This was a 10in (24cm) oval scalloped edged dish by the Flight, Barr & Barr factory, that was painted with a still life of shells within a rich gold and cobalt blue border of anthemion. It was probably the work of the great Worcester-born. London-based decorator Thomas Baxter (1782-1821). Guided at just £150-200, it took £6000.
It shared many similarities with a larger 13in (33cm) centrepiece by Baxter dated c.1814-16 which sold for £30,000 as part of Richard Baron Cohen’s Twinight Collection of British Porcelain at Bonhams in September 2021.
In particular, it had the same so-called Baxter border that is found on many of the finest Flight, Barr & Barr plates. It is thought that, as Baxter was trained as an all-round decorator, he may have gilded the plates himself.
Bonhams’ cataloguer pointed out that, although Baxter’s name became synonymous with shell painting on Regency Worcester porcelain (mostly through misattributions by early collectors), autograph works are relatively rare. He painted his shells with remarkable realism from nature using the stipple technique for delicate shading.