£1,000 – 5,000
Where do I begin! – there is just so much to say on this piece.
Starting with what it is. This is an elongated claret jug, 40cm tall, with a Heath Middleton assayed sterling silver mount on a Coalport porcelain body. The silver is dated 1892, as is the registration mark (registered 10th February, 1892). The porcelain body is also marked for Hukin and Heath (Heath and Middleton) as well as Coalport and carries registration marks also dating it to 1892. See images. The lid is cleverly opened by pulling down the hanging silver lid handle.
So far so good. Now the difficult bit – who designed it? Claret jugs with the same silver mount are known with glass bodies, all typically elongated. These are invariably attributed to Christopher Dresser, partly because of the radical design, partly because Dresser did other oddly tall claret jugs, and, above all, because Dresser is thought to have returned to Hukin and Heath / Heath and Middleton in the 1890’s and done further radical designs like this for the firm.
I am personally confident it is a Dresser design. Whilst variants in glass are not uncommon, this ceramic version is previously unrecorded. It is especially fascinating because the ceramic is marked and shows clearly it was commissioned by Heath and Middleton from Coalport and the design registered just prior to the silver mount. The white ceramic body and avante garde shape make it a very modern, striking, piece.
The condition is excellent. The silver was gilded I think and that is now largely worn. The ceramic body has had no restoration, with no chips or cracks. The glaze shows some crazing.
For more information on Coalport see this link.
Price range: £1,000-5,000
Maker: Heath and Middleton
Designer: Christopher Dresser (attributed)
Marks: JTH/JHM, Birmingham, “s”, Reg No 187357
Material: Sterling silver, porcelain
Size: 40 cm tall