Almost a quarter of the 346 lots on offer on February 21 comprised the John Buckingham Collection of English porcelain figures while another 49 were provided by the first instalment of the David Stopher collection of English porcelain tablewares from the same period.
The sale’s highest prices, however, came from the small opening section of early English delftwares.
Delft drug jar
Topping the bill here at £10,000, a multiple of its £1500-2000 guide, was a London delft drug or apothecary jar dated to c.1680.
It stood 7in (17.5cm) high, was painted in blue and white with two peacocks and leafy branches flanking the head of Apollo with the inscription EE BACCIS LAUR (Bay Laurel) set over an angel mask and tasselled garlands. Bay Laurel berries were used to promote the appetite, remove blockages and to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic region.
A 9in (23cm) diameter royal portrait dish dated 1682 painted with a portrait of Catherine of Braganza, that had been broken and cleanly restored, was another top lot at £5500. This piece was illustrated in the major reference publication Dated English Delftware by Lipski and Archer.
A third top delft lot at £4200 was a small, 5½in (14cm) high, early Brislington vase or jar from c.1705 decorated in blue, red, green and yellow with a dancing chinaman to both sides and coiled handles picked out with red dashes. The jar copies a Chinese form and polychrome decoration of this period is extremely rare particularly depicting figures.
The Buckingham collection featured figures from most of the main 18th century English factories but was particularly strong on examples from Bow and Derby.
Although one or two made £1000 or more, prices for most were in the three-figure bracket offering plenty of opportunities for those who wanted to start a collection or perhaps fill some gaps.
Notable among the results for Continental pieces was the multi-estimate £2800 paid for a 3½in (9cm) Sèvres bleu nouveau and gilt dot ground cup decorated with scenes of harbour trading and a ship at sea, which was probably painted by Jean-Louis Morin.
It had an interlaced blue LL and date mark code for 1767 and a painter’s mark M.