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A magnificent Minton pâte-sur-pâte vase by Charles Toft, circa 1880
Provenance: The Bernard Bumpus Collection. Charles Toft Senior was a most accomplished ceramicist, working initially for Kerr and Binns in Worcester and subsequently he was based in the Potteries providing work for Minton, Wedgwood and for other makers on a freelance basis. His most important work was for Minton. According to Frederick Rhead, while at the Minton factory Toft was a highly respected figure, 'entrusted with all the potting that required special care or skill'. As well as the Henri Deux ware, for which he is best known (see the following lot), Toft created a number of magnificent vases in pâte-sur-pâte. Very different to Solon's work, Toft's productions were generally described in the Minton archives as 'painted in relief' although the term pâte-sur-pâte is also occasionally used. A Large vase in the Islamic style by Charles Toft was in the Minton Museum collection, sold in these rooms 4 October 2004, lot 60. Another is illustrated by Bernard Bumpus, pâte-sur-pâte (1992), pl. 70.