Journey from Hell Day One – Did I listen to the Met Office Shipping Forecast? No, I did not, so I drove to St Malo and upon my arrival at the ferry terminal I was told my ferry home was cancelled and that there was no alternative sailing for 36 hours. I ask you readers….. Did Sir Francis Drake follow his game of bowls with a night on the lash because it was errrrr lashing down? Did James Cook stick his head out of the door and say “Nah, think I will go back to bed, it’s a bit breezy?” Did Lord Nelson say “Whoa boys, that looks a nasty bit of cloud over there on the horizon, let’s have another few tots of rum?” No, they certainly didn’t, but Brittany Ferries cancels their sailings for a bit of a blow and some rain. Sacre bleu, mes amis! Britannia Rules the Waves? I should coco. The only watery thing the French would rule would be a Mill Pond.
Journey for Hell Day Three – Good job I hadn’t spent up all my funny money Euros either, or I would have been begging for a crust and a cuppa on the mean streets of St Malo and bunking down in the terminal overnight. Then, when I finally landed, naturally I was almost the last car off the boat and last in the queue at passport control, where our heroic security guardians were looking “desperately hard” into every single car boot. Patience Masterspy, patience I hear you say, but this delay went on to have significant effects on the rest of my journey home. On the A34 near Oxford I got caught up in a 45 minute delay due to a 3 car pileup. I would have missed it without the security delay. On to the M40 and got stuck for 3 hours behind a 3 wagon pileup in the perfect chaos inducing spot, right at the point where the M42 junction peels off. Superb…. and entirely because of this I met the standard Friday afternoon rush hour blockages on the M6 at Stoke (where else, English readers?) and then where the lane for the M60 peels off from the M56. In fact it was nose to tail from there almost to my front door. The AA Route Planner says 4 hours 24 minutes. Nope, it was 10 hours 5 minutes. Damn near 3 days to travel about 350 miles as the crow flies. Bahhhhh. France? Is it worth it???? Decide for yourselves, readers.
Mad Item of the Month
On January 8th 2006 Conference League side Burton Albion played against Premier League side Manchester United (in most sane people’s opinion the greatest football club in the world) in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Against all the odds the minnows achieved a remarkable 0 – 0 draw. 10 days later they travelled to Manchester for the replay, but couldn’t repeat their previous result, losing 5 – 0. The result may have been disappointing to the Brewers’ fans, but the huge financial windfall from the 2 games was instrumental in the club’s promotion to Football League 2 (the bottom tier of full time professional football in England). With a nickname like the Brewers (Burton on Trent is the largest beer brewing centre in the UK) one would be forgiven for thinking that a commemorative beer might have been produced locally. Not at all. Those sober (hic shurely shome mishtake = Ed) brewing folk produced instead a commemorative jar of the famous beefy drink Bovril. I bet those fans queued twice round the block to buy them, eh readers. Now, 10 years later, appropriately named seller colemanz has listed one such jar of the no doubt mouldering beverage for £10.00. Can’t see there being too many takers, but you never know, do you.
Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month
Scouse seller vinsplace listed a Dunhill advertising cigarette lighter for a mere £1750.00.
At least it gave me 2 laughs, once when I did the double take and once when it was withdrawn from sale due to “an error in the listing”. Nice lighter though.
Bargain of the Month
Zig-Zag 3356 lidded preserves complete with saucers are thin on the ground, so grabbing one for only £72.05 surely comes under the heading of theft. Luckily for me I will get to see this little lovely soon.
A pattern I rarely mention is Bird on Branch 2031, part of the KIEN LUNG range of patterns by Horace Wain. Dunno why not. It is certainly a pretty design on a sweet pink ground. I quite like cartouche designs as well. Anyway, seller gazakofstan1966 of the land of the living dead (Lytham St Annes, Lancashire), listed a lovely 11” covered vase which made £99.01. A good buy.
A pattern making its maiden appearance on this blog is ORCHARD 3064. I am not 100% convinced by the design. It looks a little bit naïve to me. However, I am sure many of you like it, not a lot, but like it (topical if nothing else). Anyway, the fruit dropped to the ground at a price of £65.00. Not bad for a 6” 326er.
One 217 shape vase 8” tall auctioned by hester.2010 certainly underperformed the general market. It was in what I reckon is the best version of Moonlight Cameo 2946, the orange mottled gloss ground with the blue cartouche. True, there is some gilding wear to both top and bottom rims, but this should surely not have impacted so much on the price. I can only assume that it may be due to secret auction bidder aversion.
AUTUMN TREES & FERNS 3517 is a pattern I would love to add to my collection, but sadly not yet. Salopian seller benjaminjacqui listed a 6” 406er which had slight wear but still rose to £157.15. Certainly a good price for the seller.
Seller mogg0007 normally lists his pieces in secret auction format, but when listing 3 Mirage 3915 cups and saucers in February one was listed as an open auction (accidentally?) while the other two were secret. The secret auction ones went for £63.00 and a miserable £37.66. The open auction one fetched £165.00. Say no more.
Scotland is the place to go for CW at the moment. Lots of Scottish sellers seem to be unloading. For example, makada56 of Dundee auctioned a gondola in CHINESE BIRD 3197. It was snapped up as a BIN for £249.00.
Crested Bird & Water Lily 3530 in ruby is another pattern/colour combo which still eludes me, but hey ho. Maybe soon. Who knows? Bolton seller road-to-victory listed a single bookend – just the thing if your bookshelf only has one end! Sadly, the shape only allows room for what is normally the back of the pattern on a vase, which means the bird has no crest and is more simply depicted. Mind you, not having all that plumage probably aided its flight to Oz! A good price for the buyer at £33.50.
Without doubt my favourite colourway for Devil’s Copse is 3817 the matt mottled turquoise. A tall thin candle stick is obviously not the best shape to display any pattern, which is undoubtedly why this piece only reached £52.11. All the pictures in the listing were also sideway – new seller coliholdawa-0 must have been struggling uploading his pix. Pieces in this combo are usually several times that price, but if you haven’t got it and you really really want it….
This lidded vase in FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3948 is another piece in mottled matt turquoise. Sadly this piece has had a traumatic past and has been badly treated at pottery A & E. Poor soldier. Lovely pattern though. Up there with the best in my humble.
If only this ruby ground FAN 3558 VELOX shape bowl had come complete with a flower frog seller glums would have been laughing all the way to the bank. Sadly, it did not, though it would have hidden the fabulous raised enamelling in the centre of the bowl. However, it still cooled the seller with £277.00.
Now, this is a right spanker of a piece. An 8” tall ginger jar in the mottled matt ochre ground in CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275 in excellent condition. Well, this one fetched £318.90. A study of posts dated 26th February, 27th March and 4th April on Art Deco Carlton Ware’s Facebook page might prove instructive however.
Some marriages work, but, sadly, some do not. In this latter category comes a coffee pot in Fantasia 3389 in the matt mauve colourway with a purple gloss undecorated lid sold for £173.15 by Aussie wombats01. The matt mauve is pretty rare and when a piece comes up, even with heavy gilding loss on the handle as this one has it always attracts a large price, so not too far short of £200 is only to be expected.
A close runner up for bargain of the month was this little 3½” 467 shape vase in Rosetta 3645. I know this is a small vase, but at £78.58 I think that is a really good buy. Perhaps it was the lead picture depicting the side of the pattern which shows the “magical tree” only at an oblique angle which held the final value down. I am sure the buyer cares not a jot!
Chaaaaarrrrrge! Time for a charge(r) or two methinks. Firstly this lovely 12½” example from poppyplaques in the dark blue version of DAISY 3693.
I like chargers because they provide the perfect shape to show the whole of a pattern. Pity that everybody else thinks along the same lines and I own so few of them. Anyway, after a 5 way battle this one made £225.00.
Chaaaaarrrrrge! Second one from the same seller. This time the superb APPLE BLOSSOM 3522 – and 15 inches for good measure!
Well, you lot loved it and it fought valiantly to £300.00. Wow, what a cracker.
Chaaaaarrrrrge! No, hang on a minute! Retreeeeaaaat! This cracked piece in Daydream 4246 only made £38.51 for spy1066.
I suppose it just goes to show the cavalry can’t charge into battle if the knights are riding knackered old chargers!
Mind you, there are knackered old chargers and there are cracked pieces of JAZZ 3361, which are a whole different kettle of fish. Malvern seller sportstar73 divested himself of an 8” bowl in the blue colourway.
It finished up at £299.00 after several big hitters had slugged it out. Fortunately I will be seeing it soon in the flesh.
Another superb piece which was unable to defy gravity was a covered vase in the magnificent Scimitar 3651. A couple of chips both to the body and finial and some long cracks didn’t stop this one making £322.11. When something is this good though, does it matter if it has a bit of damage? Wowee.
TREE & COTTAGE 3563 is rare, very rare. I don’t know why (rarity probably means that the pattern was not popular at the time it was produced).
It is such a nice relaxing pattern though, so when spy1066 listed a 10” REVO shape tray, albeit with 3 hairlines, there were bound to be fireworks and so there were. It reached £239.50. Again, a lot of money for a damaged piece.
But if it is fireworks you are after, readers what about the 6” globular vase in Egyptian Fan 3698!
This one brought out half of Oz. It had reached £900 well before the end of the auction, then in at the death came what the late bidder hoped no doubt was the coup de grace, a bid of an astonishing £1550.00, only to find that the previous leading bidder still had the lead by a few quid. I am not sure who would be more relieved, the winner or the underbidder. One thing is for sure, when going “all in” like that one of them would surely have emitted an anguished howl. Not something I would worry about though, my “all in” does not contain 4 figures. One other thing is for sure, seller Scottish Highlander highlandbilly has probably not stopped doing the Highland Fling ever since.
This nice cruet nearly went to Oz, but ended up only a few miles away from the seller. Could be looked on as a bit marmite, but it is certainly striking in Farrago 3297.
Strangely, there was nothing by way of condition information except “good” which can’t have helped, but it still sold for £64.15.
There is an old saying, “The bigger they come, the harder they fall”. True in the case of this magnificent 15” temple jar in Fantasia 3421. What a tragedy. Lumps had been knocked out of it and just glued back in. It finished up at £251.33, but what would it have made if perfect?
I like the rare HAREBELLS 4016 on its pretty pale pink gloss ground. Unfortunately this colour palette does predispose pieces to crazing and this 456 shape 8” vase is no exception. It may have affected the outcome price slightly as it finished up at £132.00, not bad, but not exceptional for its rarity.
And now for the equally rare but also spooky Forest Night 3997. Has it got enough going on in the pattern? Queenslander ifoundthisoldthing listed a little 3¼” vase in shape 467 which made £85.07 after 15 bids, so some folk obviously thought so. Whooooo-whooooo-whoooo.
What a stunning piece is this ruby ground CHINALAND 3015 8” tall and in shape 217, even with some cracks. Nine bidders went after this one and it made £115.00.
Now for a secretly auctioned 8” 406 vase in CHINESE BIRD 3197 which attracted 40 bids and finished at £335.99, listed by cosmic*space*angel, although I am not sure about the angel part. Again a study of posts dated 26th February, 27th March and 4th April on Art Deco Carlton Ware’s Facebook page might prove instructive however.
Well, London seller/collector chris2465chris listed an 8½” cylindrical vase in TUT 2711 and it caught light finishing at £310.00. A little above par perhaps for this size and shape, so the seller should be happy.
Finally, I love baluster vases, they are so good in respect of displaying the pattern on the fat part. Aussie seller constellation1930 BINned a superb near mint example of HOLLYHOCKS 3820 for £141.34. Magnificent. A magical note on which to conclude.