Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Bargain SALE Chinese Porcelain

On this page you'll find existing Chinese export porcelain objects for sale now offered at a significantly reduced price.


If you are interested in a purchase, or want more information on one of the objects, please feel free to contact me at:


Latest addition: April 11, 2021.


Blue and White wares since 1722 - Page 1


Object 2012039








Height 37 mm (1.46 inch), diameter of rim 245 mm (9.65 inch), diameter of footring 138 mm (5.43 inch), weight 418 grams (14.74 ounce (oz.))


Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in underglaze blue with a pheasant on a rock flanked by flowering peony plants and a butterfly with insects in flight. On the sides a ruyi pattern border and on the rim figures in various types of landscapes. The reverse is undecorated.


The pheasant on a rock is a very popular motif on export porcelain and frequently appears on enamelled and underglaze blue Kangxi wares. According to Williams, in the Chinese bureaucratic hierarchy officials of the second grade had a gold pheasant embroidered on their court robes, those of the fifth grade a silver pheasant. The bird was represented as standing on a rock, looking towards the sun, the imperial symbol of authority. (Williams 1976, pp.322-323), (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.157)


For other objects decorated with the pheasant on a rock design, please see:

Condition: Two firing flaws and a fleabite and frit to the (reverse) rim.



Williams 1976, pp.322-323

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 171

Jörg 2003/1, p.259

Sargent 2012, p.183


Price: reduced from € 499 - $ 555 - £ 450 now with 40% discount to € 299 - $ 355 - £ 256

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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Famille Verte 1680-1725 - Page 1


Object 2012164A








Height 105 mm (4.13 inch), diameter ear to spout 146 mm (5.75 inch), diameter of mouthrim 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter of footring 53 mm (2.09 inch), weight with cover 264 grams (9.31 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 37 grams (1.31 ounce (oz.))


Teapot on footring, moulded body and cover, straight spout and C-shaped handle. Domed cover with round knob. Decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and black and green enamel with six shaped panels each filled with various flowering plants growing from rockwork, on the shoulder a descending pointed leaves-pattern border and on the neck a zig-zag lines pattern border. On the cover a descending pointed leaves-pattern border. Handle and spout with florets between scrolls.  


Toward the end of the 17th century, stimulated by commissions from the court in Peking, the porcelain factories began to experiment with new glazes and decoration techniques. One of the methods developed at that time was the application of decorations along with glazes coloured by metal oxides, the so-called 'enamel'. To apply the decoration, the object had to be first glazed and fired. Then the enamel could be applied and the object was inserted into the kiln for a second time.

One of the types of porcelain thus decorated, in which a green-tinted enamel is prominent, is commonly referred to as famille verte. And naturally, the variant in which pink dominates the decoration was allocated the name famille rose. The verte type was produced from the second half of the 17th century onward, while the rose variant appeared on the market later, in around 1725. (Source: Breekbaar Goed. Een eerbetoon aan Minke A. de Visser (1989-1966), exhibition held at the Groninger Museum, Groningen, 20 March 2015 - 15 March 2016


Only grown in China and Japan during the 17th Century, tea became known in the Netherlands early because the Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipped small quantities home. Its use as a beverage was established slowly and was probably started by retired VOC employees who had become accustomed to drinking tea in the East. At a tea party, the expensive beverage was served in small teapots, one for each guest, filled with the leaves of the type he or she preferred. The tea was poured into small cups, while the teapot was refilled with hot water from a metal or sometimes ceramic kettle. The small quantity of famille verte teapots still abound reflects the demand in Europe at the time. Elaborately decorated, they must have been regarded as luxury wares for the upper classes. (Jörg 2011/2, p.131)


Condition: A shallow chip with a short-connected hairline to the tip of the spout, some very tiny spots on the rim of the cover, caused by popped bubbles of glaze during the firing process.



Jörg 2011/2, p.131

Breekbaar Goed. Een eerbetoon aan Minke A. de Visser (1989-1966), exhibition held at the Groninger Museum, Groningen, 20 March 2015 - 15 March 2016) 


Price: Sold.


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Kraak Porcelain wares 1570-1645 - Dishes - Page 1


Object 201079


Small dish






Height 30 mm (1.18 inch), diameter of rim 140 mm (5.51 inch), diameter of footring 75 mm (2.95 inch), weight 115 grams (4.06 ounce (oz.))


Small dish on footring, everted and scalloped rim. Some kiln sand adhering to the footring. The meisande, or petalled, style decoration in underglaze blue with a cicada (Latin for grasshopper) on a rock next to a peach encircled by an eight pointed scalloped medallion. On the sides and rim eight round, or onion shaped, medallions, decorated with peaches and auspicious symbols, in between each medallion a single looped bow. On the reverse eight broad panels with symbols or jewels and lines.


According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a border VIII dish. In Border VIII dishes rims are always straight with a slightly flared and foliated edge. The panels on the gently curved cavetto are transformed into round or drop-shaped medallions. These are separated from the usual eight pointed centre medallion by thickly drawn brackets. Dishes of this type are usually small (from 13 to 20 cm in diameter). Auspicious symbols have become the most common decoration in the centre medallions, but floral motifs or animal appear as well. The grasshopper emerges as a favourite decoration. The underside is divided into sections by a single line bifurcated near the footrim. Each section contains stylized symbols or jewels and dots. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.109-111)


Condition: Two firing flaws to the centre and a very tiny fleabite to the rim.



Pijl-Ketel 1982, pp. 270-283

Rinaldi 1989, Pl. 108


Price: reduced from € 499 - $ 556 - £ 429 now with 40% discount to € 299 - $ 355 - £ 256 

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2 


Object 2011947








Height including the cover 119 mm (4.69 inch), diameter handle to spout 175 mm (6.89 inch), diameter of mouthrim 43 mm (1.69 inch), diameter of footring 52 mm (2.05 inch), weight with cover 414 grams (14.60 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 39 grams (1.38 ounce (oz.))


Teapot of globular shape on footring with low rim and a flat cover with round knob. Straight spout with a curved C-shaped handle. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red, green and black enamel and gold enclosing two panels, one with a flowering chrysanthemum growing from a brushwood fence, the other with a flowering peony growing from a brushwood fence. The panels are divided by golden scrolls and half flower heads on an underglaze blue ground. On the handle and spout florets between scrolls. The cover is decorated en suite.


This brushwood fence, made up of bundles of twigs tied together is frequently combined with a bamboo trellis, an enlarged branch of a flowering peony tree and a shishi. It is a motif that occurs frequently on Kakiemon, and one which evidently appealed greatly to the European consumer, given the fact that it is often seen on European imitations of Kakiemon. (Fitski 2011, p.148)


Japanese Imari was exported to Europe from the last quarter of the 17th century by the Dutch. The Chinese began copying Imari porcelain - far more cheaply, just as adeptly and in an ever larger range of shapes - in the early 18th century. The early 18th century has left little written documentary evidence of Chinese Imari. It was often entered as Japanese in inventories such as those drawn up at Dresden, whilst in shipping lists it was not described in sufficient detail to be identified. Dutch private traders began importing enormous quantities of imari of around 1720. Their shapes were likewise often geared towards European source material in silver, stoneware or glass. (Düsseldorf 2015, pp.222-223)


For a pair of bowls, decorated in the same style, please see:

Condition: Three firing flaws to the underside of the cover and a few very shallow rough spots to the footring.



Fitski 2011, p.148

Düsseldorf 2015, pp.222-223 & cat.126


Price: Sold.


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Famille Verte wares 1680-1725 - Page 1


Object 2012250


Knife handle






Length 96 mm (3.78 inch), diameter of top 33 mm (1.30 inch), diameter of bottom 15 mm (0.59 inch), weight with brass mount 51 grams (1.80 ounce (oz.)), weight brass mount 1 grams (0.04 ounce (oz.))


Tapering, cylindrical knife handle, a small hole in the top. Decorated in famille verte enamels, with two sprays of flowering plants. On the top a single flower head and a green-speckled ground band with flower-heads. Round the base, where the blade fits into the handle, a green-speckled ground band with flower-heads an a ruyi head border. Round the base, where the blade fits into the handle, fitted with a brass mount.


Made after a European model, this handle will have been one of a larger set. Most are decorated in enamels; underglaze blue variants are more rare. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipped small quantities of knife handles as part of its porcelain assortment only in 1730, 1736 and 1737. (Jörg 2011/2, p.153)


For other famille verte decorated knife handles, please see:

Condition: A firing flaw on top and a tension hairline to the side both caused by the firing process and a fleabite, a frit and a chip under the brass mount.



Lunsingh Scheurleer 1972, p.171

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1980, Abb. 217

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1989, p.143

Jörg 2011/2, p.144 & cat. 149


Price: reduced from € 449 - $ 556 - £ 429 now with 40% discount to € 269 - $ 320 - £ 230 

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2


Object 2011997






Height 31 mm (1.22 inch), diameter of rim 225 mm (8.86 inch), diameter of footring 115 mm (4.53 inch), weight 342 grams (12.06 ounce (oz.))


Dish on footring with a flat, underglaze brown-edged, rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red, black and gold. In the centre a Chinese garden scene with a flowering peony plant and a large bamboo tree with a Lady on a swing looking down at a little dancing boy. On the sides a trellis pattern border with four flower heads. On the rim large incised lotus flower buds with a small border with floral elements. The reverse with two bamboo sprays. On the base an old circular paper collectors label.


Chinese Imari or 'Chinese Japanese' as it is referred to in the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) archives, was actually the Chinese answer to the popular Japanese Imari (after the port in Japan from which they were shipped), with its underglaze blue, iron-red and gold, that was produced in Arita for export from c.1680. (Jörg 2002/2, p.119)


This unusual dish is an interesting piece. On it the Chinese porcelain painter combined the underglaze blue and incised decoration technique with a very rare and unusual design of a Lady on a swing in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with iron-red, black enamel and gold on the glaze.


The incised pattern is barely discernible to the naked eye unless the ware is held up to the light. The incised recesses have been filled with a transparent glaze to create a flat surface. The Chinese call this technique anhua (hidden decoration). (Emden 2015/1, p.132, cat. 122)


For an identically decorated dishes, please see:

  • Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 1 - Objects 20104502011870 and 2011996. 

Condition: Some wear to the decoration. A firing flaw and two frits to the rim one with a connected hairline. 



Jörg 2002/2, p.119

Sargent 2012, p.183

Emden 2015/1, p.132


Price: reduced from € 1.499 - $ 1,648 - £ 1,354 now with 40% discount to € 900 - $ 1,090 - £ 777 

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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Blue and White wares since 1722 - Page 1


Object 2011640


Vomit-pot / children’s chamber-pot






Height 85 mm (3.35 inch), diameter of rim 128 mm (5.04 inch), diameter of footring 75 mm (2.95 inch), weight 434 grams (15.31 ounce (oz.))


Vomit pot on footring, splayed overturned rim with a thick, curved C-shaped handle. Decorated in underglaze blue with foliage, bamboo and flowering peony plants. On the rim three flower sprays and on the handle a single stylized flower on a stem.


Identical shaped and decorated vomit-pots were found amongst the ceramic cargo of the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) vessel Geldermalsen. Captain Michael Hatcher salvaged 495 blue & white vomit-pots in total. The content of  this ship was auctioned at Christie’s in 1986 as the Nanking cargo. 


The Geldermalsen, which sank in 1752 carried among its cargo some unusually shaped porcelains. As the porcelain trade between China and Europe revived from the very end of the seventeenth century, demand for Western shapes rapidly increased. The constantly changing demands of customers and the frequent ordering of new shapes made it necessary to provide the Chinese dealers with models. Western-manufactured  objects in wood, pewter, silver, glass and ceramics (like Dutch Delft) and numerous drawings were sent out to Canton and dropped off at Jingdezhen. Several kilns came to specialise in ‘Western‘ wares, probably making nothing else. At Jingdezhen the wares were potted in as close an imitation of the original as the Chinese could achieve. Hatcher found a number of shapes which must have been commissioned and delivered in this manner, among which a category of handled bowls such as this one, which were initially thought to be chamber-pots for children. In their auction sales catalogue Christie’s also referred to them as 'children's chamber-pots'. For their size, they could very well have been used for this purpose. 


However, the VOC archives suggest another more likely use: a ‘vomit pot’ (Dutch: spuijgpotje). Jörg mentions that the custom to use special porcelain vomit-pots after a rather too copious dinner has obviously not been fashionable for very long, perhaps as little as five years. VOC archival documents first mention them in 1745 (2049 blue & white decorated pieces), only to be followed by 1746 (1,017 pieces blue & white), 1750 (1,000 pieces blue and white, described as ‘in the manner of a small waterpot’, content 0.6 litre or 1 pint), 1751 (606 pieces blue & white, recorded on the shipping invoice of the Geldermalsen) and finally 1752 (540 blue & white pieces). We know that Heren XVII in their Requirements for 1751 expressly forbid the buying-in of vomits-pots. These small model vomit-pots had to be ordered specially at the factory and were not a substantial part of a VOC commercial cargo. The normal and somewhat  bigger water pot could be supplied from stock and was therefore cheaper and just as well suited to the purpose. However, as Jörg explains, in reality the Requirements for 1751 were ignored for several reasons and the cargo of the Geldermalsen was purchased according to the requirements of 1750. Whatever was in stock was taken along at once. The remainder of the VOC order of 1750 was shipped in 1752.


Because of the limited ordering this small vomit pot is therefore a rare article. Howard also mentions that the Geldermalsen cargo must have contained the great majority of those that still exist today.


For identically shaped and decorated vomit-pots, please see:

Condition: glaze rough spots to the sides of the handle and the complete underside of the rim. The handle could have broken of and restored at some point but in my opinion it hasn’t. Instead I think the handle shows two firing tension hairlines.



Jörg 1982/1, p.192 & p.304

Amsterdam 1986, lots 1094-1169

Jörg 1986/1, pp.34-35, pp.69-70 & pp.80-81, appendix 3 p.115

Sheaf & Kilburn 1988, pp.134-135 & Pl. 175 

Howard 1994, p.228, cat. 270

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp. 252-253


Price: reduced from € 699 - $ 785 - £ 610 now with 40% discount to € 419 - $ 506 - £ 372 

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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Shipwreck Porcelains - The Ca Mau Shipwreck, c.1725


Object 2012074


Teacup & saucer






Provenance: Made in Imperial China. 76.000 pieces of Chinese Export Porcelain from the Ca Mau shipwreck, circa 1725 sale, Sotheby's Amsterdam, 29, 30 & 31 January 2007.


Height of teacup 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of rim 67 mm (2.64 inch), diameter of footring 28 mm (1.10 inch), weight 41 grams (1.45 ounce (oz.)) 

Height of saucer 21 mm (0.83 inch), diameter of rim 107 mm (4.21 inch), diameter of footring 58 mm (2.28 inch), weight 61 grams (2.15 ounce (oz.)) 


Teacup and saucer on footring, slightly everted rims. Batavia Brown covered with underglaze dark brown and underglaze-blue with a corner of a balcony overlooking flowering prunus and peony plants, a large insect above, the rim with a herringbone border the reverse is covered with underglaze dark brown, the teacup is decorated en suiteOn the base of the saucer handwritten in black ink: 'CM4 - 8732', a rectangular paper label with the handwritten numbers: '81486/B' (in blue) and '69' (in red) and the original Sotheby's - UNICOM, CA MAU - BINH THUAN label with number 54339.  On the base of the teacup handwritten in black ink: 'CM4 - 13.397 and a rectangular paper label with the handwritten numbers: '82358/B' (in blue) and '13' (in red), on the exterior wall the original Sotheby's - UNICOM, CA MAU - BINH THUAN label with number 60826.(Amsterdam 2007, p.55)


The design on this teacup and saucer is known as the 'Fence' pattern. In total 153 teacups and saucers, with this design were sold. (Amsterdam 2007, lot 125-128)



Saucer: A frit and a short hairline to the rim.

Teacup: Three fleebites and two frits to the rim.



Amsterdam 2007, lot 125-128


Price: reduced from € 399 - $ 447 - £ 350 now with 35% discount to € 259 - $ 306 - £ 236

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1


Object 2012125


Teapot stand / Patty pan




1730-1740, over-decorated in London England c.1755-1765, possibly by James Giles or his workshop.


Provenance: The Geoffrey Godden Personal Collection.


Height 18 mm (0.71 inch), dimensions rim 130 mm (5.12 inch) x 123 mm (4.84 inch), dimensions base 100 mm (3.94 inch) x 90 mm (3.54 inch), weight 108 grams (3.81 ounce (oz.))


Teapot stand or patty pan with everted scalloped sides and an unglazed base. Decorated with carved (anhua) radiating opnened flower head leaf-shaped panels, filled with radiating lines. Over-decorated in England c.1755-1765, with iron-red and various other enamel colours with a butterfly, a caterpillar and various scattered European flowers. The rim in overglaze (dark) brown. On the side a rectangular paper collectors label that reads; 'Geoffrey Godden Personal 4/96' and on the base, a circular paper dealers label that reads; 'STOCKSPRING ANTIQUES Early James Gilles 48' and another rectangular yellow paper label that reads; 'G 17'.  


As early as 1728 the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), "Dagh-registers" state that its ship 'Coxhorn' that left Amsterdam in 1728 with destination China, returned to the Netherlands on June 13th, 1730, fully loaded with tea and porcelain, among its cargo were, for instance, 810 tea pots, 251 pairs of small covered sugar-boxes and 600 pattipans. A pattipan was used to protect the surface of luxurious lacquer or painted tea tables, against the influence of a hot teapot or drops running from its spout. If, in certain circles, a special tea table was not at hand it served to protect the furniture or its valuable table-cloth from tea spots.  The Dutch word pattipan is most likely derived from the English word patty pan meaning a pastry mould for little pies or pastries. These patty pans were very similar, in shape and size, to our pattipannen. (Volker 1959), (Kleyn 1980, pp. 253-261)


These subtle anhua 'secret' carved Chinese decoration was too sophisticated for European taste and numerous bowls, plates cups and saucers with this minimal decoration provided a challenge as well as an opportunity to the European decorators. (Espir 2005, pp.66-67) 


In the eyes of some scholars and collectors of both Chinese and European porcelains, Chinese export porcelains decorated in Europe are a chinoiserie hybrid. Thanks to this prejudice, such wares have been long overlooked and frequently denigrated with the term clobbered. In the late 19th century European decorated oriental porcelain was called 'clobbered', a word that came into the English language in the mid-19th century meaning as a noun, 'a black paste used by clobbers to fill up and conceal cracks in leather', and as a verb, 'to patch up, to cobble'. Later it was applied to old clothes meaning 'to renovate' and by the 19th century it was it was applied to porcelain. In 1900, F.Litchfield stated, 'There is a description of Chinese known as clobbered .... overpainted with ....ornament ..... sold for decorated oriental China.' It was a derogatory term meaning that the European decorator had plastered his style of decoration all over the pot with total disregard for the original which was the case in much Chinese blue-and-white over-decorated in the early 19th century and which are to blame for the poor reputation of these wares ever since. (Espir 2005, p.75), (Sargent 2012, p.499


The lack of documentation and the decorators' anonymity-plus, admittedly, the lesser abilities of some independent decorators-have increased mainstream collectors' distancing from these wares. A commentator referred to such pieces as 'inoffensive, at worst a ruinous clobber', and observed that 'the Dutch in particular seem to have been firmly of the opinion that tuppence coloured was better than penny plain, and they suited the action to the word'. The term over-decorated may suggest that too much decoration was used, making it an unsatisfactory term. Over-decorated, clobbered, embellished ... none of these terms readily describes these wares. Many extremely fine European decorators used Chinese porcelains as their 'canvas', however, and it is only recently, with the work of Helen Espir, that these wares and their decorators have received their due.

In England 'China painters' (as they were sometimes identified) included James Gilles (or Gilles), Sr., and one known only as Campman, both of whom were working in 1723. Between 1756 and 1775, both Giles's son James (1718-1780), who worked on porcelain and glass and Jefferyes Hammett O'Neale (1724-1801), who was associated with fable painting, were well-known London decorators associated with the Worcester factory. (Sargent 2012, pp.499-500


Till now the earliest known documentary evidence of London 'china painters' is in the 1723 Probate Inventory of Henry Akerman, a London shopkeeper selling chinaware, glassware, stoneware and tin-glazed ware, where debts are recorded to 'Gilles China Painter' and 'Campman China painter'. Giles must be James Gilis senior, who was recorded as a 'china painter' of St Giles in the Fields in 1729 when his eldest son Abraham was apprenticed to Philip Margas, another well-known 'chinaman'. Giles' brother in law was Francis bacon also of St Giles in the Fields, who was described in his will in 1737 as 'china painter', who authenticated Giles' handwriting in his Will, stating that he had 'worked with him (Giles) as a servant in his of business for some years'.... 'and to the time of his death' in 1741, was probably the son of Francis Bacon and nephew of Gilis. Giles' younger son James (1718-1780) was to have a distinguished career as a porcelain retailer and decorator from the 1750s to the 1770s. (Espir 2005, pp.213-215)


On his website, Robert McPherson states that this type of English enamel decoration on Chinese export porcelain should be seen in a different way to what is referred to as `over-decorated` or `clobbered` porcelain. Those terms refer to Chinese porcelain that was imported into Europe as finished articles but were either too plain for merchants to sell or their profits could be enhanced by adding enamels over the existing Chinese decoration. The present example was plain white when it arrived in England, it would not have been saleable and so no merchant would have ordered it to retail. However, James Giles must have ordered allot of white porcelain specifically for decoration at his workshop in London. The shapes ordered were the lasted fashion in Europe as was the decoration he added. To my mind this makes these objects separate and distinct from other Chinese porcelain, China only provided the blank `canvas` and even that was of a form dictated to by Europe. For this reason, these objects could primarily be seen as English, they would have been totally alien to the Chinese. (


2012125 8 Geoffrey Godden Personal 4 96 label


Geoffrey Godden was an author, historian, collector and dealer; but to the public he was best known for his expert valuations of fine – and not-so-fine – china on BBC Television’s Antiques Roadshow.

Godden called himself a “Chinaman” – an 18th-century term for a dealer in ceramics – and over five decades created a body of reference works that has added greatly to our knowledge of the medium. He insisted, however, that ceramics should be picked up and inspected. “You have to handle and view pieces closely,” Godden said. “Possession is almost vital to understanding.”

He published some 30 books which produced a detailed survey of English porcelain makers, from Bow, Chelsea and Derby, to Lowestoft, Liverpool and Worcester. He also wrote widely on porcelain produced outside Britain.

All of his writing, he observed, aimed to “open the reader’s eyes to the pleasures that await an inquisitive collector”. So prolific was his output that his Antiques Roadshow colleague Henry Sandon nicknamed him the “Barbara Cartland of Ceramics”.

Geoffrey Arthur Godden was born on February 2, 1929 at Worthing to Leslie Godden, an antiques dealer, and his wife Molly. After leaving Worthing High School, Geoffrey joined the family antiques business, Godden of Worthing (founded in 1900 by Geoffrey’s grandfather, Arthur).

He spent part of his teenage years packing and exporting antiques to the United States to raise funds for the war effort. He also caught the collecting bug. “I just naturally began to purchase – with my modest pocket-money – broken specimens of attractive 18th-century porcelain as others of my age might have spent their allowance saving for a new bike or model train,” he recalled.

Called up for National Service in 1947, Godden served in the Hampshire Regiment at Winchester, the Royal Sussex Regiment and finally the Queen’s own Royal West Kent Regiment at Shornecliffe.

When he was demobbed, he re-joined the family firm, specialising in 18th and 19th-century English ceramics, a radical departure from the company’s focus on furniture.

Every book I and other experts take to every roadshow was written by Geoffrey Godden. John Sandon

Having been told by his father that “if you want to know about something, write a book on it”, he published his first volume, Victorian Porcelain, in 1961. His Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pottery and Porcelain (1966) followed; it was subsequently chosen by Derek Nimmo as his book on Desert Island Discs.

Godden’s first love was Lowestoft porcelain, which had been readily available and inexpensive during the 1940s. He was drawn to these wares by their honest, anglicised interpretation of Chinese ceramic designs, often painted by women and children. “There is a homely quality to English blue and white,” he noted. In 1969 he published The Illustrated Guide to Lowestoft Porcelain (revised in 1985).

Over the following decades Godden produced countless books, often focusing on individual factories, as with Minton Pottery & Porcelain of the First Period (1968); others examined decoration – Godden’s Guide to English Blue and White (2004) – and centres of production, such as Chinese Export Market Porcelain (1979). Enthusiasts refer to his 750-page Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks (1964, and still in print) as “the bible”.

When signing books Godden would add “Have Fun” or “A Trifle from Worthing”, the latter mimicking the rare “Trifle from Lowestoft” inscriptions found on some porcelains. He joked that unsigned copies of his books were much rarer, given the specialist nature of the work.

By the 1970s, Godden was appearing on the antiques quiz show Going For A Song with Arthur Negus and, in the 1990s and early 2000s, was a regular contributor to Antiques Roadshow as a member of its ceramics team.

On one roadshow Godden and John Sandon (the son of Henry Sandon and a director at Bonhams) were sharing a table when a woman unpacked a china tea set. Godden informed her that it was made in the 1870s. “No, you’re wrong”, she insisted, “it’s a hundred years older than that, can’t you check in those books the other experts are using? They must be written by real experts.” “I couldn’t help bursting out laughing,” Sandon recalled. “Every book I and other experts take to every roadshow was written by Geoffrey Godden.”

Godden lectured extensively in Britain and abroad, was president of the Northern Ceramics Society (2000-12) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Keele University.

Despite the lack of any formal training, Godden was a great educator. At home in Worthing he became a mentor to younger experts, giving seminars and hosting study weekends.

In his youth, Godden was a keen angler, representing Worthing Sea Anglers in national competitions. Later, he developed an interest in bowls, playing at the Worthing Bowling Club at Beach House Park. In 1988 he published his Beginner’s Guide To Bowls and would ruefully explain to ceramics audiences that this was his most popular book.

In 1964 Godden married Jean Magness, whose parents were market gardeners in Worthing and suppliers of strawberries to George VI. She predeceased him, and he is survived by their son.

Geoffrey Godden, born February 2, 1929, died May 10, 2016.



Condition: Some wear to the enamels, popped bubbles of glaze, caused by the firing process, and a tiny fleabite to rim.



Volker 1959

Kleyn 1980, pp. 253-261

Espir 2005, p.75 & pp.213-215

Sargent 2012, pp.499-500


Price:reduced from € 499 - $ 615 - £ 443 now with 45% discount to € 275 - $ 327 - £ 246

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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