Sevres plate and teapot discovered in Devon home sold at auction

Sevres plate and teapot Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The Sevres plate and teapot were part of the European Ceramics sale at Bonhams in London

A rare and valuable French Sevres ceramic plate and teapot discovered in a Devon home have sold for nearly £40,000 at an auction in London.

The 350-year-old pieces, previously valued at a total of £8,000 to £10,000, were auctioned at a European ceramics sale by Bonhams in London.

The items were sold separately with the teapot going under the hammer for £32,500.

The ceramic plate sold for £5,625 to a bidder overseas.

Both items were sold to phone bidders, auction staff said.

Sam Tuke, from Bonhams, said the Exeter owner inherited the items but did not know the value of either of them.

Mr Tuke visited the home as the owner, who has not been identified, wanted a collection of Chinese porcelain valued.

"I spotted the Sevres teapot on the client's pine dresser in the kitchen," he said.

"It turned out that I'd found a rather special Sevres teapot with a very unusual colour. On looking around some more I also found a Sevres plate that was shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851 [at Crystal Palace]."

There was only one other known saucer and milk jug in this style known to have survived which sold for $25,000 (£15,000) in New York, the auction house said.

Bonhams said Madame De Pompadour, the mistress of French King Louis XV, loved Sevres porcelain and was responsible for its development and manufacture.

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