img_10-1.jpg
Linthorpe Fijian-style dish by Christopher Dresser – £4200 at Paul Beighton.

Impressed Linthorpe 293, the model copies an original Fijian libation dish in the collection at the British Museum. This version (with a chip to an arm) is decorated with autumnal glazes with the figure’s head left unglazed.

The result at the auction held in Thurcroft, Rotherham, on March 2 is one of a handful of strong prices recently paid for examples of the rarer Dresser Linthorpe creations.

A record price of £17,000 was bid at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh in October 2019 for a similar figural vessel – a sake bottle also inspired by Fijian art.

Unlike his more formal creations for the Minton factory, Dresser enjoyed free rein when creating designs for something like 1000 pots while working as art superintendent at Linthorpe from 1879-82.

Multiple influences

He drew on a wide range of influences including Minoan, Cycladic, pre-Columbian, Chinese and Japanese ceramics as well as locally-found prehistoric and Bronze Age artefacts.

While most of Dresser’s designs were intended for mass production, some were made in very small numbers.

img_10-2.jpg

Linthorpe moon flask by Christopher Dresser – £1900 at Paul Beighton.

Two other Dresser Linthorpe designs were eagerly contested in the Beighton sale.

A pre-Columbian type bottle (model 237) with mouldings to the shoulders, an incised face and a streaked glaze sold online in near-perfect condition at £950.

Scarcer was a treacle-glazed moon flask, 5in (12cm) high, with relief moulded decoration in the Chinese style of a sage under a tree and a waterfall to the rear.

Impressed with the number 440, it took £1900 from another online bidder using thesaleroom.com – a sum that reflected some small chips around the rim.