TO many people, Geoffrey Godden is indivisible from English porcelain. The scholar and author is a name on every ceramic enthusiast’s bookshelves through the many books on English ceramics written during the course of his 60 years of collecting and study.
So when his blue and white porcelain reference collection came
onto the market at Bonhams last week there were
plenty of prospective purchasers keen to acquire a slice of history
and secure a piece illustrated in the bible on the subject,
Godden's Guide to English Blue and White Porcelain.
Collectors and dealers took away all bar 14 of the 202 lots
offered in New Bond Street on June 30 to net just over
The sale was stuffed with interesting pieces from the main 18th
century factories, but was particularly well supplied with
porcelain from Lowestoft, an early Godden favourite.
It included a rare 5 1/2in (14cm) high flask painted with four
sailing ships to one side and, to the other, an unusual
shipbuilding scene, probably detailing a locally-observed activity.
Several Lowestoft flasks are recorded, painted with names, dates or
special views suggesting they were special commissions. The fine
quality painting on this example is possibly by Richard Powles,
(d.1808), who is recorded as having been taken on by the factory as
Last week it was offered with a £7000-10,000 estimate, but
bidding from the phone and from London dealers Simon Spero and
Roderick Jellicoe took it to three times that level, with the
hammer falling to Mr Jellicoe at £24,000 (plus 20 per cent
By Anne Crane