May 2011

Hello all,
Every now and again an eBay seller gets a really unexpected result. I spoke to seller Patsy of patalan during the auction for her Rainbow Fan 3700 trinket box. She said she was surprised by how much interest there had been in the box (especially as it had a very small chip under the lid which was fully and clearly shown and described in the listing). As I have often said in these articles I am only a poor boy and my interest in such an item was mainly academic (imagine me readers with my rosy cheeks and runny nose pressed tightly against the Carlton Ware sweet shop window). I thought it might go to £600 – £650. Not a bit of it. 2 people wanted it a lot more than that. It finally went for £983.00; a fine result indeed. I suggested to Patsy later that champagne might be in order. She might well have taken my advice!

Rainbow Fan 3700 cigarette box

In general April was a really good month for big ticket CW items on eBay. Amongst the pieces I had on watch there were 36 which finished above £200 – tribute to the superb quality of work CW achieved over its long operating life. What was my favourite piece this month I hear you say? Well, I loved the 8″ Rosetta 3505 jug sold by oscarpops. This jug was not quite perfect, having had a small restoration to the rim, but what a dramatic display item. Are there any jug collectors out there who would like to send a photo of CW jugs to us (anonymity will be respected of course by our webmaster if desired)?

Rosetta 3505 jug shape 789

Naturally, I would also give a mention to the magnificent Mandarins Chatting 3654 12″ lidded temple jar and the 10½” ginger jar both sold by an American seller called summkit for £734.46 and £974.87 respectively. OK summkit, spill the beans or I will get the thumbscrews out, whose collection have you raided for the huge number of top quality CW you have auctioned recently (and is there any more to come)?

Madarins Chatting 3654 temple jar


Mandarins Chatting ginger jar shape 125

Also sold during April by the prolific summkit was a 12½” lamp base in CHINALAND 2948. This piece was fought over by 11 different bidders and went for £323.76. Any chinoiserie lover would have been thrilled with this one.

CHINALAND 2948 table lamp

Summkit’s biggest lump of the month was a 16″ lidded temple jar in Mallards 4499. Another 11 bidders wanted this chunk of CW all the way up to £493.49. Another dramatic one; I hope the winner has a house with high ceilings!

Mallards 4503 temple jar

Just beating the £200 by 25p, celticartlover sold a lovely 9″ tri-footed conical bowl in the mottled ruby Hedgerow 3862. There were only 4 bids for this. I would have thought it might have gone a little higher. If you read this article celticartlover, did you hope or perhaps expect a little more?

Hedgerow 4119 CONE bowl

Another piece in a very similar shape (this time with the round foot) but smaller in size, being 7″ in diameter, was sold in Lacecap Hydrangea 3969 by A1robox123. I like the delicacy of this and the skill with which it was produced. It sold for less than any of the above (£164.99), but demands much admiration nevertheless.

Lacecap Hydrangea 3966 conical bowl.

As you might surmise from the above items I like flowers (my father was a lifelong gardener and imparted this to me, along with a love of raspberries right off the cane). Another flower bearing item was the Summer Flowers 3926 10½” vase sold by jayne1512buyingfor £205.00. There is a little wear to the gilding on the top rim, but none of the usual crazing seen on this pattern (as far as I could see), so the price must have delighted the buyer.

Summer Flowers 3926 vase shape 443

Babylon is a favourite of mine, albeit in the yellow and green colourway 4125, it is usually crazed (see above). A lovely triangular tray shape 1601 came up for auction this month from seller balmoral1957 and attracted 23 bids, ending at £332.60 when time ran out.

Babylon 4125 tray shape 1601.

This month’s rarity was a 5″ vase shape 464 in STAG 3359 sold by I am informed that there are few of these known worldwide, unsurprisingly therefore despite a rim full of small chips and scrapes it sold for £176.71. Or do you know better, have you got one on the top shelf at home readers?

STAG 3359 vase shape 464.

Blush fans will no doubt be envious of the buyer of the PEONY 1091 10″ handled pedestal vase sold by UK seller carltonwarecollectionfor a very reasonable £45.00. Considering this vase was made in 1900 it has remained in remarkable condition. Perhaps it had “an easy paper round” as they say in the North of England.

PEONY 1091 blushware baluster vase with gilt handles.

The last ”biggie” in April was a 9″ x 6″ rectangular fin handled plate on pale green ground in Rabbits at Dusk 4257 sold by US seller samjoelin for a mere £506.63, despite having wear to the gilding on the rim and crazing.

Rabbits at Dusk 4257 tray shape 1341.

This month I can’t end my article without mentioning (yet another) of my pet hates, the practice of ending an auction early. I was very interested in the green ground Iceland Poppy 3507 footed trinket box and wanted to make a bid, but the item was withdrawn without explanation. Surely I can’t be the only one this annoys.

Iceland Poppy 3507 footed cigarette box.

I hope you have had a successful month on eBay this month readers and wish you all the best of luck (unless I am bidding on the same item of course) in May. Don’t forget, I welcome your comments whether on any of the items I have mentioned or on matters which have aroused your interest.
Best wishes,
Ebay Masterspy

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8 Responses to May 2011

  1. Charlie in California says:

    Hello ebay masterspy…in regards to summkit, you mentioned some of the higher ending pieces he listed. But before he “wised up”, he was listing the carlton ware with a “buy it now” at amazingly low prices. A 10.5″ Heron and Magical Tree with the very desirable green ground. With a “BIN” and sold for 225USD. (i sold the same vase but 6″ about a year ago for over $500USD)

    or a 6″ Chinaland vase for a “BIN” and sold for $110USD. (as mentioned in your last blog, similar 10-11″ vase went for 1100GBP/1800USD)

    …to mention but a few great bargins. If you care to see more, here are some of the ebay auction numbers-
    160565893657 Fan Lidded Vase
    160565827738 Sketching Bird Vase
    160565646323 Nightingale Vase
    160565126874 Paradise Bird & Tree Bowl
    160561870722 Mandarins Chatting Vase
    160561859314 Floral Comets Vase

    …i was a buyer, (late to the bargin BIN’s time) and i did contact him and ask about any history. I emailed him 3 times and he never relied back? Even though i was a buyer more than once. (One vase a BIN and one piece thru a regular ebay 7 day auction as he does things now)
    Whomever’s CW collection it was, they certainly had a great collection with many very desirable pieces and often with not often seen grounds. (And from the USA…wow)
    I very much enjoy your blog.

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hi Charlie,
      Thanks for your post. I agree, he is pretty slow to respond to queries.
      Postal charges to the UK are positively eye watering too (the exchange rate doesn’t help us; we also have to pay 20% VAT and a £10 handling charge by the courier, so even if you prop your eyes open with the matchsticks until 2AM the overall cost is fairly high, even for “bargains”).
      I am pleased you managed to buy one bargain and one piece you had to fight for though.
      Mind you, the time when he listed the BINs wasn’t good for us UK buyers.
      In the UK they all went on at 2AM, favouring Australian buyers and you folks in the USA.
      When you look at his buyers, most are consequently in OZ or the USA.
      Having said all this, it is a real pity he realised he was selling in the wrong way and at the wrong prices.
      As for my pet peeve, I did make the seller aware of my strong interest, but he just ignored it and has made no contact from then to now.
      Best wishes,
      ebay masterspy

  2. Charlie in California says:

    Hello again and i forgot to mention, in regards to you “pet peeve”, what i do is contact the seller and let them know i was/am interested in the piece. Most will respond back. Often the item is sold or no longer available for other reasons, but sometimes it will lead to a “private” sale. It don’t hurt to ask the seller what’s up.

  3. Terry Wise says:

    Dear Ebay Masterspy An interesting overview on ebay activity for April. Yes the Stag pattern 3359 is currently considered rare.Tthe definitive Carlton Ware reference body, The Cochrane & Pettit Archive, was aware of this pattern from original factory records. However no examples were known to publicly exist until July 2004 when a 10.5 inch ovoid vase, in excellent condition, appeared on ebay and sold for £805. Since that time only four other examples are known to Carlton Ware World. They are a bowl, a lampbase, a spill vase (probably unfinished) and the vase reported by you this month. Interestingly, whilst all are in the same colourway, all are on different shapes. There are probably more examples, but if you want one, don’t hold your breath.

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hi Terry,
      If there as few pieces known in this pattern and shape as you say (give or take a couple which haven’t come to public notice) £176.71 was an absolute bargain, chipped or not. Talking of rarities (or not), I have a sometimes (but not frequently) seen coffee set which consists of the pot, sugar, cream and 5 cups and saucers, all in A1 condition. Can I get a sixth to complete it? Not on your life. I keep seeing what I want in the different colourways which were made, but not the one I want. You can trust me when I tell you that when one comes up I will be a bidder.
      Best wishes,
      ebay masterspy

  4. Nick says:

    I agree with the iritation when pieces are ended early and I hate to think that this is a private negotiation without giving others the opportunity. There are a couple of studio trial pieces appears on ebay. This is new to me and are presumablyprototypes that never went ahead. Do you know any more about them?

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hello Nick,
      Thank you for your contribution.
      Yes they have appeared like a rash on ebay and also at traditional auction. Firstly there are new pieces, not “original” Carlton Ware and yet they are still Carlton Ware! As I understand it most of these pieces are recently designed and made by the Anita Harris studio. They can be called CW because (again as I understand it) they were authorised and marketed by Frank Salmon (but are now being resold by others), who is the current legal owner of the Carlton Ware name. They look nice pieces of pottery, but for collectors of CW from the halcyon days of yore they may not hold the same level of interest. That is of course for each person to decide for themselves. Secondly there are pieces which mostly picture lizards. I was under the impression that these may have originated in Thailand, but I may be wrong (so if the maker reads this, don’t sue me!!!).
      If anybody has any more information feel free to contribute to this exchange.
      Best wishes,
      ebay masterspy

      • I can add some info to your ‘Thailand’ comments! The vast majority of these ‘studio trials’ were painted by Tony Cartlidge following a brief by Frank Salmon who has been endeavouring to find a suitable product for larger sales than just one-offs. The first offerings were rather basic, improving somewhat as the brief was uprated. The vast majority were sent to auction houses spread across the UK, resulting in, eventually, their appearing on eBay. There are several hundred of these vases in circulation somewhere, so you can expect to see more offerings on eBay. I might add that a few of Tony’s vases are really of a very high standard for today’s market but you have to search carefully to find them, amongst those lizards, cats, et al.

        The Anita Harris connection only comes into play during the last few months when Frank asked her to design a limited range to which both pottery names were added to these vases. It is intended shortly to issue another range which I believe to be entitled Fairy Dust Lustre and these, too, will have both names backstamped. As such, therefore, these vases (and, in some cases, curious animals) are not uniquely Carlton Ware. I should, at this stage, state an interest but expressly in the Carlton Ware Figurines; however, because of this contact, I am privy to first-hand information and I would be happy to answer any queries on the latest offerings in the Carlton Ware (plus others) range.

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