Friday - 31 October 2014

Worcester plate opens the day at £12,000

10 July 2010Written by Roland Arkell

THE Lyon & Turnbull sale at Edinburgh got off to a splendid start when Lot 1, a Worcester porcelain plate from the Duke of Gloucester service, c.1770, sold at £12,000.

This 10in (25cm) plate, painted in polychrome enamels with 'sliced fruit' and insects, is from one of the most elaborate services produced at Worcester, designed for William Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1743-1805).

All known pieces are marked with a large gilt crescent, a mark found only on a few richly decorated services produced in the 1770s. The service passed to the Dukes of Cambridge and, in 1904, Christie's sold more than 70 pieces for the family along with a similarly decorated Chelsea service dating to c.1762.

Bonhams sold a number of plates from the Worcester service in 2004 at prices up to £15,000 and others have appeared on the market since then.

This Edinburgh example, estimated at a lowly £800-1200 for the sale on June 30, was clearly considered by bidders to be an outstanding specimen. It had been in the collection of Samuel Johnston Melvin, Paisley and thence by descent to the present owner. 

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