A HUGE collection of Castle Hedingham pottery is set to go under the auctioneer’s hammer next weekend.

The collection of 74 pieces was handed over by a private collector who, after amassing the pottery over several decades, is scaling his collections back due to ill health.

Now it will be sold by Mander Auctioneers at an auction which will be held at their Sudbury base on April 21.

James Mander, from the auctioneer, said: “We regularly see Castle Hedingham pottery pass through the saleroom, but I have never seen a collection this comprehensive.

“Seeing all these pieces together, you can really admire the naive charm and see the individual style which marks this pottery apart.”

Castle Hedingham pottery was first made in 1837 when Edward Bingham moved to the area and began making it.

It was his son who introduced a style which resembles medieval and Tudor pottery which is the most recognisable today.

A model of the castle can often be found on the bottom and many pieces have the Bingham named signed into the wet clay.

Mr Mander said: “The Bingham’s must have been quite eccentric, trying out glazes shapes and designs which were largely inspired by their interest in medieval pottery.

“Many of the pieces look much older than they really are and carry meaningful inscriptions, rogue 17th century dates and are applied with popular Tudor motifs.

“This was certainly more of a passion for the family that made them, as although they did exhibit their work, it was never a wide commercial success.”

The collector purchased the pieces from wherever he could find them, often without much expense as they are not always recognised as belonging to the Castle Hedingham collection.

Prices for an item on the lower end of the scale will be starting in the region of £50.