Masterspy’s Annual Blog Review 2012

Well, 2012 failed to see the end of the world as the Mayans were wrongly said to have believed would happen. Oh well, I will just have to carry on regardless, blogging away merrily whilst patiently waiting for Armageddon. Mind you, I do hope Armageddon doesn’t involve any earthquakes or explosions or fires, readers. Shudders. Say no more, don’t even think it, masterspy (editor)!
As in every year there have been ups and downs, quiet months and busy ones in 2012. There have been many mad items, many overpriced items, and thankfully, many superb pieces of our favourite pottery.
Where to start, that is always the question when writing my blog. Not this time, however as I can just do this in date order, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Mad Items

Perhaps the funniest item in a whimsical way was the stretchy €50 note offered by smuttygifts for only £1.99. Ahhh, if only you could spend them like real money, but that they would last as far as you could sssssstretchhhhh them. I bet George Osborne does too.

02-review-2012Most useful mad item of the year was possibly the 25Kg of ground glass eBayed for only £19.99 by frostautorestoration, because after finally seeing off the wife / husband by feeding some to the other half you will no doubt have plenty left with which to sort out the rust on your car. Totally excellent. A double bargain!



Most worrying item was probably the weird Marcie Misery doll created by seller justinaerni who wanted £63.75 for it. What is inside that guy’s head? Whatever it is must be pretty unpleasant and I don’t fancy having any of it, thanks muchly.



There is no doubt which is the most discordant item of the year. That was last month’s offering the 1967 single “It Can’t Happen Here” by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. Funnily enough, I don’t remember any reader posting in his or her deep and abiding admiration for it. I wonder why not.

So, which one does masterspy think was maddest? Well, Marcie Misery by a mile, no doubt in my mind at all. Do you agree, readers? If you want to suggest a different winner, maybe one I haven’t even mentioned, write in and let us know.

Over Optimistic EBayers

05-review-2012I haven’t been doing over optimistic eBayer of the month all year, but I think I can still offer a top 3 for 2012. In first place and winning by a distance was cky_him_rule who thinks his Golly playing a piano sugar bowl is worth £700.00. It isn’t. Take two noughts off the price and it just might get a bid. Lack of success hasn’t prevented a dogged determination to relist it at the same stupid price every month though. Very puzzling.


Undecorated BUTTERCUP butterpat
Undecorated BUTTERCUP butterpat


 Second is the seller who listed a 65mm undecorated butter pat dish in BUTTERCUP for A$1599.00. At least this person saw the error of their ways and changed the price after a few days to A$9.99. Didn’t do any good though as it didn’t even sell at that price.


Carlton Ware CHINESE BIRD 3729 MELON coffee set
CHINESE BIRD 3729 MELON coffee set


Third is nwantiquesandcollectables who listed a coffee set in CHINESE BIRD 3729 at £2500.00 opening bid. It has been relisted at £1650.00 and still got no takers. I wonder how much it will eventually sell for, especially considering that two of the pieces are actually damaged. I am sure that every one of you out there has at some time hit search and found an item listed at an outlandish price and either sat there laughing like a drain, or perhaps feeling really annoyed that an item you actually like very much and would love to bid on is priced to not sell – ever. Tell us about it. Get it off your chest, dear reader! 

Carlton Ware CHINALAND 2946 trumpet vase S165

CHINALAND 2946 trumpet vase S165

The “Good Stuff”


I do love CHINALAND in all 3 colourways and I do love a nice trumpet shaped vase. Seller dealsanmore sold one such 10” tall in orange 2948 for a handsome £678.36. CHINALAND is simply a potter’s tour-de-force and an amazingly complex pattern.




Carlton Ware JAZZ STITCH 3655 VELOX bowl



As you all know by now I also love the VELOX shape, so when one in JAZZ STITCH 3655 was sold by joncrm you can rest assured it was followed very closely by the masterspy. I reckon the final price of £431.00 understated how striking this piece is.




Carlton Ware Zig-Zag 3356 chamber stick

Zig-Zag 3356 chamber stick


Next came a chamber stick in Zig-Zag 3356. ZZ is a pretty uncommon pattern. I can understand this to some extent as the design is so strong it might not be to every collector’s taste, but as far as the Masterspy is concerned this was simply a bargain buy for the lucky eBayer, as it only went to £136.15. Pity it wasn’t me.


Carlton Ware Devil’s Copse 3769A CONE bowl S1062

Devil’s Copse 3769A CONE bowl S1062


How often do you see Devil’s Copse in the uncommon yellow colourway on eBay? Not very often. mackems1 found a super 9” cone bowl hidden away somewhere and launched it on eBay. It raised a surprisingly low price £759.00. Four figures, I thought. Another bargain.



Carlton Ware Fan shaped bookends in black & green.
Fan shaped bookends in black & green

The following month catstealer must have sold all his book collection because he listed a pair of the most magnificently Deco bookends in a superb black and green. They fetched a huge £231.95 and entirely deservedly so in my opinion. This was despite the presence of a small chip underneath one of the bookends. I must mention here that I am indeed indebted to The Cat for extending my knowledge of Yorkshire dialect, because in his listing he referred to this chip as a “spelch”. Nice one, Cat. lol. 

Carlton Ware TUT 2711 FOOTED FRUIT S184


In July we took a “Walk Like an Egyptian” (Bangles music fans will remember that little ditty) as tofvoszi did the sideways thing with a TUT 2711 two handled footed fruit bowl. He BINned it and it didn’t take long before somebody whipped it away for £450.00. Oh My Amun, what a bargain!!! After all, it can get damn hot out there in the Egyptian desert, can’t it?

Carlton Ware Secretary Bird 4918 jug S470

Secretary Bird 4918 jug S470

Secretary Bird 4918 ruby colourway is simply magnificent in my humble opinion. It had long since been my ambition to own a piece in said pattern and colourway and I achieved that during the year (and very happy I am about it too, readers). Yorkshire-based lujesjaz sold an 8” jug, though not to me, for £400.00. I do have a jug in this size and shape in another pattern and it makes a superb display piece, so even though there is a little restoration to the rim of the jug I still think the buyer got a very good buy.
Metropolis 3420 is, as all my readers well know, one of my top patterns. I think I may have finally figured out why (at last)! Claude Monet painted a series of paintings of the Houses of Parliament in London at the beginning of the 20th Century. 

Carlton Ware Metropolis 3420 jug vase S496

Metropolis 3420 jug vase S496 & Monet painting

Amongst these was Le Parlement, Effet de Brouillard, 1903, which can be seen in the flesh at the Museum of Fine-Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida (which will be exceptionally convenient for one of my readers). It definitely puts me in mind of Metropolis, despite being of a different city and depicting a different time. I do like my Monet and this is a very fine subtly lit and shaded atmospheric painting. I have enjoyed seeing the picture in books and one day I may get to see it with my own eyes, you never know. The 7” jug vase sold by call94 went to a lucky eBayer for a very reasonable £176.15.

Carlton Ware FRENCH 3334 AKA Sunflower Geometric FOOTED FRUIT S184

FRENCH 3334 AKA Sunflower Geometric FOOTED FRUIT S184

Another two handled footed fruit bowl arrived in September. What a cracker! The FRENCH aka Sunflower Geometric 3334 beauty, again eBayed by lujesjaz, moved me to say that I had considered kidnapping family members in an attempt to secure it. Alas, I didn’t (secure it I mean, nor did I kidnap any family members). Gorgeous and many might say well worth £550.00.

Carlton Ware Cloud Flowers 3568 vase S457

Cloud Flowers 3568 vase S457


If you are looking for rarities to add to your collection readers, one of the rarest soon followed, a 7” vase in Cloud Flowers 3568 which rose skywards to a lofty £425.51. “A Dream is where a boy can swim in the deepest oceans and fly over the highest clouds” (J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban). I didn’t even bother bidding as I reckoned (quite correctly as it turned out) that an eBayer with much more money than me would be the buyer. Oh well and hey ho.


Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651 vase S442

Scimitar 3651 vase S442


Easily the highest price of the year was obtained by daisy-jack for an 8” globular vase in shape 442 decorated in the much sought after Scimitar 3651 pattern. Somebody shelled out the huge sum of £4000.00 for this magnificent piece!!! I can honestly say that I did put my grubby mitts on this vase, unfortunately it was at the NEC Antiques For Everyone show, not after unpacking it. Obviously somebody else had that thrill. Sighhhhh.

Finally, in at the death came doncaster-collectors-emporium with a 14” x 8” trinket tray in the pink WAGON WHEELS 3813.

Carlton Ware WAGON WHEELS 3813 trinket tray

WAGON WHEELS 3813 trinket tray

The big bidders were out in force to try to claim this prize. 9 collectors bid this one up to a massive £2149.00! What a pressie to unwrap at Christmas (and I had to make do with a jumper – again…. mumble….grumble….mumble)!

So there we have it, readers. Which one does eBay masterspy give this year’s top accolade to? Hmmmm, I may call this award the Golden Cuthbert Vase. Yes, I like it. In third place is the Scimitar globular vase. It is only third because of its high price, which most of us can never aspire to. In second place I put the Metropolis jug vase, for the exact opposite reason, its price was remarkably low for such a personal favourite. In first place, and inaugural winner of the Golden Cuthbert Vase was (slight pause as he opens the envelope) the Sunflower Geometric two handled footed fruit bowl. Why, because it is simply a wonderful piece of CW. It is magnificent and I wish I owned it.  Do you agree with my choices? No? Write in and tell us.

Before long I will be doing the usual monthly blog and I hope you will stop by again and read it when it is posted to the site by the indefatigable Harvey.

Until then, have fun on eBay.
eBay masterspy.

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