Royal Worcester vase

Among the 90 pieces of Royal Worcester to be offered at Phil Caldwell Auctioneers from the Wheeler collection is this Harry Davis-decorated lion vase – estimate Aus$25,000-50,000.

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Businessman Terry Wheeler and his wife Tena began collecting in the late 1990s after attending an auction in Perth, Australia.

Terry, who had established a successful minerals testing business which he sold in 2008, had the funds to pursue their passion for the best available examples.

Tena said: “It probably helped that I had a brother in England who I saw every year and could time those visits to coincide with porcelain sales at the leading auction houses such as Bonhams and Christie’s.”

Now in their 80s, the Wheelers are selling their large Perth family home and are offering 90 pieces of their collection with local firm Phil Caldwell Auctioneers on November 13.

The collection put together over 25 years was purchased from dealers including David and Valerie Main (of Valerie Main) and Peter Marsh Fine Ceramics.

David Main said: “It is one of the finest collections we have been associated with in our 35-plus years of handling Royal Worcester.”

The couple also bought at auction houses including the now closed West Midlands firm Walker Barnett & Hill, Lyon & Turnbull and McTear’s of Scotland, as well as Leonard Joel, Elders and Phil Caldwell in Australia.

On many trips to the UK the couple also visited the Worcester Museum.

The sale will take place in the couple’s Perth home on November 13.

Among the highlights is a George Owen vase made for the 1893 Chicago Exposition which Terry spent many years pursuing.

According to the couple, it was sold for more than Aus$200,000 to an Adelaide collector when Phil Caldwell sold the Royal Worcester collection known as the Wales collection in 2002. The Wheelers later purchased the vase after a long negotiation with its owner.

Melbourne opportunity

Also in Australia, this time in Melbourne, Gibson’s has been selling off the Royal Worcester collection of the late collector June Harris.

The next part of this estate sale will be offered on November 27.