The ‘Pink Glove’ service was commissioned in 1939 for the poet, artist and collector Edward James for his extraordinary Surrealist house Monkton. DalÍ provided the design during a visit to London in 1936 and it was printed onto otherwise standard Derby blanks.
Recently discovered correspondence between James and the decorating firm Green and Abbott specifically mentions the ‘Pink Glove’ tea set alongside more famous DalÍ works at Monkton – the Lobster telephone, the Mae West Lips sofa and the Torso chest of drawers.
The original James tea set was sold by Christie’s in 1986 and subsequently split up. Only a couple of pieces are known to be in private hands, including a 9in (23cm) plate was sold by Lyon & Turnbull in 2020 for £3800.
The teapot from the set is held in the Victoria and Albert Museum but it seems at least one other was made by the Derby factory. This Stamford discovery, with a date code for 1939, was not in perfect condition – there was damage to the inside rim and the finial had been broken off and reglued – but it nonetheless sold for £1900 at the auction on December 18.