Wednesday - 30 July 2014

Coffee is served – at 140 times estimate

17 October 2013Written by ATG Reporter

The English porcelain highlight of the last month was undoubtedly this Worcester coffee pot sold at Tunbridge Wells & Hastings.

Despite giving it a very meagre estimate of £200-300, the auctioneers catalogued it perfectly correctly, dating it to c.1752 and referencing a similar example in Geoffrey Godden's Guide to English Blue and White Porcelain.

These very early Worcester coffee pots are unusually small at just 5½in (13cm) high and their form mirrors others in silver from the 1740s. Some scholars have called them chocolate pots. Most surviving examples are in polychrome and in the Meissen style, but this one was decorated in underglaze blue with a chinoiserie landscape.

It was in good condition and retained its original lid, unlike a similar pot at the V&A.

Anyone hoping to buy it anywhere near the estimate was destined to be sorely disappointed. Against nine telephone bidders from around the globe, London dealer Albert Amor Ltd in the room won it at £35,000.

The coveted pot was spotted in a box of modern blue and white Chinese porcelain. The vendor had owned it for many years, and considered it valueless after another auction house refused to sell it for him.

The sale took place at The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells on September 28. Thebuyer's premium was 18%.

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