Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion
5th December 2018
Bristol’s prominence as one of the major British port cities of the 18th century is echoed in its artistic production of the time. Like its northerly cousin Liverpool, ceramics factories benefitted from the demands of a cosmopolitan class who wanted to entertain guests at tea and dinner, aided by the best porcelain. The aptly-named Richard Champion was born into a Quaker family and achieved considerable success as a businessman trading with the Colonies in the Caribbean and America, before he met William Cookworthy of the Plymouth Porcelain Company. Cookworthy was the only British potter making patented hard-paste porcelain at the time. He asked Champion to manage his factory after it was moved to Bristol, and Champion eventually bought his boss out in 1774.
Demand for porcelain from any of the South West factories of the period is always high due to their quality and scarcity. This was in evidence at Clevedon Salerooms on 22nd November, when a superb jug from the Champion factory was offered for sale from a local estate. Its recent history could be traced back to exhibitions in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the highly-respected dealer Albert Amor, according to the numerous labels beneath. It duly sold at the upper end of the estimate, for £1,400, highlighting the continuing demand for the very best antiques.
‘Reel’ high prices at Clevedon Salerooms
Clevedon Salerooms held their second sale of the New Year on Thursday 23rd January at the Kenn Road Auction Centre. Top price of the day was paid for the best of a large collection of 16mm film reels which filled the back wall of the saleroom. Spilt into four lots, the best of these were competed for by online bidders and another in the room to a multiple-estimate £1,100. The other three lots amassed £770 total.