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“There is interest from Welsh
collectors but it is the Americans who are driving up prices,” says Carol Pugh, a dealer in Gaudy Welsh from Carmarthen. At the Dorking salerooms of Crows (10 per cent buyer’s premium) on March 28, this unmarked wash jug and bowl, decorated in an Imari-style pattern known to Americans as the ‘Aberystwyth’ (there are no patterns recorded by the manufacturers) was contested by three telephone bidders to a final price of £980.

In view of the heavy restoration this price was astonishing – almost double what one would expect for a Masons Ironstone (circle mark) jug and basin, and three times the value of a Staffordshire jug and basin of the same quality, but without the Gaudy designs.