The rare pieces were stolen in the early hours of May 5, 1999 from the Berkeley family’s treasured collection of porcelain.
In September 2010 whilst carrying out a routine catalogue search of a subscribing UK auction house, the stolen Ice Pail and Twin Handled Vase were identified. Working quickly and with the full cooperation of the auction house, Chris Marinello organised for the pieces to be withdrawn from the impending sale and safely stored. Marinello then contacted the consignors, a local couple who were hoping to auction the contents of their home.
Upon hearing that the works were stolen from Berkeley Castle (an image of which actually adorns the Twin Handled Vase) the shocked couple agreed to immediately release the works for return to their rightful owner.
After liaising with law enforcement, the regional auction house and insurer, the porcelain was returned late last week. The Berkeley Family, who have occupied the estate since the 12th Century, are said to be overjoyed at the recovery and return of the valuable works to the Castle’s collection. The pieces are scheduled to go back on display in the China Room from May 2011.