Private collector offers 18th century rare Chelsea Porcelain scent bottles to Ripon auction

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Four 18th century scent bottles are among a collection of highly sought-after Chelsea Porcelain on the bidding table at Elstob Auctioneers’ Fine Art and Antiques Sale on Wednesday, October 11.

Placed on auction by a private collector, the pieces come from the renowned Chelsea Porcelain factory, one of the first porcelain manufacturers to be established in England after the European discovery of soft paste porcelain.

Although only in production for a short time (1745-1770), Chelsea Porcelain was coveted by the wealthiest people in 18th-century society, from royalty to elite collectors.

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A well as the scent bottles, which carry price estimates of up to £3,000 each, the collection includes an ornate toothpick or bodkin case dating from 1760.

Elstob Auctions rare Chelsea porcelain available at auction.Elstob Auctions rare Chelsea porcelain available at auction.
Elstob Auctions rare Chelsea porcelain available at auction.

Decorated with gilt scrollwork and depicting a bird in a cage, it is valued at £1,500-£2,500.

There is also a 1760 bonbonniere – a small ornamental box. This tiny piece is expected to reach between £3,000-£5,000.

Auction house director, David Elstob, said: “Chelsea Porcelain is highly prized by collectors today and has a well-earned place in the antiques’ hall of fame.

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“The factory also drew from a range of artistic influences led by the fashions of the time, and informed by brilliant and talented craftspeople.

“Although Chinese porcelain was imported in large quantities in the 16th century, it wasn’t until the 18th century that Europeans discovered alternative ingredients to kaolin and petunse and were able to produce their own soft-paste ceramics.

“From the 1740s, a number of porcelain factories sprang up across Britain.

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“Staffed by craftsmen of mostly French or Flemish origin, the items produced at Chelsea included tablewares such as cups, plates, sauce-boats and coffee pots, as well as figures, vases and scent bottles.

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“These were very small pieces, which were often functional as bonbonnières.

“The factory operated independently until 1770 when it was merged with Derby Porcelain and production kept going at the London site until 1784 when the workshops were closed and the many moulds were either destroyed or removed to Derby."

Elstob Auctioneers Fine Art and Antiques Sale features more than 750 lots – check out this link to find out more:

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