Rare Lowestoft porcelain in Norfolk saleroom

Four rare pieces of Lowestoft porcelain are to be sold in Norfolk later this month, with one lot estimated to fetch up to £9,000.

The star lot of the items is a very rare blue and white birth tablet inscribed ‘Mary Rushmer 1796’ in excellent condition, which has not been seen publicly for 30 years. The 2.5 inch diameter tablet is one of a small number commissioned at the Lowestoft factory, and has a pre-sale estimate of £7,000-£9,000.

Keys Fine Sale Nov 2017 Lowestoft porcelain pieces

The other remaining lots are:

  • An inscribed polychrome sparrowbeak jug dating from 1794, inscribed ‘Catherine Sneath 1794 Weston’.  The piece was featured in Connoisseur magazine in 1928 and exhibited in the Lowestoft porcelain bicentennial exhibition at Ipswich Museum in 1957.  It was bought by the present owner in 1946.  It has a pre-sale estimate of £3,000-£5,000.
  • A polychrome inkwell dating from the 1780s, inscribed ‘A trifle from Lowestoft’.  ‘Trifles’ were pieces made as souvenirs, and few have survived.  The pre-sale estimate is £3,000-£5,000
  • An unusual paperweight in blue and white, dating from around 1760. The piece was last sold 30 years ago from the renowned Warrell collection, and has a pre-sale estimate of £2,000-33,000.

Earlier this year, Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham sold a pair of white glazed figures of musicians from the Suffolk factory dating from around 1770 for £4,000; and in their March sale a blue and white model of a ram went for £2,000.

“Once again we have some very rare Lowestoft porcelain pieces in our Fine Sale,” said David Broom, Keys’ ceramics expert. “On the back of our two previous Fine Sales this year, we are seeing more and more Lowestoft porcelain coming forward for sale – its appeal is as high as ever.”

“Most of the Lowestoft factory’s output was focussed on tea wares and other utility pieces, and decorative items are much rarer and therefore much sought after by collectors.”

Keys’ November Fine Sale will also include more than 100 lots of English ceramics, including 18th-century pieces from Worcester, Derby and Chelsea, as well as Victorian majolica ware. Also in the sale is a good range of continental and oriental pieces.

The Lowestoft porcelain will go under the hammer on the first day of Keys’ three day Fine Sale, which runs from November 28 to 30.

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