Rare oil bottle and 260-year-old teabowl to feature in special auction

Lowestoft Porcelain auction

Some of the items in the Lowestoft Porcelain auction on October 20. - Credit: Zoë Sprake

Numerous rare and very desirable items will go under the hammer later this month as part of a special sale.

As the popularity of wares produced at the Lowestoft Porcelain factory remains as strong as ever, an annual auction is set to make a welcome return to its hometown.

The popular annual Lowestoft Porcelain auction will be held at the Hotel Victoria, on Wednesday, October 20.

Having been hosted by TW Gaze in Diss last year in response to restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, some "quite remarkable pieces" are being offered for sale this month.

rare oil and vinegar bottle 1765 Lowestoft Porcelain

A rare oil and vinegar bottle, dating back to 1765, is being offered in the eighth specialist sale of Lowestoft Porcelain. - Credit: Zoë Sprake

A rare oil and vinegar bottle, dating back to 1765, is being offered in the eighth specialist sale of Lowestoft Porcelain.


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Estimated to fetch £4,500-£5,500, it is described as "a particularly interesting shape" that was designed not to splash the dressing on the table with its sharply pointed beak.

There are 95 other lots, including a teabowl, coffee cup and saucer from the M and E Calder service.

A teabowl, coffee cup and saucer from the M and E Calder service Lowestoft Porcelain auction.

A teabowl, coffee cup and saucer from the M and E Calder service will be offered in the Lowestoft Porcelain auction on October 20. - Credit: Zoë Sprake

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The inscription is dated 1776 but the china was made later than that, perhaps to mark a 20th wedding anniversary.

A teabowl, coffee cup and saucer from the M and E Calder service Lowestoft Porcelain auction

A teabowl, coffee cup and saucer from the M and E Calder service will be offered in the Lowestoft Porcelain auction on October 20. - Credit: Zoë Sprake

The decoration, with festoons of grape vines, is not replicated on any other Lowestoft china and undamaged examples rarely come on the market.

Teabowl, coffee cup and saucer M and E Calder service Lowestoft Porcelain auction

A teabowl, coffee cup and saucer from the M and E Calder service will be offered in the Lowestoft Porcelain auction on October 20. - Credit: Zoë Sprake

Other rare items include a large masked jug, a fine IH 1761 Hughes moulded teabowl and saucer, and much, much more including many affordable pieces, with estimates starting at £20.

Lowestoft Porcelain was first established in 1757 and produced household pieces such as teapots, tea bowls and personalised birth tablets at a factory in Crown Street, before closing in 1802.

Its unique place in the history of ceramic manufacture has been celebrated by an annual auction originally established by auctioneer and enthusiast, Russell Sprake.

Since her husband died, Zoë Sprake has maintained the tradition, with viewing from 2pm on the day of the sale on October 20 before bidding starts at 7pm, with the well-known guest auctioneer, Elizabeth Talbot, on the rostrum.

Mrs Talbot said: “It is fantastic that we shall all be in Lowestoft again, the true home for the sale – in every sense.”

For more information and the catalogue visit www.lowestoftchina.co.uk

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