By Laurence Carr, volunteer eBay seller for Blythe House:

Charity shops receive lots of china bowls plates etc. Every now and then something special crops up. In our Buxton shop one of our volunteers spotted an unusual bowl amongst the donations and passed it over to me in case it might be special.

The bowl had a strange design as can be seen from the above photo. At first glance it was difficult to determine its purpose. It was however in excellent condition and it appeared to be hand painted. With all porcelain, the first thing to do is look at the base for any marks. This bowl provided a lot of information on its underside:

Turning to our friend the internet it was quickly established that the bowl was hand made and hand painted by ISIS ceramics in Oxford. It was apparently made in 1996 by an artist called Deborah Sears. It was known as a “colander bowl”. The company is still very active today, its website states:

Deborah Sears founded Isis Ceramics, when inspired by her own collection of 17th and 18th century English Delftware; she wanted to see the mark of the painters hand rather than the stamp of mass production. Highly collectable, each Isis Ceramics piece is hand-painted and hand made by skilled artists in Horton-Cum-Studley near Oxford, England.

Once we had established the correct description for this item we were able to list it on eBay with a full description. It sold quickly for £95 to a customer in the United States.