Photo Gallery: Lowestoft Porcelain to go on sale next month at a Beccles auction house

Durrants Auction rooms are set to hold the Derek Melville Collection of Lowestoft Porcelain.Rebecca

Durrants Auction rooms are set to hold the Derek Melville Collection of Lowestoft Porcelain.Rebecca Mayhew with a very rare Sparrow beak cream jug. - Credit: Nick Butcher

One of the most comprehensive sales of Lowestoft Porcelain for some years will take place next month at a Beccles auction house.

Durrants will be putting the Derek Melville Collection under the hammer on December 6, with 48 pieces up for grabs.

Rebecca Mayhew, manager at Durrants Auction Rooms, said the collection had one private owner who had decided to sell it so they could invest in something new.

She hoped the pieces would fetch in excess of £60,000.

Mr Melville died in Yoxford in 1996 aged 75 and was a successful composer, concert pianist, harpsichordist and clavichordist, who gave recitals all over the world.


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He came from an old Suffolk family on his mother's side and his great grandfather was Robert Boby, an inventor and manufacturer of farm machinery.

Mr Melville studied at the Royal College of Music and although Chopin was a great favourite he began collecting fine Lowestoft Porcelain in the 1950s.

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Amongst the 48 pieces are a sparrow beak cream jug in the very rare 'tryst' pattern showing a seated lady in a classical landscape being shown a musical score by cupid. The jug has been given an estimated price of £15,000 to £20,000.

Also up for auction is a rare inkwell of Capstan shape, thought to be by the Tulip Painter, painted in soft tones of iron-red, puce, green and turquoise with swags of roses, carnations, anemones and convolvulus, estimated to fetch between £12,000 and £15,000, a bell shaped mug inscribed with James Postons, Norwich, 1771, which is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £7,000, a cygnet and swan expected to fetch £3,000 to £5,000 each and a pug dog in manganese and underglaze blue estimated to fetch £4,000 to £6,000.

A preview and open evening will take place at Durrants in Peddars Lane on Thursday, December 4, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm. The auction will then open at noon on the Saturday.

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