All month long I have been singing a little rhyme to myself (and to Santa of course),
it goes like this…..
“Christmas is coming, the Goose is getting fat,
It’s Carlton Ware for me, be it gloss or matt.
Christmas is coming, the Goose is getting fat,
Please put a Jazz vase in masterspy’s hat!
Christmas is coming, the Goose is getting fat,
If not Jazz, leave a big piece of Mondrian on my welcome mat!”
Regrettably (and unsurprisingly) it didn’t work.
As the great David Bowie once sang “I’m busting up my brains for the words”. Now I know how he felt! Better not give up the day job just yet, eh, readers? Not much of a threat to Carol Ann Duffy anyway.
Well, it was a strange month. At one point I thought I was going to have to write a blog about stuff which didn’t sell, but happily one or two gems surfaced after all.
Nevertheless, let’s start with the mad and overpriced items of the month. First up is a little pair of earrings by juliettejewiz. So what is unusual in earrings, I hear you ask? Well, if you give your head a sharp turn whilst wearing these earrings ladies, I reckon they will smack you right in the eye. On the credit side, if you are desperate for a quick gamble, perhaps you could take them apart and use them for a quick game of Craps. Bargain for a fiver.
I am tempted not to describe this item at all. Perhaps I should let the picture speak for itself. Naaah, you know me by now, readers. Seller hotstyle360 of Dubai (a first appearance for the desert state in the blog, readers) describes this lovely piece of, errrr, gear as “slightly more hardcore”. At last, a seller who gives an honest description! Offered for £62.00 opening bid, it attracted 9 bids, selling at £75.16. No Mrs Masterspy, I won’t wear it! Ever!!!
There were a number of over optimistically priced items to choose from this month, but in the end it came down to a choice between 2. US seller, realjon19 of Missouri listed a very nice TEMPLE 3003 VELOX bowl on Ruby. Now I like a nice VELOX, having an example of the shape myself, but TEMPLE at £927.19? Errrr, no, I don’t think so.
My other contender is the well-named eagerdealer (well, wouldn’t you be eager at this price)? He or she listed a MODERN WARE coffee set for £500 and got no takers with only 28 viewers, so undaunted (and dare I say, over eagerly) tried again with a listing for £525.00, helpfully giving a BIN price of £750.00. Bear in mind that 2 of the pieces are damaged. No, I am sorry, my eager one – wayyyy too much. I bought a perfect set myself for less than £100.00 on eBay, so I am fully qualified to speak. I have never quite understood why sellers re list at a higher price, having failed to sell sometimes more than once.
And this month’s winner is…….. eagerdealer.
As a quick aside, by way of updating you all, the CHINESE BIRD coffee set which won overpriced item of the month last month for its nosebleed price of £2500.00 was not sold when re listed at £1650.00. I did say it was still too high, especially with a damaged piece. Perhaps an auction starting somewhere sensible, say £500.00 and see where it naturally finishes up, seller???
The month started on the first as usual! I had wanted to grow a beard for charity (following “Movember” comes “Decembeard” these days), but ‘er Indoors said no, just as she did last month. She said she would rather cut a toe off with a rusty old nail than kiss me sporting a beard or moustache, so a clean-shaven masterspy carries on regardless. All donations to Masterspy’s Movember and Decembeard Downtrodden Husband’s Popular Resistance Front will be gratefully accepted. I will overcome!
TEMPLE 2481 is a pattern in which I own a number of pieces. I don’t have a vase in this lovely shape though. At 8” in height, it isn’t small either. A tiny bit of gilt wear on the top rim, but well worth the £24.87 paid by the buyer to UK seller alacander. Some people have all the luck (and maybe a nice beard or moustache too, eh buyer).
Keeping with the Chinoiserie genre, Cheshire seller premierpottery listed a 16” temple jar with a Dog of Fo finial in Crane & Willow 4339. This monster was bought for £285.00. It was previously auctioned in Stoke, so I was able to cast my beady eyes over it and can tell you that it was in good condition with only 2 of the tiniest chips on the lid rim.
Any fans of WORCESTER BIRDS 2196 will no doubt have been moved to flights of feathery delight by the large 14½ʺ temple jar in matt yellow offered by Aussie seller the-sweet-tricorn as a BIN for £498.00, it was shot gunned toute suite for £401.62. Lovely piece.
At the opposite end of the size scale we have a little 463 shape globular vase in an unidentified pattern, which to me has an unfinished feel to it though this is possibly because at first I saw it as being similar to ROOKERY & PHEASANT. Perhaps this is a trial that wasn’t adopted. If so, the buyer got a bargain at £22.67, whilst seller zeichen1 will no doubt be more than disappointed.
This vase is by Crown Devon and introduced after Enoch Boulton moved fronm Carlton Wqare this other pottery, where we then see many od Carlton Ware shapes being copied as well as CW design being adapted. (Ed)
2000 miles to the west of China, CW also drew inspiration from Persia (as Iran was known in the 1920’s). This 11” covered vase – minus its lid – in PERSIAN 2884 is a lovely shape and attracted much interest despite a lack of pictures which prompted potential bidders to ask what designs were not pictured on the sides and rear and how the inside was finished. This reminds me of the century-old adage that a picture is worth 1000 words. It does surprise me that when eBay sellers only have words and pictures with which to market their wares the quality and range of pictures is often given scant attention. As it was the vase still made £206.00 for Cornish eBayer kernow_x, but was this top money, who knows?
One or two items were listed which didn’t sell as usual this month. Normally, unless these are official “over-optimistic” items I rarely include them, but some do stand out from the crowd. Firstly we had an absolutely stunning 8” 463 shape globular vase in Floral Comet 3422. What a piece! It is back on eBay now at a somewhat lower price. There was also a terrific JAZZ 3353 7” jug vase which somewhat caught my attention. Lastly we were offered a pair of 7” Eden 4241 1692 shape serpentine handled vases which are now being offered one at a time.
Time for a spot of HANDCRAFT. Where’s masterspy’s trusty tool box? Let’s start with a chamber stick in Shamrock 3235. The buyer will no doubt be happy to relieve subsubsub0 of it for only £29.99. A good buy.
As you will all know I have a yen for Metropolis 3420, a HANDCRAFT decoration, and this 4½” globular vase is no exception. This is such an evocative pattern of its time. I am so glad that it isn’t normally completely out of my reach (not that I bought this vase). Yankee seller tyler*95 was responsible for whetting my appetite with this beauty and was rewarded with a very satisfactory £247.50 for his efforts.
Next up was a 406 shape 6” vase in SPRING 3865 in “superb condition” which was auctioned by UK seller nwantiquesandcollectables. This one was hard fought over by some determined eBayers and reached a dizzying height for this pattern at £142.00 after a 25 bid battle. Are you happy with it buyer?
By contrast a jug vase in SPRING 3897, a much rarer variant of this freehand decorated pattern, only realised £56.00 for bumble.bee despite 11 bids being made, which just goes to show how sought after the 406 shape vase is. A tall jug was also sold in the same pattern for only £20.00 if further proof is needed. Someone’s had some bargains!
Perhaps the star of the month in HANDCRAFT price-fetching terms was this 5” globular vase similar to the Hiawatha pattern and unknown to us here at Carlton Ware World. This looks unfinished to me, but that certainly did not deter 4 bidders from war-whooping it up to £600.00. But soft, dear reader, I have saved the best bit till last! The seller’s name is bluehippychick32. If that doesn’t paint a picture of the seller I don’t know what will. I love it, definitely name of the month if nothing else.
Seller bluehippychick32 followed this up with a REVO dish in the very rare Arrowhead 3416 HANDCRAFT pattern. I am surprised that this piece did not pierce the sky price-wise, flying to only £112.50.
Now, comes my monthly “if only” item. I absolutely ADORE the chamberstick in Lazy Daisy 3414 in a very rare colourway sold by zeichen1, but lazy masterspy did nowt and it got away for £160.00. Sob, sob, sob. Damn, damn, damn.
Best Ware didn’t do too badly in this allegedly slow month of December either. Let us ascend the price ladder and see what occupies the top rung. Regular CW seller glad-findings seems to have a never-ending supply of good CW and this month was no exception. This time we were treated to a lovely little pair of 217 shape 3” tall vases in the ruby colourway of Crested Bird & Waterlily 3530. One day the masterspy will get round to bidding on G & W in this colourway, because it is a stunner isn’t it? Certainly the winning bidder must think so because there were 9 other bidders who also wanted this pair and the price rose to £280.00. A very good sum for such small pieces. Are you delighted with them, buyer? Do let us know.
On the other hand it is hard to tell what will happen on eBay and one of this month’s auctions certainly surprised me. I have commented several times on the high, sometimes huge, prices being paid for Rabbits at Dusk 4247. Have the buffers been hit at the end of the line, or is this just a blip? One can only imagine that UK seller jayne8379 must be gutted to only get 2 bids to £285.00 for an 8” jug when recent prices have been nearer 4 figures than 2 figures. What is going on, I hear you say. Were buyers put off by just one mediocre picture of a high-priced item? I know I would be.
Mind you, it isn’t jugs going out of fashion because trampuss sold a 1347 shape example in Secretary Bird 4018 for £450.00. Once again I believe I may have seen this auction recently in Stoke. If it is the same piece I saw in Stoke it is in fine fettle. Good value in my opinion, but certainly not a third of similar recent items in the same pattern.
Now this isn’t funny. I have to grit my teeth and tell you of a 6” vase in my favourite shape 777 (of which I STILL have no examples) in one of my favourite patterns. Why do you lot keep bidding loadsamoney on the ones I set my heart on? It took 23 bids and £577.00 to part good1091974 from this little beauty. No surprise here.
When we get to 4 figure prices we are in the territory of the heavy hitters! The air is far too rarefied up here for poor old eBay masterspy to breathe. Sighhhhhhhhhhh. Once you get to 4 figures the quality is magical though. When this piece, a 5½” globular vase in Heron & Magical Tree 4293 on the pale blue shading to pale pink ground was listed, I sat back and thought, here we go. Chaaaarrrge! The said heavy hitters did not disappoint. There were only 3 of them in there, but I bet tyler*95 is damn glad they were, because the wizard with the smokin’ wand had to shell out £1269.58 to get him to box it up for posting.
Finally and occupying that top rung of the price-ladder……… If I ever buy a large piece in this colourway and pattern you can turn me in to the police immediately, because I will have had to rob a bank for the funds! You don’t see mottled pink WAGON WHEELS 3813 14½” x 8½” trinket trays on eBay every week, do you? So it was just a matter of how far this wagon would roll. 9 bidders really battled it out until the price reached a dizzying £2149.00. WOW! Already one of masterspy’s friends has emailed saying “I wonder how much my WW vase is worth now?” You wouldn’t want to be the under bidder having gone to over £2000 would you? The frustration would be enormous.
What a month! I have had to buy a new PC and get used to Windows8, not to mention the marathon challenge which is the modern British Christmas. Currently I am sat typing in my dressing gown at 5:00 am, as I am unable to sleep due to a heavy cold. As usual I welcome your comments on all matters CW. Please get in touch; you people are what make this page tick.
These matters are as nought compared to the sadest of events. Before finishing this month’s blog I would like to say a few words about losing our good friend Nigel Howse, the husband of Carole Moore, CWW’s founder member and Events Organiser. Sadly, Nigel died in a road traffic accident on the 28th of December. His humour and friendship will be much missed by us all. Our deepest sympathies go out to Carole and all their family. Rest in Peace, Nigel.