Topping the bill in Halls’ sale of the Michael Berthoud collection of H&R Daniel porcelain at £1500 (estimate £300-500) was this C-scroll trio of tea and coffee cup and saucer from c.1827, the pattern number 4413 on the saucer. It was illustrated in both Berthoud’s H&R Daniel (1822-1846) and Smith and Beardmore’s H&R Daniel (1822-1846) Identifying Daniel Porcelain Tableware. Along with its pink vine leaves and gilt leaves and tendrils, it features the distinctive ‘daisy wheel’ raised feet. It was in overall good condition with just a short firing crack to the coffee cup, a few areas of glaze loss and a few pitting/firing spots.

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The market for 19th century porcelain teawares and dessert services, which were a ceramic collecting staple in the 1970s and 80s, has softened considerably and prices for such pieces often cost no more or even less than they did half a century ago.

However, occasionally a focus on a specific factory of quality and, crucially, one with decorative appeal, can buck the trend.


Pair of H&R Daniel 9in (21.5cm) square cabinet plates from c.1824 painted with sprays of flowers and strawberries by the decorator William Pollard (who also worked for the Welsh factories of Swansea and Nantgarw). One plate is numbered to the reverse and one is pictured in Berthoud’s book. There are hairline cracks to both plates but Pollard’s painting on both is in good order. They sold for £140, just under the low end of a £150-200 guide.

This was the case at Halls (24% buyer’s premium) on September 20 when the Shrewsbury auction house offered the late Michael Berthoud’s collection of porcelain by H&R Daniel.


H&R Daniel Mayflower teacup and saucer, of c.1828-30, pattern 4630, decorated with mayflower florets edged in pale blue and painted with small flowersprays with moulded shells in pink and yellow. Sold for £360 at Halls against a £100-150 guide.

Entrepreneurial character

The Staffordshire firm was relatively short-lived, running for just 24 years from 1822-46, but Henry Daniel, an entrepreneurial character who had worked as a gilder and enameller at Spode, produced pieces of a quality to match the best products of his Staffordshire competitors (so much so that Spode actually purchased pieces that the fledgling factory had decorated on Spode’s own blanks).


H&R Daniel botanically decorated part dessert service from c.1830 in pattern number 4988 comprising six 9in (22cm) diameter plates and two 11in (28cm) wide square dishes. One square dish is illustrated in Berthoud’s book and also in Smith and Beardmore’s work. At Halls it sold within estimate at £210.

Henry entered into partnership with his son Richard two years after he started his venture, producing porcelain and earthenwares, and Richard carried on the business for six years after his father’s death before it ceased trading.

An early patron of significance was the Earl of Shrewsbury.

He placed several orders for services with the factory for his refurbishment of Alton Towers in 1827, a tradition continued by his nephew who inherited the title and his daughter Mary Talbot, who ordered her own service on the occasion of her marriage.


H&R Daniel teacup and saucer of ‘Shrewsbury’ shape dating from c.1827. Its mazarine blue ground is reserved with oval panels of birds and overlain with hatched gilding. In good overall condition, it sold for £360 at Halls against a guide of £50-70.

Berthoud, a dealer and collector, was one of the main people responsible for a re-evaluation that put the Daniel factory back on the map through his researches and his 1980 book H&R Daniel 1822-1846, which is still a standard work on the subject.

Since then an active collecting society, The Daniel Ceramic Circle or DCC, (formerly the Daniel Collectors Circle) has been established which pursues research on the factory. Berthoud also amassed a huge collection of Daniel porcelain and it was this that was up for auction at Halls in the form of over 300 pieces.

Many of them were illustrated in Berthoud’s book or in the DCC’s subsequent 2009 publication by B Smith and B Beardmore: H & R Daniel (1822-1846) Identifying Daniel Porcelain Tablewares.

Offered in 90 lots, the collection raised £12,000.

Decorative appeal

“The sale result proved that the market for nicely decorated teaware from this period of production is still buoyant,” said Caroline Dennard, Halls’ ceramics, glass and militaria specialist. “People are collecting for decorative rather than purely academic elements.”


H&R Daniel pair of 10½in (26.5cm) campana shape pot pourri vases of c.1822-25 decorated with hand-enamelled panels of flowers and moulded with acanthus leaves. The vases lack their covers and both have repairs and restoration, one vase more than the other, although the painted floral panels on both vases are in good condition. They sold for £550 against a £500-700 estimate.

The ensemble included a few larger ornamental items such as vases, pastille burners, comports and some dessert services but the majority of the items were teawares including some individually lotted cups and saucers.

This worked in the sale’s favour as, with demand very much focused on the decorative element, it was these smaller pieces that were most in demand.

“We had a lot of interest from private collectors who were not necessarily Daniel collectors,” noted Dennard.

These were people interested in teawares with floral decoration and elements such as the ‘daisy wheel’ raised feet.

Dennard said there was also quite a lot of overseas participation in the sale including from Denmark, Thailand, Turkey, the US and Canada.

And also some interest came from members of the Daniel Ceramic Circle for whom Halls organised a private view and who were presumably filling gaps in their own collections.

In all, just under a quarter of the lots failed to get away and Dennard said it was the more academic pieces that struggled or items with condition problems.


Cup and saucer also from c.1827, numbered pattern 4412 in gilt, featuring oval floral enamelled panels surrounded by burnished and raised gilt scrolls and gilt birds in branches and also set on daisy wheel feet. It was exhibited in the Northern Ceramic Society’s Flowering of British Ceramics exhibition held last year. At Halls it realised £1100, over four times the £200-250 estimate. It had no damage or repair and just a few spots of gilding loss, slight wear to the underside of the feet and slight crazing.

Prices for the majority of lots were more or less in line with Halls’ estimates but there were occasions where bidding dramatically outstripped predictions such as the maroon ground C scroll cup and saucer and the C scroll trio that made £1100 and £1500 respectively.

They are pictured here along with a selection of other lots from the collection.