Lars Tharp

Independent broadcaster, lecturer and ceramics/art market consultant.

Areas of specialist interest:

  • Ceramic History, Europe-Asia trade.
  • Chinese Ceramics.
  • 2014-current:  Member of CoCA steering committee.
  • 2005-6: guest curator of a trio of YMT exhibitions celebrating ceramics.


  • BA Hons Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge (1976).
  • Ceramics specialist, cataloguer and auctioneer at Sothebys, London (1977-1993).
    • British and European Ceramics
    • Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
    • Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art
    • The Life, Times and Material World of William Hogarth (ceramics)
  • Broadcaster since 1986 (commencing with BBC Antiques Roadshow –current);
    -including BBC films on ceramics (Treasures of Chinese Porcelain (2011); China in Six Easy Pieces (2015); for a full TV and radio broadcasting credits click here.
  • 1993-present: independent consultant/ curator (‘Lars Tharp Ltd’) to auction-houses, museums, other institutions and private individuals, mainly on Ceramics; including:
    • Occasional agency: for Potteries Museum, Hanley; for York Museum Trust (YMT).
    • Guest curator: International Ceramics Fair (1997); Wedgwood (1999); YMT (2005-6); Foundling Museum (as director).
    • Occasional expert witness to court (Butler Family Collection, 2015/17).
  • 2009, 2011 on judging panel of Art Fund’s annual prize for Museums and Galleries
    (awarded to Ulster Museum (2009); British Museum (2010).
  • Foundling Museum (London): Director (2008-2010); Hogarth Curator (2010- current).
  • Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA) (2010 – present).
  • Honorary Doctorates: Hon DArt DMU; Hon DLitt Leicester University (2016).
  • Freeman City of London; on Court of Worshipful Company of Weavers (fl. 1130).
  • Hon President of International Ceramics Festival (2015-present); Leicester Society of Artists (2014 – present)
  • Speaker to numerous societies, museums, institutions and corporates, UK and worldwide) e.g.
    • Accredited NADFAS Speaker (UK and international) (2010 – present).
    • Cultural tour devisor and director (for Martin Randall Travel; A.C.E. (Cambridge)) in Europe and China.
    • Courtauld Institute (London); joint devisor of 2016 conference on China-Europe:
      The Unfathomable and the Inexplicable.


  • Communication
  • Ceramics
  • William Hogarth
  • Art Market

Based in Leicester.