Pinxton cabinet plate – £1000 at Mitchells.

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The following year, in partnership with John Coke (b.1775), a local industrialist with an appreciation of Dresden porcelain, he established the Pinxton Porcelain Factory.

Billingsley’s involvement with the factory ended in 1799 but during his short tenure its output occasionally came close to his ambitions.

When the firing went well (much was spoilt in the kiln) Pinxton could produce pieces such as this 9in (22cm) cabinet plate offered during the second day of Mitchells’ (22% buyer’s premium) fine sale on June 16-18 in Cockermouth.

Finely painted with a vase of garden flowers within a heavily gilded floral rim, it may have been decorated by Billingsley himself.

Rubbed in places to both the gilding and the enamels, it was pitched at just £60-80 but made £1000.