Spode created a number of designs for White Star (the pattern books list the first in 1899) but this particular example bearing the gilt monogram for the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company was the most luxurious.
Bearing the registration number R4332 and the name of the Liverpool retailer Stonier & Co, it was introduced in 1911 for use on the grandest ships of the day.
Importantly, this is the pattern believed to have been used in the First Class dining rooms or the private promenade suites on the Titanic, Olympic and Majestic.
Pieces have been recovered from the Titanic wreck site. Others, such as this one found in Sutton Coldfield, were sold at the time as White Star souvenirs, given as gifts by the company, or remained in use until the Olympic was broken up in 1935 at the time of the merger with Cunard.
Auctioneer Richard Winterton said of the result achieved in Lichfield on February 15: “We had a tremendous amount of national and international interest in this lovely little cup and saucer, with people joining the auction online from all over the world.
“It was an exciting moment in the saleroom as bids flew in, finalising at £6000 from the winning bidder in the US.”
Several of these have been offered at auction before – including one sold by Bonhams in 2011 for £3500 and another that made £8400 at Adam Partridge in Liverpool in July 2020. However, both of those two examples were in better condition.