December 2012

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why the gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot.”

Where else could I start in reviewing eBay for November? I reckon there are a few of you out there at the moment that would gladly set light to the fuse! Politicians, eh? Who’d have ‘em? Man the barricades, Carlton Ware Brothers in Arms! Slaughter ‘em to a man! Ok, enough of fermenting bloody revolution (for today at least). Well, what happened this month? There were a few gob smackers for sure and the usual crop of goodies, overpriced stuff and mad items.

Mad Item of the Month

Speaking of mad items, I reckon I have a contender for Mad Item of the Year here, not merely of the Month! Back in 1966 a young Californian musician named Frank Zappa and his band The Mothers of Invention became tired of “old square” people making comments that clearly indicated (usually fairly robustly) that their music was not entirely melodious and was “Commie influenced” (seamless link to the intro, eh?), so they set out to answer their critics. They created a little ditty called It Can’t Happen Here. It was aired one Saturday evening on a TV programme called “Juke Box Jury”. This was hosted by a gentleman called David Jacobs (who was firmly among the “old and square” generation). He played new songs and 3 people (celebs) decided whether the song was a “Hit” or a “Miss”.

It Can’t Happen Here was entirely outwith his ken. Sadly (?), it was voted a “Miss” by the panel. However the song has a huge cult status, both here and in the States amongst hardcore Zappa fans. This month I spotted an original 7″ vinyl version on eBay by UK seller onlygnom for £70.00. It didn’t get any takers.

I will leave you to judge for yourselves whether this was a surprise when you play it by clicking on the record above.

Overpriced Item of the Month

Stellata or Wild Cherry 3326

Stellata or Wild Cherry 3326

Once again we have 2 contenders. In the blue corner we have occasional UK seller trampuss who gave me the pip with a pair of 6″ Stellata or Wild Cherry 3326 406 shape vases. The starting price was £550.00. Nope. Too much. 2 other Stellata/Wild Cherry listings this month, one for an 8″ candlestick which went for £75.00 and a second for a 3 piece cruet which went for £40.00 back this up.

 

CHINESE BIRD 3527 MELON coffee set

CHINESE BIRD 3527 MELON coffee set

In the mottled pale orange corner (ok, it isn’t exactly a red corner as tradition requires, so sue me, ok?) was one of the gob smackers of the month. Unfortunately the price was quite a bit toooooo gobsmacking. nwantiquesandcollectables thought an eBayer might be persuaded to pay at least £2500 for a CHINESE BIRD 3527 coffee set with a restored cream jug. Surely not, when 2 similar quality sets, the BELL on yellow and the PARADISE BIRD on yellow listed recently by pre82 didn’t attract a single bid at £1000.00 in perfect nick, which I can vouch for as I have seen them. The winner this month is nwantiquesandcollectables. Well done sir or madam. Da-dit-dit-da-dit-dit….. Latest news – early in December it has been reduced to £1650.00 (still too much).

Basket of Flowers 2194 candlesticks

Basket of Flowers 2194 candlesticks

At the opposite end of the over/under pricing scale, a denizen of Torquay and CWW member, puffett almost sold a beautiful statement 10¼” tall pair of candlesticks in Flower Basket 2194 recently at the CWW Get-together in The Potteries for £40.00. He got no takers at that price (although sadly, I have to tell you readers, that both I and Mrs Masterspy hovered over them indecisively for a long while). So he listed them on eBay and our favourite auction platform did him proud with a 10 bid battle culminating in a bid of £194.99. There are two morals to this tale, readers, firstly where the hell were you when such bargains were floating about at our sellathon (I can promise you this as I benefitted from several of them myself, he he he)? Secondly, eBay will find what something is worth one way or the other. There is no need to list at daft prices.  

FIGUREHEAD shape coffee set

FIGUREHEAD shape coffee set

Right then, I suppose it is time to go for the gob smackers. You will have to imagine my tears, readers. Trust me, there were plenty. The first one I want to mention is the absolutely wonderful and extremely rare FIGUREHEAD shape coffee set for 4 in pattern number 3796 (with a cracked sugar bowl). I remortgaged the house, I sent Mrs Masterspy out every night for a week in the local cruising area and I flogged the company car to try to buy it, but at the end of the day I finished a mile short. Hey ho. Portuguese seller melofrei saw it rise to a stunning £1701.00. The last 4 of the 17 bids were from the same buyer, so it could have gone even higher. 

Scimitar 3651 vase S442

Scimitar 3651 vase S442

Naturally I can’t go any further without mentioning the 8″ 442 shape Scimitar 3651 vase sold by daisy-jack as a BIN for a mere £4000.00. I wonder who is gloating over that big and bouncy beauty? In fact I am dying to know. Go on, reader, you know you want to tell us. I did hold this incredible and well nigh perfect pot in my hot and sweaty paws at the NEC Antiques for Everyone fair, but I don’t suppose I will ever see it again. Sob.

 

Awakening 3450 cigarette box

Awakening 3450 cigarette box

Continuing with the gob smackers, one of my fave patterns is Awakening 3450. Although the ruby and green (and other) colourways of this pattern are rarer than the brown, I think this may be my preferred colour (not that I will ever own one – sigh). I promised last month that I would be including items from catstealer this month now that he has recovered enough strength in his mouse finger to list again (hmmmm, cat and mouse, Tom and Jerry – one of my puns is trying to claw its way to the surface here, but I will let you think up your own this time). I have also held this trinket/ciggy box in my hands and it is gorgeous. As I said in my last blog seller catstealer has made a pact with the devil! I can also add, that having now had the brief pleasure of meeting Mrs Catstealer, I can clearly lay this to rest once and for all! Lovely lady! He HAS INDEED made a pact with the devil. Luckily for the Cat he has £329.99 in his pocket to spend on his lovely lady. 

FOREST TREE 3254 ginger jar

FOREST TREE 3254 ginger jar

 

Very early in the month a Yankee seller listed a 10″ ginger jar with lid in excellent condition in FOREST TREE 3254. He said in his listing that he wouldn’t post to the UK. I emailed him twice to ask him why not, or if he would entertain a bid from me. He didn’t answer. The auction ended short of his reserve price at a ridiculous £27.94. Fool.

 

 

 

“Wabbits” fans prick your ears up now. Danger lurks in the long grass. Several pieces of Rabbits at Dusk 4247 and one in the rarer 4257 came up for auction this month.

Rabbits at Dusk 4247 & 4257

Rabbits at Dusk 4247 & 4257

Some pretty tasty (sorry animal lovers) prices were paid. Amongst these there was a 10″ shouldered vase from Scottish seller a.kerr which saw 10 foxes chasing the bunny up to £811.30 and a lovely 10″ diamond tray shape 1286 which was offered up to the shotguns by candleman38. Six pot shots later the stew was boiled up for £650.87. The same seller must be inundated in the furry little critters because he also had a 7″ 1676 shape jug in the pale green 4257. Somebody else has it now and paid £415.00 for the privilege. Cheap perhaps, compared to the others.

BARGE 2519 DON vase

BARGE 2519 DON vase

Now it is the turn of Chinoiserie and Chinese influence fans to be gobsmacked. BARGE 2519 is one of the finest patterns produced by CW before Art Deco became the house style of the factory. I love it. The only problem with BARGE pieces is that the orange is prone to flaking off because it was applied over large areas. A vase in the DON shape (ice bucket to you and me) with a few such slight orange flaking imperfections was listed by markyeva1968 during the month as a BIN at £154.99. I have one of these (luckily without any flaking) and I can tell you readers that it is front and centre in my Chinoiserie cabinet. Incidentally, for those of you who love the pattern there is a 10″ lidded ginger jar and an excellent large jardinière on eBay at present.

CHINESE BIRD 3527 plate

CHINESE BIRD 3527 plate

 

Next up is a 9″ cabinet plate in CHINESE BIRD 3527. Just the thing to go with your overpriced coffee set in the same pattern and colour. A curious pattern, this. It has an unfinished look, but comparing it to other pieces this plate is not unfinished, so it isn’t just this piece. Seller thekemporium frisbee’d this across the ether and back came bids up to £135.00. Not bad for a 9″er. 

 

CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3274  Rumidor
CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3274 Rumidor

 

Finally, I saw a 7” Rumidor in CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3274 listed by US seller bearyscloset11, but due to an overoptimistic asking price of £623.95 he still has it.

Lovely piece though – a definite gobsmack.

  

 

 

3" bowls in Gazania 3592 & Mandarins Chatting 3654
3″ bowls in Gazania 3592 & Mandarins Chatting 3654

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all these gob smackers, what about a dose of “less is more”? Mrs Masterspy loves little pieces and there were 2 tiny beauties this month in the same shape and size. One was a lovely 3″ bowl in Gazania 3592 sold by delnjane for £45.00 and the other was in Mandarins Chatting 3654 sold by pixie5144 in OZ for £109.64.

Rosetta 3505  vase S406

Rosetta 3505 vase S406

 

A Violet Elmer triumph next. Rosetta 3505 6″ vases in 406 shape don’t grow on trees (ooops), but they weigh heavy with fruit, certainly for seller thirdeye76 who can afford a few goes on the lottery now, having trousered £432.15. A very very nice piece. What do you think readers?

 

 

 

MODERN WARE tea for two
MODERN WARE tea for two

One of my favourite sellers’ names is glums. I bet they aren’t living up to their name at the moment though, having achieved a selling price for the “less is more” sparely-designed MODERN WARE tea for two in orange of a stunning £375.00. Very nice…. 

Medley 3588 MODERN WARE preserve & stand

Medley 3588 MODERN WARE preserve & stand

 

Definitely in the “less is more” envelope design-wise is my old friend Medley 3599. catstealer put this lidded preserve pot complete with its oh-so-deco saucer up for auction and it went for plenty of money for this pattern. I bet the cat has ripped the lid right off this preserve pot and is currently sticking his paw inside and licking off all the jam!

 

 

GARDEN cigarette box
GARDEN cigarette box

 

This next piece was featured back in the October blog when it sold for £161.00. The buyer was not happy with it and returned it because it had “less (is more)” paint on it than it should have had (ha ha). It has now sold again for £20.00. Perhaps more like it under the circumstances.

 

Peach Melba 2448 jug vase

Peach Melba 2448 jug vase

 

Finally in the “less is more” section, seller delnjane auctioned a 6.5″ Peach Melba 2448 jug vase. For me this pattern has an almost impressionist quickly drawn feel to it, as if the design was never quite fully finished, but, as I say…. less is more. The seller managed to get a sweet and tasty mouth watering £100.00 for it after 6 bids. Lucky lucky seller. A really good price, don’t you think? 

Jagged Bouquet 3457 rose bowl

Jagged Bouquet 3457 rose bowl

 

So, what else did I like? The rose bowl in the very rare Jagged Bouquet 3457 which seller mauliz auctioned for £162.23 comes immediately to my mind. Bargain of the month for the lucky buyer.

 

 

  

ANEMONE 3694 REVO tray

ANEMONE 3694 REVO tray

 

Naturally I loved the 8¼” ANEMONE 3694 REVO tray sold by nunraw for £225.00. As I turn now to my left as I type I can see my own 10″ example. Just beautiful. So vibrant, so colourful, positively exuberant. Lucky buyer.

 

NEW ANEMONE 4245 ginger jar

NEW ANEMONE 4245 ginger jar

 

 

And while we are doing a spot of Anemone-ing what about this 8″ NEW ANEMONE 4245 lidded ginger jar in one of my fave colourways (the pale blue shading into pink, or is it pink shading into pale blue)? So delicate.

   

BELL 3786 vase S457

BELL 3786 vase S457

 

 

 

 

As you know I do like my BELL 3786, so when catstealer found an 8″ 457 shape vase it was bound to be sought after and so it proved. After 19 bids the cat pocketed another £601.00 to take that lovely lady of his somewhere special. What do you mean; stop feeding her ideas, cat? Me?

  

Devil’s Copse 3787 CONE bowl
Devil’s Copse 3787 CONE bowl

 

Lastly I don’t want to miss the 9″ conical dish in Devil’s Copse 3787 BIN/ONOed by inspiration54 which went for £420.00. Why don’t I want to miss it out? Because mine has now proved itself to be a bargain!

 

 

 

Once again I intend to write both a final monthly blog for 2012 covering items listed in December when the time comes to do so and also a masterspy “Items of the Year” article. If you have any suggestions for pieces to be included feel free to respond to the blog.

Regrettably (and somewhat angrily), I must also report that one of the items I mentioned 4 months ago has reappeared in a restored condition (as I fully expected) without being described as such by an unscrupulous seller. Outcome, almost £400.00 profit for a bit of effort and some white spray paint. Not on. Be very careful out there, buyers.

As ever, I hope to hear from you with comments, ideas, information etc. Feel free to do so.

Good hunting (but make sure you bag what you expect) and of course Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

 eBay masterspy.

 

 

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2 Responses to December 2012

  1. Roland Bradbury says:

    This is the first time I’ve read this monthly effort and excellent it is. Like Masterspy I’ve had my hands on one of the pieces and wish I’d given Philip McLean aka Inspiration54 a bit of a run for his money on the Devils’ Copse piece – and it wouldn’t have found it’s way on to eBay although I do have a smaller vase it the same pattern – leading me to wonder where I’ve put it as it isn’t in my display!

    On readin your piece I’m kicking myself at a piece of Rabbits at Dusk I put back into auction earlier this year. I’d bought two jugs in this pattern at the same auction, Callan’s in Ayr, a few years back for about £100 each and decided to keep my preferred pattern, Moderne, and let the other one go. I doubled my money on it but watch this space, Internet – eBay, for any more.

    My best buy of the year was pair of 11.5 inch (to top of fininal) Egyptian Fan temple jars for, I think, around £500. They do have slight damage around the tops but display very well with the lids on. A pal told me that they had been bought at McTear’s, in Glasgow and the buyer had tried to sell them on eBay and failed – hece their reapppearance at auction. I already have a less impressive piece in the same blue colour which has a tale to tell. It’s a squat jug, impressed model 787, bought at auction for around £150. When I was picking it up there was a bloke waiting for me, a keen collector, who offered me £500 – naturally I refused. It seems there were two Carlton Ware pieces in the auction and he’d mixed them up. Mine must have been the second piece as I remarked to a pal (same one) that the first piece had sold for way over the odds.

    I must get to some of your meetings provided they’re not too far south. I’ve been marooned in Ayr for over 40 years but am originally from Burton upon Trent, a few miles down river from Wiltshaws, Fieldings etc. etc.

    That’s about it.

    Brad

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hello Brad,
      Thank you for your nice response. Always glad to have new readers. I apologise for taking so long to answer you, unless I am working away from home I try to answer responses within 48 hours, but in this case I had computer issues of the terminal kind, Christmas of course and my blog to write (not to mention a stinking cold).
      Good news the new one is now ready and Harvey is working on posting it to the site. I am also writing a “blog of the year” article reviewing the whole year.
      I remember your temple jars going on ebay, back in the early part of the year. There was also a large 443 shape vase sold at the same time by the same seller if I remember correctly. As for myself I only have one piece in E Fan on dark blue (a 6″ lidless Ginger Jar), but I do have a candleholder in the pale blue and one in the ruby. My best buy this year was at the CWW AGM in Stoke, where we had a CW sellathon. I bought a 10″ floating bowl in Gum Flower for only £120. It is in bang on condition. Bargain!
      Do write in again and we would welcome you (and everybody else for that matter) to any of our meetings. They are really good and what I can say from experience is that there will be a very warm welcome.
      Best wishes,
      ebay masterspy

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