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Hitherto, the only 18th century porcelain maker of note in the Potteries was Littler of Longton Hall. By the turn of the 19th century the business, producing almost exclusively domestic wares in its distinctive hybrid hard-paste porcelain, consisted of three separate manufactories and numerous houses over an area of some 120 acres.

Anthony De Saye Hutton’s A Guide to New Hall Porcelain Patterns (1990) documents around one third of perhaps 3000 designs created by the factory across half a century.

Tony Allen collection

A collection of New Hall porcelain was offered by Elstob & Elstob (22% buyer’s premium) in Ripon on June 27-28. Comprising around 50 separate lots, from complete tea services to individual rarities, the pieces were acquired by the late Tony Allen from some of the UK’s top dealers.

The stand-out entry was a single plate decorated by Fidelle Duvivier (1740-after 1796) with figures on horseback in a rural landscape.

Every collector of New Hall hopes to own at least one piece decorated by Duvivier.

Born in Tournai and apprenticed to the local porcelain factory, he excelled at every factory where he found employment: at Sceaux near Paris, at Loosdrecht, at the Ansbach porcelain decorating workshop in The Hague, for William Duesbury at Derby, briefly at Chamberlain- Worcester (see Previews) and perhaps at the James Giles decorating workshop in London. He worked at New Hall longer than anywhere else, from c.1785-90.

Pieces decorated by Duvivier occupy a price bracket of their own. A few are signed. Most are attributed on the grounds of quality and technique.

Readers with good memories may recall one of the great English porcelain discoveries of recent decades: a part dessert service decorated with landscape vignettes of Staffordshire that surfaced at Finan & Watkins in Wiltshire in 1998.

Probably made for New Hall factory manager John Daniel, it sold in 14 lots for more than £100,000 – becoming perhaps the most valuable English porcelain dessert service ever sold. It prompted Geoffrey Godden to comment: “Costly but not dear. New Hall has arrived!”

Allen’s single Duvivier plate had been purchased from Charnwood Antiques in 1988. Showing some signs of wear but otherwise in good condition, it sold well enough at £2400.

Most New Hall is much more affordable, with plenty available for under £200.

Sold at £120 was a cup and saucer, c.1800, decorated with a blue and gold basket and finely painted flowers (pattern number 611) that Allen had bought from Godden in 1988. An entire part tea service decorated in pattern number 52 with gold line and undulating star flowers took £190. Made c.1785-90, it included a silver-shaped teapot helmet form cream jug, caddy and cover, sucrier, four tea bowls, four cups, four saucers, slop bowl and saucer dish.

Cream jugs

Pictured below are four cream jugs sold as part of the Tony Allen collection of New Hall porcelain. All date from the period c.1785-90 and are decorated with ‘bubble head’ chinoiserie figures in pattern number 20, also known as the Boy with the Kite pattern.