JOHN MCPHEE EVALUATES READERS’ PRECIOUS OBJECTS.
THIS ROYAL Worcester piece has been in my wife’s family, based in Adelaide, for many years. Over 10 years ago an acquaintance from an auction room told us that it might be valuable but offered no value, so it has stayed on a mantlepiece since! Any history you can offer would be appreciated. Bob Pender, BLACK ROCK, VICTORIA
Your Royal Worcester potpourri would have been part of a three-piece set, the central larger jar flanked by two taller jars, intended for the chimneypiece. It dates from about 1900, the photograph of the mark is not sufficiently clear for me to give you an exact date, but an antique dealer could help. A complete three-piece set, similar in style to yours, has been offered for sale through ebay for $4800. However, being only part of a set means that the value is considerably decreased. Does another family member have the two jars? The most valuable Royal Worcester ceramics are those with identified painters, whose hand-painted decoration consisted of landscapes, fruit and cattle. Unfortunately, the pretty floral decoration is not as valued.
John Mcphee is an art historian who has worked in art museums for 30 years and was curator of Australian Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Australia.