Swansea salad bowl from the Burdett-Coutts service – £3800 at Rogers Jones.

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Much of his superb collection was sold by Sotheby’s in 1992 but some fine pieces, each bearing his collecting label, had remained in the family.

They included a large twinhandled and footed salad bowl from the celebrated Burdett-Coutts service.

The banker Thomas Coutts is thought to have ordered his Swansea service from the London china retailer Mortlocks following his marriage to the actress Harriet Mellon in 1818. The flower painting - a splendid array of roses on stems and baskets overflowing with other garden blooms - is attributed to James Turner of the Sims decorating workshop.

Over 200 pieces of the service were auctioned on behalf of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts at Christie’s in May 1922.

At the sale 30 years ago a similar salad bowl (the piece illustrated in WD John’s Swansea Porcelain) had sold for £8800. The bowl offered here had professional restoration to the handle but the decoration was generally fresh. In a different collecting market, it found a buyer at £3800 at the auction on July 16.

Porcelain experiments

Experiments with porcelain at the Swansea factory began in 1814 with the arrival of William Billingsley and Samuel Walker from the Nantgarw China Works.

Production was brief; it largely ceased after proprietor Lewis W Dillwyn withdrew his financial support in 1817.

Probably made at Swansea c.1815 - and again probably London decorated - was an 11in (28cm) twin-handled vase in the French-Empire style. To one side it is painted with a moonlit landscape scene. To the other is a large red admiral butterfly and other insects. Estimated at £4000-6000, it took £4200.


Swansea cabinet cup – £950 at Rogers Jones.

Cabinet cups with griffin moulded handles and paw feet are among the best-known Swansea models. Some were painted by the noted Swansea and Carmarthen decorator William Pollard (1803-54) - including the cup and saucer with garden fruit and flowers sold by Rogers Jones in 2017 for £10,500.

The piece offered here from the Joseph collection took a more modest £950. The cup (with a repaired foot) is painted to one side with a lady winding wool with an infant beside her and verso with a lady in flowing robes scattering flowers from her apron, The saucer (with a hairline) is decorated with Cupid drawing his bow on a cloud.