they ever see the pot in person.


UPDATE: Nick Lenz confirmed by email that it is one of his pots.

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