William de Morgan Arts & Crafts faience vase – £50,000 at Christie’s.

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Christie’s posted an auction record for William de Morgan when this Arts & Crafts faience vase sold at £50,000 (£65,000 including 26% buyer’s premium) as part of the collection of the banker and connoisseur collector Sir Nicholas Goodison (1934-2021).

The estimate on May 25 was £15,000-25,000.

Standing 15in (39cm) high this Sands End, Fulham period vase, c.1888-97, is painted by leading factory decorator Fred Passenger with three stylised peacocks and Persian-style manganese carnations against a dark blue ground.

It was formerly owned by De Morgan factory patron Louis Montagu, 2nd Baron Swaythling (1869- 1927) and was with dealer Richard Dennis in 1967.

Vase base

The labels and signature of Fred Passenger on the base of the William de Morgan vase.

According to a paper label to the vase it was offered at the time with a price tag of £45. Goodison had acquired it in 2005 from the dealer Sylvia Powell.

Chairman of the Stock Exchange (1976-86) and the TSB Group (1988-95), Goodison also chaired an array of cultural institutions including the Courtauld (1982-2002), the Art Fund (1986- 2002) and the Crafts Council (1997-2005) and was long-time president of the Furniture History Society (1990-2020). His books on barometers and Matthew Boulton are still well read.