The Worcester service of more than 280 pieces, each painted with sprigs of heather and the family coronet, was previously among the furnishings of Taymouth Castle where, at the peak of their wealth, power and influence, the Earls of Breadalbane & Holland lived from the early 18th century until 1922.
Edinburgh saleroom Lyon & Turnbull (25% buyer’s premium) sold 43 lots for the family on May 18.
A massive upgrading project preceded the royal visit to Taymouth on September 7-10, 1842.
John Campbell, 6th Earl of Breadalbane and Holland (1824-71), hired some of the finest craftsmen of the era to complete his renovation plans and commissioned the Chamberlains’ Worcester porcelain factory to add numerous pieces to the family’s Flight Barr & Barr dinner service.
During the royal visit, meals were provided for more than 700 people each day. While royal invitees would have lunched and dined on silver, breakfast and refreshments would have been served from Breadalbane porcelain.
It was Victoria and Albert’s first journey north of the border and one that would begin the queen’s love-affair with the Scottish Highlands and prompt the purchase of Balmoral in 1852. Victoria enjoyed Breadalbane’s tartan-clad ‘Scottish’ experience immensely, commenting in her journal: “It seemed as if a great chieftain in olden feudal times was receiving his sovereign.”
The Breadalbane Heather pattern service was expected to bring £2000-3000 but sparked sufficient interest to bring £30,000.
An 18th century ceramic with Scottish associations was a rare Qianlong-era punch bowl decorated with Jacobite emblems.
This 11in (28cm) bowl forms an important part of a small group of Chinese export Jacobite porcelain wares (those celebrating the Duke of Cumberland’s victory at Culloden are more common). A close example is held in the Drambuie Collection of Jacobite Works of Art and was previously in the staunchly Jacobite family collection of the Earl & Countess of Perth.
They share the same portrait of the Young Pretender (a direct copy of the engraving by Sir Robert Strange, member of Prince Charles’s Lifeguards regiment, during the ’45), although the floral sprays to the Breadalbane example include white or Stuart roses of the type also used Jacobite glasses.
Bowls such as this would have been used in conjunction with glassware in Jacobite clubs. The symbolic drowning of Hanoverian kings on coins set into punch ladles or the passing of glasses over the bowl to symbolise the ‘king over the water’ would all have been well-understood in 18th century society.
It was not in great condition (in addition to wear to the enamels there was a substantial rim chip) but more than doubled hopes at £11,500.