June 2014

Harvey, our webmaster, who lays out these pages for me, apologises for the delay with this month’s blog.  A computer fault and visiting relatives helped the lateness.  The fine weather also played a part, it does distract from slaving over a keyboard!

These pages are laid out using WordPress.  If you know how to use this most popular of blogging platforms and can help Harvey at busy times let me know.

So here we go.


Little Erin has a mad moment!



“While strolling through the park one day

In the merry merry month of May

I was taken by surprise By a pair of roguish eyes

I was scared but I didn’t run away”




But then again, not everybody was quite so merry all the time…..

Mad Item of the Month


Perhaps in the light of the above I should buy our little Erin one of these snazzy little numbers as she has so clearly demonstrated her complete suitability for it.

Over Optimistic EBayer of the Month

Toff bell


As ever there were a couple of good candidates this month, the biscuit-taker was undoubtedly Midlander lindylootom who offered a “Toff” bell for the OTT price of £250.00. Not gonna happen. I have seen several of these on ebay in the last 4 years and none have reached 3 figures yet. I guess somebody told the seller because it disappeared fairly quickly due to an “error in the listing”.

Bargain of the Month

Carlton Ware Heron & Magical Tree 4325 tray
Heron & Magical Tree 4325 tray

 I have no doubt that the buyer of this piece is definitely experiencing a “Merry Merry Month of May”. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the buyer is rolling on the floor laughing. Poor pictures, mistaken identity and misdescription often contribute to give-away prices and on this occasion an 11” oval tray in Heron & Magical Tree 4325 was listed as MIKADO. The price of £43.92 would have been fair enough for a BIN if it had been MIKADO, but it wasn’t.

Anyway, What Else Happened in May?

Daisy 3673 vase

DAISY 3673 vase


Well, I will tell you if you promise not to let anybody know I told you. Shhhh now. Ok? First up was a nice little 4½”er in the blue version of DAISY 3673, wrongly marked as 3693 as far as masterspy’s old and rheumy eyes can see. Unless the pictures have been photoshopped to hell and back, of course. It made £84.62 for Aussie seller jiwilly1. This is a pattern I like. Do you readers? Do let us know.



When I started my CW collecting I was purely a shiny pot collector, but as time has passed by I have become more and more interested in matt finished pieces and patterns. Takes all sorts hey, readers? A matt item that struck me was a boxed set of napkin holders in GARDEN 3413.

Carlton Ware GARDEN 3413 boxed napkin holders.

GARDEN 3413 boxed napkin holders.

This set was sold by regular eBay CW seller glums which reached a well weeded and fertilised £251.00. I hope the set is kept together and not dispersed, don’t you readers?

Carlton Ware TUT 2686 ginger jar.
TUT 2686 ginger jar.

One of CW’s blockbusters was auctioned by Geordie seller vintage_aesthetics this month. It was a lidded ginger jar with the death’s mask finial in the iconic pattern TUT 2686, the first variant produced in the pattern. No size was given in the listing, but it is almost 2 baked bean tins tall. Note to sellers the world over……. Give an accurate size please. Buyers appreciate knowing accurate information. I don’t wish to be gratuitously rude. Rant over…. I feel better now. Anyway, this piece had suffered a hard life. The lid was glued together from a number of small pieces, the base had a chip and a hairline and there was loss to the rim gilding through wear. Despite all this the seller raised £156.78. By my reckoning that’s about 250 tins of beans. The possible outcome doesn’t bear thinking about, readers.

FRENCH LADY powder bowl

FRENCH LADY powder bowl



Another beauty I toyed with bidding on (sadly, masterspy is impecunious again readers) was a lovely 2 piece FRENCH LADY powder bowl in decoration 2658.  Seller puffet received the sum of £99.23 for this elegant item.




Carlton Ware MODERN WARE cigarette holder S1210.

MODERN WARE cigarette holder S1210.

Many readers collect shapes, perhaps even just one shape, so here is one just for you folks. Scottish seller with a French sounding name pierre-delamer auctioned a ciggy/card holder in pale green Plain 4108, not worn, but crazed. Five collectors slugged it out making 23 bids for this one and up it went to a very creditable £72.00. No doubt Pierre reached nonchalantly and suavely for his Gauloise packet, but sadly he no longer has a holder for his ciggies, ‘cos he has sold his!

Carlton Ware PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 REVO tray.


These Scottish eBayers certainly have an international character, readers. Another unlikely sounding Scot, namely dieter724, had me salivating wildly let me tell you. I am a big fan of REVO trays as you know (I have 8 at the last count), so to marry the shape with a pattern among my top 5, PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 is as good as it gets for me. Unfortunately for me 9 people also thought so and they raised the price to a very pretty £411.00.

Carlton Ware MODERN CROCUS 3803 REVO tray.


It may be said that is another one of those Marmite patterns. Some might call it confused, being a mixture of rainbow-coloured bands, flowers, blocks of colour and an almost pointillist ground. Certainly gorlett was unrewarded for auctioning an 11” REVO in the pattern when it only made £46.01. Almost in bargain of the month territory here. A point of note is that another seller is trying to BIN a pair of bookends in the same pattern for £285.00 and almost made the optimistic eBayer of the month.

Carlton Ware 4” bowl in DRAGON 2818.

4” bowl in DRAGON 2818.

Half way through my blog and nothing from the Queen of Cleveland I hear you say? What’s going on, masterspy? As if by Oriental magic up popped a nice 4” bowl in DRAGON 2818. I was very surprised when it only attracted bids from 2 eBayers and sold for only £26.01.

Carlton Ware Nightingale 3562 vase.
Nightingale 3562 vase.

    Berkeley Square time. Yes, it is a lovely vase in Nightingale 3562. Sorry, I can’t tell you the size again ‘cos the seller maronmac hasn’t included it. However, this one was destined to fly high and so it did, going cheep cheep at £500.00. Woweee.

Carlton Ware FOREST TREE 3250 vase.

FOREST TREE 3250 vase.



Regular CW seller markyeva1968 found a lovely 11¼” vase in FOREST TREE 3250 and BINned it for £375.00. A nice shape this and fairly uncommon too. Unsurprisingly, he got his price easily. Happy days are here again for markyeva1968 methinks.





I enjoy seeing a nice large piece in the HANDCRAFT pattern Flowering Papyrus 3242, as a good big ‘un displays the pattern so well.

Carlton Ware HANDCRAFT Flowering Papyrus 3242 TRINKET TRAY.

HANDCRAFT Flowering Papyrus 3242 TRINKET TRAY.

Seller bhf_shops (the British Heart Foundation charity’s eBay account) auctioned a 14” x 8½” tray, but sadly not much charity was eBayed on this piece and it went for only £41.10.

Carlton Ware SPIDER'S WEB 4254 double candlestick S1667.

SPIDER’S WEB 4254 double candlestick S1667.

As you all know, I am no fan of SPIDER’S WEB and what is more, with only a few exceptions Rouge Royale is not my favourite colourway either, so pieces in 4254 don’t get more than passing attention from me. However, I am writing this blog for you readers, so…… I did like the twin candle holder auctioned by glad-findings because the shape is kwolity. It must have been difficult to make and maintain the shape in the drying and firing phases of manufacture. So,  a price of £34.99 is to my mind a good price for the buyer.

I do like a bogof (who in their right mind doesn’t) and I reckon this 9” bowl in Carp 2440 is one such. On the outside is a delicate pale blue lustre while on the inside is a delightful pale lemon yellow lustre.

Carlton Ware Carp 2440 bowl.

Carp 2440 bowl.

Magnificent colours and design. But, for some reason you lot didn’t think so and it rose only to a disappointing £103.11. What are you doing?

Carlton Ware CHINESE BIRD penstand decoration 3296.

CHINESE BIRD penstand decoration 3296.

Another CW pen holder went mental this month readers. As I have said before these pen collectors are even nuttier than us CW folks. This particular piece was in CHINESE BIRD 3296. Unfortunately it has part of the holder missing, but this didn’t stop the nutty pen folks. No sirree. It made £310.00. Wow.

Carlton Ware FIGHTING COCKS 4212 (without cocks) vase.
FIGHTING COCKS 4212 (without cocks) vase.



Aussie seller pixie5144 listed a nice 6″ 43 shape vase in FIGHTING COCKS 4212 (without cocks). Sadly, this one didn’t make too high a price, only a paltry £79.02.  I bet this one comes back on eBay at 3 times the price soon enough.




A close challenger for Bargain of the Month was this little set of 3 pieces of Nankin 2021….. 2 tea caddies and a potpourri, admittedly all damaged, which went for a ridiculously cheap £12.00. Are you crazy out there?

Carlton Ware Nankin 2021 covered vase and two tea caddies with covers.

Nankin 2021 pot pourri and two tea caddies with covers.

Why didn’t this make 3 or 4 times the price? I have seen single caddies without a lid at all make that much.

Carlton Ware CHINALAND 2948 temple jar.

CHINALAND 2948 temple jar.


I bet there isn’t a single regular reader out there who is surprised to see this 13” temple jar in CHINALAND 2948 listed this month. What a piece! The buyer must be prostrate praying at the very temple depicted on the vase itself, giving thanks to Saint Spyridon for allowing him victory in this auction. If not, he darned well should be.




Carlton Ware TURKISH 3071 cigarette box.
TURKISH 3071 cigarette box.

TURKISH 3071 doesn’t make too many appearances on these pages, ‘cos it is fairly uncommon. I love it, but perhaps back in the day it didn’t strike the right chord with buyers. It suffered a spot of oopsy daisy dropsy at some time and the smallish chip has been painted over without filling it in. Good value at £75.00. Surely a candidate for a better restoration job, buyer?

Carlton Ware RIVER FISH 3970 vase.

RIVER FISH 3970 vase.




Another seller who must have been confident of selling his listing fairly easily was jak1995, after all RIVER FISH 3970 7”ers don’t get listed very often. So, a BIN/ONO price of £795.00 was asked and a deal was soon struck.




Carlton Ware Cubist Butterfly 3195 hexagonal bowl.
Cubist Butterfly 3195 hexagonal bowl.


I have a smaller bowl in Cubist Butterfly 3195 than this 9” one auctioned by joeandlorna2012. Mine is not hexagonal however, which adds to the rarity. Surprisingly, it only got one bid and went for the starting price of a very reasonable £100.00. I think the colours are superb and the pattern itself is oh so deco. Yet again…. what are you doing, readers?


Carlton Ware  LOVEBIRDS 2328 vase.

LOVEBIRDS 2328 vase.



I don’t know about you, but I am impressed with this 10” baluster vase in LOVEBIRDS 2328 eBayed by pixie5144. She is back on eBay with a vengeance now, readers!!! This vase has such a high gloss finish it must have been a nightmare to try to photograph. Plenty of bids up to £92.88. Nice buy.

Carlton Ware WORCESTER BIRDS 2195 vase.




Was the pixie finished? Not on your life. Listed next was a baluster vase in WORCESTER BIRDS 2195. Weighing in at over a kilo and standing 13” high these birds look like they couldn’t get off the ground too easily, but a quick squawk or two and up they went to £148.01. Nice vase.


Carlton Ware MODERN WARE teacup & saucer with decoration 3886.

MODERN WARE teacup & saucer with decoration 3886.


Well known Aussie seller nicholnack, he of www.nicholnack.com.au fame, eBayed a cracking cup and saucer in my favourite version of Modern Ware in matt mottled blue and gold, decoration 3886 83.15. The seller will be happy with that amount I am sure. Are you happy???

Carlton Ware ANEMONE 3694 covered vase.

ANEMONE 3694 covered vase.



A gorgeous pattern is ANEMONE 3694…. A real art deco slap in the mush and no mistake. Superb colours and design. Luckily readers, I can report that it is going to a very good home. This 7” lidded vase has a small chip hidden by the lid and some slight crazing, but is a very good buy for £157.36.

Carlton Ware PARADISE BIRD & CLOUD WITH TREE 3143 temple jar.


To end with this month readers, a bit of riddle me, riddle me, riddle me ree. Who has been conspicuous by his almost total absence for ages from our beloved mighty selling platform???  Why catstealer of course, that’s who. Well done to anybody who could read what passes for the masterspy’s mind and guessed correctly. He listed some nice stuff near the end of the month and the auctions finished just in time to bring up the rear in my blog. First to finish was a 12” lidded hexagonal temple jar in PARADISE BIRD & CLOUD WITH TREE 3143 which preened itself fastidiously up to £206.35.

Carlton Ware GUM FLOWER 3790 biscuit barrel minus lid.

GUM FLOWER 3790 biscuit barrel with damaged lid.

Then came a biscuit barrel in GUM FLOWER 3790. Sadly the lid is in several pieces, but could be restored of course. Despite the significant damage, this one still made £90.00 anyway.




Finally, those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, or who have read old blogs recently may remember my item in June 2012 in which I mentioned a true hero, Mr John Shanahan (late of the Royal Ulster Rifles).

Mr John Shanahan shaking hands with Prince Charles.

Mr John Shanahan shaking hands with Prince Charles.

I met him at Arromanches whilst witnessing the 68th anniversary celebrations of the D-Day landings two years ago. One thing he said to me that day I have thought of frequently as this year’s anniversary approached. He said to me that day that he desperately wanted to attend the 70th celebration this year and hoped he could last long enough to do so. I had no doubt that this little lion of a man (who had no need to fight as he was a citizen of the Republic of Ireland) would make it, but as we scanned the coverage all day looking for John we did not see him. However, I can report that at 93 he is still going strong and his wish came true. Here he is pictured yesterday shaking Prince Charles’s hand. Once again, thank you John and all the D-Day veterans, without whose heroism and self-sacrifice many of us would not be enjoying peace and freedom which we do today. Well, another month is over readers and we look forward to another one. Don’t forget you can comment on my blog, or any CW related matter by filling in the form below.

Happy eBaying.

eBay masterspy.

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4 Responses to June 2014

  1. David Macdonald says:

    Hello Masterspy,

    I was the ‘lucky’ purchaser of the TUT ginger jar. Yes it is 8” tall and I agree that too many listers leave off vital information.

    Although the lid has been broken the breaks are clean and they will be easily restored by my restorer, the hairline is only an inch and very faint and the chip on the base is really miniscule. I do tend to find that close up photography over exaggerates the faults and I have picked up several bargain pieces by selectively disregarding the image. However the Mother of Pearl colour jar looks fantastic currently sat on a mantle shelf with the sun shining on it.

    Kind regards,


    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hi David,
      Thank you for your post.
      I agree with you about buying items which have slight damage and often say so, as you (being a regular reader) are no doubt aware.
      A number of CW lovers can afford to pay the massive prices for the perfect “big ticket” pieces, but lack of that kind of money shouldn’t stop collectors from building up an excellent collection. After all, taking Tut as an example, the pattern is over 90 years old. How many 90 year old people do you know who are in the same physical condition as they were born in? lol
      Feel free to post again at any time.

  2. David Forgan says:

    Hello Masterspy,

    About eBay sellers leaving off information did you notice eBay item number: 281325352102 sold on 9th May? It was a CHINALAND Slender Ginger Jar but was simply listed as “carlton ware”! It makes a change from other patterns wrongly being called Chinaland! The first photo did not even show it had its cover but this was shown in other photos. No dimensions were given, it is 16½ cm (6½”) high to the top of the cover. Although on the orange ground with a small chip to the base (declared) I think £142 was a good price and reckon it would have gone for more if it had been listed as CHINALAND.

    Kind regards,


    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hi David,
      It gets ever harder to find pieces which go “under the radar” on eBay, but you certainly did with this one. As you point out, the lack of pattern name and lidless main picture are probably responsible for this. One or two sharks did circle round this one, but you spear gunned the lot of them. Well done.
      Thanks for your post.

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