April 2016

What can one say? No screamingly annoying journeys, no grandchildren related panics, not even in any (well, much) trouble with Mrs Masterspy. If I had got my puter back I would almost be happy…(Oh, hang on right there a minute……. Who are you and what have you done with “our” normal grumpy old miserable Masterspy? – Ed…. No, it really is me, ed… It must be the time of year… Lambs jumping around happily without entertaining even a hint of a future containing only a roasting dish and mint sauce, new leaves on the trees, tulips out in the garden, lack of howling sub-zero gale, lawnmower merrily cutting through the cat poo on the lawn, you know, all that sorta stuff).

Mad Item of the Month

I quite like purple, but not rain, so when I saw this item I suspected it was gonna be on a hiding to nothing masterspy-wise. For those of you who do not know, Purple Rain was probably the most famous song written and performed by the recently deceased US rock star Prince. Poor guy died at home in Paisley Park, Minnesota on 24th April. Coincidentally, it rained on the day and an (in my mind) unscrupulous seller dancingdave04 listed what he claimed to be half a jam jar full of “rain” water which he claimed fell “outside” the singer’s estate that day.


How one could verify the authenticity of the water is unimaginable, no doubt his friends would be prepared to “vouch” for it, but do you fancy bidding the opening price of $100??? No??? Neither would I. The item was removed before any bids could be made; presumably eBay had complaints and took it down. It often amazes me what depths the human mind will stoop to in order to make a few bob!!!

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3652 biscuit barrel

Scimitar 3652 biscuit barrel


Over Optimistic eBayer of the Month

I offer this big ticket beast with some trepidation readers. After all, large pieces of Scimitar 3652 don’t come three for a tenner, do they? Some may feel that 55stoneman55’s price of A$4900 (at time of writing £2550 approx) is not ridiculously far north of the right area. Personally, I do. I think around £1600 to £1800 might be about right in the current market. Feel free to disagree with me of course.


Carlton Ware TUBELINED MARIGOLD 4012 MODERN WARE preserve & stand



Bargain of the Month

I am not sure this lidded preserve pot with saucer in TUBELINED MARIGOLD 4012 has the correct parts. The lid and saucer look ok to me, but do not match the body in respect of having any marigolds on them. Still, whoever bought it from colihilidawa-0 for £33.01 certainly got a good deal for this fairly rare tubelined pattern.



Carlton Ware TUBELINED FLOWER 3945 vase S226



April eBay

Where to start this month? Well, why not with a 10” 226er in TUBELINED FLOWER 3945? Yup, I agree, a very good place to start. This pattern really comes into its own on a large canvas like this. Really pretty. Lovely blend of pastel colours. Seller jdecdec attracted only one bid of £75.00 which is, I suppose par for this pattern, but I really have to ask if you lot are mental. This pattern deserves more money in my book.



Carlton Ware Lacecap Hydrangea 3969 vase S206

Lacecap Hydrangea 3969 vase S406




At least you all agree with me that the pink shading to blue colourway when decorated with Lace Cap Hydrangea 3969 pattern is worth loadsa moulah. This 8” 406 vase was always going to make good money and so it proved with the auction ending at £322.02.





Carlton China Thundercloud 5024 trio

Carlton China Thundercloud 5020 trio

I haven’t seen a blue, grey and black on white Carlton China pattern similar to Chevrons 3657, but one surfaced in Bendigo last month in the form of a lovely trio. Interestingly, it is clearly numbered 5020 on the back of the saucer, but is listed on the useful website www.carltonchina.info as Thundercloud 9024. Ahhhh, the mysteries buried in the history of Carlton Ware. Anyway, collector/seller anp2004 only obtained 12 diddy bids and it flashed no lightning whatsoever, crashing to earth for only £15.79. Gotta be a severe disappointment to the seller. I know it had some of the usual wear to the silvering in places, most silvered pieces suffer from that, but it is so rare I bet the buyer is delight(ning)ed. Ok. Ok. Pushed that one a little hard.


Carlton Ware Wisteria 3866 vase S1234

Wisteria 3866 vase S1234



What could be prettier than a nice little 3”er in Wisteria 3866 even in the futuristic Art Deco shape 1234 with its machine-age fins. Not much as far as the bidders were concerned and amusingly named seller loadsofcuddles fondled £24.00.




Here’s one which did well. Mind you, it was a nice 4 person coffee set in Moonlight Cameo 2944.

Carlton Ware Moonlight Cameo 2944 AMORY shape part coffee set

Moonlight Cameo 2944 AMORY shape part coffee set

Seller richard1230141 trousered £225.00, rather happily, no doubt. Not my favourite colour is the dramatic matt black, but a nice set.

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651 vase S456

Scimitar 3651 vase S456

Thankfully, I already have a piece of Scimitar 3651, or I would have had to pay more than the £857 that this 6” vase fetched. Phew. Mind you, I am not saying how much I paid for mine, or you will all be posting that I am a thief…. (sneaky smiles). What can be said about this pattern which hasn’t been said a hundred times or more. It is simply magnificent. It is in my top 5 patterns. Feel free to let me know your fave patterns readers. In my mind, once a price goes beyond £500 we are talking about the sort of money which most people would perhaps think carefully about spending, but in the case of any undamaged piece of Scimitar, it is hardly a decision to take if you can afford it.  Bet the buyer is well pleased with his or her swashbuckling bidding and success.

Carlton Ware MIKADO 2910 vase S167

MIKADO 2910 vase S167



This MIKADO 2910 10” vase is both a nice shape and a good blend of colours. I do like the ground colour of the border to the foot. I know I am not using the official name for it, but I call it teal green. A nice big piece of MIKADO (in any colour) gives you plenty of decoration for your cash and this vase is no exception. Some slight wear, which was fairly described by steveland7 of Dundee obviously held it back a little, but these days, £59.00 for a piece of chinoiserie in this condition is probably about right.



Carlton Ware Fantasia 3421 vase S217

Fantasia 3421 vase S217




Good old Fantasia 3421 never disappoints. A nice 217 shape 6” example was put on eBay by holdensantiques as a BIN/ONO and agreement was reached at a price of £200.00. A nice collection piece.






“Lucky” strikes again, this time as a seller! Is there no end to his infernal jammyness? Grrrrrrrr! In fact as the Red Injuns allegedly used to say…. “How”, masterspy? This time he trousered £280.00 for an 8” bowl in Hiawatha 3590, a HANDCRAFT pattern.

Carlton Ware Hiawatha 3590 bowl

HANDCRAFT pattern Hiawatha 3590 bowl

I bet he is still cackling, rubbing his hands and hanging a scalp on his belt, readers.

Carlton Ware CHINESE FIGURES 3199 vase S406

CHINESE FIGURES 3199 vase S406




What a great shape 406 is. Stockton Smoggy markyeva1968 listed a beauty in CHINESE FIGURES 3199 6” tall. Seven bidders made a play for it and the only one to bid twice won it…. Persistence pays as they say. It made only £56.50 so the buyer will be pretty happy I would say.




Carlton Ware BELL 3788 ginger jar

BELL 3788 ginger jar with damaged cover



Ruby ground BELL 3788 oooooh yummy. 8” ginger jar ooooh yummy. Broken and glued lid oh, waaaaah. Tragedy. What a tour-de-force BELL is. What a gorgeous colour the ruby is. Sooooo rich. Love it, glued lid or not. 8 bidders made 21 bids so I reckon I am not alone in my view. It sold for £235.00 which is good money for a damaged piece so seller subsubsub0 was probably happy too.




Carlton Ware Jug from the TULIP floral embossed range S1420

Jug from the TULIP floral embossed range S1420


Despite being fairly uncommon embossed TULIP doesn’t make big money, but I like the way it is drawn and the subtle colours. What do you think, readers? Northampton collector/seller flora-aurora-may is downsizing her collection and made £36.33 to invest elsewhere from this 8” jug.



Carlton Ware Devils Copse 3767A vase

Devils Copse 3767A vase – image suggests repair though denied by seller

INCOMING!!!!! BOOOOOOOM!!!!! “Bomb” shape vases are expensive, especially in a very rare pale blue ground Devil’s Copse. So few survive. Hardly surprising when you look at the sticky out handles and legs. For some reason sellers don’t seem to want to clearly admit that bomb vases have been restored. The original listing description read “I am happy to report that the Vase is in GREAT CONDITION with no damage to report. The Vase measures 9.5 inches in height by 6 inches in diameter. The vase is a 1st QUALITY item and not 2nds quality.” When asked directly whether the vase had been restored, this was offered “I had an EBayer ask me wether there was any restoration to the item . To my knowledge I know of none, however when looking closely at one of the handles the gold finish does look slightly different, which could indicate that it may have had restoration to it, but I am not 100% sure.” Well, I will stick my neck out and say “I am. It has obviously been restored.” Sighhhhh. Say no more. Sellers eh? Still crammed £388.09 into the back bin though cos it is rare. See my September 2013 blog. Was that bomb vase the same one as this? Very possibly. Judge for yourselves.

Carlton Ware Floribunda 3236 vase

Floribunda 3236 vase


Just for a change I am not going to call him “Lucky”, cos I did that above. This 9” tall heavy shouldered vase is in an early HANDCRAFT pattern, Floribunda 3236. Parts of the decoration do look different from many examples of this pattern, but since HANDCRAFT patterns are usually freehand painted, the paintress has used artistic licence and added her own interpretations, probably because the vase is large.  A price of £311.07 is therefore surely justified, so “you know who” will be happy again. Grrrrrr again. LOL.


Another pattern which looks superb on the ruby ground is FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949. This large 9½” bowl has failed to avoid the inevitable effects of the force of gravity at some stage in its long life and had a substantial chunk knocked out.

Carlton Ware FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949 bowl

FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949 bowl – damaged

A straightforward glue job was carried out with some disfigurement to the piece, so a finishing price of £192.09 must have delighted seller gemsantiques.

Carlton Ware Sunflower Geometric 3334 screw-top tobacco jar

Sunflower Geometric 3334 screw-top tobacco jar – repair to thread


The factory produced tobacco jars which had a ceramic thread to secure the lid. This was handy for keeping the contents fresh, but if the lid wasn’t screwed back on carefully it could result in damaged threads. One such jar in Sunflower Geometric 3334 was sold by the glums, post restoration of the threads for the not inconsiderable sum of £185.00 after a bit of oddness.


You don’t see very many Starflower 4216 pieces on eBay, or anywhere else for that matter. I assume that this is because this 1938 design had only been in the shops for a short period when World War II started and potters were forced to comply with ultra-utilitarian rules on the use of decorative colours. Sad really.

Carlton Ware Starflower 4216 jug S1676

Starflower 4216 jug S1676

This is a lovely pattern with super colours and as strong design and fully deserves a wider ownership. So when april-antiques of Glasgow listed a 6” jug in the pointy handled shape 1676 it was going to do well, despite imperfect, possibly restored, gilding it was going to the moon, if not the stars. So it proved when it flew to Oz for £211.00.

Of course “Lucky” is not out there on his own. An eBayer I have previously referred to as the “old thief” (only kidding, he is a very nice gentleman really) spotted this misnamed BIN and scooped it up pronto… as you would if you had 2 brain cells to rub together. It was listed as “RARE CARLTON WARE HOLLY HOCKS DESIGN YELLOW 3774 JUG / PITCHER”, but those in the know will immediately say, hang on a minute, 3774 is the number of mega-desirable BELL on pale yellow ground.

Carlton Ware BELL 3774 jug S493

BELL 3774 jug S493

I have personally seen a 6” piece of yellow BELL go to £1800 at auction. The old thief nipped in and stole it for £255.00. If only I wasn’t so angry with myself for not seeing it in time I would congratulate the old thief warmly on a cracking buy. Mumble, grumble, grrrr, mumble etc.

Carlton Ware HANDCRAFT pattern Seagulls 3502 vase S464

HANDCRAFT pattern Seagulls 3502 vase S464


And last but not least is this mega rare HANDCRAFT pattern Seagulls 3502 vase. Some may think it too simplistic, almost childlike in design, but that makes it so different from many highly decorated Carlton Ware patters and all the more attractive for it. A change is as good as a rest as the old saying goes. Seven bidders certainly thought so and when the top bidder did what seagulls do on the heads of the under-bidders it was from a lofty height of £596.00.



Finally, I have had a jug vase in Metropolis 3420 for a few years. Chortle. Apparently worth £600. Triffic, if I can suspend my sense of disbelief. Have a good month and feel free to respond to anything you want to on the form provided.

eBay Masterspy

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9 Responses to April 2016

  1. Jack Segal says:

    Hello Masterspy, its your old mate the thief !!!!! thank you for choosing to show the Bell Jug on yellow in your blog, its in fantastic condition and one of the best bargains in my 25 years of collecting Carlton Ware, your mate JS

  2. Toni N-P says:

    Hi Masterspy, I didn’t even see the Bell Jug in yellow or else ” The thief ” would have been nabbed and the goods confiscated…lol. ( Hi Jack : )
    Scimitar is my very favourite pattern. My father in law named his boat Scimitar so it has a nostalgic value as well. I do have a piece which I cherish .
    Glad to hear that there have been no major dramas in The Masterspy household of late and that the sun is shining. Take Care

  3. Jack Segal says:

    Hello Masterspy and Toni, its the old thief again!!!!!!!! just to rubbed in the jug is looking better every day displayed in my showcase.
    I knew I had to be quick to bid Toni otherwise the jug would end up in your hands…lol

    Hope you are all well and hope to see you one day soon Toni

  4. chris says:

    Warning, just noticed some Irish ebay trader listing the SAME Seagull Handcraft Vase recently sold and identified in your last post Masterspy. Obvious fraud attempt!!

  5. Sharon says:

    .Just to let you know that the Starflower jug remains in Blighty. (Different Sharon) It is keeping the Sunflower Geometric tobacco jar and your ‘bargain of the month’ Tubelined Marigold preserve pot company in Loughton, Essex.
    Was very sorry to have missed out on the Handcraft and Devil’s Copse vases, and failed to see the beautiful pale yellow Bell. Well done to the successful bidders

  6. masterspy says:

    At last I have got round to answering the readers posts and you have the honour of being first Sharon! Well done. As for missing the yellow Bell jug the mysteries of what appears in a Carlton Ware search are legendary. My search sometimes returns parts for Vauxhall Carlton cars, and ceiling lights etc

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