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Private pottery collection attracting overseas interest going for sale in Shrewsbury

One of the largest private collections of a little known Staffordshire pottery manufacturer is to be sold in Shrewsbury next week, and it is attracting interest from overseas.

The pair of H&R Daniel pot pourri vases valued at up to £700
The pair of H&R Daniel pot pourri vases valued at up to £700

H & R Daniel produced porcelain and earthenware in short span of just 24 years between 1822 and 1846, but in that time it was considered of equal stature with Spode, Minton and their contemporaries.

The collection up for sale in Shrewsbury has been amassed over decades by the late Michael Berthoud, who lived in Bridgnorth, and extends to 300 pieces and will be sold in 90 lots at Halls Fine Art’s auction Wednesday, September 20.

Caroline Dennard, Halls Fine Art’s ceramics, glass and militaria specialist, said that the collection, which is expected to exceed £10,000, is attracting international interest, especially from American collectors.

She has arranged a private viewing of the collection by members of the H&R Daniel Circle.

“It is undoubtedly one of the largest private collections of H&R Daniel porcelain and earthenware in existence, with many pieces illustrated in Michael's important book on the subject, published in 1980,” said Caroline.

“Despite its relatively short lifespan of just 24 years, the H&R Daniel factory produced some of the most exquisite porcelain of the era. Their painted wares are considered to be of a higher quality than even their contemporaries, Minton and Spode.”

Mr Berthoud co-authored ground-breaking reference works such as ‘A Directory of British Teapots’ and ‘A Compendium of British Cups’. One of his passions was the porcelain and earthenware made by Henry and Richard Daniel’s factory in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Potential stars of the collection are a pair of H&R Daniel pot pourri vases which expected to fetch up to £700 and a pot pourri vase and cover and a rare fruit and flower basket, each estimated at up to £300.

Henry Daniel, who had previously worked as an enameller at Spode, started his venture in 1822 before entering into a partnership with his son, Richard, in 1824.

Their business quickly grew and, by 1827, they had received a substantial order from the Earl of Shrewsbury for a service to be used in Alton Towers following its refurbishment. This was followed by other notable services, including one to celebrate Mary Talbot's marriage in 1839.

The auction catalogue introduction to the collection was written by Mr Berthoud’s son, Nicholas, who said English porcelain was one of his father’s three great loves, with the pots of Henry and Richard Daniel particular favourites.

“He found his first piece, a rather unprepossessing cup and saucer, in a junk shop in Worthing in 1972. In the following years, from his base in Kent and more recently in Shropshire, many parts of the country were explored in the search for other specimens,” says Nicholas.

“The publication of an article in the Art and Antiques magazine in 1976 by Geoffrey Godden encouraged Michael to believe that his own researches were advanced enough to make the publication of a monograph viable and this appeared in 1980.

“That this would lead to the formation of a thriving research and collecting society gave him enormous pleasure, as the sharing of knowledge was of the greatest importance to him.

“I hope that the return to the market, through Halls, of a collection formed with as much an eye for visual delight as much as study potential would have further pleased him.”

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