Bonham’s had no difficulty dispersing the first instalment of the mammoth collection of Worcester porcelain formed by Milton and Jeanne Zorensky, offered in their New Bond Street rooms on March 16. Just five of the 416 lots were left unsold and even these had all found buyers by the end of the day.
The Zorenskys' aim for a comprehensive assemblage of the factory's First Period production meant that the sale ranged widely in type and value, and while there was no surprise in seeing strong prices for some of the fashionable early pieces of Worcester or in the £29,000 (plus 19.5% premium) paid for the impressive pair of Kakiemon-decorated hexagonal vases that had been billed as the sale's best seller, the demand for other less voguish wares was not so readily predictable.
Causing much comment at the auction, for example, were the high prices paid for some of the late 1760s/early 1770s underglaze blue ground tablewares. This scale blue ground coffee cup and saucer, pictured right, with rococo floral and figural decoration of admittedly very fine quality, was contested to £10,000, more than double its estimate. The buyer was a private collector in the room underbid by London dealer Simon Spero and by Mark Law.