A rare 16th century dish from the eclectic collection of a country house in the Scottish Borders sold on 06 October for more than £1m at auction.
The dish, which measures about 27cm (11in) in diameter, had been expected to fetch between £80,000 and £120,000 during the live online sale by Edinburgh-headquartered auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull
, but sold for a record-breaking price of £1,263,000 (premium inclusive)
The dish is attributed to Nicola di Gabriele Sbraghe, described as the Raphael of maiolica painting. It was made by him around 1520-23 and was part of a sale of the contents of Lowood House near Melrose.
The dish was found in a drawer by Lyon & Turnbulls European ceramics specialists when preparations for the 400+ lot auction began.
Lowood House's collection were amassed by two families, the Crum Ewings and the Hamiltons. The Crum Ewing's fortunes were established by James Ewing, a Lord Provost and MP for Glasgow in the early 19th century.
Ewing bought Strathleven House in West Dunbartonshire and decorated his home with paintings and artworks; many gathered in a European tour in 1844. He mentions buying the maiolica dish, which depicts the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah, in the diary he kept during the 13-month trip.
Lyon & Turnbull managing director, Gavin Strang, who was on the rostrum when the dish sold, said:
As the auctioneer, it was a real joy to bring the hammer down at over £1million on this incredibly rare dish a new world record price I believe. The whole story of its discovery tucked away in a drawer, through the meticulous research carried out by our specialists, and then fierce international bidding on auction day has been exciting from beginning to end!
According to Mr Strang, it is unprecedented for maiolica from this early period of Nicolas maiolica production to come on the market.