Murray clan rare 18th century delft plate to sell at Bonhams

An 18th century delft dinner plate made in Glasgow as part of a set for the Murray Clan of Polmaise near Stirling is a feature lot in Bonhams’ annual Scottish Sale, which will take place this year between 22 – 24 August 2007 in Edinburgh. It is expected to fetch between £2,000 – 3,000.

The great and powerful highland Clan Murray had land and cadets spread far across Scotland. They rose to particular fame during the ‘Braveheart’-led Wars of Scottish Independence, when Chief Sir Andrew Murray fought in the first uprising against the English conquerors in 1297.

The single plate, which measures 23 cm in diameter, was made in Glasgow’s Delftfield Pottery between 1760 – 70 and features the Polmaise Murray’s ‘Peacock’ crest. It forms part of a special dinner service commissioned by the family, and is likely to attract a great deal of interest among collectors and local museums alike.

“At a time when manufacturers were turning their hands to creating more robust pottery, Delftfield was the only factory in Scotland to ever produce delftwares, so pieces from this service are particularly rare,” explains Bonhams’ Ceramics Specialist, Ian Glennie. “Examples from the set hardly ever emerge onto the auction market, and Glasgow museums have but a few pieces. This plate is even more special since we can positively attribute it to the Delftfield Pottery – this is not always the case with such items as only one piece from the pottery bears a factory marking.”