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Best sellers in June was a lid giving a history of pot lid collecting and how prices have fluctuated over the past 75 years. This was the The Spanish Lady lid which featured wide gold banding. Back in 1925 it was bought by an early collector, G.E. Lambert, for the then considerable sum of £31 – a good two months’ wages for a skilled working man. In 1960 another great name in collecting, J. Cohen, bought it privately for £65 and when the Cohen Collection was sold in 1970 it made £650. Pot lids have yet to scale the heights of the ’70s but at the latest Berkshire dispersal The Spanish Lady sold at £2700 against a £1500-2000 estimate.

Also part of the Cohen sale when it made £200 was the lid depicting Royal Arms and Allied Flags Of The Crimea. In 1970 it made £200, here, against a £1000-1500 estimate it sold at £2000.

Traditional pot lid subjects included Bears Grease lids – one of Bears In A Ravine making £1400 and All But Trapped £1300; Pegwell Bay, – with an exhibition lid The Net Mender with gold band border going at £1200; and portraits – with Sir Robert Peel within a malachite border and gold line decoration which had made £120 in 1965, going at £1800.

As well as pot lids there were vases, Prattware mugs, vases, loving cups and teapots plaques in the collection, almost all of which found buyers, but the better prices came on a couple of plaques, including Christ In the Cornfield, a circular image in a 13in (33cm) square profusely gilded scrolled surround. Auctioneer Andrew Hilton described it as of “extraordinary quality”, but as it appeared to be the first time such an example had appeared at auction, it proved over-optimistic with his £2000-4000 estimate. Nevertheless, the £1800
winning bid was considered a good price.

Pieces outside the Ken Smith Collection were led by two quadruple-estimate bids. A 51/2in (14cm) Minton 1953 Coronation bowl and cover in the form of an orb with gilding and white enamel decoration sold at £1700, and a rare pottery and enamelled commemorative mug, 43/4in (12cm) high showing an oval portrait of Admiral Duncan brought £1600 despite it having been repaired.