On November 21, 2014 we lost good friend and longtime co-worker Jim Fleming. Jim had worked in various capacities at Cincinnati Art Galleries and later at Humler & Nolan since the 1990s. Riley Humler, Auction Director at Humler & Nolan, wrote the following tribute to Jim for the Rookwood XXV auction catalog that features Jim's collection:
Jim Fleming worked with us at Cincinnati Art Galleries and at Humler & Nolan for many years. In fact, I cannot remember when Jim and his friend Brian Sparks were not doing something at CAG on weekends or at our auctions. When Jim retired from his work as a probation office with Hamilton County, he came here to work full time. Jim retired after our November 2012 auction due to health issues and we all felt he was well on the way to full recovery, only to be fall prey to recurrent heart issues. He will be missed by those of us who worked with him and those who only came into contact with him during auctions. Jim will be remembered for his good nature, quick smile, biting wit and corny jokes but most of all for his intense interest in Rookwood and his desire to be a good person. This weekend is dedicated to our friend, Jim Fleming.
Jim certainly was an avid collector of Rookwood Pottery. Often times Jim would arrive at the office early to peruse the online pottery sales prior to starting his work day. Whether it was Old Masters' portraits on Standard Glaze vases or the production "glaze effect" items, Jim sought out the best examples the market had to offer. Of all the fine examples of Rookwood in Jim's collection, some of the most notable are the most diminutive; figural items such as paperweights and bookends. In the case of some of Jim's paperweights, only a handful are known to exist. Another item of note from the collection is the rare Iris Glaze plaque depicting ships at sea. Again, in approximately 25 years of Rookwood sales, only a small number of Iris Glaze plaques have crossed the auction block.
It is under sad circumstances that we come to offer The Jim Fleming Collection for sale at auction. Having known Jim for many years, I think it is safe to say he would appreciate the fact that, as his collection is disseminated, the items that he prized will be taking up new residences with other collectors who share his love of this vaunted pottery.