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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.

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