AN auction house is hoping bidders will go potty for a rare piece of Wearside history.
Nearly 200 years after it was crafted, a Sunderland Pottery plate which was made for export has made its way back to the North East.
As the plates were everyday items made for the German market and often given to children as presents, very few survive today.
But one, from a private collection, is being auctioned by Anderson and Garland in Newcastle this week.
Senior specialist Steven Moore, Anderson and Garland’s ceramics expert, said: “I’ve only ever seen a handful of plates such as this.
“They were made for export. It was all to do with the coal trade. When they were shipping coal from the Wear and the Tyne, they would use pottery and glass as ballast. It was an established trade route.
“It would be traded and the boats would return with timber.”
The plate was made by Dixon, Austin & Co from 1820-26, and has a moulded plate transfer printed with a rural scene of a mother and her children.
The plate is titled “Fur meine Gute Madchen” which translates as “For my good girls.”
It will be auctioned as lot 470 during the auction house’s quarterly Fine Art and Antiques Sale, which is being held from tomorrow until Thursday, and is valued at £50-£80.
Steven said: “Sunderland Pottery is very collectable and always sells well. In recent years, more modern pottery has lost its value, but Sunderland Pottery has retained its value.
“It’s very distinctive and I think people appreciate its story.”
Several potteries were located along the banks of the River Wear in the 19th century.
The pieces often have a pink pattern, but orange and other colours were also used. Much of the pottery pieces incorporated a design of the River Wear.
Most of the pieces available today were produced in Anthony Scott’s Pottery in Southwick, Dawson’s Pottery in Low Ford (now South Hylton), or at Dixon, Austin & Co.
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is home to the largest collection of Sunderland lustreware pottery in the world.