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They were attracted primarily by a good tranche of Meissen, Royal Dux and a collection of Berlin plaques, a few pieces of Caughley and a couple of Beilby cordials.

Glass attributed to the Newcastle family is very rarely seen in the salerooms these days, although the value of these cordials has not appreciated by more than 50-60 per cent in the past 20 years.

Each cordial had an ogee bowl enamelled with a peacock on a plinth and a flying bird on the reverse. The slightly larger glass with a bruise on its foot, 6in (15cm) high, was offered first and sold at £1900; the smaller glass had a tiny chip to its foot and sold at £3300. Both cordials sold in the room to Gloucestershire dealer John Ferguson, who also acquired, relatively cheaply, an early 18th century baluster ‘mead’ (champagne) glass with a later engraving of vine, 5in (13cm) high, at £380.

A simple way to evaluate a Berlin plaque is to gauge the amount of naked flesh on view. The most expensive of four plaques in Edinburgh was the one of the young maiden with exposed breasts. Solitude, signed Greiner and measuring 10 by 71/2in (25.5 x 19cm), attracted a double-estimate £3200. A slightly larger, but less deshabillé portrait of a dark- haired girl with an unbuttoned chemise and a gold medallion necklace sold at £2500, and the same price was paid for a portrait of a voluptuously clothed gypsy girl. The subject of the third plaque was Rebecca, wife of Isaac, in full dress, painted by Hauterbach. A cheeky glimpse of bosom could not entirely compensate for the biblical sobriety of the plaque, which sold at £1800. All three plaques sold to the London trade.

There was not a lot of interest ‘on the floor’ for eight lots of shibayama from the private collection of a wealthy Glaswegian, but all except one of the pieces sold. Inevitably some inlay had fallen out, although worse losses had doubtless been prevented by the damp environment of the West of Scotland.

A large silver bowl by Yoshinori with minimal losses from six gold lacquer shibayama panels, 12in (30cm) diameter, made £5300. Another good seller was a two-fold ivory screen by Masame, each panel measuring 91/2in by 51/2in (24 x 14cm) and inlaid with flowering branches and foliate sprays, attracted £4000, and a silver filigree tray with a central ivory shibayama panel, 11 by 9in (27 x 22cm) took £4200.

The biggest advance on expectations among the English ceramics was made by a Pinxton part tea service.
The eight pieces were boringly painted and the teapot was cracked.
But those distinctive handles and the kudos of owning a service that was not mass produced ensured strong bidding and a price of £2200 where £300-500 had been expected.

Miniature English blue and white is always popular and it was no surprise when a dwarf tea service in the Island pattern from Caughley attracted £660.

Majolica and Derby were flat. The best seller was a Wedgwood Fairyland lustre octagonal bowl, pattern no. Z4963, which sold to a Scottish dealer at £3000.

Bonhams, Edinburgh
November 30
Buyer’s premium:
15/10 per cent