Among the most desirable examples of Victorian majolica come the series of whimsical teapots produced by premier factories in the second half of the 19th century. The range of Minton designs include rarities such as the vulture and snake, the spiny fish, a cockerel and a cat on a flatiron.
This naturalistic model of tortoise and snail, made by Minton, carries a date cypher for 1878 and is recorded in the factory archives as shape number 629. It comes to auction at Sworders’ Fine Interiors sale on June 25-26, from a local lady who only in May was watching an episode of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow when a similar teapot was featured. Surprised by its potential value, she decided to take her own version of the Minton tortoise - inherited from a great aunt - to Sworders where specialists were delighted to see it and suggested an estimate of £1,500-2,500.
A Minton Majolica tortoise teapot and cover
English majolica, that takes its name from Italian tin-glazed earthenwares often called maiolica, was first displayed by Minton to much acclaim at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Production boomed for four decades but, as its bold colours and ‘Victorian’ forms fell from fashion, production had all but died out by 1900.
Our Design sale on 4-5 May includes a group of Arts & Crafts items from the estate of the design writer and biographer Fiona MacCarthy OBE (1940-2020). Married to the Sheffield-based silversmith and designer David Mellor (1930-2009), who she first met when conducting an interview in 1967, MacCarthy’s background as a journalist for House and Garden and the Guardian helped to lay the foundations for seminal works on C R Ashbee, the Omega Workshops, William Morris, Eric Gill, and Stanley Spencer.
Sworders Design department is delighted to be offering a selection of some of the Gabbertas Studio’s most iconic designs, some of which are extremely rare versions of designs or prototypes made by the hand of Mark Gabbertas himself | DESIGN WEDNESDAY 5 MAY 2021
Following Covid's cancellation of the Festival in 2020, the charming Georgian market town of Holt in Norfolk is delighted to be resuming its role as host of East Anglia’s celebration of creativity, Holt Festival, this summer, and Sworders couldn't be prouder to be sponsoring not one, but two art prizes this year.