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However, as reported in ATG No 2435, the lot many will have left Worcestershire discussing was a small silver hawking bell with an inscription to Duleep Singh. This connection with the last of the Sikh maharajahs prompted multi-estimate bidding to £5500 on thesaleroom.com.

Kingham & Orme, established by two well-known art pottery specialists, was on more familiar territory with a 12½in (34cm) tall lustre vase and cover made by William De Morgan at the Sands End Pottery (1888-1907).

Painted with bands of peacocks, wyverns, dolphins and birds, it had an original paper label to the lid for Morris and Company. It sold on the lower £8000 estimate.

A 17in (37cm) tall Della Robbia handled albarello-form vase went to a UK buyer at a mid-estimate £3400.

Designed by William Warwick, c.1895, it was sgraffito decorated with a tree above a band reading Liverpool, and to the reverse with a floral roundel with a similar cartouche labelled Zafarano.

Martinware gourd

A Martinware stoneware gourd, dated 1900, was by brothers Walter and Edwin.

Standing 11in (27cm) tall, the relief-moulded lobed hexagonal section was sgraffito decorated with jellyfish and sea creatures. It sold a shade below estimate at £3400.

A single collection of 27 top-quality Moorcroft pieces totalled more than £40,000 – a healthy result for a largish batch coming onto a crowded, and relatively quiet, market.

Pieces ranged in date from the 1900s-60s but the top-seller was a c.1930 (26.5cm) tall flambé Fish vase. It bore an underglaze blue signature, an impressed facsimile mark and had an HM Queen Mary sticker. It sold at a mid-estimate £4400.

Another single-owner ceramics collection comprised around 70 late-19th and early-20th century Mettlach steins by Villeroy & Boch. The market for these is typically in North America, where specialist sales are held. Topping the collection was a c.1901 half-litre stein decorated with blacksmith’s tools and emblems and a band of verse. Against a £40- 60 estimate, it sold to an American buyer at £2400.

A small glass section also brought overseas bidding to the fore.

Lalique led the way with the familiar but much coveted frosted and moulded car mascot Victoire, designed c.1928. The 10in (26cm) long female head with stylised hair streaming in the wind, numbered 1147 and marked R Lalique France, went back to France just above top estimate at £5500.

A more unusual entry was an Imperial Russian cameo vase made in the Art Nouveau style by the Gus Crystal Works, Moscow, c.1900.

The 6in (15cm) trumpet vase carved to the brown päte-de-verre body with a lakeside scene was signed in Cyrillic for Yuri Stepanovich Nechayev-Maltsov (1834-1913), factory owner from 1894. Estimated at £400-600, it went to an east European bidder at £4000.

Dresser toast rack

Christopher Dresser created a number of designs for toast racks. Among the best is a plated six-division triple-arched example, model 67, made in c.1881 for James Dixon and Son.

The example at Kingham & Orme, 6½in (16.5cm) long, bore stamped marks and a facsimile signature, and sold to a collector just shy of top estimate at £4800.


Christopher Dresser electroplated toast rack – £4800 at Kingham & Orme.

The sale included 70 mustard pots, the third and last tranche of the Shennan collection to be offered at Evesham. Two were by Arts & Crafts pioneer Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942) for the Guild of Handicrafts.

One, dated 1903, was formed as a planished spherical bowl surmounted by a carnelian cabochon and supported on a slender stem. It sold with its spoon just below top hopes at £2400. The other, dated 1901, was designed as a 2½in (6.5cm) tall tankard with a green cabochon finial to the domed lid and wirework handle. Against a £1200-1800 estimate it, too, made £2400.

Staying faithful to the Arts & Crafts style long after the dawn of Deco, Omar Ramsden was represented by a planished, conical hexagonal bowl on six hoof feet. Dated London 1934, the 5in (12cm) diameter bowl went on the lower estimate of £800.