Agate footbaths marked for Copeland & Garrett, £1700 at Mendip Auction Rooms.

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A favourite with interior decorators, they command sums way above the modest outlay required to own most Victorian toilet wares.

This agate ware example, above, which came up for sale at Mendip Auction Rooms (15% buyer’s premium) in Somerset on June 13, carried the mark for the Copeland & Garrett partnership that ran from 1833-47. Despite a chip and a crack to the base, it improved on a guide of £80-120 to sell via at £1700.

The Copeland factory in its various guises is perhaps most familiar as the maker of some of the best-known blue and white transfer printed designs such as Indian Sports, Caramanian, Tower and the remarkably long-lived Italian (launched in 1816 and still made today).

Offered at the May 20-21 sale at Fieldings (24% buyer’s premium) in Stourbridge was one of the largest pieces made by the factory: a 19in (47cm) high Chinese style hexagonal garden or conservatory seat decorated in an all-over romantic pastoral landscape pattern and bordered by wild roses.


Chinese style hexagonal garden or conservatory seat by Copeland & Garrett , £1850 at Fieldings.

Estimated at a modest £150-250, the piece sparked an intense online bidding battle between two collectors determined to secure this piece.

The final selling price was £1850.