Duke’s described the 29 lots (of which 18 sold) as the most significant group to come to auction in recent years.
Noakes is best remembered for his tenure as the longest running face on BBC’s Blue Peter. However, few were aware that Noakes was also an avid collector with a particular affection for Art Nouveau design. After finding a piece of Rozenburg pottery in a Kensington Church Street shop, he made trips to the Netherlands in search of more information on a factory that was little known outside its native Holland.
Noake’s collection of Rozenburg, offered by Duke’s as part of an Art & Design auction in Dorchester on March 19, provided a good cross-section of the factory that operated in the centre of The Hague from 1883-1917.
The sale included the early tin-glazed wares made in the 1880s when the owner Wilhelm Wolff Freiherr von Gudenberg still aspired to create traditional Delft pottery (two 16in (40cm) foliate chargers sold for £1300 and £1750) and the range of earthenwares with exotic and whimsical decoration that are associated with the designer Theodoor Colenbrander (1841-1930).
Perhaps the factory’s best known (and most desirable) pieces are the range of eggshell porcelains created around the turn of the 20th century after the arrival of director Jurriaan Kok (1861-1919).
A highlight from the collection was a 9in (23cm) two-handled vase decorated with a stylised lizard nestled among scrolling leafy mauve tendrils. It was pitched at £400-600 but sold for £2900 (plus 22% buyer’s premium).
Tiles were also an important part of Rozenburg factory output and a favourite of Noakes who fixed four of them to the bulkheads of his yacht.
Shipwrecked off the coast of Morocco, all four tiles had survived in perfect condition. They included the 10 x 7in (25 x 18cm) plaque decorated with a cityscape after Johan Conrad Greive sold at £320.