Troika Pottery ‘Love’ plaque c.1963-65 – £2900 at Lockdales.

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As described in Carol Cashmore’s Troika Pottery, the book that brought the factory to a wider public when published in 1994, the design represents three stages of a relationship (courtship, making love and marriage proposal).

These distinctive 15in (38cm) plaques were subsequently made by Sirota or fellow factory founder Leslie Illsley in the first years of the Wheel Dream pottery from 1963-65. Made like a tile with motifs cut into a single piece of clay, they were decorated in a range of different colour treatments.

The example offered by Lockdales in Ipswich on March 1 included appealing blue and red accents alongside the green-brown ground. It was estimated at £300-500 but sold at £2900 (plus 19.5% buyer’s premium).

That is the highest price for Troika at auction since the collecting boom of 20 years ago and far more than usually paid for a ‘Love’ plaque. A number of examples have sold at auction in recent years for prices between £500-1000, although another did sell for £1500 at Lay’s in Penzance in August 2022.