Ewenny bowl and cover
Ewenny pottery slipware wassail bowl and cover – £15,000 at Rogers Jones.

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The sgraffito and potted decoration of figures and animals is accompanied by the inscriptions WIM Clay Pits 1833 and William James Tonyrevil Jany 12th 1832.

Estimated at £3000-5000, it came from the collection of Gwyneth and the late Ieuan R Evans, authors of Ewenny - Potteries, Potters and Pots.

After plenty of competition at the auction on July 24, the bowl was sold to a specialist ceramics dealer at £15,000 (plus 22% buyer’s premium), thought to be a record for Ewenny slipwares.

Communal purpose

Wassail bowls such as this one, measuring 15in (39cm) high, were among the largest pieces made at the Ewenny potteries and, used at communal events, normally made for the village as a whole. William James was probably the donor rather than its owner of this piece made for Tonyrevil in the parish of Lantrissent in Glamorgan.

Ewenny bowl

A detail of the Ewenny pottery slipware wassail bowl cover – £15,000 at Rogers Jones.

The maker was perhaps the Claypits potter William Williams. In the South Wales News of April 30, 1892, reference is made to Williams who made wassail bowls in the 1820s for parishes at a cost of one guinea each.

Given their vulnerable nature, relatively few have survived from this period (others are known from the Arts & Crafts era) with this example in relatively good condition despite the losses to the figures and strapwork that adorn the cover. It had previously sold at Bonhams in 2010 for £8000.

Sir Kyffin record

Kyffin Williams picture

'Ynys Mon' by Sir Kyffin Williams – a record £62,000 at Rogers Jones.

The Rogers Jones sale also posted a new record for Sir Kyffin Williams (1918-2006).

His work, highly familiar in terms of style, technique, subject and composition, appears with great regularity at auction.

However, the wide format, the bright sunlit colouring and presence of foreground figures in the 20in x 3ft 7in (50cm x 1.1m) oil Ynys Mon stood out from the standard oeuvre. It came to auction from a Welsh vendor whose parents bought it in c.1982 from Tegfryn Gallery in Anglesey (they acquired it the day after the artist had delivered it to the dealership).

Estimated at £50,000-70,000, it eventually fell at £62,000 to a commission bidder.

The buyer was an existing client of Rogers Jones based in the south of England but with fond childhood memories of the Anglesey village of Rhoscolyn shown in the picture - he was even christened in the chapel that is featured in the centre of the painting.

The price beat the £60,000 hammer price that the auction house achieved for Fox Shoot in 2016.