2013, Eh Folks? Who Woulda Thought It?
Well folks, here we go for another year of eBay blogging. Another year older and deeper in debt, as my late father used to say. Well, we started this year with the now traditional January on eBay, i.e. it was almost dead. So what can the masterspy find to tell you about this month? Well, not too many blockbusters, that’s for sure, but plenty of interesting stuff, even so. As always there are lots of over optimistic eBayers out there, however. Logic would have it that if an item won’t sell at a vastly inflated price in, let’s say October, it is even less likely to sell in January. I don’t know about you, readers, but the company I work for pays us our meagre stipend a few days early in December each year, which makes the tortuous and agonising journey to the far end of January always the longest month of the year and caution must ever be the watchword (except for Mrs Masterspy, of course).
That said, the easy winner of the Over Optimistic EBayer of the Month for January 2013 is…… iauction-limited who has been listing a pair of damaged 8” 326 shape vases in Nightingale 3562 for £650 for months and months. You are reaching for the mouse button trying to get there first, aren’t you dear reader? “How the hell did I miss that” you are muttering angrily to yourself. Stay your hand a moment while I tell you more. They are both, how can I put this plainly, errr, well and truly knackered. On enquiry a friend was sent extra pictures. Gamely, he still made a reasonable offer in the light of the very poor condition of both vases, but did not even get the courtesy of a reply from the seller. You have let go of your mouse now, haven’t you? I’m not surprised.
For the first time I am not sure if this item is attractive, or a great Mad Item of the Month. Judge for yourselves readers. Japanese seller vintagemania*shiho offers you the chance to buy a butterfly in a jar! What? I hear you say. It is a fake butterfly, panic ye not, Lepidoptera lovers. It works via sound or vibration from tapping on the glass wall of the jar. The fake butterfly is suspended by a wire from the lid of the jar, wherein sit 3 AAA batteries. Helpfully the seller has included a link to a YouTube video of the butterfly in action. Have a look see.
Sadly I must report that I am both hungry and thirsty as I sit and write this (the Head Chef is out at the shops – I hope she gets back soon or I may expire). Don’t get tooooo excited ladies, I can fold a slice of dry bread over and shove it into my mouth the same as the next man (mind you, boiling an egg looks a little bit too technical to me…. Lousy packaging on eggs by the way, not a hint of any cooking instruction on the shell. It is about time those genetic modification blokes got to work on the humble chicken! Come on scientists. Get it sorted). Anyway, one needs a plate for one’s canapés. Luckily seller elvisashers had a bread and butter plate which will serve nicely in the very rare pattern Tyrolean Bands 4076. Unfortunately, this plate has had a lot of use in its time and quite a bit of the gilding has worn off. It sold for £16.01, which is a long way short of the last bread and butter plate sold in this pattern, which made £206.00 just 2 years ago, though it was in much better condition.
If something a little better preserved (and perhaps a little more restful to look at) is needed, don’t look in the direction of a cream SKETCHING BIRD 3891 10½” plate auctioned by a UK seller from Launceston in Cornwall. Only one bidder at £125.00 for this one. The buyer informs me that this bid was made via iphone whilst on holiday. Unwisely, as it turns out. It is in very poor condition (despite being referred to as “IN TOP CONDITION THIS ONE” by the seller) and a frank exchange of views is therefore currently underway. I will update you later readers.
Ok, I admit it, selfishly my first concern is what I can put in my own “north and south”, but now I have to worry about providing a plate for little Erin Elizabeth, my recently born granddaughter! Here we have the very thing, a nice oval baby plate showing Jack and Jill (and surprise, surprise readers – damned if they don’t appear to be falling down a hill), sold by hanfan2010 for £13.50. I bet this plate will never see any stewed prune and curried chicken flavour baby food will it, buyer?
Those who know me will be well aware that I am addicted to a nice cup of tea. What better to “mash” the wondrous brew in than this lovely Carlton China SPRINGTIME 4751 teapot? Seller dusteranddishes obtained £45.00 for it, but only £8.83 for a separately listed trio (bargain).
Apparently, there are some people who actually profess a partiality to that thoroughly noxious brew coffee (yuck)! I can’t stand it myself, and funnily enough, neither can the buyer of this lovely coffee pot in Pendant Bubbles 2845 eBayed by Manchester seller three-tailscollectables.
There are also people who like a nice cup of hot chocolate (yummy). Carlton Ware thought of that too, of course. I can’t recall seeing a wavy handled mug complete with its lid in Rouge Royale on eBay before, but I may be wrong. In any case it attracted interest and after 17 bids sold for £84.50. No doubt seller johill2 smacked her lips at the price and headed straight for the supermarket to buy some drinking chocolate to toast her success.
One of the types of ware not normally associated with CW (and one which I do not know any collectors thereof) is your actual blue and white. This month I found a nice cheese dish and cover with a windmill and sailing boat scene on it, mimicking Delft pottery. It was said by seller mikej49 to be in “good condition for its age”. Having said that I don’t know any blue and white CW collectors, it may pay to collect this genre in CW because after 5 bids it still only sold for £16.00. Investment-wise there can’t be too much down side risk at this price. Was it a good buy, reader?
I don’t know much about crested ware, I freely admit. It doesn’t float my boat, but we are all CW brothers under the skin is what I say. Having checked with Harvey Pettit I am assured this is CW and not by one of the many other manufacrurers of crested china. Seller yorkgoss (who comes from Tunbridge Wells, not York – eh?) sold a model of a Colonial Hat with the crest on the New Zealand Rifles in perfect condition for what seemed to me to be a surprisingly high price of £103.50. Have you paid more for crested ware pieces? I would love to learn more about this side of CW, so do post your comments and stories.
And now for somebody who, ironically, does come from York! Seller kguest20 listed 6 Crinoline Lady Napkin rings. The strange thing is that there are 9 in the picture and no comment about the quantity in the description. Most odd. Well anyway, “If 6 Turned Out to Be 9” (hey, ya could make a song out of that) it would be an even better buy at £86.00. Give yourself a brownie point if you know whose song that was.
Another item I have been watching for some time is this set of 6 novelty Napkin rings. Stylistically, these were completely different from the previous item, but equally collectible. They finished up at the opening price of £180.00 for seller happy_aly. I am sure I have seen these on eBay before and who knows maybe we may well do so again.
Luckily, I was saved from starvation at the last minute (see above) by a wonderful repast prepared with endless patience and incredible skill by my very own ever-loving Mrs Masterspy (you creep, Masterspy…. Yeah, ok, but I know which side my bread is buttered on). However, my meal is wearing off now and I feel a bit peckish again…. Biscuit anyone? I am sure we could all reach for a biccie from this beautiful barrel, couldn’t we? UK seller 41ollied must have been delighted by the 9 bid crunch match with the cookie finally crumbling at £113.15. However, consultation and research shows that this Art Nouveau style pattern could be a one off and unsurprisingly the buyer “nearly performed a cartwheel” to celebrate. Clearly a massive bargain. The new pattern already has a tentative name – Ginkgo Leaf. There is no pattern number on the base, but it is clearly from the same period as Blush. Some people have all the luck…. Grrrrrrr.
Now don’t be too fussy, readers. Biscuits should be fine for anybody, but if you insist I can offer a nice scone with some jam on it. Where did I put the jam, oh yeah, it’s in the Stellata 3326 lidded preserve pot (complete with saucer). Sad tale time. Hankies ready everybody. I have an octagonal lidded pot in this pattern, but my mother-in-law decided it should take a swift and vertical trip to the floor. Just waiting for it to come back from the restorer (hey ho). Now call me an old cynic if you wish, but Mrs Masterspy has made no secret of her total hatred of this pattern. Do you see the way my mind is working on this one, readers? What should I do? Any advice welcome. Anyway, enough of my problems. I reckon premierpottery must be another delighted seller because despite a chip on the rim of the saucer it made an astonishing £181.00.
Perhaps we should be good and try to get some of our healthy “five a day” fruit and vegetables today readers. Hmmm. Where can I put these figs and dates? Why not in this handy 9” fruit bowl in TUT 2711? A little gilding loss on the rim shouldn’t offend the Pharaoh too much (after all, he hasn’t been in much of a position to complain for the last 3 millennia, has he?). Certainly 5 bidders thought so too and bid it up to £410.00. You could buy 10 camels and a couple of concubines for that sum! I can just see glad-findings happily belly dancing all the way to the bank. Calm down masterspy, I thought you had got over that sort of thing – editor. I could go on stretching this line even further by mentioning a plate and cigarette box in EASTERN SPLENDOUR sometimes called Sultan & Slave, both eBayed this month, but I don’t want to push it too hard. Who me, push it too hard?
We certainly don’t want to get our citrus fruit all sticky from those dates and figs, so we will need another bowl. UK seller diddybox felt the need to sell a fantastic 9” bowl in FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3948. WHY???? It is one of the all-time masterspy favourite patterns. Tears pricked my eyes and cascaded down my cheeks when this one went elsewhere. I took to my bed and moped for a week. Well worth £280.00 in my opinion.
Too many oranges, lemons and limes to fit into 2 bowls? Ok, I will go and fetch the 10” Parkland 3523 bowl in pale blue eBayed by earp1001. What a cracker and fought over till the last orange pip squeaked at £601.00. Are you happy with it, buyer? Do tell us.
Now you have filled your faces with my biccies, cakes and fruit you can take your ciggys outside and smoke them on the “naughty step”. I suggest you carry them outside in the cigarette box in Fantasia 3421 sold by akmrjb for £390.00. Even now you could buy a fair few cigarettes with that much money. Mind you, let me think, 1000 ciggys or a Fantasia box, hmmmm, easy one, no contest. I have no idea if the buyer partakes of the evil weed or not, but having paid £390.00 I can’t see any ciggys going into this box any time soon.
While you anti-social lot are outside adding to your carbon footprint I will tell everybody else about the vases we are going to put the flowers you brought round into. First up is a lovely Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3355 10” cylindrical vase sold by the imaginatively named road-to-victory. Sadly it has a crack in it, properly disclosed by the seller and consequently it fetched only £93.67. I bet it appears again at some point without said crack.
Heron & Magical Tree 4160 is a superb deco pattern, especially in this colourway, and shape 1675 is a spellbindingly complementary execution of the design. Only 5” tall, this one, but what a beauty. Is it worth £440.00, buyer? It certainly looks like it to the masterspy.
This month also saw another nice 406 shape 6” vase in FOREST TREE 3244. Like the last one, this piece has a chip, this time under the base rim. Nevertheless it went to £141.37. A good price in my opinion, considering the presence of the chip. Yankee seller samjoelin stated in her listing and in answer to a question from a potential buyer that the blue ground was in “Hammered Pewter” which is the name of a pattern not a finish. I can see what she meant, but I call it “shark scales” and Harvey calls it “pebbled”. Feel free to make your own suggestions for what this finish should be called. I wonder how they created it. Anybody out there know how it was done?
Not to be outdone, glad-findings listed her second 6” 406 shape DRAGON 3251 vase in 3 months. The first one brought in £217.34, but this one raised the bar to £252.00. A good price for the seller, but what a blue! Say no more.
Next up is a very pretty 5” 467 shape Handcraft APPLE BLOSSOM 3522 vase. It looks in excellent order and I would have loved to buy it. Unfortunately, seller tann10 has posted it elsewhere. No matter how long I press my nose against the frosty window glass the postie is not going to knock at my door. Sigh…. and only £165.00 too.
As you know, I like my jug vases. Guess what, readers? Correct, I did it again. I sat on my hands waiting for the right moment to make an offer on the super CLEMATIS 3525 7” jug vase listed by call94, which is a pattern I STILL don’t have. Some evil eBayer nipped in and stole my prize away with a sneaky Best Offer. Curses, curses and more curses (imagine me twirling a long thin moustache, readers, with a wicked scowl on my face). Serves me right.
Lastly with regard to vases a fantastic 11½“ tall (yes, I did say 11½” tall) 406 vase was listed in Chevrons 3657. It reached around £155.00 and disappeared before it was due to end. Gobsmacked! Gutted! Horrified! Nay, readers…. Mortified! I was playing poker here – I was going to go “all in” at the death. Mind you, so were half the collectors in the Milky Way! Simply put, sadly, the seller lost her nerve. It hasn’t come back on eBay (yet), so I assume somebody has thieved it away from us all with malice aforethought. I wonder where it sits now. Fancy telling us, buyer?
Almost done folks. An inkwell with a chuffing great crack inside was listed by cobwebschoice. It was in the quite rare Lightning 3692 pattern. I have no problem with the listing. It was entirely accurate.
In my collection I have a 7” jug vase and a 6” goblet-shaped vase in this pattern. Neither of them has a chuffing great crack. In fact they are both mint. Between the 2 pieces I didn’t pay much more than £300.00. Somebody has shelled out £437.50 for this little beauty.
Anyway, I seem to have been writing this for days (I have, in fact been writing this blog on and off for 4 days), so it is time I climbed the little wooden hill to Beddington. What could I possibly need to light my way to bed, why, a chamber stick of course! My final offering is one such in the handcraft Wild Cherry 3272 pattern. It went for £51.00 to the benefit of UK seller creamofdevon.
So, “good night children, everywhere” (there came the sound of a candle being gently blown out). Don’t wake me up until next month, unless you want to send a comment or question in of course. Happy eBaying!