Ceramics

Ceramics are among the most frequently collected antiques. Items made from earthernware (pottery) or porcelain (hard or soft paste) can serve functional roles such as tablewares, serving implements, vases and jugs or as ornaments, especially figures.

They usually have some form of decoration, either painted or transfer-printed, that is covered in transparent or coloured glaze. Ceramics are often catalogued by the name of their manufacturer or factory such as Meissen, Worcester, Doulton, Wedgwood and Sèvres.


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William Cookworthy the porcelain pioneer in focus at London dealer

02 October 2023

William Cookworthy (1705-80), a Quaker chemist from Plymouth, opened his porcelain factory in 1768 following years of experimentation with China clay he discovered in Cornwall.

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Chinese export porcelain made for the Society of the Cincinnati

02 October 2023

Two pieces made for members of the famed Society of the Cincinnati led a single-owner sale of Chinese export porcelain were sold by Grogan and Company (30% buyer’s premium) in Boston.

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No, it’s not a Wally Bird...

25 September 2023

Anthropomorphic bird jars are typically associated with the work of the Martin Brothers in Southall, London.

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Majolica amassed by collecting duo 'has it all'

25 September 2023

Edward and Marilyn Flower’s substantial and impressive collection blossomed partly thanks to help from a London dealer

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Scotsman figure punches well above estimate

25 September 2023

An early 19th century pearlware figure was the surprise performer when 200 lots from the Flower collection were offered by Lion & Unicorn (25% buyer’s premium) in Florida, on August 27.

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Designer John Orfe sped far ahead of his time

25 September 2023

Concept drawings by John Orfe (1922-2011), an American automotive and airline designer, came for sale in Virginia.

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Top stories this week including news of a stolen Martinware bird returned to museum after 15 years

24 September 2023

The most viewed stories on this website over the last week included news of a Martinware bird being recovered after it was consigned to auction.

Baltars plate

Symbol of national pride: Latvian plate takes 20-times estimate in Sussex

18 September 2023

By the time the Baltars ceramics painting workshop was established in 1925 the country where it was founded – Latvia – had been accepted by the international community as independent for just four years.

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Samuel Alcock & Co reassessed

18 September 2023

Huge collection shines light on the once common Staffs porcelain that nonetheless is often misidentified

Chris Marinello and Dr Jonathan Oates

Stolen Martinware bird returned to museum after 15 years

14 September 2023

A third stolen Martinware bird has been recovered more than 15 years after it was stolen in west London.

Sèvres plates

Battle for lowly-estimated Empire period Sèvres plates

11 September 2023

A group of nine Empire period Sèvres porcelain plates were the object of keen interest when they came up for sale at Lockdales in Ipswich on August 31.

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Lovely bubbly: cheers to the charitable froth blowers

11 September 2023

The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers was a British charitable organisation established in the decade after the First World War ‘to foster the noble Art and gentle and healthy Pastime of froth blowing among Gentlemen of-leisure and ex-Soldiers’.

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Studio pottery in focus at North Yorkshire’s Thirsk Hall

04 September 2023

This stoneware cream glaze vase, c.1960, by Bernard Leach (1887- 1979) is included in the programme of exhibitions at Willoughby Gerrish this autumn.

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Earthly pleasures: Avisseau's basin draws dramatic bidding at Strawser’s auction

28 August 2023

This Palissy-style ‘art of the earth’ basin is inscribed and dated 'Avisseau, Tours, 1856' for Charles-Jean Avisseau (1795-1861).

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Literary agent Pollinger's collection sheds light on Alcock pottery

28 August 2023

A large collection of porcelain from the factory of Samuel Alcock (1799-1848) amassed by a well-known literary agent is coming up for sale.

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William and Mary portraits drive delftware demand

28 August 2023

Dated and inscribed and royal portrait subjects are the most desirable classes of early delftware

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Parcours prepares for action once again

28 August 2023

The Parcours de la Céramique et des Arts du Feu is an annual gallery-based event in Paris focusing on a broad range of ceramics and glass, both antique and modern, from Europe and Asia

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Salisbury sale includes pieces from the Jonathan Horne collection

28 August 2023

The glass and ceramics sales held by Woolley & Wallis usually include several designated single-owner collections and properties and the September 19 auction is no exception

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Doulton jug does its Nelson duty

28 August 2023

The salt-glazed portrait jug of Nelson by Doulton & Watts of Lambeth is considered the first character jug made by Doulton

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Goss Harvard rarity emerges in a group lot

28 August 2023

Forty years ago, the market for crested china was booming – the subject of specialist sales, annual price guides and an international collecting base

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