A large majolica urn by Pierre Emile Jeannest and Thomas Kirkby of the Minton factory – €16,000 (£14,500) at Fonsie Mealy.

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It was probably modelled by Pierre Emile Jeannest (1813-57), the French sculptor who worked in Stoke-on-Trent for a few years in the wake of the 1848 revolution, and painted by Thomas Kirkby, the factory artist who produced some of Minton’s first exercises in ‘maiolica’ style decoration.

It was included in the contents of an impeccable 1820s period residence with one of the most recognised addresses in Ireland: the Oxmantown Mall development in Birr, Co Offaly. Estimated at €1000-1500 (there was some damage to the pedestal), it sold via at €16,000 (£14,500).

Historicism is the defining characteristic of so much 19th century pottery and porcelain.


A Meissen krater vase, c.1865 – £8000 at Lots Road Auctions.

A very fine 12in (30cm) Meissen krater vase, also c.1865, emerged for sale at Lots Road Auctions (22% buyer’s premium) in Chelsea on March 3.

A ‘pair’ to this vase was included in the group of pieces (including the similar ‘Limoges’ decorated neoclassical wares) that represented the Meissen factory at the Paris universal exhibition of 1867.

It was modelled by Ernst August Lewteritz, the career Meissen employee who rose to the post of manager and top modeller in 1849, and painted with a continuous scene of a boar hunt, probably by the decorator Carl August Müller (1813-85) after a lost work by the Dresden artist Eduard Julius Bendemann (1811-89).

This example, with two chips to the underside of the rim, carried the same border decoration but a different scene of a bacchanale. It was estimated at £1500-2500 – a relatively modest sum in the light of others that have been on the market – and took £8000 selling to a German private buyer.