Rare upside down pot up for auction

The unusual pot will be up for auction at Dukes Auctioneers.

The unusual pot will be up for auction at Dukes Auctioneers. - Credit: Archant

The vase, believed to be made in North Devon, features an unusual upside down design, and is expected to fetch thousands-of-pounds.

The unusual pot will be up for auction at Dukes Auctioneers.

The unusual pot will be up for auction at Dukes Auctioneers. - Credit: Archant

A RARE vase believed to have been made in North Devon is expected to fetch thousands-of-pounds in an auction next month.

What makes the pot even more unusual though, is the fact it had been decorated upside down.

The vase is estimated to sell for around £2000 - £3000 when it goes up for auction at Duke’s Auctioneers on February 14.

“At first glance, the incongruity is not really visible,” said valuer Amy Brenan.


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“The ornate scrolls keep the eye busy but it is only on closer inspection that the bird and lion motifs are all upside down.”

Devon slipware has become particularly desirable in recent years, and was widely produced in North Devon during the 18th and 19th century, particularly in Bideford.

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Amy said: “Many of the ships departing Bideford were destined for the Americas and this style of pottery soon became popular over there.

“It could be possible that this particular pot was commissioned for someone abroad who may have been wealthier and with more grandiose tastes, than those that the pottery was originally intended for at home in Devon.

“This might explain the more refined decoration.

“However, the reason for the upside down decoration is a mystery.”

Similar punch bowls featured in the Longridge Collection of Slipware have similar upside down decorations, explained Amy.

One suggestion for the oddity is that the vessels were stored upside down, but the real reasoning remains a mystery.

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