FAME, rarity and the finest provenance propelled a c.1795 gilded and painted Worcester vase and cover to a predictable top spot at the latest sale held by Brightwells at Leominster.
Widely known and given a full-plate illustration in Henry
Sandon's Flight & Barr Worcester Porcelain, its rarity was
attested to in 1875 by connoisseur collector Charles Schreiber.
He was negotiating its purchase from a London dealer for the
Arkwright family of Hampton Court, Leominster, the castellated
country house that was the subject of the painting on the vase -
the only Worcester vase in the world to portray it, enthused
As to provenance, the gilded and painted vase and cover was
entered by a member of the Arkwright family complete with copies of
letters to Arkwright from Schreiber recommending its purchase from
S. Wersheimer, 154 New Bond Street, London, for £75.
The vaisseau à mat (ship and mast) shape was
popularised by Sèvres in the late 18th century and the Flight &
Barr factory was always ready to cater for fashion.
Today the 14½in (37cm) tall vase proved just as popular,
triggering keen bidding in the Herefordshire rooms. Against a
here-to-sell estimate of £2000-3000 for the sale on December 7, it
went to a Midlands collector at £13,500.
The buyer's premium was 17.5%.