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Ceramics experts Dr Richard Halliday chooses three Fine Art hammer highlights

Posted on 26/05/2020 in Press Coverage

Dr Richard Halliday, Hansons Auctioneers' Head of Ceramics, reports on the success of the May 2020 Fine Art sale. Here, he shines the spotlight on three of his favourite pieces.

Wedgwood magnificence from 1790

Admiration is inevitable when you survey a late 18th century Wedgwood black basalt mug with silver rim, circa 1790. It boasts acorn and oak leaf decoration with acanthus leaf decoration to the handle. It has an impressed factory mark to its base and is 9.5cm tall. It also boasts provenance. It comes with a supporting letter that states the mug once belonged to Owen Stanley Scott, the first curator of the Bowes Museum. This superb article with excellent provenance sold for £440 hammer.


Clockwise from bottom left, Durham Ox platter; Swansea Dillwyn plates, Wedgwood mug.

Rare centuries-old plates prove desirable

Items that took my eye in Hansons' May Fine Art sale included two early 19th century, transfer printed Swansea Dillwyn wares, circa 1815. One displayed a black-printed ship plate while the other was a puce-printed child's plate. The child's plate reads: 'C was a cow that gives the nice milk'. While the ship plate was damaged, the rarity of the child’s plate compensated well and brought a hammer price of £460. The key to auction success was the rarity value.

Durham Ox platter simply grand

Finally, I love this early 19th century blue and white transfer printed Durham Ox well and tree platter, circa 1815. It is printed with one of the most iconic transferware designs of John Day standing with the Durham Ox in a landscape. The design was taken from an engraving by Whessell after a painting by T. Boultbee of 1802. John Day toured with the Ox which became a phenomenon in the Georgian period. Despite some high-quality restoration, it still attracted great interest and brought a hammer price of £1,050.

Objects to sell?

The secret to this recipe for auction success is simple. There are four keys elements - high-quality research and cataloguing, excellent promotion a dynamic auctioneer and a hungry and buoyant market. Hansons is inviting entries of similar wares for its upcoming sales. To arrange a free valuation, please email: [email protected]