December 2016 – the Late Year Final!

Well, readers, we have finally arrived at my last monthly blog. Altogether now… Aaaahhh. Here, let me pass you my hanky. It is only a little dirty, but we know each other, so you will be ok. Blow your collective noses and wipe thoroughly. There there there. The new house purchase in France suddenly got closer since last I wrote. In fact we take possession on… wait for it…wait for it… Friday the 13th of January!! Gulp. Bwahaahaahaa. It could only happen to the Masterspy, readers. All sorts to organise as you can imagine. Logs for the woodburner, heaters for the bedrooms, towels, linen, food for the empty cupboards and a million other things, even though the house is fully furnished. And, of course, not forgetting the TV, phone and t’interweb. Thinking of buying a chicken for our first evening meal. Should be able to afford it with only a small mortgage. Do you want my hanky back?

I can’t write my last blog without giving a final sitrep on Erin (now 4 years 5 months) and Oliver (3 years 10 months) now, can I? They are both doing very well. No fits for Oliver for about 6 months (that creaking sound you hear is the noise of Masterspy’s arthritic fingers being crossed) and he seems as mentally developed, intelligent and responsive as any child of his age. Erin is…. MEGA LIVELY!!! They are both very cute gorgeous children, though I say it myself. As you do. Mrs Masterspy and I are both naturally very proud of both of them.

Later addition….And there you go readers, they do say pride goeth before a fall and on this occasion they were 100% correct. After the aforesaid 6 month gap Oliver had 2 fits last night, but seems lively and chatty this morning. Damn damn damn.


Mad Item of the Month

Carlton Ware gaming counter decorated with Moonlight Cameo.

Carlton Ware gaming counter decorated with Moonlight Cameo.

For a change I thought I would offer a cynical and cheeky one rather than a weird thing. In Issue 6 of the Carlton Comet magazine published by Carlton Ware World in December 2005 there was an article on some Carlton Ware gaming counters decorated in various patterns. The size of these counters (or at least this one) is 1⅜˝ or 38mm. I don’t own one of these, so I can’t tell you how much it weighs readers, but it can’t be more than an ounce or two can it? It is made out of clay, not Platinum. Oklahoma seller wqo7419 listed an example in Moonlight Cameo for £24.28. So you can imagine my shocked surprise when I saw that he wanted £42.69 just for the postage to the UK!!!!!! Total greed. When you add the duty of 25% on the piece and of course the postage the coin cost the buyer the mad amount of £83.71!!!!! I hope there was an exchange of views before the seller sent it. To put it in perspective Norwegian Airlines are intending to start a service in summer 2017 flying between Edinburgh and New York for £56.00. Say no more.

Over Optimistic eBayer of the Decade

MIKADO bowl – repaired?

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that the title of this paragraph is not worded as normal. Why have I changed it? Because the seller of this 7” ribbed bowl in one of the powder blue versions of MIKADO has been trying to sell it at this same price £54.99 for at least the last 5 years. It looks to me to have some dodgy looking wear on the rim, or possible restoration perhaps, which isn’t helping, is it? I commend your dogged persistence, but for goodness sake man, it isn’t going to sell at this price if it hasn’t sold previously when prices were much higher for the Chinoiserie patterns is it? Lower the price or give it up. Watch it sell now ha ha.

Carlton Ware Mandarin Tree 3719 jug S470

Mandarin Tree 3719 jug S470

Bargain of the Month

I am really fond of Mandarin Tree 3719. I am also quite keen on jugs, especially the larger ones. Imagine my deep jealousy, mortification and chagrin readers, when I discovered that some lucky eBayer had bought a perfect and very beautiful example from evelylawso-4 for only £103.50, it having been previously listed at £475.00 BIN/ONO. Almost as lucky as “Lucky”. Nahhh, nobody could be THAT lucky, but an excellent buy anyway.


Last Roundup… yee-haw

A decent purchase was also made by the buyer of this 9” 217er in Moonlight Cameo 2946 at a price of £111.11 from seller teddies12345 of Bristol. Not bargain of the month though, too much crazing and wear.

One of CW’s rarest patterns is NORWEGIAN LADY 3668. It is very rarely seen, so when a 12½˝ charger appears on eBay, even with restoration to the rim, it is gonna go BIG. So it proved.

Carlton Ware NORWEGIAN LADY 3668 plaque

NORWEGIAN LADY 3668 plaque

As you all know I don’t bid much on secret auctions, so I kept out of it, not that it makes any difference because as it turns out glad-findings has blocked me anyway. Ha ha. It made £686.00. I know where it went anyway, so there.

Carlton Ware Sunflower Geometric 3333 vase S467

FRENCH 3333 (aka Sunflower Geometric) vase S467


I was extremely pleased early in 2016 to obtain by a private purchase from a friend a duplicate of this nice 4” shape 467 vase in FRENCH 333 (aka Sunflower Geometric). This one flowered for the Q of C at £180.00. Lovely pattern. Happy with mine and, if I know the buyer, he will be happy with his.




Carlton Ware SKETCHING BIRD 3891 vase S464

SKETCHING BIRD 3891 vase S464


Here I am in my last blog and I never did get a 464 shape vase….. feel free to send me all your spare 464s readers. Worry ye not, I can cope with every one you send me. EBayer paula5582 used to own a 9”er (very unusual to find a 9”er) and got £88.10 for her SKETCHING BIRD 3891 vase.





Charity seller bhf_shops seems to have a good line to get hold of CW. No rubbish either. This time it was a 14½” x 8½” trinket tray in FAN 3557.

Carlton Ware FAN 3557 trinket tray

FAN 3557 trinket tray

These trays are easy to display, so it was naturally sought after by 11 bidders and it reached £180.00.

Some patterns are magical and always attract a lot of attention, even when damaged. alismarg of Inverness hooked this Big ‘un and offered it up for sale, sadly with a visibly repaired handle.

Carlton Ware JAZZ 3352 gondola S349

JAZZ 3352 gondola S349

Luckily for the seller 2 daft old rutting stags slugged it out all through the auction and it finally went to one of them for £375.00. What was it then, oh Masterspy? Well, it was this superb JAZZ 3352 gondola.

Wonderful work, such a pity about that handle.

There are 4 colour ways in the Secretary Bird pattern. My own personal favourite is the ruby version, number 4108, as below. I have 2 pieces, so I am done, but many others still fancy this bird.

Carlton Ware Secretary Bird 4108 jug S1347

Secretary Bird 4108 jug S1347

Sadly, this bird had been pecked once or twice on the feet, but, as seller Q of C said about it “If you can live with the chips on the base, you have got a great jug”. Couldn’t agree more, Queenie. It now has a price tag of £181.00.

CLEMATIS 3525, a Handcraft pattern, doesn’t usually make big money, although it isn’t a dirt cheap pattern either. The buyer of this 10” ginger jar did well paying only £125.00.

Carlton ware CLEMATIS 3525 HANDCRAFT ginger jar

CLEMATIS 3525 HANDCRAFT ginger jar

I have been wondering why such a large piece with no damage should only attract a singleton bid and I think it could possibly be the fact that there is no pattern, other than the mottled ground, on the lid. Mebbe some buyers wondered if it was a marriage. I don’t know whether this piece was produced with or without flowers on the lid, so if somebody out there has a 10” ginger jar in CLEMATIS 3525 let us know if your lid is ground only, or flowers on ground, though as we know most Handcraft patterns are freehand painted so can very greatly.

Carlton Ware Cubist Butterfly 3194 vase S463

Cubist Butterfly 3194 vase S463


Sometimes if you go in with a very low offer to a seller for a BIN/ONO pot they take the umbrage, but the buyer of this lovely little blue globular shape 463 vase in Cubist Butterfly 3194 managed to negotiate a large discount without alienating the seller dick1320, walking off into the sunset with his or her prize at a fair £70.00 rather than the original asking price of £199.99. This is a pattern I love for its sheer deconess, yet it’s almost childlike simplicity. Sometimes less is more. Nuff said.



Pedestal gondolas are one of my things, more accurately named on the works as REVO COMPORTS. I only have a couple, but to me they are an extreme expression of the potter’s abilities and skills, from the clay preparation right through to the firing and finishing. In fact, just getting a finished piece like this to market undamaged would be difficult. When decorated well, with a good pattern they form an excellent canvas for the pattern. This month saw the listing of one which sadly didn’t quite achieve much of a result for the Q of C. It is in Prickly Pansy 3449, but has been decorated with the pattern almost slipping off the bottom of the bowl it is so low down.

Carlton Ware Prickly Pansy 3449 REVO COMPORT S391.

Prickly Pansy 3449 REVO COMPORT S391.

It is all there, but from a level view it is almost out of sight. Additionally it had a small rim crack. So it rose only just above the ton to £107.07. A shame, that. In top nick and decorated slightly differently it should have gone a fair distance north of what it achieved.

Carlton Ware Flowering Papyrus 3242 vase S136

Flowering Papyrus 3242 vase S136


Flowering Papyrus 3242 with its Egyptian inspired subject matter and Handcraft treatment on this shape of vase carries the viewer almost to the entrance of the temple at Karnak itself (bin there, done that). Is it my fancy, or does this shape make me think of temple columns and the shape was chosen for that reason? There is no doubt whatever though that the painting and colours on this beauty are bazzing. At £39.00 is a really good buy.





Well, my very very very last offering in my very last monthly blog is the best lot in this very quiet Ebay Christmas month. Californian collector/seller tyler*95 just simply went for broke readers. He listed a pair (yes, I did say a pair) of 6” tall 326ers in JAZZ 3353 on the orange ground.

Carlton Ware JAZZ 3353 vases S326

JAZZ 3353 vases S326

Some would say this pattern and colourway is the zenith of the entire CW firmament, which is why I have never got anywhere near owning a piece of course. Oh well. Probably never will now. Sighhh. Naturally they went to a magnificent £1377.98. Thanks Charlie for bringing the curtain down for the final time with a massive bang!

So then, sadly it is the final goodbye from me. I hope you have enjoyed my Masterspy blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you. There will be no more new blogs, but hopefully you will reread them from time to time as a reference source on the mighty and wonderful Carlton Ware pottery and hopefully, if you have not already done so, you will pick up the deeper meanings clear when you read between the lines. I will try to make the time for a final year end/all-time review blog at some point readers, but please don’t hold me to it as I will be so heavily committed going forward.

To the many of you who have operated on eBay in a decent and honourable fashion, good luck and may your Carlton Ware pottery turn to fortunes.

To the fair number of you who have operated on eBay in a less than wholly exemplary and honourable manner (you know very well who you are), more or less transparently in some cases, may you get your full and deserved shame and comeuppance one day and to the vast remainder of you, my heartfelt thanks for sticking with me for the last 6 years and for the incredibly kind comments and contributions you have made along the way, sometimes when my life really needed a little kindness. They have all been most welcome and deeply appreciated.

Of course I must thank my long-suffering editor Harvey Pettit, who has excised more errors than fleas on a mangy mutt….fanks ‘arv.

I would also like to thank the blog itself, because it has extended and enriched my friendships many fold. I know some wonderful people I would never have known without writing the blog, especially the collectors Down Under who were incredibly kind to me and Mrs Masterspy on our trip there in 2013.

Finally, there is of course one person whose endless patience has been freely given while I have been blogging and sat staring fixedly at eBay bidding patterns and such like (for at least one full day and sometimes even for up to three days every month), none of this would have been possible. I refer of course to the wonderful and lovely Mrs Angela Masterspy…. Angela by name and Angel by nature xxxxx

Goodbye all….So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Shudders mightily and shuffles slowly off to stage left, head lowered, a balding and silent one-eared old teddy hanging limply from one hand and dragging across the floor, stripey pjs flapping loosely, sobbing uncontrollably…exeunt omnes….Curtain….Darkness….


Oh, now hold on minute right there Masterspy you slimy, sneaky, rotten radge pot, I am not having that!!! You promised these good people that in your last blog you would unveil your ugly mug to the world, so get on with it – ed.

Who me? Did I really promise to do that? What a muppet I am! Ok, then, here we go….

eBay Masterspy aka Tony Wood

Posted in Most Recent Masterspy posts | 17 Comments

November 2016

Once again I have missed a month. My humble apologies, readers. As I have indicated I am becoming too embroiled in other things to spare the time to continue. What is it that causes such a drain on my time, you ask?

Looking after little Oliver, yes……

Making trips to Cyprus to see little Erin, yes……

However, in a way more significantly, Mrs Masterspy and I have always harboured a deep desire to own a holiday home in France – collective gasp – (Ed – I thought you were no Francophile, Masterspy?  Masterspy – Yeah, well, everybody mellows with age,).

If there is anything in this world that the French are world class at, it is bureaucracy. Andy Murray – Lionel Messi – Mo Farah! Your boys took a hell of a beating tonight.

Four copies of a 60-page document signed on every page blah blah. Grrr. Is it all worth it, we asked ourselves many a time? We certainly hope so.


We have purchased a fully furnished and equipped rustic and bucolic 3 bed home with half an acre of garden in rural Normandy 20 miles or so south of Falaise.


Hopefully, we will take possession in late February. Did I mention about French bureaucracy? Grrr. Anyway, here it is – Judge for yourselves.

So that explains why I have only made the occasional splash on eBay and in the auction market this year. Lucky for all those of you who bid on CW though. By the way, anybody who wants to stop for a few days need only stump up a large, mint piece of pink Wagon Wheels, or Palm Blossom, or Mondrian. Ha ha. Well, I haven’t managed to get any of those any other way, sooo….

03-nov-16-300Mad Item of the Month

Not many people would call the Masterspy well grounded (after all, I am certifiably insane) but perhaps you will need to re-evaluate me in a more “earthy” light now. Why? Well, this month’s mad item is err more err “earthy” than usual, for sure. It is a book, being sold by German eBayer medimops entitled “How to Poo on Holiday”. Only €1.39. Bargain. Say no more… aaand moving swiftly on….


Carlton Ware RIBBED STONEWAERE Penguin




Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

This month’s offering is another from seller simon.willcock.antiques. It is described as “A wonderful very rare Carlton Ware Penguin figurine of ‘Mother’ Squeak from the Daily Mirror newspaper strip cartoon Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. It is beautifully modelled and fully of character.” £595.00 BIN/ONO (Buy it Now/ or nearest offer). Way too rich for my blood.



05-nov-16-300Bargain of the Month

Well, this month it is pretty easy. You don’t often see pieces of Carlton Ware sold for one penny (yes, I did say £0.01)! There are some tiny chips on the feet of this lidless pot-pourri jar, but come on peoples this is simply the winner. Poor pictures did not help the seller here. Just a quick one on the seller. You know I love my funny eBay seller names readers, well this one is right up there on the Masterspy guffaw-ometer, it is, wait for it – exfatbird. Bwahaahaa.


Two Months’ Worth

Seller domfordyates did well with 2 separately listed napkin holders in the much sought after patterns Liberty Belle (aka Gypsy) 3506 and Awakening 3450.

Carlton Ware Liberty Belle 3506 & Awakening 3450 napkin holders

Liberty Belle 3506 & Awakening 3450 napkin holders

The dancer fetched £133.02 while the other made £114.25. Truly beautiful CW patterns and so easy to display on the napkin holder.

Carlton Ware Mandarins Chatting 3672 vase S456

Mandarins Chatting 3672 vase S456



Regular CW shifter april_antiques of Glasgow listed a fantastic 8” vase in Mandarins Chatting 3672 on the rare blue ground. Superb piece and for once it didn’t go to a certain Aussie buyer (mind you, most other things did). He must have overslept readers. All I can say is pass the sleeping tablets.





Now across the Atlantic Ocean we fly to see a large globular vase, shape 442 in PARADISE BIRD & TREE WITH CLOUD 3143 in the rich ruby lustre BINNed by harwil for £550.67.



Lovely. I have an 8” 442 vase in another pattern and it is just humungous. Such a brilliant canvas for a complex, rich pattern.

Carlton Ware PERSIAN GARDEN 3892 vase S443

PERSIAN GARDEN 3892 vase S443



Later that day the CW potter probably dropped one of those 442 vases and it went all long instead of fat, so they rolled it along the bench a bit more and rounded it off a bit and there you have the 443 shape. Triffic. I like the 443 as another great canvas for a CW pattern. Seller magpiesantiques auctioned a 10”er in the blue version of PERSIAN GARDEN 3892 and trousered £360.00. Nice piece.




Sticking with PERSIAN GARDEN, 3893 in the gloss black diamond shaped trays are yummy. Stalwart CWer cpm1947 sold her example for a very cheap £150.00. Happy buyer, methinks.

Carlton Ware PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 diamond tray

PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 diamond tray

Carlton Ware Devil’s Copse 3787 ginger jar

Devil’s Copse 3787 ginger jar




What ho! Glaswegian april_antiques was at it again CWers with this lovely 7” lidded ginger jar in Devil’s Copse 3787, which sold for £186.00 after a five-way battle.






The Masterspy got a bit of a surprise when watching the 7½” jug in LILAC 4310.

Carlton Ware LILAC 4310 jug

LILAC 4310 jug

I didn’t expect the Q of C to be selling it for as much as £210.00, but that is what happened.  What do I know?

One pattern I don’t have is VOGUE 3868. Such a simple pretty pattern this and not expensive.

Carlton Ware VOGUE 3868 vase

VOGUE 3868 vase

This little vase made only £9.99. If the bidder had had competition it would certainly have made more money than this because the only bidder made 3 bids. There were even 2 small embossed BUTTERCUP dishes chucked in. Bargain surely?

Mancunian nashanoo21 launched 3 pieces of Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 of which the first was a single footed rectangular comport in matt pale blue.

Carlton Ware Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 FOOTED FRUIT bowl

Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 FOOTED FRUIT bowl

This shape isn’t highly prized, presumably because of the difficulty of displaying it with the pattern in the bowl facing outward. Suits me. You lot can leave them for me (and one or two other connie sewers of course, such as the buyer of this one). Just put it on a low shelf for heaven’s sake.

My second entry in the cracking seller names department is Aussie had_a_gut_full. So funny mate, whoever you are. But even more wonderful is “My Rant” as he or she calls it. So good I decided to copy and paste the entire thing unedited here…….







I have found that 99% of people are WONDERFUL ,1% are the exactly the opposite

If you are part of the 1% please go away now,

I will not suffer you.

















Carlton Ware Chevrons 3657 vase S465

Chevrons 3657 vase S465

Totally and absolutely priceless. Obviously went to the Donald Trump School of Iffy Salesmanship! So anyway, to get back to the purpose of this here blog the item was a special little vase in Chevrons 3657. It made a half decent £95.32. Not bad for a piece of “crap”. Luckily, the buyer is an old thief and has many characteristics in common with the seller. Don’t you Jack??? Ha ha. Enjoy it mate. After winning that auction you blooming well deserve it.


Carlton Ware Iceland Poppy 3507 covered vase S311

Iceland Poppy 3507 covered vase S311



I feel the blog will go downhill after that item. Luckily, next up are two lidded 7” vases in the matt green Iceland Poppy 3507 auctioned separately by steve180553, who is probably 63 years old. Why do people do that? Oh well, it is their business, not mine. Lovely colours, which make the pattern a stand out one for me. The first one made £124.33, while the second one only rose to £83.77. Odd.




If it were not for the one-penny wonder buy above, I think this would have been my Bargain of the Month. It is a 10” x 7” REVO the pale blue matt version of GUM FLOWER 3789.

Carlton Ware GUM FLOWER 3789 REVO shape tray

GUM FLOWER 3789 REVO shape tray

This is magnificent and so cheap at £76.33, though it is worn in the centre. I paid more than this for a piece which had been broken and stuck back together not that long ago (Can I have some of my money back please missus?). Easily the best of the three colourways of the pattern in my opinion.

Carlton Ware Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 vase S406

Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 vase S406



Back to nashanoo21 readers for the second of his three pieces of Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354. This one is an 8” 406 shape. It has a mysterious “ridge” in the potting on the edge of the main display pattern, but the seller sold it for his desired BIN price of £220.00. Assuming it has not been tampered with at some stage in its life, it is a good buy. The third piece still remains unsold at time of writing for £285.00.


Carlton Ware DUTCH 3255 HANDCRAFT patter vase S443

DUTCH 3255 HANDCRAFT pattern vase S443



DUTCH 3255 is an enigmatic pattern to me. It is a mixture of lines and shapes which only hint at the name of the pattern. I like it though. On a 10” 443 vase it is a good display piece and definitely under-priced to my mind at only £127.00. I doubt captainlionheart0 was desperately impressed. A bit Marmite for some of you perhaps?




Lucky got lucky again readers with his offering of a 6” bowl in Prickly Pansy 3424, which sadly sports some marks and does not ring properly.

Carlton Ware Prickly Pansy 3424 bowl

Prickly Pansy 3424 bowl

It made a healthy £65.26 to add to his already huge bank balance.

There is some wear to the gilding on this 8” bowl in Carp 2437, which no doubt badly affected what is usually a high price pattern.

Carlton Ware Carp 2437 bowl

Carp 2437 bowl exterior

Carlton Ware Carp 2437 bowl interior

Carp 2437 bowl interior

Sadly, it only sold for £42.98 for yet another humourously named seller downtherabbithole.

Carlton Ware HONESTY 3278 covered vase S166

HONESTY 3278 HANDCRAFT covered vase S166 – damaged





Well, the lid is a right royal mess on this 12” lidded vase in HONESTY 3278 and there are a couple of longish cracks down it too. Obviously therefore, it went cheap at £27.20, but I reckon it could look spectacular when restored properly.






Finally, eBayer atticsaleroom auctioned a 7” bowl in the uber rare Handcraft pattern Intersections 3690.

Carlton Ware Intersections 3690 bowl

Intersections 3690 HANDCRAFT bowl

Wow. This pattern is like being hit hard in the mush with an Art Deco baseball bat. Sighhh, if only, but I have a house to pay for….It topped out at an impressive £320.00. What a piece to end on!

Ok, readers. That is it for this blog.

Happy eBaying.

eBay Masterspy

Posted in Most Recent Masterspy posts | 3 Comments

October 2016

Double issue this month covering eBay sales in August and September. Now I have decided to rest my keys I feel a weight off my back (see September 2016). So without further ado I will get going.

Mad Item of the Month

01-sept-16-250I am of a logical persuasion (except where our fave pottery is concerned of course) and cannot abide mumbojumbo. You know the sort of thing…. Astrology, ghosts, aliens visiting from Space, etc etc). Amongst this guff I include Ley Lines and water divining. It is total and utter rubbish. So, when I saw this item I knew I had this blog’s entry covered. For a mere £177.06 you buy ONE (water finding) dowsing rod. I may be wrong, but I thought you needed two rods to allegedly find water. Be that as it may, 8 fools and their money were soon parted from their money by South Korean seller fabrickr. He or she may not find much water with them readers, but he or she is sure finding plenty of gold!!!

Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

Carlton Ware NEW MIKADO 272 AMORY shape part coffee set

NEW MIKADO 2728 AMORY shape part coffee set

Now this one is a serious contender for the annual award. This was listed by aiyanapa2007 of Southampton. What is it, oh font of all eBay knowledge I hear you mutter? It is a coffee set (only 4 cups and saucers, mind) in NEW MIKADO 2728 for an eye watering price of only £4995.00. Yes, I did mean it…. four thousand nine hundred and ninety five pounds. When I first saw it I had two reactions, the first was a cartoon style double take and the second was an extremely loud guffaw. Perhaps aiyanapa2007 fancies making another all-inclusive trip there in 2016 and wants you to pay for it. Sometimes I have expected comeback from sellers about what I consider to be OTT pricing and it has only ever happened once. I don’t expect it this time readers simply because I can point to another part coffee set in New Mikado 2728 (it had an extra duo as well) on eBay currently auctioned unsuccessfully by Cambridge seller mrvalesques10 for £330.00. So, if a set with 5 cups and saucers, coffee pot, cream and sugar is not worth £330.00, I venture to suggest that one in the same pattern with a duo less for £4995.00 is just a tad on the heavy side. QED I feel. Pity really, as I have a complete set with 8 cups and saucers. Anybody want to buy it off me at, sayyyyy, £7000.00??? No??? Thought not. I will negotiate though!!!! Ha ha ha. Well, that is my own Over Optimistic entry! In my own blog at last!!!

Clarice Cliff collection

Clarice Cliff collection



Having said all the above, if this were a blog about Clar*ce Cl*ff (sorry for the swearing) I would have a far far better offering for you readers. New York seller lkm offered (surely shurely tongue in cheek) 28 pieces of CC for a mere £300,987.24 plus a further £1216.86 postage at today’s rate of exchange. When the 25% import duty is added on, the full total would be £377,755.12 or £13491.25 per piece. Luckily the best offer facility is available…… And a very big dollop of good luck to you, sir or madam (you will certainly need it…… all of it). Shakes head slowly in disbelief.





Bargain of the Month

Doubly hard this time, having 2 months’ worth of purchases to consider, but I reckon the best buy was made on this 9” bowl in PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 which fagin15 of Reading only obtained £103.67 for.

Carlton Ware PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 bowl


You know Persian Garden on CW’s 1000 mile deep black gloss is superb as far as the masterspy is concerned and I do declare such an interest, but at this price it is a mega bargain.

Hibiscus pattern printed in flow blue vase

Hibiscus pattern printed in flow blue vase



August and September

For a change let’s start with some early stuff. This lovely 9” flow blue pedestal vase with a sort of wave form/pie crust top rim was auctioned by pennyfarthing_56. After a good battle it went for £101.00. It was in good condition for around 120 to 110 years old…. Can’t see myself being in quite such good condition at that age readers!






Another piece from the same period was sold by englishsilvercherubs of Dudley – this 11” pretty double handled urn with the wave form/pie crust rim in Marguerite 2301, also in remarkably good condition, fetched only £51.00. Lucky buyer.

Left - Marguerite pattern vase. Right - FLORIDA pattern vase

Left – Marguerite pattern vase. Right – Flow blue and raised gold vase

I know only a little of the Blushware period, but this pattern is one of the more commonly found patterns which I assume limited its price threshold. Similarly the same seller also listed a vase in an unidentified pattern. It managed to make £1 more than its friend and will sit alongside it for the foreseeable “darn sarf” in England.

Moving along to the next great period in CW’s past we come to the Chinoiserie era of the late 1910s and early  to mid-1920s. CW not only changed the designs, moving away from a Victorian influenced style, but also “modernised” the shape range as well. Amongst the new shapes introduced in this period was the floating bowl. Here we have a 12” example in TEMPLE 2929 listed by carmell2202 of London.

Carlton Ware TEMPLE 2929 floating flower bowl

TEMPLE 2929 floating flower bowl


This piece is startlingly bright blue….. I know, I have one. Trust me, it isn’t just blue, it is…. BLUE! The pictures are over lit by flash. Once more, the pictures used to sell the piece do not do it full justice and the outcome price ends up in bargain territory at only £38.00.



Carlton Ware BARGE 2519 rose bowl

BARGE 2519 rose bowl

A shape which is more or less timeless is the rose bowl. This was intended to be sold with a metal grille to hold the long-stemmed roses upright in the vase. Seller pikadeb listed one without the grille in possibly the best chinoiserie pattern of them all, BARGE 2519. I can understand inexperienced pottery sellers listing pieces with poor photography and pikadeb is certainly not that, but the pictures of this item must have held back the price. Just look at the picture shown, this is the lead picture for the listing. I have also included a picture of my own 10” pair of ginger jars in the same pattern for comparison.

Carlton Ware BARGE 2519 ginger jars

BARGE 2519 ginger jars

My own photography was poor enough for me to freely admit to, but at least you can see the important elements of the pattern (I only took this picture for insurance purposes, not to maximise a selling price, mind you).

I would like to include more Chinoiserie pieces, but most of them were listed by one seller and shilled to hell and back, so I won’t. So there.

Every now and again during the High Art Deco period CW designs harkened back to their previous Chinoiserie influences, almost like a Scotsman gripping tightly onto a £5 note lol. One such pattern is Mandarins Chatting 3654.

Carlton Ware Mandarins Chatting 3654 vase S406

Mandarins Chatting 3654 vase S406

This is a great pattern, especially when displayed on the gloss black ground and on shape 406. A little crazing and gild wear on the top rim didn’t hold back these two fat old chinwaggers! Defirrentry not radies and genermen! They talked themselves into costing the buyer £284.00. That’s a boatload of rice, readers.

Carlton Ware GARDEN 3478 jug S470

GARDEN 3478 jug S470

Geordie seller call94 listed a beautiful jug in GARDEN 3478 at a very reasonable BIN price of £125.00 and was no doubt soon popping over to the North Sea to sing the Geordie strangled-whale song of celebration (ha ha – UK readers only probably) when it was snapped up readily.

Believe it or not readers, after well over a decade of collecting CW I have never snagged a vase in the 464 shape. It isn’t for want of trying, close sometimes, but still no cigar. Oh well, such is life. One day, perhaps.

Carlton Ware Sunflower 3996 vase S464

Sunflower 3996 vase S464


Anyway, a 5”er was auctioned by the Q of C which had a hairline. Sunflower 3996 is a pretty rare pattern….. I can hear the muttering from in front of many monitors saying “No surprise there then”, but for all that lovers of one-ear Vincent will no doubt appreciate it’s not so subtle charms……. Errrrr perhaps. With the hairline it only made £58.00 which at the end of the day is cheap for a rare ‘un.




Well, time to get wuff with you readers. Up bounded a RIBBED STONEWARE Dog and wagged its tale until it fetched its stick at £127.25, at this cheap price another juicy bone for the buyer, arf arf.



Carlton Ware RIBBED STONEWARE Rabbit




Let the dog see the rabbit as they say in greyhound racing circles….. aaaaaand up popped a RIBBED STONEWARE Rabbit and ran like hell until it ran off with £171.65. Much rarer than the dogs, which is why it went so high in price compared to the undamaged dog mentioned above, this one had previously had its ears bitten off and glued back on again.







Carlton Ware Nightingale 3598 jug S786

Nightingale 3598 jug S786



Nightingale 3598…… oooooh,lurvly. Jug shape 786 all of 5” tall. Loadsa dough, surely. Sadly not, owing to a very small chip on the top rim and associated hairline. Terrible shame. It still made £70.45 for the Q of C though.




Carlton Ware Explosions 3454 vase S467

Explosions 3454 vase S467


As eye catching as any of Miss Elmer’s patterns for Carlton Ware is her Explosions pattern. This unusual underglaze decorated version 3454 went for only £256 probably because of heavy wear to the rim gilding. This version is sometimes confused with pattern 3452, which is an onglaze decoration with raised enamels.



Of course, when we see a rare piece anything can happen and often does. One of the patterns I would love to add to my collection is Jagged Bouquet 3457.

Carlton Ware Jagged Bouquet 3457 vase S406

Jagged Bouquet 3457 vase S406

It is soooo deco innit readers? Normally a £600 to £800 pattern in the 6” 406, this one had a hairline and some wear, but still managed to make seller bhf_shops a tidy sum of £273.77.

Those were the days, my friends when Mary Hopkin warbled sadly, the Q of C listed 10” bowls in CHINALAND 2948 and they rose above £1000. The Q of C has just listed another such bowl in the same condition and it only made £210.55. Wow. Get ‘em while they are cheap!

Carlton Ware CHINALAND 2948 bowl

CHINALAND 2948 bowl

Scottish seller muddybank7 can certainly afford some nice shower gel and a little smile or two having successfully parted a buyer from £210.00 for a 7” side plate in CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275.

Carlton Ware CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275 plate


Let me see now……. A 10” bowl in CHINALAND, or a 7” plate in CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD for the same money?? Yeah, right, I’ll take the bowl every day.

Carlton Ware SPIDER'S WEB 4254 temple jar

SPIDER’S WEB 4254 temple jar





Hands up who likes SPIDER’S WEB 4254? Big pieces often fetch good money and this spider gobbled up a £455.00 fly. Mind you, one doesn’t often see a 15” tall fly…. A WWHHAATT! Rrrrunn!








Carlton Ware Mandarin Tree 3702 ginger jar wanting cover

Mandarin Tree 3702 ginger jar wanting cover


And after the horrors of the 15” tall fly, here comes a Triffid…. Agh! Oh no, wait a mo…. It is a lidless ginger jar in Mandarin Tree 3702…… Phew! For a minute there masterspy thought the nightmares were gonna come back lol. It is a struggle to get money for 5½” ginger jars without lids these days and this one followed that trend making only £65.00 after a singleton bid. If I know the buyer he is busily making a lid for it as you read this lol.



A cup and saucer for £102.00? Solid gold? No, Arrowhead 3416. Must be as rare as hen’s teeth.

Carlton Ware Arrowhead 3416 cup & saucer

Arrowhead 3416 cup & saucer

I have a REVO shape in this pattern, but even a cup displays this simple but effective deco pattern well. I would have loved it, but sighs deeply, several big hitters fancied it, so I didn’t even try.

WAGON WHEELS 3813 covered vase S minus cover

WAGON WHEELS 3813 covered vase S minus cover




Sneaky Southern wide boy david010746 listed one of his new pair of ruby ground WAGON WHEELS 3813 6” lidless vases which had a chip and possible restoration to the bottom rim and got a healthy £285.77 for it. Pity it has the chip underneath though, cos when it is placed upside down on the shelf in Oz it will show!







This piece in matt turquoise ground Devil’s Copse 3817 went the other way to Yankee Land for £295.00 and further pictures of it can be seen on Facebook on the Carlton Ware World page courtesy of its new owner.

Carlton Ware Devil’s Copse 3817 jug S788

Devil’s Copse 3817 jug S788

A lovely piece this. Squat jugs always seem to go for big money, presumably because the shape was in favour when CW were really rocking with one inspired deco pattern after another.

Carlton Ware ANEMONE floral embossed jug

ANEMONE floral embossed jug




Many are the examples of ANEMONE embossed ware sold on eBay over the years, but to see one in green instead of yellow is very unusual. Sadly, this 11½” jug has a poorly repaired old chip and a hairline. Because of this, well known embossed seller jayne8379 only grossed £46.00 for it.








Carlton Ware Farmyard cruet

Farmyard cruet


And finally, creaks13 of Warwickshire sold one of the highly regarded Farmyard cruets. These always make north of £100 if undamaged and this one was no exception, making £166.00. A fun piece to end on.

Have a good eBaying month.

eBay Masterspy

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September 2016

This blog completes 6 years for me as eBay Masterspy. I know, it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes, does it? Sadly, I have to tell you all that I feel my time doing this blog is coming to an end. There are a number of reasons for this. Some personal (my diary is a mess and getting worse – my little Erin now lives in Cyprus, which is likely to result in me being busy elsewhere frequently, for example) and I feel I am repeating myself in what items I choose and how I report on them to you all. I have done my best to keep you all informed about the eBay world of Carlton Ware and tried to amuse you all whilst doing so. Perhaps a new perspective is needed. Time to give the keys on my keyboard a rest I think.

I intend to continue until January when I can complete the annual cycle of monthly blogs with the usual Annual Review for 2016. I might also do an “All Time” 6 year review. Next month will be a double month blog which I will prepare for Harvey by around the 10th hopefully. I do not know if Harvey wishes to continue hosting eBay Masterspy on his site with another contributor. Should he wish to do so this short notice period will enable him to find one. You never know I might even unmask myself in the last blog and post a picture of myself!!! Perhaps Harvey will contribute his feelings here……..

All the best till next month,

eBay Masterspy

Harvey, our Webmaster, replies

It is hard to believe that Masterspy has been running for 6 years. On average blogs last for less than 3 years so our intrepid investigator has done extraordinarily well.

We are more than grateful for the time and effort he has spent each month to entertain to inform us.  Many will miss his idiosyncratic reviews.  Thank you Masterspy.

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July 2016

01-july-16-300Sadly, I have to report that after a gap of 7 months Oliver had another fit early in July. We were beginning to think he was over them, but he isn’t. Happily, I can report that once again he seems completely back to what with my genes in him passes for normal. Oh well, here’s hoping to another healthy 7 months…. or much more. As for my Erin, she will soon be getting on the big old iron bird and going to live in Cyprus for 3 years. Nooo. I will miss her, the cheeky little madam. Oh well again, with feeling. It never rains but what it pours as they say. Here is a recently taken piccy of the two little horrors. Ahh.

01a-july-16-375Mad Item of the Month

I don’t know if this is in fact as listed, CW. I have never seen anything like it if it is. Whether it is CW or not, it is definitely mad enough to come within the remit of this section of the blog. Not only is it mad, but the seller ,our very first Ukrainian, gallsona, has stopped firing his machine gun at the Rooshians long enough to list this weird one. It was actually sold and made £20.00, so perhaps somebody thinks it is genuine. Za zdorovie to the buyer anyway.

Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

02-july-16-300Firstly let me say I have no problem intrinsically whatsoever with this month’s choice as a CW related item. Not only do I have a copy of this little book, I have 2 copies (1 to thumb through and 1 for the bookshelf). It is an excellent reference book. However, the author of the book with whom I also have no problem is still selling copies on the same selling platform (i.e. eBay) at £4.95 ONO. It is difficult to make any other comment about seller beanbone of Essex trying to sell a copy at £83.79 as utterly optimistic. Can I have one of whatever it is you are drinking? I don’t mind any seller making a profit. That is the name of the game, but there is profit and there is PROFIT!!!!

Bargain of the Month

Carlton Ware TUBELINED FLOWER 3945 cigarette box

TUBELINED FLOWER 3945 cigarette box

Longstanding seller and ex-CW collector puffet found this trinket/ciggy case in TUBELINED FLOWER 3945 in good nick and sold it for a very reasonable price of £26.10. Bargain.



Carlton Ware Secretary Bird 4017 vase S443

Secretary Bird 4017 vase S443


July 2016

One thing is for sure, if this vase hadn’t got some cracks and staining etc it would have firmly elbowed the bargain out of the way for top buy. Scot dowanhill_days launched a 6” 443 shape vase in Secretary Bird 4017, the orange ground one, and it sold for only £95.09. Great buy. I wonder if it will be restored. Worth doing I would say.





Another piece with some noticeable wear and staining was eBayed by madscientist1967 (love the name, best this month). This was the single-footed rectangular comport in Dahlia & Butterfly 3606.

Carlton Ware Dahlia & Butterfly 3606 FOOTED FRUIT S184

Dahlia & Butterfly 3606 FOOTED FRUIT S184

It has seen better days, but is very rare. Seller commented that he or she hadn’t ever seen the pattern on this shape before. I don’t know if that is for sure, but it can’t be far wrong. Do you have one? Do let us know. Anyway, it still made £225.77.

Carlton Ware Hiawatha 3589 vase S466

Hiawatha 3589 vase S466



Cranleigh seller barryplumber1 listed a really nice 5½˝ vase in Hiawatha 3589. One determined bidder shot his arrow right into the target and paid £250.00 so to do. Is it worth every penny, buyer? Do tell all or I will set the medicine man on you!




Carlton Ware RIVER FISH 3970 vase S466

RIVER FISH 3970 vase S466


I must say I do like a man who had a high regard for his wares and their excellent value. One such is obviously Welshman 2011bargainsgaloreian, who sold a RIVER FISH 3970 6” vase with a chip, gild wear and crazing. Having sounded a bit snidey, even in this condition it has got to be worth £126.00. What do you reckon buyer?



Carlton Ware DAISY 3693 MELON shape coffee pot

DAISY 3693 MELON shape coffee pot


No, I am not going to review the charger in DAISY 3693, which is currently going round and round with the seller making a vain effort to recoup his unwisely overspent purchase price. I am offering you a luverly coffee pot in the same pattern and colour combo in very good nick which maureewoo-2 auctioned for a reasonable £62.10. Nice buy.



You won’t find pottery more poke you in the eye than a pair of Flower Bookends in decoration 3532.

Carlton Ware Flower Bookends in decoration 3532

Flower Bookends in decoration 3532

This pair had some old slight damage, so it went for a value for money price of £36.00. I bet the buyer is rather happy with this purchase.

One of my fave pieces this month is this 4” conical trefoil dish in Egyptian Fan 3697.

Carlton Ware Egyptian Fan 3697 CONE bon-bon S797

Egyptian Fan 3697 CONE bon-bon S797

Fab piece. 8 eBayers thought so and put their money where their mouths were. It went in the end for £280.00. Lovely colours and design.

For some reason “Lucky” has been keeping his head down this month, readers. It may be because he spent half the national debt of Peru on a pot at auction recently, or it may be because he is smarting at being outbid on this nice 5” roundel showing off Crested Bird & Water Lily 3529 (possibly, it is a salesman’s pattern sample).

Carlton Ware Crested Bird & Water Lily 3529 lozenge

Crested Bird & Water Lily 3529 lozenge

Possibly the rarest piece this month was a 9” bowl in FAIRY 3564 listed by the Q of C herself.

Carlton Ware FAIRY 3564 bowl

FAIRY 3564 bowl

As you will appreciate it caused a bit of a stir and attracted the attention of some very big hitters. Happily, it has gone to a loving home where it won’t get hit (gasps at the very thought) for a mere £1220.00.

Naughtily named seller joyofpot offered a 3½˝ Heraldic China vase decorated with BARGE 2519 as a BIN for £18.00. It was snapped up quickly, possibly because it is unusual to find Carlton Heraldic China with a Best Ware decoration.

Carlton Heraldic China conical vase decorated with BARGE 2519 alongside the more usual heraldic crest.

Carlton Heraldic China conical vase decorated with BARGE 2519 alongside the more usual example with heraldic crest.

Well, that is it for another month. Once more keeping away from the iffy stuff and secret auctions has taken its toll of the length of the blog. Have a good month on eBay, readers and don’t forget, be careful out there!

eBay masterspy

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June 2016

Good news! I didn’t get the “both ender”!!! I think it comes with being morally upright and generally an incredibly good person. Pauses while you all stop laughing at the mere thought of masterspy being described thusly. I did have a month of being bitten half to death though….. no….. not by Mrs Masterspy before you all shout out at once. Firstly by some vicious Greek mozzies and then by some evil unknown creatures in my own back garden. Might just concrete over the bally lot and be done with it. Grrrr.

Mad Item of the Month

01-june-2016-200It isn’t the lack of collectable value that makes this item a Mad Item; it is the sheer incongruity of the item being found in a shed in Essex, presumably having been there for around 70 years. What is it, oh masterspy? Why, a German Lorenz code machine from WW2 of course!!! The Lorenz was the big brother of the far more famous portable field operations 3/4 rotor Enigma code machine. It was linked to a 12 rotor machine and was used for top level strategic communications between the German High Command and their Generals. The owner had listed it at £9.50, presumably thinking of it only as junk. What a total and complete Muppet. It was probably worth thousands, possibly tens of thousands. It is so rare and historically important it is good that it has been found though.

02-june-2016-375Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Californian seller nzraddock clearly thinks the year is 1848 and that the gold rush is going full swing. I think I can state with some certainty that as Americans might say “Ya need ta mooove that lil ole decimal place maaan” cos it won’t be put in a box for £695.00 any time soon unless the muppet mentioned above wants to buy it of course. Ha ha ha. Cheap to him or her. lol

Bargain of the Month

Essex boy goss4gordonlisted a lovely 12½” oval dish in HAREBELLS 4154 which failed to get much notice.

Carlton Ware HAREBELLS 4154 tray

HAREBELLS 4154 tray

The buyer waltzed off to Oz with it for only £12.51. What a bargain! Lucky devil. Wish it had been me. 1 – 0 to the buyers!

June 2016

Readers, I am so fed up with bent secret auctions and constant shill bidding that I am not giving those sellers who habitually practice such activities the oxygen of publicity this month. I am not saying that all the items below are warranted to be free of nefarious actions, only that I can see no direct and obvious evidence thereof. I will see how I feel next month, but this month’s blog is gonna be pretty short because of this, so anyway, here we GO GO GO (as my Oliver says).

Carlton Ware WAGON WHEELS 3813 MELON shape coffee cup

WAGON WHEELS 3813 MELON shape coffee cup


Mancunian seller (and presumably a Colin Bell and a “Bitters” fan) mcfcbell8……. Shudders with anger at the very thought of either……. Had a cup, but not a saucer, in WAGON WHEELS 3813 and it is testimony to the power of big ticket Carlton Ware Art Deco patterns that a little single cup attracted 11 bids from 8 eBayers and rolled along swiftly to a pretty respectable £78.00.


Carlton Ware Carp 3360 MELON shape coffee cup & saucer

Carp 3360 MELON shape coffee cup & saucer


This little fishy went to market, this little fishy stayed at home, this little fishy ate green seaweed, this little fishy had none (ahhh), and this little fishy……. Swam all the way to errrrrr Devon? Lol. Seller mackems1 listed a nice cup and saucer in Carp 3360 which took the bait at £116.00.



Carlton Ware FAN 3557 jug

FAN 3557 jug


eBayer antiquesgordon auctioned a nicely restored 8” jug in FAN 3557. One presumably hot bidder was determined to get cool and bid £127.00 to make sure of a nice breeze. So difficult if not almost impossible to match the original fabulous CW gilding, but at least it gives us buyers a way of telling whether a piece may have been restored or not.



The RIBBED STONEWARE Dogs have a big following, with many collectors trying for years and years to get the full set.



They can make £250 in excellent condition, but sadly, this blue example had lost its ears and had them glued back on. It still made an acceptable, but of course much lower, £40.50 however for seller kitcherry69 arf arf.

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651 MELON shape coffee cup & saucer

Scimitar 3651 MELON shape coffee cup & saucer


Stunner alert!!!! A cup and saucer in Scimitar 3651. All hands to emergency stations, repel boarders, man the guns, over the top etc. etc. Seller martin458 never had a worry about making money on this one. Up and up it zoomed till it reached £511.00. Woweeeeee.




Carlton Ware Explosions 3452 biscuit barrel

Explosions 3452 biscuit barrel



One of CW’s more dramatic patterns is Explosions 3452. Mackem seller mackem1 (don’t bother trying to work it out non-UK readers) has been trying to sell a biscuit barrel for some time, but some slight wear and a chip had put off buyers at the BIN price asked for, so an auction found the surprisingly low market value of £190.00.




Carlton Ware Toff Bell

Toff bell



Spiv or Toff, whichever you call it, this is one of CW’s set of 5 different novelty table bells with no damage or wear. Seller colisweene-0 rang up a sale of £49.99. Like the RIBBED STONEWARE Dogs mentioned above, this is another set which collectors strive for years to complete, sometimes paying big money for a missing piece. One of the Spiv/Toffs went not long ago for around £90 and I have seen amounts over 3 figures achieved in fairly recent times. This is defo happy buyer territory I think.




Finally, seller and collector cpm1947 sold one of my fave shape pattern combos, a 10” REVO tray in ANEMONE 3694, designed by Violet Elmer when she was at the height of her powers (Violet Elmer, that is, ha ha).

Carlton Ware ANEMONE 3694 HANDCRAFT REVO shape tray


I don’t know what you lot are playing at out there.  This one should have made your blood flow down the High Street neck deep, but instead the winning bid was a singleton one of a mere £119.00. Almost Bargain of the Month territory.

So there you are, short and sweet. Made a big difference, didn’t it readers? Be careful out there and happy eBaying.

eBay Masterspy.

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May 2016

Well readers, this may make one or two of you drop your jaws in surprise…. I have my PC back! After hovering almost lifeless, a mere husk made up of metal and placcy bits, it is out of intensive care. It received the Last Rights many times, but the complex and delicate surgery has been successful. It cost almost as much as a new PC to repair, but I don’t care, I have all my old files, docs, emails, etc. Wooo-hooo. At last! Happy Dayz.

Sadly, not so for Mrs Masterspy, child number one and Oliver, who all have an ailment that can only be described as a “both ender”! Ewww. I am expecting to come down with it any time now. Shudders.

Mad Item of the Month

01-may-2016-200Well, once again masterspy gets controversial (quelle surprise….ed). Millions of people wear cufflinks. Millions of those people wear coins made into decorative ornamentation. Not just as cufflinks, but also as rings, necklaces etc. So why does masterspy regard this pair of cufflinks being BINned by Brisbane company cuffandcoaustralia as mad? Quite simply for two reasons. Firstly, a quick search of eBay produced a list of over 175,000 pairs of cufflinks, around 500 of which were available for less than £1.00. The items in question are available at £19.65 plus postage (with postage and duty it would come to £39.90 to send to the UK for instance). For a pair of base metal silver plated cufflinks, I suggest that if these were Carlton Ware they might make a double appearance, qualifying for this month’s Over Optimistic section. Secondly, they are not only base metal, they are plated. Now, base metal coins can be worth money of course – ask anybody who owns a British 1933 one penny proof coin, cos he is sitting on £80,000 smackers). Of course, rarity would help, but we aren’t talking rare uncirculated proof coins as the seller cheerfully tells us that they are effectively “as found” as they have been circulated and are therefore worn. These coins were not even high denomination originally, being humble one cent coins, so no intrinsic value either. But could you imagine trying to sell a real Krugerrand or sovereign, having silver plated it? No? What I am trying to say is that if you coat the coin you are defacing its value if any. So, in short, they are selling pairs of defaced, common, base metal, low denomination coins for £39.90. Masterspy calls that truly MAD.

Carlton Ware LUSTRINE vase with pewter overlay

LUSTRINE vase S217 with pewter overlay



Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

Easy again this month folks. Seller valstom of Keighley, Yorkshire is truly optimistic if he thinks that a 10” 217 shape blue LUSTRINE  vase with a pewter overlay is worth £350.00 plus P & P. Good luck with that one sir!





Bargain of the Month

Another easy one. Pedestal powder puffs in the rarer of the two versions of Scimitar 3652 are not exactly as thick as autumn leaves on the ground, are they?

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3652 footed powder bowl

Scimitar 3652 footed powder bowl

Essex boy dosh4fun listed one such, sadly, it had fought the hard battle with the floor at some point and the knop on the lid had been restored and poorly re-gilded – easy to improve on though. I reckon that the buyer has played a blinder, getting it for £245.00, don’t you?

Carlton Ware Tachette 3912 biscuit barrel

Tachette 3912 biscuit barrel

May 2016

april-antiques of Glasgow listed a biscuit barrel in the MODERN WARE  shape in the large-spotted pattern Tachette 3912 which went up to £55.55 before the antibiotics kicked in. I wonder how many collectors of this pattern are out there. It seems to me a pattern one would only want a couple of pieces of, but have you got a complete tea or coffee set perhaps? Do send us a picture. As for the handle, it seems totally impractical to me, but hey, ‘twas ever thus with our fave factory.


Carlton Ware HOLLYHOCKS 3818 vase S1156

HOLLYHOCKS 3818 vase S1156



I know there are plenty of collectors of HOLLYHOCKS 3818. So smithuk.xkv2d was always going to be on a winner with this 5” tall 1156 shape vase, which sports the sponged pale mottled green gloss finish and a deep magenta interior. And so it proved with 13 bids taking it to £190.00.




Carlton Ware MODERN WARE tea pot from a tea for two set with decoration 3887

MODERN WARE tea pot from a tea for two set with decoration 3887

Well, there has been a bit of chat about a MODERN WARE tea for two set on Facebook with decoration 3887. Listed by a seller from a city in Devon, it was said to be “outstanding with no damage what so ever”, however it has been said to the contrary that it has been crudely repaired. About the bidding pattern I simply say….hmmm, odd. Be careful out there folks. When the auction ended the high bid was an astronomical £358.90.


Carlton Ware Metropolis 3420 jug vase S496

Metropolis 3420 jug vase S496


As I briefly mentioned in a footnote to my last blog, I have one of these, a superb jug vase in Metropolis 3420 listed by a Scottish seller from a town in Fife. At the time I said that I had to suspend my disbelief that it had reached £600.49. I see no reason to change my view. Hmmm, once again, be careful.


Carlton Ware GREEN TREES 3569 vase S738

GREEN TREES 3569 vase S738

Frequent CW seller subsubsub0 listed this little 3½˝ vase in GREEN TREES 3569. It has some crazing and loss of gilding on the rim, so it stayed rooted to the ground and only made £24.66. Another unrecognised undervalued pattern this. Sometimes less is more, readers. I certainly like it. Anybody got a collection or group in this pattern?

Carlton Ware Liberty Belle 3506 covered vase S311

Liberty Belle 3506 covered vase S311





The Queen of Cleveland listed a 7” lidded vase in Liberty Belle 3506, which had the Anzacs fighting against each other for Isadora’s favours. Sadly, she had taken a tumble while doing her dance and the lid had some significant damage. That didn’t stop the bidders raising the bar to £139.00 though.





Carlton Ware HAREBELLS 4015 plaque

HAREBELLS 4015 plaque



Now for a rarity, HAREBELLS 4015. A lovely 13” charger in this subtle and delicate pattern was auctioned recently and found favour, rising to £117.00. Something of a bargain for the buyer methinks.




Ooooh errr missus! The Queen also auctioned a superb lidded preserve with saucer in CHINALAND 2948, which climbed to a respectable £165.00. How opulent to be slapping one’s jam onto one’s toast of a morning from this lil ole beaut. Brill.

Carlton Ware CHINALAND 2948 preserve pot with stand

CHINALAND 2948 preserve pot with stand

Carlton Ware Secretary Bird 4018 vase S443

Secretary Bird 4018 vase S443




OMG! A 10” 443er in Secretary Bird 4018! Me wanna. Me wanna. Me not gotta. Sob. One of my faves, this bird can FLY!!! So it proved as the bidding reached £821.00. Even that high it was not safe from the big game hunters’ guns and down it came, no doubt now stuffed and mounted on a shelf somewhere. Did you buy it reader? Do tell us of your triumph.




Carlton Ware DUTCH 3250 tea caddy

DUTCH 3250 tea caddy



Yet another rarity surfaced in Glasgow when seller april-antiques dredged up a tea caddy from the Herengracht in DUTCH 3250. Nice piece. Despite a hairline on the lid 7 international big hitters tilted at this windmill and when the sails stopped turning it had ground up £267.15 worth of flour. Could easily have been more. Good buy, methinks.



Carlton Ware Eden 4242 vase S466

Eden 4242 vase S466



Now we travel from the lovely land of Holland to the far away Garden of Eden 4242, located in Gauteng, Pretoria and listed as a BIN for £201.73 by seller seazzz. No doubt the buyer is chomping happily on a nice sweet tasting apple found on a handy tree and steering well clear of the local serpents.





Carlton Ware Floral Comets 3405 covered vase S245 missing cover

Floral Comets 3405 covered vase S245 missing cover


A touch of the Charles Manson’s now…. Seller helter7skelter, hopefully not the man previously resident in Topanga Canyon, West Los Angeles and currently to be found at Corcoran State Prison, California I presume, otherwise eBay has a lot to answer for, ha ha. Anyway, I digress (again). This seller, BINned a lidless 6”covered  vase in Floral Comets 3405. Some patterns make money whatever and this pattern is one such, realising its asking price of £375.00.



Carlton Ware NEW MIKADO 2728 temple jar S130

NEW MIKADO 2728 temple jar S130





Ok everybody, listen up. Hands up if you like a big ‘un (careful there masterspy…. Ed). Pittsburgh eBayer bobogringos auctioned a 24” tall, yes I did say 24” tall Lidded temple vase in NEW MIKADO 2728! Gilbert and Sullivan would have been proud of this one, especially at £512.87.




Carlton Ware MAGPIES 2907 vase S152

MAGPIES 2907 vase S152




Seller sportstar73 often lists CW pieces, so seeing another one BINned under his auspices is no surprise. The MAGPIES (2907) on this 10” vase however look extremely startled to me, but they were no doubt calmed to discover they are no longer thought of as thieves of shiny objects… after all, coins dull down after a while, so £144.99 would have made them happy to sing all day long.




Carlton Ware TEMPLE 3130 vase S167

TEMPLE 3130 vase S167






Jadfinearts sold a terrific 10” vase shape 167 in TEMPLE 3130 in a lovely celadon green with black frieze. Yummy. Super piece. Well done buyer. At £205.00 that is a good buy.






Carlton Ware FLOWER & FALLING LEAF vase S465





Lucky strikes again, paying £52.87 for a 3”er in the rare yellow ground FLOWER & FALLING LEAF. Grrr.




Carlton Ware OAK TREE floral embossed jug S1146

OAK TREE floral embossed jug S1146




To bring up the rear this month is an 8½˝ OAK TREE jug, shape 1146, pattern No 3811 – a first time in the blog for this embossed pattern. Listed by catintheattic2013 it grew to £72.00 despite a slight hairline on the rim.




So, another month has slid serenely by readers. Who knows what will appear next month? Feel free to make comments on the form provided. Now that I have my PC back I will answer far sooner than of late – apologies to those who have gone unanswered. By the time you all read this it will have been rectified and I will have answered all your posts.

All the Best

eBay Masterspy

Posted in Most Recent Masterspy posts | 4 Comments

April 2016

What can one say? No screamingly annoying journeys, no grandchildren related panics, not even in any (well, much) trouble with Mrs Masterspy. If I had got my puter back I would almost be happy…(Oh, hang on right there a minute……. Who are you and what have you done with “our” normal grumpy old miserable Masterspy? – Ed…. No, it really is me, ed… It must be the time of year… Lambs jumping around happily without entertaining even a hint of a future containing only a roasting dish and mint sauce, new leaves on the trees, tulips out in the garden, lack of howling sub-zero gale, lawnmower merrily cutting through the cat poo on the lawn, you know, all that sorta stuff).

Mad Item of the Month

I quite like purple, but not rain, so when I saw this item I suspected it was gonna be on a hiding to nothing masterspy-wise. For those of you who do not know, Purple Rain was probably the most famous song written and performed by the recently deceased US rock star Prince. Poor guy died at home in Paisley Park, Minnesota on 24th April. Coincidentally, it rained on the day and an (in my mind) unscrupulous seller dancingdave04 listed what he claimed to be half a jam jar full of “rain” water which he claimed fell “outside” the singer’s estate that day.


How one could verify the authenticity of the water is unimaginable, no doubt his friends would be prepared to “vouch” for it, but do you fancy bidding the opening price of $100??? No??? Neither would I. The item was removed before any bids could be made; presumably eBay had complaints and took it down. It often amazes me what depths the human mind will stoop to in order to make a few bob!!!

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3652 biscuit barrel

Scimitar 3652 biscuit barrel


Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

I offer this big ticket beast with some trepidation readers. After all, large pieces of Scimitar 3652 don’t come three for a tenner, do they? Some may feel that 55stoneman55’s price of A$4900 (at time of writing £2550 approx) is not ridiculously far north of the right area. Personally, I do. I think around £1600 to £1800 might be about right in the current market. Feel free to disagree with me of course.


Carlton Ware TUBELINED MARIGOLD 4012 MODERN WARE preserve & stand



Bargain of the Month

I am not sure this lidded preserve pot with saucer in TUBELINED MARIGOLD 4012 has the correct parts. The lid and saucer look ok to me, but do not match the body in respect of having any marigolds on them. Still, whoever bought it from colihilidawa-0 for £33.01 certainly got a good deal for this fairly rare tubelined pattern.



Carlton Ware TUBELINED FLOWER 3945 vase S226



April eBay

Where to start this month? Well, why not with a 10” 226er in TUBELINED FLOWER 3945? Yup, I agree, a very good place to start. This pattern really comes into its own on a large canvas like this. Really pretty. Lovely blend of pastel colours. Seller jdecdec attracted only one bid of £75.00 which is, I suppose par for this pattern, but I really have to ask if you lot are mental. This pattern deserves more money in my book.



Carlton Ware Lacecap Hydrangea 3969 vase S206

Lacecap Hydrangea 3969 vase S406




At least you all agree with me that the pink shading to blue colourway when decorated with Lace Cap Hydrangea 3969 pattern is worth loadsa moulah. This 8” 406 vase was always going to make good money and so it proved with the auction ending at £322.02.





Carlton China Thundercloud 5024 trio

Carlton China Thundercloud 5020 trio

I haven’t seen a blue, grey and black on white Carlton China pattern similar to Chevrons 3657, but one surfaced in Bendigo last month in the form of a lovely trio. Interestingly, it is clearly numbered 5020 on the back of the saucer, but is listed on the useful website as Thundercloud 9024. Ahhhh, the mysteries buried in the history of Carlton Ware. Anyway, collector/seller anp2004 only obtained 12 diddy bids and it flashed no lightning whatsoever, crashing to earth for only £15.79. Gotta be a severe disappointment to the seller. I know it had some of the usual wear to the silvering in places, most silvered pieces suffer from that, but it is so rare I bet the buyer is delight(ning)ed. Ok. Ok. Pushed that one a little hard.


Carlton Ware Wisteria 3866 vase S1234

Wisteria 3866 vase S1234



What could be prettier than a nice little 3”er in Wisteria 3866 even in the futuristic Art Deco shape 1234 with its machine-age fins. Not much as far as the bidders were concerned and amusingly named seller loadsofcuddles fondled £24.00.




Here’s one which did well. Mind you, it was a nice 4 person coffee set in Moonlight Cameo 2944.

Carlton Ware Moonlight Cameo 2944 AMORY shape part coffee set

Moonlight Cameo 2944 AMORY shape part coffee set

Seller richard1230141 trousered £225.00, rather happily, no doubt. Not my favourite colour is the dramatic matt black, but a nice set.

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651 vase S456

Scimitar 3651 vase S456

Thankfully, I already have a piece of Scimitar 3651, or I would have had to pay more than the £857 that this 6” vase fetched. Phew. Mind you, I am not saying how much I paid for mine, or you will all be posting that I am a thief…. (sneaky smiles). What can be said about this pattern which hasn’t been said a hundred times or more. It is simply magnificent. It is in my top 5 patterns. Feel free to let me know your fave patterns readers. In my mind, once a price goes beyond £500 we are talking about the sort of money which most people would perhaps think carefully about spending, but in the case of any undamaged piece of Scimitar, it is hardly a decision to take if you can afford it.  Bet the buyer is well pleased with his or her swashbuckling bidding and success.

Carlton Ware MIKADO 2910 vase S167

MIKADO 2910 vase S167



This MIKADO 2910 10” vase is both a nice shape and a good blend of colours. I do like the ground colour of the border to the foot. I know I am not using the official name for it, but I call it teal green. A nice big piece of MIKADO (in any colour) gives you plenty of decoration for your cash and this vase is no exception. Some slight wear, which was fairly described by steveland7 of Dundee obviously held it back a little, but these days, £59.00 for a piece of chinoiserie in this condition is probably about right.



Carlton Ware Fantasia 3421 vase S217

Fantasia 3421 vase S217




Good old Fantasia 3421 never disappoints. A nice 217 shape 6” example was put on eBay by holdensantiques as a BIN/ONO and agreement was reached at a price of £200.00. A nice collection piece.






“Lucky” strikes again, this time as a seller! Is there no end to his infernal jammyness? Grrrrrrrr! In fact as the Red Injuns allegedly used to say…. “How”, masterspy? This time he trousered £280.00 for an 8” bowl in Hiawatha 3590, a HANDCRAFT pattern.

Carlton Ware Hiawatha 3590 bowl

HANDCRAFT pattern Hiawatha 3590 bowl

I bet he is still cackling, rubbing his hands and hanging a scalp on his belt, readers.

Carlton Ware CHINESE FIGURES 3199 vase S406

CHINESE FIGURES 3199 vase S406




What a great shape 406 is. Stockton Smoggy markyeva1968 listed a beauty in CHINESE FIGURES 3199 6” tall. Seven bidders made a play for it and the only one to bid twice won it…. Persistence pays as they say. It made only £56.50 so the buyer will be pretty happy I would say.




Carlton Ware BELL 3788 ginger jar

BELL 3788 ginger jar with damaged cover



Ruby ground BELL 3788 oooooh yummy. 8” ginger jar ooooh yummy. Broken and glued lid oh, waaaaah. Tragedy. What a tour-de-force BELL is. What a gorgeous colour the ruby is. Sooooo rich. Love it, glued lid or not. 8 bidders made 21 bids so I reckon I am not alone in my view. It sold for £235.00 which is good money for a damaged piece so seller subsubsub0 was probably happy too.




Carlton Ware Jug from the TULIP floral embossed range S1420

Jug from the TULIP floral embossed range S1420


Despite being fairly uncommon embossed TULIP doesn’t make big money, but I like the way it is drawn and the subtle colours. What do you think, readers? Northampton collector/seller flora-aurora-may is downsizing her collection and made £36.33 to invest elsewhere from this 8” jug.



Carlton Ware Devils Copse 3767A vase

Devils Copse 3767A vase – image suggests repair though denied by seller

INCOMING!!!!! BOOOOOOOM!!!!! “Bomb” shape vases are expensive, especially in a very rare pale blue ground Devil’s Copse. So few survive. Hardly surprising when you look at the sticky out handles and legs. For some reason sellers don’t seem to want to clearly admit that bomb vases have been restored. The original listing description read “I am happy to report that the Vase is in GREAT CONDITION with no damage to report. The Vase measures 9.5 inches in height by 6 inches in diameter. The vase is a 1st QUALITY item and not 2nds quality.” When asked directly whether the vase had been restored, this was offered “I had an EBayer ask me wether there was any restoration to the item . To my knowledge I know of none, however when looking closely at one of the handles the gold finish does look slightly different, which could indicate that it may have had restoration to it, but I am not 100% sure.” Well, I will stick my neck out and say “I am. It has obviously been restored.” Sighhhhh. Say no more. Sellers eh? Still crammed £388.09 into the back bin though cos it is rare. See my September 2013 blog. Was that bomb vase the same one as this? Very possibly. Judge for yourselves.

Carlton Ware Floribunda 3236 vase

Floribunda 3236 vase


Just for a change I am not going to call him “Lucky”, cos I did that above. This 9” tall heavy shouldered vase is in an early HANDCRAFT pattern, Floribunda 3236. Parts of the decoration do look different from many examples of this pattern, but since HANDCRAFT patterns are usually freehand painted, the paintress has used artistic licence and added her own interpretations, probably because the vase is large.  A price of £311.07 is therefore surely justified, so “you know who” will be happy again. Grrrrrr again. LOL.


Another pattern which looks superb on the ruby ground is FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949. This large 9½” bowl has failed to avoid the inevitable effects of the force of gravity at some stage in its long life and had a substantial chunk knocked out.

Carlton Ware FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949 bowl

FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949 bowl – damaged

A straightforward glue job was carried out with some disfigurement to the piece, so a finishing price of £192.09 must have delighted seller gemsantiques.

Carlton Ware Sunflower Geometric 3334 screw-top tobacco jar

Sunflower Geometric 3334 screw-top tobacco jar – repair to thread


The factory produced tobacco jars which had a ceramic thread to secure the lid. This was handy for keeping the contents fresh, but if the lid wasn’t screwed back on carefully it could result in damaged threads. One such jar in Sunflower Geometric 3334 was sold by the glums, post restoration of the threads for the not inconsiderable sum of £185.00 after a bit of oddness.


You don’t see very many Starflower 4216 pieces on eBay, or anywhere else for that matter. I assume that this is because this 1938 design had only been in the shops for a short period when World War II started and potters were forced to comply with ultra-utilitarian rules on the use of decorative colours. Sad really.

Carlton Ware Starflower 4216 jug S1676

Starflower 4216 jug S1676

This is a lovely pattern with super colours and as strong design and fully deserves a wider ownership. So when april-antiques of Glasgow listed a 6” jug in the pointy handled shape 1676 it was going to do well, despite imperfect, possibly restored, gilding it was going to the moon, if not the stars. So it proved when it flew to Oz for £211.00.

Of course “Lucky” is not out there on his own. An eBayer I have previously referred to as the “old thief” (only kidding, he is a very nice gentleman really) spotted this misnamed BIN and scooped it up pronto… as you would if you had 2 brain cells to rub together. It was listed as “RARE CARLTON WARE HOLLY HOCKS DESIGN YELLOW 3774 JUG / PITCHER”, but those in the know will immediately say, hang on a minute, 3774 is the number of mega-desirable BELL on pale yellow ground.

Carlton Ware BELL 3774 jug S493

BELL 3774 jug S493

I have personally seen a 6” piece of yellow BELL go to £1800 at auction. The old thief nipped in and stole it for £255.00. If only I wasn’t so angry with myself for not seeing it in time I would congratulate the old thief warmly on a cracking buy. Mumble, grumble, grrrr, mumble etc.

Carlton Ware HANDCRAFT pattern Seagulls 3502 vase S464

HANDCRAFT pattern Seagulls 3502 vase S464


And last but not least is this mega rare HANDCRAFT pattern Seagulls 3502 vase. Some may think it too simplistic, almost childlike in design, but that makes it so different from many highly decorated Carlton Ware patters and all the more attractive for it. A change is as good as a rest as the old saying goes. Seven bidders certainly thought so and when the top bidder did what seagulls do on the heads of the under-bidders it was from a lofty height of £596.00.



Finally, I have had a jug vase in Metropolis 3420 for a few years. Chortle. Apparently worth £600. Triffic, if I can suspend my sense of disbelief. Have a good month and feel free to respond to anything you want to on the form provided.

eBay Masterspy

Posted in Most Recent Masterspy posts | 9 Comments

February – March 2016

Journey from Hell Day One – Did I listen to the Met Office Shipping Forecast? No, I did not, so I drove to St Malo and upon my arrival at the ferry terminal I was told my ferry home was cancelled and that there was no alternative sailing for 36 hours. I ask you readers….. Did Sir Francis Drake follow his game of bowls with a night on the lash because it was errrrr lashing down? Did James Cook stick his head out of the door and say “Nah, think I will go back to bed, it’s a bit breezy?” Did Lord Nelson say “Whoa boys, that looks a nasty bit of cloud over there on the horizon, let’s have another few tots of rum?” No, they certainly didn’t, but Brittany Ferries cancels their sailings for a bit of a blow and some rain. Sacre bleu, mes amis! Britannia Rules the Waves? I should coco. The only watery thing the French would rule would be a Mill Pond.

Journey for Hell Day Three – Good job I hadn’t spent up all my funny money Euros either, or I would have been begging for a crust and a cuppa on the mean streets of St Malo and bunking down in the terminal overnight. Then, when I finally landed, naturally I was almost the last car off the boat and last in the queue at passport control, where our heroic security guardians were looking “desperately hard” into every single car boot. Patience Masterspy, patience I hear you say, but this delay went on to have significant effects on the rest of my journey home. On the A34 near Oxford I got caught up in a 45 minute delay due to a 3 car pileup. I would have missed it without the security delay. On to the M40 and got stuck for 3 hours behind a 3 wagon pileup in the perfect chaos inducing spot, right at the point where the M42 junction peels off. Superb…. and entirely because of this I met the standard Friday afternoon rush hour blockages on the M6 at Stoke (where else, English readers?) and then where the lane for the M60 peels off from the M56. In fact it was nose to tail from there almost to my front door. The AA Route Planner says 4 hours 24 minutes. Nope, it was 10 hours 5 minutes. Damn near 3 days to travel about 350 miles as the crow flies. Bahhhhh. France? Is it worth it???? Decide for yourselves, readers.

Mad Item of the Month

01-feb-mar-16-200On January 8th 2006 Conference League side Burton Albion played against Premier League side Manchester United (in most sane people’s opinion the greatest football club in the world) in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Against all the odds the minnows achieved a remarkable 0 – 0 draw. 10 days later they travelled to Manchester for the replay, but couldn’t repeat their previous result, losing 5 – 0. The result may have been disappointing to the Brewers’ fans, but the huge financial windfall from the 2 games was instrumental in the club’s promotion to Football League 2 (the bottom tier of full time professional football in England). With a nickname like the Brewers (Burton on Trent is the largest beer brewing centre in the UK) one would be forgiven for thinking that a commemorative beer might have been produced locally. Not at all. Those sober (hic shurely shome mishtake = Ed) brewing folk produced instead a commemorative jar of the famous beefy drink Bovril. I bet those fans queued twice round the block to buy them, eh readers. Now, 10 years later, appropriately named seller colemanz has listed one such jar of the no doubt mouldering beverage for £10.00. Can’t see there being too many takers, but you never know, do you.

Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

Scouse seller vinsplace listed a Dunhill advertising cigarette lighter for a mere £1750.00.

Carlton Ware Dunhill cigarette lighter

Carlton Ware Dunhill cigarette lighter

At least it gave me 2 laughs, once when I did the double take and once when it was withdrawn from sale due to “an error in the listing”. Nice lighter though.

Carlton Ware Zig-Zag 3356 preserve and stand

Zig-Zag 3356 preserve and stand


Bargain of the Month

Zig-Zag 3356 lidded preserves complete with saucers are thin on the ground, so grabbing one for only £72.05 surely comes under the heading of theft. Luckily for me I will get to see this little lovely soon.




Carlton Ware Bird on Branch 2031 hexagonal covered vase, part of the KIEN LUNG range

Bird on Branch 2031 hexagonal covered vase, part of the KIEN LUNG range


February/March Stuff

A pattern I rarely mention is Bird on Branch 2031, part of the KIEN LUNG range of patterns by Horace Wain. Dunno why not. It is certainly a pretty design on a sweet pink ground. I quite like cartouche designs as well. Anyway, seller gazakofstan1966 of the land of the living dead (Lytham St Annes, Lancashire), listed a lovely 11” covered vase which made £99.01. A good buy.






Carlton Ware ORCHARD 3064 vase

ORCHARD 3064 vase



A pattern making its maiden appearance on this blog is ORCHARD 3064. I am not 100% convinced by the design. It looks a little bit naïve to me. However, I am sure many of you like it, not a lot, but like it (topical if nothing else). Anyway, the fruit dropped to the ground at a price of £65.00. Not bad for a 6” 326er.





Carlton Ware Moonlight Cameo 2946 vase S217

Moonlight Cameo 2946 vase S217



One 217 shape vase 8” tall auctioned by hester.2010 certainly underperformed the general market. It was in what I reckon is the best version of Moonlight Cameo 2946, the orange mottled gloss ground with the blue cartouche. True, there is some gilding wear to both top and bottom rims, but this should surely not have impacted so much on the price. I can only assume that it may be due to secret auction bidder aversion.




Carlton Ware AUTUMN TREES & FERNS 3517 vase S406

AUTUMN TREES & FERNS 3517 vase S406




AUTUMN TREES & FERNS 3517 is a pattern I would love to add to my collection, but sadly not yet. Salopian seller benjaminjacqui listed a 6” 406er which had slight wear but still rose to £157.15. Certainly a good price for the seller.





Carlton Ware Mirage 3915 MODERN WARE coffee cup and saucer

Mirage 3915 MODERN WARE coffee cup and saucer

Seller mogg0007 normally lists his pieces in secret auction format, but when listing 3 Mirage 3915 cups and saucers in February one was listed as an open auction (accidentally?) while the other two were secret. The secret auction ones went for £63.00 and a miserable £37.66. The open auction one fetched £165.00. Say no more.



Scotland is the place to go for CW at the moment. Lots of Scottish sellers seem to be unloading. For example, makada56 of Dundee auctioned a gondola in CHINESE BIRD 3197. It was snapped up as a BIN for £249.00.

Carlton Ware CHINESE BIRD 3197 gondola

CHINESE BIRD 3197 gondola


Carlton Ware Crested Bird & Water Lily 3530 bookend

Crested Bird & Water Lily 3530 bookend



Crested Bird & Water Lily 3530 in ruby is another pattern/colour combo which still eludes me, but hey ho. Maybe soon. Who knows? Bolton seller road-to-victory listed a single bookend – just the thing if your bookshelf only has one end! Sadly, the shape only allows room for what is normally the back of the pattern on a vase, which means the bird has no crest and is more simply depicted. Mind you, not having all that plumage probably aided its flight to Oz! A good price for the buyer at £33.50.




Carlton Ware Devil’s Copse 3817 candlestick

Devil’s Copse 3817 candlestick



Without doubt my favourite colourway for Devil’s Copse is 3817 the matt mottled turquoise. A tall thin candle stick is obviously not the best shape to display any pattern, which is undoubtedly why this piece only reached £52.11. All the pictures in the listing were also sideway – new seller coliholdawa-0 must have been struggling uploading his pix. Pieces in this combo are usually several times that price, but if you haven’t got it and you really really want it….



Carlton Ware FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3948 covered vase S437

FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3948 covered vase S437




This lidded vase in FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3948 is another piece in mottled matt turquoise. Sadly this piece has had a traumatic past and has been badly treated at pottery A & E. Poor soldier. Lovely pattern though. Up there with the best in my humble.







Carlton Ware FAN 3558 VELOX shape bowl

FAN 3558 VELOX shape bowl


If only this ruby ground FAN 3558 VELOX shape bowl had come complete with a flower frog seller glums would have been laughing all the way to the bank. Sadly, it did not, though it would have hidden the fabulous raised enamelling in the centre of the bowl. However, it still cooled the seller with £277.00.


Carlton Ware CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275 ginger jar

CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275 ginger jar



Now, this is a right spanker of a piece. An 8” tall ginger jar in the mottled matt ochre ground in CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275 in excellent condition. Well, this one fetched £318.90. A study of posts dated 26th February, 27th March and 4th April on Art Deco Carlton Ware’s Facebook page might prove instructive however.




Carlton Ware Fantasia 3389 MELON shape coffee pot

Fantasia 3389 MELON shape coffee pot

Some marriages work, but, sadly, some do not. In this latter category comes a coffee pot in Fantasia 3389 in the matt mauve colourway with a purple gloss undecorated lid sold for £173.15 by Aussie wombats01. The matt mauve is pretty rare and when a piece comes up, even with heavy gilding loss on the handle as this one has it always attracts a large price, so not too far short of £200 is only to be expected.


Carlton Ware Rosetta 3645 vase S476

Rosetta 3645 vase S476


A close runner up for bargain of the month was this little 3½” 467 shape vase in Rosetta 3645. I know this is a small vase, but at £78.58 I think that is a really good buy. Perhaps it was the lead picture depicting the side of the pattern which shows the “magical tree” only at an oblique angle which held the final value down. I am sure the buyer cares not a jot!



Chaaaaarrrrrge! Time for a charge(r) or two methinks. Firstly this lovely 12½” example from poppyplaques in the dark blue version of DAISY 3693.

Carlton Ware DAISY 3693 plaque

DAISY 3693 plaque

I like chargers because they provide the perfect shape to show the whole of a pattern. Pity that everybody else thinks along the same lines and I own so few of them. Anyway, after a 5 way battle this one made £225.00.

Chaaaaarrrrrge! Second one from the same seller. This time the superb APPLE BLOSSOM 3522 – and 15 inches for good measure!

Carlton Ware APPLE BLOSSOM 3522 plaque

APPLE BLOSSOM 3522 plaque

Well, you lot loved it and it fought valiantly to £300.00. Wow, what a cracker.

Chaaaaarrrrrge! No, hang on a minute! Retreeeeaaaat! This cracked piece in Daydream 4246 only made £38.51 for spy1066.

Carlton Ware Daydream 4246 plaque damaged

Daydream 4246 plaque damaged

I suppose it just goes to show the cavalry can’t charge into battle if the knights are riding knackered old chargers!

Mind you, there are knackered old chargers and there are cracked pieces of JAZZ 3361, which are a whole different kettle of fish. Malvern seller sportstar73 divested himself of an 8” bowl in the blue colourway.

Carlton Ware

JAZZ 3361 bowl damaged

It finished up at £299.00 after several big hitters had slugged it out. Fortunately I will be seeing it soon in the flesh.

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651covered vase S244

Scimitar 3651covered vase S244 with damage




Another superb piece which was unable to defy gravity was a covered vase in the magnificent Scimitar 3651. A couple of chips both to the body and finial and some long cracks didn’t stop this one making £322.11. When something is this good though, does it matter if it has a bit of damage? Wowee.







TREE & COTTAGE 3563 is rare, very rare. I don’t know why (rarity probably means that the pattern was not popular at the time it was produced).

Carlton Ware TREE & COTTAGE 3563 REVO shape tray

TREE & COTTAGE 3563 REVO shape tray – with damage

It is such a nice relaxing pattern though, so when spy1066 listed a 10” REVO shape tray, albeit with 3 hairlines, there were bound to be fireworks and so there were. It reached £239.50. Again, a lot of money for a damaged piece.

But if it is fireworks you are after, readers what about the 6” globular vase in Egyptian Fan 3698!

Carlton Ware Egyptian Fan 3698 vase

Egyptian Fan 3698 vase

This one brought out half of Oz. It had reached £900 well before the end of the auction, then in at the death came what the late bidder hoped no doubt was the coup de grace, a bid of an astonishing £1550.00, only to find that the previous leading bidder still had the lead by a few quid. I am not sure who would be more relieved, the winner or the underbidder. One thing is for sure, when going “all in” like that one of them would surely have emitted an anguished howl. Not something I would worry about though, my “all in” does not contain 4 figures. One other thing is for sure, seller Scottish Highlander highlandbilly has probably not stopped doing the Highland Fling ever since.

This nice cruet nearly went to Oz, but ended up only a few miles away from the seller. Could be looked on as a bit marmite, but it is certainly striking in Farrago 3297.

Carlton Ware Farrago 3297 HANDCRAFT cruet

Farrago 3297 HANDCRAFT cruet

Strangely, there was nothing by way of condition information except “good” which can’t have helped, but it still sold for £64.15.

Carlton Ware Fantasia 3421temple jar

Fantasia 3421 temple jar damaged




There is an old saying, “The bigger they come, the harder they fall”. True in the case of this magnificent 15” temple jar in Fantasia 3421. What a tragedy. Lumps had been knocked out of it and just glued back in. It finished up at £251.33, but what would it have made if perfect?








Carlton Ware HAREBELLS 4016 vase S456

HAREBELLS 4016 vase S456



I like the rare HAREBELLS 4016 on its pretty pale pink gloss ground. Unfortunately this colour palette does predispose pieces to crazing and this 456 shape 8” vase is no exception. It may have affected the outcome price slightly as it finished up at £132.00, not bad, but not exceptional for its rarity.





Carlton Ware Forest Night 3997vase S467

Forest Night 3997 vase S467


And now for the equally rare but also spooky Forest Night 3997. Has it got enough going on in the pattern? Queenslander ifoundthisoldthing listed a little 3¼” vase in shape 467 which made £85.07 after 15 bids, so some folk obviously thought so. Whooooo-whooooo-whoooo.




Carlton Ware CHINALAND 3015 vase S217

CHINALAND 3015 vase S217 damaged




What a stunning piece is this ruby ground CHINALAND 3015 8” tall and in shape 217, even with some cracks. Nine bidders went after this one and it made £115.00.







Carlton Ware CHINESE BIRD 3197 vase S406

CHINESE BIRD 3197 vase S406



Now for a secretly auctioned 8” 406 vase in CHINESE BIRD 3197 which attracted 40 bids and finished at £335.99, listed by cosmic*space*angel, although I am not sure about the angel part. Again a study of posts dated 26th February, 27th March and 4th April on Art Deco Carlton Ware’s Facebook page might prove instructive however.





Carlton Ware TUT 2711 vase S135

TUT 2711 vase S135




Well, London seller/collector chris2465chris listed an 8½” cylindrical vase in TUT 2711 and it caught light finishing at £310.00.  A little above par perhaps for this size and shape, so the seller should be happy.






Carlton Ware HOLLYHOCKS 3820 baluster vase S139

HOLLYHOCKS 3820 baluster vase



Finally, I love baluster vases, they are so good in respect of displaying the pattern on the fat part. Aussie seller constellation1930 BINned a superb near mint example of HOLLYHOCKS 3820 for £141.34. Magnificent. A magical note on which to conclude.

eBay Masterspy.

Posted in Most Recent Masterspy posts | 7 Comments

January 2016

Views and opinions below are personal to Masterspy and don’t necessarily reflect those of our membership.

Well, still no puter. Still using knackered old borrowed lappy. Not happy. Cross your fingers it lasts out again.

Mad Item of the Month

01-jan-16-250Readers, far be it from me to unjustly decry the work of learned author Gul Akdagor, or his tome entitled “Ethnicity and Elections in Turkey: Party Politics and the Mobilization of Swing” especially since I have not read a single word of it. The description of the 266 page book reads as follows….”Ethnicity and Elections in Turkey attempts to understand the mobilization strategies of incumbent parties to consolidate and increase their support among swing voters of an ethnic group. By analysing the strategy of AKP on voters of Kurdish origin, it investigates the conditions under which it can mobilize them through the clientelistic network and its effectiveness in increasing support for the party.” There is far more of that stuff (just in the book description alone), but I think I have made my point that this volume has an exceptionally limited audience. So, good luck to publisher and author finding takers at the monumentally elevated price of £103.38. Sounds riveting, can’t wait for my copy to arrive.

Carlton Ware Humpty Dumpty musical jug

Humpty Dumpty musical jug


Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

Perhaps some will find fault with my selection this month, feel free to tell me so of course (especially those of you who own one of these). This novelty musical Humpty Dumpty jug was first listed by Salopian (a native of the county of Shropshire, foreign readers) colin.willcock.antiques at a huge £695.00, but has now been reduced to £556.00, a 20% reduction, but nowhere near enough to interest me.




Bargain of the Month

Doodle 3920 Fan shaped cigarette holder

Doodle 3920 fan shaped cigarette holder

Unusually, I can’t prove this was a bargain, but it disappeared fairly quickly as the seller ubiquitously stated that it was “no longer available” and we all know what that means, don’t we? Annoyed me actually, as Doodle 3920 was a pattern I had been trying to find for some time, but hey ho, I should have been quicker, so no complaints. Seller berrysmouse listed it at a start price of £15.00, but who knows what price was agreed?

JAZZ STITCH 3655 vase S467

JAZZ STITCH 3655 vase S467


So Here is the First Stuff from 2016

As you know I am  very partial to a spot of Deco and I don’t see what could be much more Deco than this JAZZ STITCH 3655 vase BIN/ONO’d by Aussie seller asafbsh84. It went for £154.11. Nice piece.



Carlton Ware PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 vase S456

PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 vase S456



I am even more partial to PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 with the black gloss ground. In fact I could happily kill you all to get my hands on a 9½” vase in shape 456. Unfortunately, I failed again when glad-findings listed one such. It went to £674.32. Too high for little old Masterspy, but a Happy New Year pressie to himself for one Aussie eBayer.



Carlton Ware GARDEN 3413 boxed set of napkin rings

GARDEN 3413 boxed set of napkin rings



GARDEN 3413 on the pale blue mottled matt ground is certainly pretty, so when seller chris2465chris (what makes you think the seller’s name is Chris) listed a full boxed set of four napkin rings there was always going to be a fight and so it proved. Despite some damage and wear to the box 10 bidders tucked into this dainty repast and it sold for £160.00….. a tasty sum indeed.



Carlton Ware Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3355 covered vase.

Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3355 covered vase.



This Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3355 covered vase with chip on lid seemed to have attracted 30 bids, but, how can one put this…… all but 4 of them looked, errrrr….. dodgy to me. I know one thing, I wasn’t bidding on it. Pity really I do like the pattern and have a nice big 406 in it.





Carlton Ware Mirage 3915 MODERN WARE shape coffee cup & saucer

Mirage 3915 MODERN WARE shape coffee cup & saucer

“And now there are many lonely lies,/ beheld by my streaming red-rimmed eyes./ Blinking in the desert’s golden glare,/ I can only stumble, stop and stare./ What is the shimmering mystery sight I see?/ Why, ‘tis a siren mirage of pool and tree!” (© eBay Masterspy lol)….. Forgive my spot of pseudo-romantic doggerel verse, readers. It isn’t late at night. I haven’t been glugging the Laudanum by the gallon (or the red wine either – although that is an excellent plan which I will extensively execute later – never been known to refuse). Now see what has happened. I can’t turn off the alliteration. Cup of tea…. Ahhhhh…. Sorted. All of the above is really about the occasional notions I have about the inspiration for the more abstract of CW patterns. Look again. I am sure you will see it too. Anyway, well known mackem markyeva1968 had a cup and saucer in Mirage 3915 which must have impressed 5 of you lot cos it glistened in that morning glow all the way to £103.00. I hope the cash didn’t have a mirage-like quality for the seller.

Carlton Ware Medley 3587 preserve & cover with stand

Medley 3587 preserve & cover with stand



Up there in bargain of the month territory is this little lidded preserve pot with saucer in Medley 3587 sold to a £20.00 singleton bidder by puffett. Gotta be great value for money.




Carlton Ware Eden 4241 ginger jar missing cover

Eden 4241 ginger jar missing cover


Yet another indication of the importance of excellent photographs when selling stuff on eBay is given by this listing for a 6” lidless ginger jar in the uncommon Eden/Tiger Tree 4241. The picture was terrible, though has been enhanced here so that you can see the pattern. It made only £94.33.




This complete coffee set in the PARISIENNE shape with decoration 4078 aka Vertical Stripes is sooooo Deco and so opulent.

Carlton Ware PARISIENNE shape coffee ware with decoration 4078

PARISIENNE shape coffee set with decoration 4078

Despite having crazing, staining and chips on at least 3 of the pieces it still managed to raise £113.11 for seller margaretc5560. I still think the buyer got a bargain. probably because the sellers picture, enhanced here, were poor. The set t is simply gorgeous. Nuff said.

REVOs must be on the rise! This example in DAISY 3691 auctioned by chris2465chris rose to a very respectable and profitable £129.23.

Carlton Ware DAISY 3691 REVO tray

DAISY 3691 REVO shape tray

Yes, they are hard to display, but one of the best shapes for many patterns.

Not very often you see this deep 9” diameter 3 footed bowl shape on eBay, but stwilfridshospice2010 had one donated in SKETCHING BIRD 3890, again with terrible pictures, though Photoshoped here for you


SKETCHING BIRD 3890 ROYITAKE shape footed bowl S376

Nice blending of colours in this pattern. My money went where my mouth is. I have 2 pieces in this pattern and colourway. This time St Wilfrids benefitted to the tune of £103.47, which can’t be bad.

Carlton Ware Jigsaw 3431 vase S456

Jigsaw 3431 vase S456


One of CW’s most striking, and consequently most sought after patterns, is Jigsaw 3431. Every piece of Jiggy is viciously fought over and this one was no exception. A 7½” 456 shaper in excellent condition will fly. In this case half a dozen CW stalwarts did the fighting and the final piece was inserted for a price of £550.00. Back to my imagination, readers…. Is the design supposed to be an abstract garden with its bordered flower bed, larger flowers and lawn? If so, the last piece fitted in was probably part of the lawn!!!



Marmite time, readers. I quite like this pattern myself, I but can see why some don’t. Called MODERN CROCUS by Violet Elmer, its designer, to me it seems to be a mix of Medley and a spiky flowered pattern, Daisy perhaps.

Carlton Ware MODERN CROCUS 3803 REVO shape tray

MODERN CROCUS 3803 REVO shape tray

Not much of this pattern about, so it is probable that the CW buyers of the time were not overly persuaded either. Anyway, this fine REVO shape tray made £47.00 for seller juggler_boy. Had it been me selling, I would have been disappointed with 47 quid, but there you are. The market is the market.

Yet another pattern which is absent from the masterspy cabinet is GARDEN GATE 3863 (not for want of my repeated, but thus far unsuccessful attempts to bring the lack thereof to a sudden end) although I do have the shape.

GARDEN GATE 3863 fan handled tray

GARDEN GATE 3863 fan handled tray

This 12” dish made only £64.02, which I reckon is on the cheap side for such a pretty pattern.

Most of the tubelined patterns don’t make huge money, but TUBELINED TREES & FIELDS 4138 certainly can do.

Carlton Ware TUBELINED TREES & FIELDS 4138 plaque


The Queen of Cleveland, under her new moniker milli_fleurs, listed a nice charger which made £302.00. I hope you don’t place it on the bog wall, buyer, like another collector does with chargers!!! We don’t want any of that nonsense with our CW, do we readers? No indeedy. The things I learn collecting CW which can be filed under the heading of Too Much Information. Ha ha.

Carlton Ware CHINALAND 2948 small trinket box

CHINALAND 2948 small trinket box

Sad tale of the month was told by seller mogg0007 from Mackem land. He listed a small trinket box in CHINALAND 2948 which had been kicked around the room and back again and repaired with browned glue. So sad. It only sold for £11.59, but is restorable to museum condition.  Much enhanced here, could the worst picture posted on eBay for a long time have hindered its sale?

Carlton Ware Melange 3601 vase S406

Melange 3601 vase S406


On the other hand, “perfect” is a very specific word, similar to “unique” in that respect. In its very nature it is a word incapable of more than one meaning. If a seller states that his or her piece of CW is either of these 2 things, said seller should be certain that this is the case. I can’t be doing with a description such as “Perfect except for worn gilding/hairline crack/small chip” etc. If it isn’t perfect please don’t advertise it as such, even with a caveat. What item raised the masterspy hackles? It is a 6” 406b shape vase in Melange 3601 with some wear to the gilding on the top rim. Melange is a valued pattern and the 406 is one of CWs top shapes, so it still sold for £261.33. I feel better now. Yet another rant over.


Further back in history CW had been well into chinoiserie as we all know and one of the chin patterns with the largest following is DRAGON.

Carlton Ware DRAGON 2062 WINDSOR shape tray

DRAGON 2062 WINDSOR shape tray

In this case we have a 9¼” square shallow bowl in powder blue pattern number 2062 which I feel we might see again one day. It went up to £79.00 and I don’t think in this shape or colour it had many more legs (with or without scales). We will see.

Liberty Belle 3506 in the 8” shape 495….. yummy. Despite having had 3 chips, only 2 of which have been repaired it still reached £159.01.

Gypsy 3506 jug S495

Liberty Belle 3506 jug S495

This is a good price for the seller miibbious, but a nice piece nonetheless. Get it on a top shelf as I always say.

Carlton Ware Babylon 4126 CONE shape bowl

 Babylon 4126 CONE shape bon-bon


I am a fan of the trefoil conical bon-bon. I also like Babylon 4126, especially in Ruby lustre. This 4½”er has had a hard paper round, so to speak, suffering from wear to both ground and gilding and a small chip on one foot. However, it triumphed against such trivial adversity to raise £72.50, despite another awful picture posted by the seller.



Carlton Ware Mandarins Chatting 3890 vase S456

Mandarins Chatting 3890 vase S456

Finally for this month we have a superb 7” 456 shape Mandarins Chatting 3890 vase. If the last piece was yummy, this one was woweeeeee and so was the price £431.99. One day I will find a 6” jug vase in this colourway to complete a display, but, until then I will content myself with drooling.

So there we go. Another month without me puter. Oh well. As always, feel free to make any comment on the form provided.

All the best

eBay Masterspy



As usual, on these pages, patterns named in BOLD UPPERCASE, e.g. MIKADO, MAGPIE, are names found in factory pattern records.  Those in Capitalised Bold Lowercase, e.g. Heron & Magical Tree; Hiawatha, have been given by our Naming Committee or invented by others.
Shape names and range names in factory records are simply CAPITALISED eg BUTTERCUP. To distinguish pattern numbers from shape numbers, shape numbers are preceded by the letter S.


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