Porcelain provides some extra excitement at Smiths’ July sale

Wednesday 27th July 2022 6:00 am

Pair of Chinese Ginger Jars

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Smiths Auctions in Newent had an exciting start to their July auction when a number of Chinese porcelain items found in an old barn attracted attention from both China and the UK. A pair of 19th century blue and white ginger jars of good size made the highest price in the section when they sold for £1,450 despite one of them lacking it’s lid. The jars featured attractive tree peony and bird painted decoration and their refined slightly more elongated shape added to their decorative appeal. Other prices included a pair of Chinese baluster form vases and covers which made £420 and a Chinese Qing dynasty vase which made £370 despite significant damage to both.

Another damaged item which made a surprisingly good result was a large Cantagalli plate decorated in the Persian style which made £680. The plate had two large segments which had been broken off from the edge and then repaired using a strip of cloth on the back to hold it all together. The Cantagalli factory was set up in Florence in the 15th century and produced Italian maiolica which is a form of tin glazed terracotta. The thick white tin glaze was originally developed as an attempt by potters on the continent to copy the coveted hard paste porcelain developed in China and which was exported all around the world. Only the richest people were able to afford the finely potted and highly fired pure white porcelain which China produced and so tin glazed pottery was originally a poor man’s substitute. In the 19th century the Cantagalli factory began making high quality copies of their early maiolica wares in the Persian or Isnik style. These brightly coloured attractive wares are now highly sought after in their own right and are also easily identified by the distinctive rooster mark painted to the reverse.

Other successful prices on the first day of the sale include £5,000 paid for a very fine sapphire and diamond three stone ring and £2,400 paid for a Rolex Oyster gentleman’s wrist watch. An unusual Victorian mourning bracelet in gold and black enamel sold for £600 to a specialist London jewellery dealer against an estimate of £200/£400. The bracelet was in exceptionally fine condition and the central panel concealed a hair locket with an inscription to the reverse reading ‘Lady Henrietta Fergusson 1850’.

The two day sale includes a variety of Arts & Crafts items including an interesting Ruskin Pottery small pink vase which made £260. The vase was in perfect condition and featured a restrained stencil style decoration around the shoulders. But what really made it desirable to collectors was hidden underneath in the form of a very rare and early scissor mark. Estimated at £80 to £120 it attracted a huge amount of interest and the price can be contrasted with a later Ruskin vase which only made £60

Smiths Auctions in Newent are now inviting entries for their August sale by appointment. The sale features a specialist section for antique and collectable toys but also includes a full range of collectables including ceramics, glass, silver, gold, jewellery, silver, furniture, pictures and collectables. Please telephone 01531 821776 for an appointment

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