For 40 years, Henry Sandon shared his expertise in ceramics with participants on the BBC’s long-running program, Antiques Roadshow, on which collectors bring their antiques to be appraised. On April 18, the 94-year-old’s private collection went under the hammer at Chorley’s in Gloucester, U.K. And it turns out, Sandon has a pretty good eye: the auction raked in more than $130,000, double its presale estimate.
Although Sandon’s porcelain and pottery collection was diverse—spanning Qing dynasty vases, 17th-century Delftware, and shards of Roman pottery—some of the most successful auction items were from his prized collection of Royal Worcester porcelain. Sandon began collecting the porcelain 50 years ago, back when the cathedral city was still a thriving hub of production.
Among the Royal Worcester items was a vase painted by Harry Davis, who Sandon knew personally, which sold for over $4,500, more than double its high estimate. Another was a plate taken from a set commissioned in 1928 by William Keith Kellogg, of breakfast cereal fame, with a windmill and a background red chosen to match the company’s logo. It sold for over $3,300, against an estimate of $1,200 to $1,700.
Sandon’s interest in ceramics began when he started digging up ancient pots in his Worcester garden, which chimed with one of the items sold at Chorley’s auction: assorted fragments of Roman pottery and glass, Delftware, and Cistercian Ware, which sold for $910, well above its high estimate of $186.
Other successful items from the Sandon auction were a monochrome Meiping vase that sold for more than $2,500 and an English Delftware plate with Chinese figures from 1750-60 that sold for $1,140.
“We were delighted that [Sandon] was so pleased with the results,” Simon Chorley of Chorley’s auctioneers said. “He stated that he was thrilled with the prices and so relieved that others wanted his pots. Although there was the usual fierce competition on the bidding platforms, the sale room was full of bidders wanting to secure a piece from Henry’s collection. A very good result for all.”
Before joining the Antiques Roadshow in 1979, Sandon was a curator at Royal Worcester Factory’s Dyson Perrins Museum for 15 years beginning in 1967 and lectured at Birmingham University.
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