Success for Henry Sandon ceramics sale

The private collection of BBC Antiques Roadshow‘s much-loved ceramics expert, Henry Sandon (MBE), saw some impressive results in the recent sale at Chorley’s Auctioneers in Gloucestershire.

The sale of Henry’s treasured pieces, showcased his lifelong passion for porcelain and pottery and achieved over double is pre-sale estimate of £50,000, with a total of £106, 178.30.

Royal Worcester porcelain is a personal favourite of Henry’s and these pieces also proved popular with buyers. Henry met the famed Worcester artist Harry Davis fifty years ago when Worcester still had a flourishing china factory and reminiscing about the artist and his work he said: “I cherished every moment I was able to spend with Harry Davis, who I believe was the greatest porcelain painter of all time.”

Among the works by Davis in the sale was a vase painted with a stag in a snow scene, in an experimental sunset colouring. Dating from 1921 it realised £3,675 against an estimate of £800-£1,200.

A Royal Worcester vase by famed Worcester artist Harry Davis
The Royal Worcester vase by famed Worcester artist Harry Davis (1885-1970), sold for £3,675

The auction saw competitive bidding from far and wide on the internet, on the telephones and in the saleroom, for pieces such as a Meissen flower box and cover dating from circa 1750. The box was created as a single dahlia flowerhead with a multi-petalled centre, which formed the cover. The finishing touch was a finial in the form of a modelled yellow rose. The box realised £1,163.75 against an estimate of £120-£160.

A Meissen flower box
The Meissen flower box realised £1,163.75 against an estimate of £120-£160

Among important items in the sale was a Royal Worcester plate by Harry Stinton (1883-1968), a member of one of the most famous Worcester families of artists. The plate was from a service commissioned in 1928, by the founder of another famous family, William Keith Kellogg (1860-1951) of the legendary cereal company, trading as Kellogg’s. Kellogg ordered two sets, both comprising j25 plates, painted by Royal Worcester’s two best artists. The costly red background on the plates was chosen to match the colour of the famous Kellogg’s logo. In 1985, Henry Sandon advised on the sale of the service, being offered in sets of twelve plates, and was allowed to choose the one ‘spare’ plate of each design for himself. The plate, featuring a rich border with raised gilding and a watermill in a snow scene was signed by Harry Stinton and achieved £2,695 against an estimate of £1,000-£1,400.

Among the more unusual pieces in the sale was a selection of 17th Century Delftware shards from Pickleherring Quay in Southwark. The collection also contained various excavated fragments and partially complete vessels from other sites, including Roman pottery and glass, Cistercian Ware, saltglaze and slipware excavated by Henry Sandon in Worcester, which realised £735 against an estimate of £100-£150.

Another of Henry’s favourites is a charming English Delftware plate that very aptly depicts a Chinese figure bringing his friend a teapot. It dates from circa 1750-60 and features a ‘bianco sopra bianco’ border and is painted in polychrome, with Chinese figures in a river scape. Proving highly popular, it sold for £918.75 against an estimate of £150-£200.

Showing the diversity of the collection, was a Chinese porcelain Meiping vase from the Qing Dynasty, dating from the 18th-19th Century. The monochrome-glazed, baluster shape vase with a ‘sang du boeuf’ glaze is streaked in turquoise and red and sold for £2,082.50 against an estimate of £100-£200.

There was some spirited bidding for three Jasperware vases, all late 18th Century, comprising one vase and cover by Wedgwood of egg shape with a Cupid finial, a shield shaped vase by Adams with Classical scenes including The Baptism of Cupid, 28cm, and an Adams pot-pourri vase and cover. The group sold for £1,470 estimate of £100-£200.

Commenting on the result of the sale, Simon Chorley of Chorley’s auctioneers, said: “Speaking with Henry shortly after the sale we were delighted that he was so pleased with the results. He stated that he was thrilled with the prices and so relieved that others wanted his pots! Although there was the usual fierce competition on the bidding platforms, the saleroom was full of bidders wanting to secure a piece from Henry’s collection. A very good result for all.”