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This documented plate from William Billingsley’s short-lived factory near Cardiff depicts three beautiful young ladies in Regency dress believed to be the daughters of Thomas Coutts, banker to George III. The three girls, Susannah, Frances and Sophia, grew up to become highly prized brides. One went on to marry the Earl of Guildford, one the Marquis of Bute, and the other Sir Francis Burdett. The plate was first sold at the Burdett Coutts auction in 1922 and in 1938 it became the property of Welsh porcelain collector F.E. Andrews and was consigned to Philip Serrell by his descendants.

Last week it sold to a telephone bidder, thought to be a Welsh collector, for £26,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer’s premium).