1. America’s oldest china teapot
Attributed to the pioneering North American porcelain factory established by John Bartlam in Cain Hoy, South Carolina, c.1765, a piece that was billed as 'America's oldest teapot' sold on February 20 for a remarkable £460,000 (plus 25/12% buyer’s premium) at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury.
It was purchased in the room by London porcelain dealer Rod Jellicoe bidding for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
2. Jiaqing vase
Despite extensive damage and repair, this large Jiaqing mark and period famille rose vase, 2ft 3in (68cm) high, sold for £94,000 at Adam Partridge (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Macclesfield in June.
3. Il Guercino's pet
A previously unrecorded canine portrait by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as il Guercino (1591-1666), sold for £570,000 (plus 22.5% buyer’s premium) on March 8 at Cheffins in Cambridge.
4. Pilkington’s Lancastrian lustre
The Kirkton House collection of more than 30 pieces of Pilkington’s Lancastrian lustre excelled when offered at Lyon & Turnbull (plus 25% buyer’s premium) in Edinburgh on October 10.
At 22in (54cm) high, a vase decorated by Gordon Forsyth with the figure of Apollo riding a chariot was one of the largest pieces ever produced by the Salford factory. At the Harriman Judd sale (Sotheby’s New York in 2001) it sold at $7800. Here it took a mighty £34,000 – a new factory record.
5. Illuminated manuscript
Estimated at £200,000-300,000, the Hours of Isabella d’Este sold for £340,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) at Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures on July 10.
This opulent manuscript on 240 leaves of parchment was created c.1490 by the Florentine brothers Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni del for Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), daughter of Ercole I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, and the wife of Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis de Mantua.
6. The Northern Girl
Woolley & Wallis celebrated its 10th £1m+ lot on November 13, selling a portrait by Chinese contemporary artist Yang Fei Yun (b.1954) for £1.7m (plus 25/12% premium).
The Northern Girl, signed and dated September 1987, Yang Fei Yun hua Peng Peng, was bought at the Hefner Galleries in New York c.1990 by Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick (1942-2007).
7. Doctor Zhivago typescript
An original typescript for Boris Pasternak’s most famous novel Doctor Zhivago with handwritten corrections by the author was sold for £110,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at Forum Auctions.
It was estimated at £100,000-150,000 at the sale in London on May 31.
8. Armada Table
The ‘Armada Table’, dubbed one of the most important pieces of 16th century furniture in Ireland, made €360,000/£327,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) in Adam’s sale at Townley Hall, near Drogheda, on October 15.
The table was created from timber and sculptural elements from a Spanish Armada galleon shipwrecked off Ireland’s west coast 430 years ago.