Annual Lowestoft Porcelain Auction Takes a Trip

Annual Lowestoft Porcelain Auction Takes a Trip

The coastal town of Lowestoft sits at Britain’s most Easterly point, and this geographical feature is just one element that makes the famous port so special. Meanwhile, its unique place in the history of ceramic manufacture has been celebrated for nearly 40 years by an annual auction of Lowestoft porcelain at which exquisite pieces of locally-made late 18th and early 19th Century wares have been bought and sold. Originally established by local auctioneer and enthusiast, Russell Sprake, the bespoke auctions began in 1984 and have been held in different notable venues around the town over the decades. They became acknowledged as important specialist auctions and many record auction prices have been achieved.

Since her husband died, Zoë Sprake has maintained the tradition, and for the past five years has held the sales at the Hotel Victoria on the sea front, which provides the appropriate backdrop of the North Sea, visible through panoramic windows behind the lots on display; a very atmospheric addition to the drama of the saleroom.

For these occasions, Elizabeth Talbot of TW Gaze has been guest-auctioneer, and a good working-rapport has developed between the two. When it became obvious to Zoë that restrictions relating to Covid19 would make it impossible to hold the auction in the usual way this year, she approached Elizabeth with the idea of it being held at Diss Auction Rooms instead. “I would have been terribly disappointed not to have been able to hold an auction this year” said Zoë. “I have long-standing supporters of the auctions, both buyers and sellers, and it is an event in the calendar that we all look forward to. However, current challenges were beginning to make it look untenable. I have to be sensible and keep everyone safe. After re-emerging from lockdown, Diss Auction Rooms is managing several sales every week again now and has the infra structure to host this year’s Lowestoft Porcelain Auction in a safe and professional way.”

Elizabeth added “It is a privilege to be carrying the baton for Zoë this year. She has compiled a lovely sale, as always, with some very desirable pieces amongst the lots. We shall enjoy the day very much. However, the intention is for the auction to return to Lowestoft again next year. I am very passionate about the town and for these historical pieces to be traded in the place they were made seems only right and fitting.”

The event usually attracts buyers from London to Brussels and across the UK, as well as passionate enthusiasts from all over East Anglia, many of whom have generational links with Lowestoft.

The auction, will take place on Wednesday 21 October at Diss Auction Rooms, starting at 2pm. Unless national restrictions intervene, viewing will be by appointment only on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 October, with public viewing from 10am on the morning of the sale. Likewise, it is anticipated that bidders will be able to attend the auction in person, abiding by social distancing regulations and masks must be worn. Catalogues and further details will appear on Alternatively, bidders can register to bid live online via, but extra costs do apply.

For further information please contact Zimagee Sprake or TW Gaze

Tel: 07885 773 795 (Zoë)

01986 892 736 (Zoë)

01379 650 306 (TW Gaze)