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Dogged Auctioneer Unearths Garage “Treasure”

April 2023

House calls often elicit surprising finds for the antiques team at Greenslade Taylor Hunt, but not always in the most obvious places.

A recent visit led to an unexpected discovery in a Somerset garage. Valuer Simon Rayner was coming to the end of his run-of-the-mill call when he suggested digging around in the vendor’s overcrowded garage.

Amidst the abandoned detritus he found a modern antique – a large twin handled planter by Constance Spry for Fulham Pottery.

The timing could not be more perfect as the country prepares to celebrate the coronation of King Charles. For Constance Spry was an integral figure in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

She invented a new dish – coronation chicken to celebrate the event, which was served to guests after the ceremony in Westminster Abbey. She was also commissioned to arrange the flowers at the abbey and along the route from Buckingham Palace. Her efforts earned her an OBE in the 1953 Coronation Honours.

She was a celebrated florist and championed varieties of antique roses, which she helped bring back into fashion. Renowned rose grower David Austin named his first commercially available rose after her.

The planter discovered in Bishops Lydeard will have its moment to shine at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s specialist decorative arts sale on Thursday, July 6. It has a pre-sale estimate of £100-£150.

For more information please contact The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton, on 01823 332525.

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