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Rare and valuable teapot and plate found in Devon home

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 30, 2014

  • A 1765 Sevres teapot and 1851 plate discovered on a kitchen dresser which are worth £16,000.

  • A 1765 Sevres teapot discovered on a kitchen dresser which is worth £10,000.

  • A 1765 Sevres teapot discovered on a kitchen dresser which is worth £10,000.

  • A 1851 Sevres plate discovered on a kitchen dresser which are worth £16,000.

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An antiques specialist was stunned to find an incredibly valuable Sevres plate and teapot sat on a dresser during a routine house call.

Sam Tuke came across the ceramics which were surrounded by pens and postcards as he carried out a different valuation.

Both items jumped out at the valuer, with the beautiful teapot featuring two birds and an unusual green colour while the plate had a number of sea shells on it.

Sam thought there was something special about the ceramics and took them to the head office of Bonhams for specialist Sebastian Kuhn to examine.

It emerged the teapot and plate were genuine Sevres items from France and worth thousands of pounds - delighting the owners.

The teapot was from around 1765 - the high Rococo period - while the plate was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Sam, who is one of Bonhams' Devon specialists, made the discovery at a home in the county's South Hams.

He said: "I was doing a house call just before Christmas as the client was moving home and wanted a collection of porcelain valued.

"I ended up doing a total contents valuation and as I was working my way through the house I spotted something which looked interesting on the pine dresser in the kitchen.

"The client had inherited the teapot and plate but had no idea that either of them might be valuable.

"She just thought they were rather pretty, which they certainly are. They are exquisite and really important stuff."

Most Sevres discoveries turn out to be late 19th century copies which are worth around £500. But the genuine teapot is worth around £10,000 while the plate is valued at £6,000.

Sam added: "If you are not absolutely sure of what you have, dust carefully."

Sevres porcelain was loved by Madame De Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV.

She was responsible for the development of Sevres, which became one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers in Europe and provided skilled jobs for the region of France.

Madame De Pompadour was a major patron of architecture and the decorative arts like porcelain. She died in 1764 - a year before the teapot was made.

Both items are now going to be sold at Bonhams' European Ceramics sale, which will be held in New Bond Street on June 18.

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