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The estimate of £800-1200 reflected the damage to the rims of the plates. “These were not chips. There were pieces missing,” said Ms Clarke.

However, the bold, florid decoration had not been blighted and this was all-important to the half dozen
bidders who registered an interest in the 8in (20cm) plates dating from the desirable 1755-8 period of early Bow. The plates eventually sold to a London dealer at £6800.

The other notable result in this sale concerned a Spode stone china landscape pattern dinner service, c.1815-30, each of the 147 pieces decorated with a pagoda and pavilion, which sold at £5400.