August 2014

Annnnnnnnd, here we go again. Seems only a few days since I sat down to write my last blog!
Here in the north of England it has been generally warm and sunny most of the month, but as I look out of my Carlton Ware room window it is raining hard and it is much cooler today.  A good day for writing….

Mad Item of the Month

I am constantly amazed to see on eBay, at antique fairs and in antique shops, the total rubbish that people will try to sell (and often do manage to sell, to be fair). My eye was caught by this worn and damaged plastic wall mounted thermometer made in the image of a deer head mounted on a log end. The seller has listed this lovely item for only £14.99. Can’t understand why it hasn’t been snapped up yet. Yes I can. Ohhhh, yes indeedy.

Over Optimistic EBayer of the Month


NEW MIKADO 2825 cigarette box.

Somerset straw-chewer shoes1066 listed a red ground ciggy box in gilt only NEW MIKADO 2825 for a staggering £325.00. Take the £300 off it and it might get bids. One or two other kwolity examples of over optimism kept it out of this blog for a couple of months, but I knew it would have its day in the sun eventually.



Bargain of the Month


Five pieces of damaged CW.

Five pieces of damaged CW.

Seller nunraw listed a selection of 5 pieces of damaged CW as per the picture. The buyer, obviously a canny person with an eye for vfm won with a singleton bid, thus paying the starting price of only £9.99. I imagine nunraw wasn’t desperately happy with a tenner for 5 pieces.

July’s Stuff

Carlton Ware Blushware vases in the Christmas cactus pattern.

Pair of Blushware vases in the Christmas Cactus pattern.

Hastings seller orangeblue80 launched a volley of arrows into the Sussex sky and one stuck in Harold’s eye for the low price of £46.67. What caused this 9 bidder battle I hear you ask? It was a pair of beautifully painted 9½” blush ware twin handled vases in good condition. Sadly, I don’t know the name or pattern number, but I am sure somebody will supply these (the pattern name is Christmas Cactus – Ed).


arlton Ware MIKADO 2910 AMORY coffee set.

MIKADO 2910 AMORY coffee set.

CW can be found all over the world and this almost complete coffee set in MIKADO 2910 on green and black is no exception. The seller mmoo1372 is based in Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA. It sold for a very reasonable £107.19. I did ask Mrs Masterspy if I could nip over and inspect it for condition, but she near took my head off with a swift cut with my own Katana. She screamed something about me taking her on holiday and not gadding about looking at pots and a rather unwelcome future in which she would be inspecting my innards for condition if I mentioned it again. Mumble grumble.

MELON coffee set in black with wide gold borders.

MELON coffee set in black with wide gold borders.

Another nice coffee set which was eBayed this month was this nice black and gold pattern  3846 set which was offered for £199.00 by vickery.2009. Simple and beautiful.

Carlton Ware Floral Comets 3387 MELON shape coffee pot.

Floral Comets 3387 MELON shape coffee pot.


While I am “doing” coffee sets, I can’t miss out the beautiful Floral Comets 3387 auctioned separately (grrrr) by doncaster-collectors-emporium. All totted up the set went for around £937, but what a shame. It is split up all over the world now. Even worse, none of the bits sit in my cabinet (grrrr again).




Carlton Ware Medley 3591 AMORY shape coffee set.

Medley 3591 AMORY shape coffee set.


Full marks to seller lily4547. She sold a striking and lovely coffee set in Medley 3591 which broke through the £100.00 barrier, selling to a singleton bidder for £125.00. I can’t remember the last Medley item to make over a ton. Mind you, in her description she says….. “On the coffee pot is a very small flake of paint missing from the spout, This is not a chip it is just the paint has flaked off.” If it looks like a chip, feels like a chip etc…. it is a chip! Wouldn’t you say so, readers???



Carlton Ware MELON shape part teaset with banded decoration.

MELON shape part teaset with banded decoration.

Last but not least amongst the tea/coffee sets was this part set with banded decoration 4130. Surprisingly, it only attracted one bid and so ended at its starting price of £39.99. What are you doing again, readers? This pattern is simple, stylish and rare! The last part set in this pattern went to Japan for £100.00 all of 3 years ago. I bet the buyer is even happier now, having been informed of that comforting fact.

Carlton Ware Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 cigarette box.

Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 cigarette box.

Well known sellers glums are not glum again, readers. Quite the contrary, I would imagine, in fact. They listed a superb ciggy box in Feathertailed Bird & Flower 3354 on the pale blue mottled matt ground. With only slight rubbing to hold it back it flew straight up to £390.00. I know where this box is readers and suffice it to say there will be plenty of friendly boxy company in the cabinet for this little charmer.

Carlton Ware NEW ANEMONE 4219 cigarette box.

NEW ANEMONE 4219 cigarette box.

Aussie seller pixie5144 sold a lovely Deco box in NEW ANEMONE 4219 for £67.80 after a long drawn out bidding battle. Personally I prefer the original ANEMONE pattern, but to each their own, as they say. This pattern is delicately drawn and I am sure many lady readers will particularly love it. Do tell us, buyer.


Carlton Ware Fantasia 3389 FOOTED FRUIT.

Fantasia 3389 FOOTED FRUIT.

I love Fantasia 3389 in the beautiful matt mauve ground and when chris2456chris listed a twin handled single footed comport in the pattern I sat bolt upright and spilled my red wine on the floor (it was annoyingly quite dusty tasting after that). Sadly, the (broken and repaired?) handles had been re-gilded in a rather dull finish and the bowl part had perhaps been affected by fruit or something, being mottled pink in places in the bowl. You will no doubt be unsurprised to hear readers that I prefer my fruit well fermented. Anyway, it still attracted 3 bidders and reached £112.00.

Carlton Ware Awakening 3450 bowl.

Awakening 3450 bowl.


Soon after this I near lost the contents of my whisky glass (yes, you guessed it, I do prefer my grain well distilled) as a superb 10” bowl in Awakening 3450 rose majestically into sight. Several bidders flew close to the sun, but one by one they did an Icarus until the price reached £542.00. For such a large piece in such a top end pattern this was still a pretty good price for the buyer I reckon.


Carlton Ware Vicar Bell.

Vicar Bell.



Straight from Eddie to Sid now, as zoshan of Salisbury auctioned a Vicar Bell which rose to £57.50. These little bells are such fun, but need the clapper and perfect paintwork to make much more than this.




Carlton Ware PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 posy bowl with frog.

PERSIAN GARDEN 3893 posy bowl with frog.


Anybody who reads my blog knows how much I love the wonderful PERSIAN GARDEN 3893. So you won’t be surprised to see me include the 9” posy bowl complete with frog which was eBayed by alistair1967music and sold for £260.00.

Carlton Ware Stellata 3326 vase S406.
Stellata 3326 HANDCRAFT vase S406.



Another masterspy quest is to convert all you CW HANDCRAFT heathens into believers in the mysteries and rites of Stellata 3326. I am ably assisted this month by High Priestess sharon3927_69 from Winchelsea who offered up a 6” 406er to the eBay gods. In keeping with your heretical view of this much neglected pattern though, it sold for only £30.99…… shakes head angrily….. I am gonna set the Spanish inquisition on you lot (pass the thumb screws Sharon).


Carlton Ware Tyrolean Bands 4076 MODERN WARE bowl S1572.
Tyrolean Bands 4076 MODERN WARE bowl S1572.

Keeping up with the new style religious fervour of my blog, seller devinechoice auctioned a truly divine item. This was an oval bowl 10½” x 8½” in Tyrolean Bands 4076 with the Modern Ware style vestigial handles. It made £92.00 for the vicar’s coffee mornings and the church roof restoration fund (not to mention the sadly much-depleted masterspy drinking fund – a worthy cause indeed readers). Here endeth the last lesson for today.

Carlton Ware Floribunda 3236 vase S218.
Floribunda 3236 HANDCRAFT vase S218.



If you like a tall vase perhaps you will enjoy looking at this stonking great 14” vase in HANDCRAFT Floribunda 3236 listed as a BIN/ONO at £120.00 by ben_greenwood.1677. This pattern is not one of my own favourites. To me it seems a mishmash of lines, panels and flowers.  However, to each their own…..



Carlton Ware Grebe & Water Lily 3530 vase.

Grebe & Water Lily 3530 vase.



On the other hand (back to Little and Large again) some folks like their CW in pretty little packages. A 6”er in the same shape was put on eBay by fordy1947 in Grebe & Waterlily 3530. Unfortunately, the only large thing about this vase was the rim chip and this depressed the price to only £24.99. Such a pity.




Tachette 3916 tray & Tachette 3912 vase.

Tachette 3916 tray & Tachette 3912 vase.

If you want a nice piece of CW and have temporarily shallow pockets, you could do worse than buying a piece in Tachette , which has an usual decoration using coloured glazes, and in fact copping for 2 pieces from the same seller april_antiques for less than £20.00 plus (presumably combined) postage is very clever buying. Did you find a nice “spot” for them, buyer? lol.

Carlton Ware NEW CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3322 vase S406.

NEW CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3322 vase S406 back.


Aussie seller sharon8999 might well have felt like trying to call the emergency services when listing a 6” 406 vase in NEW CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3322 and getting only one bid. It sold for a birdsong for £154.98 cheep cheep one might even hazard. Just for  change and to avoid using an out of focus photo of the normal display front side of the vase (you got the shakes Sharon???) I love the back too, so here it is. At least it only had a short flight to its new aviary!!!



Carlton Ware Floral Comet 3387 ginger jar.

Floral Comet 3387 ginger jar.


Naturally blog space has been reserved for this 5½” ginger jar in Floral Comet 3387. Right out of the top drawer in Violet Elmer’s purple patch of creativity is this pattern. Luckily masterspy has 2 pieces in this pattern/colour combo and exceedingly happy I am to report it. This ginger jar has a couple of fine hairlines in the lid, but still zoomed up to £288.00. Whoooosh.




Carlton Ware Rainbow Portal 2500 octagonal vase.

Rainbow Portal 2500 octagonal vase.

I suppose Rainbow Portal 2500 is something of a crossover pattern between the early 1920’s styles and the Art Deco revolution of 1925. The shape of this vase (which is the same as others I have seen in the pattern) is one used extensively in CW Chinoiserie patterns, but which died out shortly after the Deco patterns were introduced. Rainbow Portal has a number of Deco elements though. Perhaps it was marketed a little too soon for this design. Certainly its rarity suggests it was unsuccessful. It is possibly a marmite pattern. Mrs Masterspy forbade me to bid on it anyway (and as she knows where my Katana is…….) so I kept my powder dry. Perhaps one in the yellow colourway will turn up and…. Pardon dear? Oh, not in any colour? Blood and guts everywhere? What did you say? Banzai?…. Oh well.


Carlton Ware Hedgerow 3872 footed bowl S1034.

Hedgerow 3872 footed bowl S1034.


This lovely 10” bowl in Hedgerow 3872 turned up in the USA and made £249.42 after the seller samjoelin finally reduced the reserve price to a level sufficient to conclude the auction successfully, after previous unsuccessful listings.



Carlton Ware Prickly Pansy 3455 vase S406.

Prickly Pansy 3455 vase S406.

Finally, the happiest seller of the month is probably superuberbear who listed a ruby ground 6” 406 shape vase in Prickly Pansy 3455. It had a sky high starting price, of £400.00, but did get a bid. Are you happy with it buyer? Let us know.

I will be back next month with another mouth-watering selection of CW joy, assuming my innards are not spread all over my house of course.

Happy eBaying and don’t forget you can make any comment you wish on the form provided.
eBay masterspy

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6 Responses to August 2014

  1. Graham Eastwood says:

    Hello masterspy, having been converted to a Handcraft believer, I am very happy to have purchased the 6” 406 Stellata vase for a hell of a good price. It is now on permanent holiday at sunny Noosa Heads, Aust. if you want to see it and the light. Best regards Graham.

  2. Toni says:

    Hello ebay Masterspy,
    I like Mrs Masterspy very much for ambushing your attempt to bid on the Rainbow portal vase…….. thank her very much for me : )
    I am not traditionally a pink girl but this vase really caught my attention and looks mighty fine in the display cupboard.
    I really appreciate your comments on the pattern, very interesting observations.
    I totally agree that the pattern feels like a cross over pattern between two styles.
    It is certainly unique!
    Take Care, especially of the glass of red wine……….

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hello Toni,
      I do (occasionally) have trouble with Mrs Masterspy on some of the “stronger” patterns, but I am glad you benefitted. Luckily, I still have both my innards and my glass of red wine……… so far.

  3. Linda Conti says:

    Dear Masterspy,
    I have been enjoying your posts for several weeks now as I recently started purchasing pottery again after a hiatus. (I had moved on to color woodcuts, art nouveau posters and children’s illustration art to satisfy my passion for collecting). I have wanted that Awakening pattern for years and was thrilled to find such an impressive piece. I also purchased the Grebe vase-not my favorite pattern but I loved the shape and I hope a restorer can make it presentable. Thank you for your wonderfully entertaining and informative posts!
    Linda in California

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hello Linda,
      Welcome to the mad mad mad mad world of the masterspy.
      Glad to have you along.
      One thing is for sure…. you came back to pottery collecting with a bang, buying 2 lovely pieces. If you are on Facebook, don’t forget the 2 pages devoted to Carlton Ware….. Our own Carlton Ware World page and the Art Deco Carlton Ware page. Both are a good source of information or help and have regular additions of pictures by devotees.
      Best wishes,

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