European Ceramics

At Your Service: Fine Dining Sets from the Buatta Collection

New York
Over a two-day auction – 23 and 24 January – Sotheby's will present the superb collection of legendary interior designer Mario Buatta. Dubbed the Prince of Chintz, Buatta's style was influenced by the understated elegance of Colefax and Fowler and the doyennes of décor Sister Parish and Nancy Lancaster. Included in the Buatta collection are a selection of exquisite dining service sets – read on to explore the fine ceramics.

M ario Buatta was renowned for his colorful, maximalist design aesthetic – and Mr. Buatta treated his own home with the same care that earned him industry-wide acclaim. His personal collection of furniture, art and antiques is alive with color, booming with personality.

"[Mario Buatta] loved to turn a room into a garden."
Emily Eerdmans, Mario Buatta's biographer and friend

This exceptional collection features 922 lots, of which almost a third of the lots are formed of ceramics and glass; among these are twenty-four dinner and dessert services. Mario once said, “If you don’t know about the 18th and 19th centuries, you can’t decorate for the twenty-first. There’s no way.”

Most of the services owned by Mario were produced in England and date to the Regency period. Seven were produced at the Davenport pottery works in Staffordshire at the turn of the 19th century. The factory under John Davenport began production in 1793 – 94 at Longport in North Staffordshire. The family-run manufactory continued until 1887. Wares from the early production period are noteworthy for their vibrant coloring and naturalistic forms.

Five services from the Buatta collection were produced at Wedgwood, and one of the most eccentric services in the collection is an extensive assembled Wedgwood 'Wreathed Shell' part-dessert service, circa 1820 and 1864-82. The entire service is naturalistically modeled in the form of shells painted in tones of yellow and pink. The shell forms including Argonauta Argo, Tellina Radiata and Pecten Japonicum, as seen in this service are recorded in the Wedgwood shape-book as early as 1802 and production was continued throughout the 19th century. The latest service in the collection is an extensive Dodie Thayer Pottery Luttuce Ware part-service, which dates to the second half of the 20th century.

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AN EXTENSIVE ASSEMBLED ENGLISH PEARLWARE BOTANICAL DESSERT SERVICE, EARLY 19TH CENTURY. Estimate $20,000 – 30,000.

An Extensive Assembled English Pearlware Botanical Dessert Service, Early 19th Century

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A NEALE CREAMWARE BOTANICAL ASSEMBLED PART-SERVICE, CIRCA 1800. Estimate $12,000 – 18,000.

A Neale Creamware Botanical Assembled Part-Service, circa 1800

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AN ASSEMBLED BRITISH BOTANICAL PART-DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1810. Estimate $10,000 – 15,000.

An Assembled British Botanical Part-Dessert Service, circa 1810

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A COALPORT 'TOBACCO-LEAF' PATTERN ASSEMBLED PART-DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1810. Estimate $5,000 – 7,000.

A Coalport 'Tobacco-Leaf' Pattern Assembled Part-Dessert Service, circa 1810

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A CHAMBERLAIN WORCESTER PART-DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1815. Estimate $6,000 – 8,000.

A Chamberlain Worcester Part-Dessert Service, circa 1815

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AN EXTENSIVE DODIE THAYER POTTERY LETTUCE WARE PART-SERVICE, MODERN. Estimate $10,000 – 15,000.

An Extensive Dodie Thayer Pottery Lettuce Ware Part-Service, Modern

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A DAVENPORT PEARLWARE 'FALLEN LEAVES' ASSEMBLED DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1800. Estimate $5,000 – 7,000.

A Davenport Pearlware 'Fallen Leaves' Assembled Dessert Service, circa 1800

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A DAVENPORT PEARLWARE LEAF-MOLDED ASSEMBLED PART-DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1810. Estimate $5,000 – 7,000.

A Davenport Pearlware Leaf-Molded Assembled Part-Dessert Service, circa 1810

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A WEDGWOOD PEARLWARE 'LEAFAGE' ASSEMBLED PART-DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1820. Estimate $6,000 – 8,000.

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AN EXTENSIVE ASSEMBLED WEDGWOOD 'WREATHED SHELL' PART-DESSERT SERVICE, CIRCA 1820 AND 1864-82. Estimate $10,000 – 15,000.

An Extensive Assembled Wedgwood 'Wreathed Shell' Part-Dessert Service, circa 1820 and 1864-82

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