A fine and very rare early Worcester mug c.1754-55, the globular body painted with the Cormorant pattern, a lone fisherman casting his line from his boat behind the seabird perched on a large rock, the reverse with flowering peony branches, the narrow neck rim decorated with a border of flowerheads and diaper panels, all raised on a turned and flared foot, scratch cross mark to the base, a workman's mark beneath the handle, 11.5cm.
Provenance: the Raymond Dennis Collection, no. 24. Purchased from Tilley & Co. on 27th April 1971.
This rare shape is seldom found in porcelain, having originated from earlier stoneware examples. Three other Worcester examples are known in different patterns to this - one in the High Island pattern, and of slightly smaller size, is in the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The most recent example to come onto the market was from the R. David Butti Collection (sold at Bonhams, 10th May 2006, lot 116) and had previously been sold at Sotheby's in 1993 as part of the Alison Bremner Collection. Sotheby's had previously sold another similar mug in 1982; both of these were decorated with the Zig Zag Fence pattern.
When Mr Dennis purchased this mug in 1971, it was sold to him as Lund's Bristol, where it is believed the shape originated, and a pair of mugs of the same shape are recorded by Bernard Watney as being in the Jenkins Collection. Sadly, nothing is known about the origin of this mug before it came into the possession of Tilley & Co c.1970.
Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000
Hammer Price £ 34,000