A small section of Lowestoft blue and white porcelain was led at £3500 by a rare 11in (27.5cm) diameter documentary punchbowl. Lowestoft porcelain is noted for its inscribed and dated wares, often special commissions for a particular event or occasion. This punchbowl is painted to the interior with a sailing vessel and the inscriptions 'Success to the Cruizer Cutter and Henry Major – Master. The Major family were based in Folkestone and granted letters of marque in 1778 for a one-masted vessel named Cruizer as well as others. A vessel called Cruizer is mentioned in Customs records of October 1761, three miles off the coast of Dover, operating as a privateer. Although John Major is listed on most of the official documents, Henry was in fact the eldest brother and turned 18 in 1760. If the vessel listed on the 1761 Customs records was in the Major family at that time it is likely that Henry was the master rather than the younger John. This bowl, which measures 11in (27.5cm) diameter and is cracked and formerly riveted, was the subject of an article in Volume 15, Part 2 of the Transactions of the English Ceramic Circle in 1994 by Christopher Spencer, in which he identifies it as the earliest piece of documentary Lowestoft.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

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


The late 17th century London delft drug jar sold for £10,000 at Woolley & Wallis.

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.


Dated delft royal portrait dish of painted with Catherine of Braganza, sold for £5500 at Woolley & Wallis.

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.


One of the higher prices among the English porcelain figures from the John Buckingham collection at Woolley & Wallis was this 11½in (29cm) Bow figure of Charity by the so-called Muses Modeller, dated to c.1752-55 and with some restoration. A piece that was formerly in the Yarborough Collection and was exhibited at Albert Amor in 1999, it sold within estimate at £900 at Woolley & Wallis.

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.