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Every auctioneer dreams of rescuing a piece of interest from obscurity and this was the case with a Minton Secessionist jardinière discovered by auctioneer Richard Plant at a local deceased estate.

When leaving the property, Mr Plant was told that all the items in the conservatory would be disposed of by the gardener but then he saw that one of the plants lived in rather a precious pot.

A tube-lined Minton example, it featured stylised poppy heads and leaves in green and caramel on a chrome red ground and had the printed factory mark in black and No.72 3585 over 2 incised to the base. It was directed to the auction rooms where, to everyone’s surprise and delight, the 15in (28cm) diameter jardinière was found to have no damage and on sale day it made £450.

The pinnacle of Poole potteries success lies with the stylised abstract hand-painted wares produced during the 1930s, and a number of such pieces from a single collection saw success.

Despite a number of blemishes each piece was contested by collectors and the trade with the top seller being an extremely decorative red body honey box and cover. Measuring 5in (13cm) square, it was designed by Harold Brownsword and painted by Iris Skinner with a flower leaf and linear pattern. It sold at £320.

Just behind was a red body jar-shaped vase painted by Marian Heath with the Blue Bird pattern designed by Truda Adams. Carrying the impressed Poole Pottery mark to the base and incised 924, it overcame a small age line to the rim to take £300.

Beswick remained popular with two lots of hunting pieces receiving more commission bids then anything else in the sale. Each lot comprised seven pieces and their good condition took them to £170 and £200 respectively.

The top seller among the furniture was a Regency rosewood sofa table with drawer fronts, a pedestal base inlaid with brass borders and reserves and fitted with two frieze drawers on an octagonal pedestal set on a quadruform platform base with tightly scrolled feet and castors. It needed quite a lot of restoration, particularly to the platform base which was missing a great deal of veneer, but the attractive brass veneer to the top was intact and the potential of the “a cut above average” piece exceeded all expectations when it took £5800 from the trade.

Also worth noting was an 18th century oak chest-on-stand, 3ft 5in by 5ft 3in (1.04 x 1.60m) with a dentil ogee moulded cornice, two short and three long drawers and two deep drawers and one shallow one to the stand which had a pierced apron and stood on four cabriole legs and pad feet.

A “nice, clean piece”, said Mr Plant, and of good colour and condition it took £2800 from a dealer.

Warner Auctions, Leicester,
December 13
Buyer’s premium: 12.5 per cent