LONDON.- Catherine Southon Auctioneer & Valuer
s sale on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at Farleigh Court, Selsdon in Surrey will include a magnificent single owner collection of Royal Worcester. Comprising 60 items with estimates from £40 to £2,500, the varied and diverse collection ranges from blush ivory vases to a more dramatic centrepiece and is expected to fetch in the region of £15,000.
The vendor, who lives ten minutes from Catherine Southons office in the Bromley Borough, inherited a blush ivory vase from his Great Aunt soon after he married in 1968. This was the start of their Royal Worcester collection that brought them so much pleasure over the ensuing years. Items were purchased from antique fairs, auctions and antique shops. The pride of the collection is the large table font purchased from a Worthing auction in 1979. This Royal Worcester ceramic is so wonderfully decorated and luxuriously hand gilded. It was sold by a lady in her 90s who was losing her sight and as a consequence was selling her collection. She was overjoyed when it was explained it would be part of the family collection. As the collection grew many useful contacts were made in the antiques trade. The wonderful Nautilus by Hadley, decorated by Callowhill, was purchased from a good friend, Fred Hynds, who ran Wakefield Ceramic Fairs. Henry Sandon was able to give advice, particularly on the artists who painted the unsigned pieces. He was also able to attribute the raised work on the pink shot enamel ewer to Leonard Burgess. He was particularly interested in Persian Style vase which he believed was probably a one off wedding presentation commemorative, possibly for someone who worked at the factory. The vendor and his wife learned so much about the factory and the craftsmen, mainly through Henry Sandons excellent book, that it added an extra dimension to the collection which became so much part of their lives.
As Catherine explains: I am thrilled and honoured to be handling such an extensive collection of 19th century Royal Worcester, it has been interesting hearing the stories how each individual piece was acquired. My team and I have thoroughly enjoyed cataloguing such a diverse and attractive collection. There are many favourites which I have grown fond of but my favourite has to be the stunning nautilus centrepiece estimated at £1,500-2,500, which is beautifully painted and decorated at every angle.
Probably the most spectacular piece in the collection is a rare and impressive Royal Worcester exhibition piece 'The Sower centrepiece' modelled by James Hadley, which is estimated at £1,500 - £2,500 and measures 86cm high. This was purchased by current owner from Worthing Auction Rooms in 1979 and it is believed that this was sold after the exhibition of Worcester around 1900 at the James Howell Store in Cardiff. A similar centrepiece but more simply decorated can be found on plate 78 in Henry Sandons book.
Also with connection to Henry Sandon is a piece that he thought was particularly interesting and was probably made as a wedding gift by someone in the factory as there are no comparables. The rare and possibly unique Royal Worcester twin handled vase is estimated at £400 - 600. It has an impressed signature within one of the swags of Hadley (James) and is was probably made as a one off by a member of the Royal Worcester factory for a wedding present. It is decorated throughout the ovoid body with gilt matrimonial trophies including pansies, quivers and arrows, trumpets, a pair of lovebirds etc
Elsewhere, a fine quality Royal Worcester ewer, circa 1903 is estimated at £300 - £400. It is decorated with a front panel that is richly painted with apples and grapes and signed Hawkins.
Among the more rare and unusual pieces is a Royal Worcester candle snuffer of Jenny Lind 'The Swedish Nightingale', dating from around 1916, which is estimated at £80 - £100, while a pair of unusual Royal Worcester aesthetic movement triple moon flasks, circa 1880, which are each painted with natural history subjects including flamingos, insects, birds, fish are expected to fetch £200 - £300.
The diverse collection shows all aspects of Royal Worcester. A Royal Worcester cabinet reticulated teapot and cover, attributed to George Owen with Japanesque vignettes of cranes in mountainous landscape is expected to fetch £350 500.