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Highlights from our March 2023 Fine Art Sale

Debbie Porter

Our Fine Art sale this month featured some exquisite oil paintings such as lot 1503; an oil painting of a canal in Venice from the School of Michele Marieschi in a gilt frame which sold for a spectacular £7,300.

The first Potteries Auctions Fine Art sale of 2023 took place this month on Thursday 9th, Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March and featured an exciting array of items, from original paintings, coins and books, to a very large assortment of rare British pottery and more.

Plenty of lots from our Fine Art auction live from the Silverdale Saleroom sold for a good price, so check out some of the highlights from our most recent auction below. Who knows? Maybe they’ll provide some inspiration if you have a valuation in mind.

A pair of Minton two handled Pate-sur-Pate vase & covers, gilded and decorated with cupids & scrolling foliage by Harry Hollins

The top selling lot and star of this month’s Fine Art auction was this stunning pair of Minton two handled Pate-sur-Pate vase & covers, gilded and decorated with cupids & scrolling foliage by Harry Hollins, which sold for an astronomical £14,000!

As always, pottery pieces proved very popular at auction this month and we saw a large quantity of rare pottery, including vases, jugs and figurines from famous names such as Royal Doulton and Doulton Lambeth, Minton, Royal Worcester and more pass through our saleroom and fetch some amazing prices. Check out some of the best performing lots throughout this article.

A George Tinworth comical mouse figure for Doulton Lambeth titled “Cockneys at Brighton”
A George Tinworth comical mouse figure for Doulton Lambeth titled “Cockneys at Brighton”

We’ve had a wonderful array of George Tinworth comical mouse figures for Doulton Lambeth trickling through our salesrooms for the past few months now, which always prove popular with our buyers. Lot 439 is titled “Cockneys at Brighton”, and Lot 440 is titled “Guy Fawkes”, which sold for a brilliant £5,000.

This large Royal Doulton prestige figure of Princess Badoura HN2081, modelled by H Tittensor, H E Stanton and F Van Allen Phillips, depicts Princess Badoura wearing a pink full length dress and carrying a peacock feather fan, seated on the back of an elephant decorated in coloured enamels and gilt, and moulded with dragons and gilt scroll borders.

For many years Royal Doulton displayed this special model in their showrooms at Nile Street, Burslem, to demonstrate the artistic and technical virtuosity of their ceramic artists. It was ‘Not for Sale’ and was used to take orders for this Prestige model – the most expensive piece ever offered by the company. The closing of the Nile Street factory in 2005 released this unique piece into the marketplace. This good condition lot ultimately found a hammer price of £4,400 this past weekend.

A limited edition cased 10 oz 22ct gold coin

Lot 1781 was a limited edition cased 10 oz 22ct gold coin, one of only five that exist in the world. It was in pristine, unblemished condition in an unopened capsule, with a certificate of specification, box, inner card box, and its original purchase invoice for £23,999 from Harrington & Byrne. It sold for a whopping £11,200!

An oil painting of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

This oil painting of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, sold for an incredible £9,000 at our Fine Art auction earlier this month.

A large oil painting of a cartographer holding a flower

Lot 1500 was a large oil painting of a cartographer holding a flower, dated around 1624, which sold for a wonderful £7,600.

A William de Morgan shallow dish

Lot 768 was a William de Morgan shallow dish, triple lustre decorated with an eagle and serpent, three colours of red, blue and silver, with a monogram for Charles Passenger. It sold for £3,700.

A signed copy of The Hobbit, signed by author J. R. R. Tolkien

This lot will certainly be of interest to keen fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise. Lot 1555 was a signed copy of The Hobbit, signed by none other than J. R. R. Tolkien himself, which found a loving new home for £2,900.

Here’s a statement from the vendor about the charming history of this lot:

“My mother – Kath Taylor – came by the book and autograph during her employment as Housekeeper to the Reverend John Tolkien,  who was parish priest at Our Lady of Angels and St Peter in Chains R.C Church in Hartshill, Stoke on Trent, who resided at Northcote House, Hartshill Road. The Rev John Tolkien was the son of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Rev John Tolkien was parish priest from 1966 to 1987 and his father J.R.R. Tolkien visited him on many occasions, staying at Northcote House, which at the time was the Presbytery to the church.

When Rev J Tolkien came to Our Lady’s his live-in housekeeper was Miss K Restall whose name can be seen at the top of the page. My mother came to work at the presbytery at first to assist Miss Restall, but later took on the role as Housekeeper when she retired.

The book was given to my mother and signed by the author on one of his visits. The book was later given to me by my mother.”

Our next Cobridge auction is scheduled for 26th March, the details of which can be found on our Upcoming Auctions page.

How to Sell at Auction

If you have items for auction, get in touch and we can help you with a valuation. Talk to our team of experts who will be able to give you an accurate auction estimate on a range of items from household goods to antiques.

Valuation days are held every Tuesday at our Silverdale showroom. To book an appointment, please call 01782 638100 or email

If, however, you are unable to attend a valuation in-person, we also provide valuations via WhatsApp – simply send photographs of your items to 07864 667940, or you can also message us on Facebook. We can even arrange for home visits to value your items.