The thistle-form, loop-handled mug, standing just 4in (10cm) high, was decorated to the lower body with cream and brown feathering and to the upper body with the trailed and beaded initials BT and the date 1716. A similar mug of the same size and date, with a later silver rim, survives in the Glaisher Collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Although it had a sizable old chip to the rim and some other smaller hairlines and frits, this early documentary piece sailed past conservative £300-500 expectations to bring £8000 (plus 12.5 per cent buyer's premium). Underbid by a collector in the room, the buyer was a specialist London dealer bidding on one of five telephone lines.
Slipware mug highlight of Carlisle sale
RETRIEVED by a porter from a box of kitchenalia sent for sale from Northumberland, this early 18th century Staffordshire slipware mug proved the highlight of the sale conducted by H&H King of Carlisle on June 7.