The large chargers decorated with portraits of English monarchs have always been among the most collectable classes of English Delftware. Pook & Pook’s sale of the Allen collection included this 13½in (34cm) diameter charger attributed to Bristol and to the early 18th century painted with a full length figure of King George wearing armour and initialled GR against a background of sponged trees. It sold for $5500 (£4585) against a guide of $3000-4000.

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Mark and Marjorie Allen were well-known antiques dealers based in New Hampshire whose collecting tastes encompassed early American, English and Continental furniture and decorative arts, many acquired on their buying trips to Europe.

Marjorie died in 2014 and Mark in January this year and more than 600 lots from their estate were offered by Pook & Pook (26% buyer’s premium) of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, on June 30 and July 1, virtually all of which found a buyer.

Early Delft, both English and Continental, and metalwares were particular focuses for the Allens and this sale was rich in both categories. Bidders were enthusiastic and, aided by what seemed to be realistic estimates, some of these ended up among the highest-priced lots in the auction.


Chargers featuring Adam and Eve, usually shown either side of the Tree of Knowledge with the serpent, also have a keen following. The Allen sale at Pook & Pook featured several versions, the most expensive of which was this 13in (33cm) diameter London blue dash example dated to the late 17th century which was previewed in ATG No 2548. It realised $6000 (£5000) against a $3000-4000 guide. A second similar-sized blue dash English Adam and Eve example, also dated to the later 17th century but not in such good condition (it had been broken into three large sections and restored), went for $2200 (£1835).

Sought-after types

Delftwares included some of the most sought-after categories, such as large chargers decorated with royal portraits or Adam and Eve and pieces decorated in the style known as Bleu Persan.


Panels of tiles making up images of animals mostly catalogued as Delft but not ascribed to a particular country were much in evidence among the Allens’ Delftware. Cats and dogs were particularly prevalent and pictured here are two six-tile manganese panels of a dog and cat dated to the 18th century and measuring 15½ x 10¼in (39 x 26cm). They sold for $1500 (£1250) at Pook & Pook against a $400-600 guide.

A number of tile panels decorated with cats, dogs and birds also appeared, as well as numerous groups of individual tiles and more standard pieces such as plates and boxes. Some were catalogued as English, some Dutch and some simply as Delft (styles and decoration can overlap).

English and Continental Delftwares have long been very popular with US buyers and although there has been a market correction since the height of popularity for these ceramics around the turn of the last century, the most collectable categories still have a following – as prices for some of the chargers offered here demonstrated.

Candlesticks proliferated among the brassware with over 50 lots on offer, some dating back to the 17th century. There were also other examples of early metalwares such as brass and iron food choppers and other utensils and tobacco dishes.

American best-sellers


Joint best-seller in the Pook & Pook auction was this walnut chest of drawers attributed to the workshop of Thomas White of Perquimans County, North Carolina, c.1760, at $18,000 (£15,000).

The sale was led by two American pieces, each of which realised $18,000 (£15,000) apiece.

One was a 3ft 4¾in (1.03m) wide walnut slope-fronted four drawer desk attributed to the workshop of Thomas White of Perquimans County, North Carolina, c.1760. The other was a massive 15ft (4.57m) high zinc and cast iron garden fountain made by JW Fiske and Company, c.1875, and decorated with figures of putti plus shells and masks and topped by a draped female holding a ewer and a goblet.

£1 = $1.20