Butter boat serves up tasty treat

A NEAR perfect example of 18th Century porcelain unearthed when a Suffolk man laid a patio in his back garden has fetched more than £200 in auction.Fencing contractor Gary Owen, 50, was working in the garden of his Haverhill home when he found a butter boat made from Worcester china.

A NEAR perfect example of 18th Century porcelain unearthed when a Suffolk man laid a patio in his back garden has fetched more than £200 in auction.

Fencing contractor Gary Owen, 50, was working in the garden of his Haverhill home when he found a butter boat made from Worcester china.

It was his wife Pamela, an avid Antiques Roadshow fan, who realised it might be worth something - and the pottery has now sold for £220 at an auction.

George Archdale, head of ceramics at Cheffins Auctioneers who handled the sale, said there had been a lot of interest in the boat, which is a moulded leaf shape painted in blue.

He said: "We were delighted the boat made so much money but we are not too surprised as English porcelain from the 18th Century is very collectable and sought after at the moment.

"We have had a lot of internet inquires about the piece with many people wanting to see photos of the boat before the auction.

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"It is extraordinarily rare to find one of these butter boats in such good condition after being underneath the ground so long. People often dig things up in their gardens but they are always broken."

Mr Archdale said the boat, believed to be used to pour melted butter over asparagus, was bought by a private collector currently redecorating his manor house in Bedfordshire.

Mr Owen, a keen metal detector, initially found the item two years ago before coming across it again in a cabinet as the family had a clear out.

He said: "My house is built on the site of one of the Chivers family fruit farms and I like to think someone had been using the butter boar during a picnic when it got lost. I was really shocked to discover that it is actually worth something."

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