FAME, rarity and the finest provenance propelled a c.1795 gilded and painted Worcester vase and cover to a predictable top spot at the latest sale held by Brightwells at Leominster.
Widely known and given a full-plate illustration in Henry Sandon's Flight & Barr Worcester Porcelain, its rarity was attested to in 1875 by connoisseur collector Charles Schreiber.
He was negotiating its purchase from a London dealer for the Arkwright family of Hampton Court, Leominster, the castellated country house that was the subject of the painting on the vase - the only Worcester vase in the world to portray it, enthused Scheiber.
As to provenance, the gilded and painted vase and cover was entered by a member of the Arkwright family complete with copies of letters to Arkwright from Schreiber recommending its purchase from S. Wersheimer, 154 New Bond Street, London, for £75.
The vaisseau à mat (ship and mast) shape was popularised by Sèvres in the late 18th century and the Flight & Barr factory was always ready to cater for fashion.
Today the 14½in (37cm) tall vase proved just as popular, triggering keen bidding in the Herefordshire rooms. Against a here-to-sell estimate of £2000-3000 for the sale on December 7, it went to a Midlands collector at £13,500.
The buyer's premium was 17.5%.