A massive Coalport Feldspar porcelain jug painted with a study of Earl Spencer’s Durham Ox in a parkland setting has been bought by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
The 18in (46cm) jug was part of the selection of books,
paintings, prints, ceramics and works of art from The Royal
Agricultural Society of England which was offered at Dreweatts
& Bloomsbury Auctions on July 11 in Maddox Street, London.
Prior to the 'live' sale, the lots could be viewed, and bid for,
online at The Auction Room.
Estimated at £1500-2500, the jug overcame extensive damage
(several stapled cracks and the handle reglued) to sell for
Inscribed in gilt Earl Spencer's Prize Durham Ox exhibited
at the Smithfield Club Show Xmas 1843, it may well have been
commissioned for the Royal Smithfield Club. To the verso is a study
of three large lambs in a rural landscape, titled Three Prize
Wethers Bred & Fed by Mr Richd. Hickson of Hougham near
Grantham which obtained 4 first Prizes in 1837.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, who are looking to expand their
collection of 19th century ceramics, are only aware of one smaller
similar jug in the Coalport China Museum. It was bought with help
from the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Also combining decorative appeal with historical significance
was a cased 11in (27cm) plaster model of an imported Southdown ewe
c.1854. According to the inscription and an accompanying manuscript
note, this cast was presented by Jonas Webb (1796-1862) to Jonathan
Thorne as a perfect specimen of the breed.
Webb, the leading breeder of Southdowns in the 1840s and 1850s,
won prizes at virtually every annual Royal Agricultural Society
exhibition and a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in
1855. He was commemorated with a statue once at the Cambridge Corn
Exchange and now located in his home village of Babraham in
Cambridgeshire. Despite a crack across the base, this model
provided something of a surprise when it sold at £1400.
As reported in last week's ATG, the sale of the 'family silver'
was being held by the Stoneleigh Park institution to clear a
pension deficit and raise funds for an Innovation in Agriculture
scheme. While items such as the Robert
Bakewell chair drew good competition and sold at £9000 and the
Society's portrait of HRH Princess Elizabeth painted in 1950 by Sir
Oswald Birley sold for £40,000, more than 40 trophies were
withdrawn prior to sale.
Printed highlights from the sale appear in the Antiquarian
Books section of next week's ATG printed newspaper.
The buyer's premium was 24%.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.