Shropshire Star

First lot of historic China collection sells for £16,000

The first part of an important collection of Coalport China which belonged to a late Shropshire hotelier has sold for £16,000 at auction.

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The first part of the Ivor Southorn collection of Coalport China that sold for £16,000 last week.

The second and final part of the Ivor Southorn Coalport Collection, valued at between £30,000 and £35,000, will be held at Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury on December 6.

Consigned by the family of the late Ivor Southorn, whose collecting interest began as a child, the collection is being sold in 192 lots.

Top prices for the first part of the auction were £1,800 for a substantial blue batwing dinner service, £650 for a pink batwing tea service, £380 for a pink and gilt coffee service and £300 for a rare Coalport elephant condiment holder set.

Caroline Dennard, Halls Fine Art’s ceramics, glass and militaria specialist, was delighted at the success of the first auction and is expecting even greater interest in the second one.

“The sale result shows that the traditional end of the ceramics market is still strong and the local interest in the collection definitely helped,” she said.

“The second part of the auction features the more expensive pieces, so we are hoping they will generate even more interest.”

Born and bred in Broseley, Ivor came from a multi-generational family of clay pipe makers.

His interest in Coalport began in 1935 when, aged nine, he and his father rescued a collection of plaster moulds from the old Coalport China works.

Purchases were made both locally and abroad, including the United States, and a large number of pieces came from late Ironbridge dealer Bill Dickenson.

An active member of local history societies, Ivor was proprietor of Broseley’s Cumberland Hotel, where he proudly displayed some of his collection and sometimes even used expensive pieces to serve dinner guests.

Ivor died in 2006 and now his family has decided to sell the collection to allow others to enjoy the Coalport pieces.

The December 6 auction includes a limited edition Coalport vase and cover, valued at up to £2,000, commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, which was made specifically for export to the United States, where Ivor purchased it.

Another highlight is a pair of Coalport ornithological vases and covers painted by John Randall, circa 1871, similar to a vase shown at Annual International Exhibition in London in 1871, which is also expected to fetch up to £2,000.

Ivor loaned the vases to the Ironbridge Museum’s Bicentenary Coalport Exhibition in 1996.

Also expected to attract great interest is an important Coalport dessert centre dish, from the Nicholas 1 Service, circa 1845, which is valued at up to £900.

This dish was part of the service made by the command of Queen Victoria for presentation to Tsar Nicholas I during his royal visit to England in 1844.

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