Cash pours in for bargain hunter as £15 broken teapot fetches £575000

first_img“Bartlam made a fair amount in America but no pieces survive over there. We don’t know how the tea service came to Britain but it might have been when Bartlam visited in 1769.” The teapot marks the birth of American porcelain. At the time the US was saying ‘we don’t need British porcelain anymore’porcelain expert Clare Durham The find confirmed that Bartlam was the first producer or porcelain in America. In 2010, these fragments helped confirm the bowls sold in Britain in 2002 were in fact made by Bartlam. Miss Durham said: “The teapot marks the birth of American porcelain. At the time the US was saying ‘we don’t need British porcelain anymore’.”It means so much more to the Americans than it does to us hence why it ended up being bought by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2002, four unmarked tea bowls and two saucers that sold at auction in the Midlands were later confirmed to be by Bartlam and the patterning on those matched that on the teapot.It is thought the teapot and bowls formed part of the same tea service made by Bartlam at his factory in South Carolina and brought to Britain by him during a visit in 1769.The unnamed middle-aged vendor was told the pot might sell at auction for anywhere between £20,000 to £50,000. Woolley and Wallis Auctioneers in Salisbury A broken teapot bought for £15 has sold for £575,000 after it was discovered to be one of America’s first pieces of porcelain.A bargain hunter thought the blue and white item, which was missing its lid and had a broken handle glued back on, was common pearlware.But the hobbyist dealer’s pot turned out to be the work of John Bartlam, a British potter who took his trade across the Atlantic 250 years ago.Bartlam’s enterprise was cut short by the American Revolution and hardly any examples of his work exist today.Expert Clare Durham, of Woolley and Wallis Auctioneers in Salisbury, Wiltshire, suspected the teapot might be non-English porcelain and further research established it was the work of Bartlam. But interest took off, especially from America, with bids going up by £5,000 and then £10,000 at a time at the auction. It eventually sold for a hammer price of £460,000. With all the fees added on the overall price came to £575,000.It was bought by a London dealer Rod Jellicoe on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where it will end up.Bartlam was a potter in Staffordshire who relocated to South Carolina in around 1763 to mine china clay in the area and meet the desire of colonial Americans to dine in the English style.It is not known what or how much porcelain Bartlam made there, but in 2007 the site of his factory was found and fragments of three blue decorated tea bowls. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The teapot was sold by Woolley and Wallis Auctioneers in SalisburyCredit:Woolley and Wallis/BNPS last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *