Vincennes candlesticks light up sale

A small pair of porcelain candlesticks discovered in a Warwickshire farmhouse have sold for a record £129,000 at auction in the Cotswolds.

The unassuming candlesticks turned up amongst a multiple consignment of goods from a farmhouse after a de-cluttering exercise by the owner.

Experts at Cotswold-based Kinghams Auctioneers discovered after further research that they were made by the French factory Vincennes, the early incarnation of the world-famous Parisian Sèvres factory.

Dating from circa 1745-1750, the pair represent some of the earliest output of the factory established in 1740 in the disused Chateau de Vincennes to the east of Paris.

Made of soft-paste porcelain, the candlesticks are of conical hyacinth vase form. One is painted in the Meissen style with Kauffahrtei scene of Moorish and European traders in a coastal encampment with ships in the distance. The other with a Claudian landscape of ruins with a courting shepherd and shepherdess, a figure on horseback, and an attendant overlooking a coastal view of ships.

Each measure just 10.6cm high and the former had some damage and repairs. It was discovered that an example of this form resides in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Examples of Vincennes porcelain are highly coveted by connoisseurs and academics and as such they attracted extensive pre-sale interest from buyers across the globe.

Offered as two separate lots, the first with traders scene selling to a determined USA-based buyer bidding on the phone for £91,000, the second example fetching £37,700 to a UK-based buyer.