December 2011

What? No Mustard? Or, Perhaps….. Play it Again, Sam.

This seems to have been the month of the cruet. Quite few of them came up on eBay in November and for the most part made good to high prices. Early doors for example pomodori3 auctioned a nice fruit embossed BLACKBERRY cruet. It attracted the interest of 7 bidders and finished up at £156.87.

Carlton Ware BLACKBERRY cruet

Fruit Embossed BLACKBERRY cruet

The following day salhood put up a floral embossed ANEMONE cruet. This was also highly sought after and received 14 bids (unusually, each bidder bid only once). It topped out at £182.00. Interestingly, it was “more than similar” to one auctioned in October which made £177.00 for mackems1.

Carlton Ware Floral Embossed ANEMONE cruet

Floral Embossed ANEMONE cruet

A week later damiin offered a colourful and unusual Farmyard cruet.  Even more bids, 21 in fact, were placed on this one and the price reached a remarkable £245.00, certainly not a price to be sneezed at. Pass the pepper, mother.

Carlton Ware Farmyard cruet

Farmyard cruet

A pattern becoming more and more popular is ORBIT. Seller uk-ceramics listed a cruet in this pattern, which in this case rose to £51.00 after 4 bids.

Carlton Ware ORBIT cruet

ORBIT cruet

Finally, at the end of the month, saintglenn shook some final condiments into the mix, this time with a POPPY cruet. One bidder proved more mustard than the rest and it went up to £47.97.

Carlton Ware Floral Embossed POPPY cruet

Floral Embossed POPPY cruet

Ok, having done the cruets to death it is time to look elsewhere. Fans of nice shaped pots may have noted the 10½” tall ultra elegant PERSIAN 2884 vase which welshdragon-antiques introduced. It only got a singleton bid of £174.99, but that was enough for pack it and wrap it time.

Carton Ware PERSIAN 2884 vase Shape 164

PERSIAN 2884 vase Shape 164

I had a little tickle on the 4½” conical trefoil bonbon dish in the pale blue version of SKETCHING BIRD 3907, but I failed miserably. It really took off and made very good money at a finishing price of £170.00. Seller borderben49 must have been delighted.

Carlton Ware SKETCHING BIRD 3907 conical bon-bon

SKETCHING BIRD 3907 conical bon-bon

Melange 3601 is quite rightly a highly valued pattern amongst collectors of deco CW and pre82 will trouser a chunky £370.00 for his striking 7½” vase.

Carlton Ware Melange 3601 vase Shape 456

Melange 3601 vase Shape 456

Regular readers of this blog will know that I love Babylon 4125 and the triangular Modern Ware tray shape 1601, so to have both combined in one pot is tops for me. charliesgal offered it and the price ended up at £330.00. Did you buy it? Is it as good as it looks?

Carlton Ware Babylon 4125 triangular MODERN ARE tray Shape 1601

Babylon 4125 MODERN WARE tray Shape 1601

Another Modern Ware shape appeared in the guise of a TUBLINED WIRE NETTING 3975 (Yes that’s what it was called in pattern records, Harvey confirms) 6½” jug auctioned by decoskin. A fairly rare pattern, so unsurprisingly there were 21 bids and a nice final price of £184.01.



MODERN WARE coffee sets are another favourite of mine and often badly undervalued as I have said before. This time the set was a green and gilded one and did very well price wise, going up to £246.00 for seller baby.dragon.

Carlton Ware MODERN WARE coffee set

MODERN WARE coffee set

Now if one happens to want a few hen’s teeth I am sure you have got more chance of finding them than finding another Carlton China advertising plaque the same as this one. The seller was partiques*uk. I don’t know whether he was happy with how much he will receive from the sale, but having spoken to the delighted buyer I can assure you all that he was well chuffed to secure it for £144.99 after quelling the challenge from 3 competitors.

Carlton China advertising plaque

Carlton China advertising plaque

Speaking of hen’s teeth there can’t be too many twin handled footed dishes around in Scimitar 3651. US seller roskilly had one. As readers will remember I mentioned it last month as I felt it was listed with too high a starting price considering its condition. It was first offered at £1200.00, then again at £1050.00 before finally finding a bidder at £580.00.

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651 REVO FRUIT

Carlton Ware Scimitar 3651 FOOTED FRUIT Shape 184

Another pot which was “more than similar” to one mentioned last month is an Iceland Poppy 4193 12″ bowl in pale green gloss offered by oscarpops and snapped up after 5 bids for £91.00. Did you buy this very unuaual shaped bowl , dear reader? Did you make a horrible mistake? Was it your best buy ever? Let us know.

Carlton Ware Iceland Poppy 4193 bowl

Iceland Poppy 4193 bowl

And then there was the one which got away. We will probably never see this one on eBay again. Did you all see the 8″ lidded ginger jar in DEVIL 3767. No? I am not surprised. Only obsessive compulsives like me are on eBay for so long that pots which appear and are withdrawn as “no longer available” in double time lickety split are spotted while briefly there. More in hope than any real expectation…… Did you shell out £4000.00 for this beauty? Fancy telling us if it was worth it, anonymously if you feel the need?

Carlton Ware DEVIL 3767 ginger jar

DEVIL 3767 ginger jar

There is an eBayer out there (a good friend of mine) who is trying to do a Warren Buffett and corner the world market in Tendrillon 3858 pieces. This month he has bought 2 more pieces and very nearly bagged a third. One of these is a lovely 10″ REVO dish which was auctioned by call94. It realised £210.69 for the seller and I am (definitely not) authorised to say that both father and REVO are both doing well.

Carlton Ware Tendrillon 3858 REVO tray

Tendrillon 3858 REVO tray

A rather dramatic gondola in Dragon & Traveller 3594 in terracotta, said to be 18” in length was auctioned by Canadian seller mulgaking and raised £274.67 after 8 bids. Although there is a little crazing etc on the piece, if it really is 18″ long it must be another hen’s teeth job. Anybody else out there got a gondola that large? Let us know if you have. I was chatting to another collector who said the figure depicted on the gondola didn’t look like he was going to do much more travelling as he was about to be barbecued! He certainly doesn’t look too happy to see the dragon (I felt a bit similar when ‘er Indoors found out about my last purchase).

Carlton Ware Dragon & Traveller 3594 gondola

Dragon & Traveller 3594 gondola

Lastly, another rare survivor I would think considering the fragility of the shape was auctioned by charliesgal. The 8th bid of £250.00 secured this superb 10″ MERIDIAN FRUIT dish in GUM FLOWER 3790.



Mad Items of the Month

Now I have already admitted to being obsessive compulsive above and those who know me might even add manic depressive for good measure on a bad day, but I am nowhere near close to being sad enough to purchase these 2 cheery beauties from eBay.
speedyhenuk is offering a nice bedtime reading book for you all, it is entitled “I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You’ve Ever Heard.” Great value for money eBayers, you get 224 pages of suicidal misery for your £9.95. Even better, there are still 3 available (wonder why) so there’s no need to rush. Go on, buy it and cuddle up on you own under the duvet and read all night until the cold light of dawn or the bottle full of Paracetamol make their appearance.

I really hope my children read this one…. I was momentarily tempted by the idea of a nice new tee shirt, but then I browsed around on ebay and found this one listed by designahshirt10. Far too close to the truth for comfort. I can almost feel the breeze from all those heads out there nodding in bitter agreement. It soon put me off buying a new tee shirt, I can tell you.

Fakes Alert

Finally, as we approach Christmas once again the rash of fake CW reaches its annual zenith. Here are three examples offered recently, or still running on eBay. Don’t get taken in or your Christmas might not be quite as happy as you hoped.


A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. I will be back early in the New Year with December’s round up and an annual review. In the meantime the Masterspy never sleeps, so if you want to send a comment it will be welcomed and answered as always.

All the best,
eBay Masterspy

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9 Responses to December 2011

  1. Patricia Delicia says:

    I am the proud owner of a Farmyard cruet, not this one but I got mine a couple of years ago and paid about £80 in a ‘must buy now or forever hold my peace’ moment and it is one of my proud possessions. My love affair with Carlton Ware started in a dusty emporium in small town Australia in 2006 (I had never heard of CW before this) when I came face to face with a yellow daisy butter dish and knife for a couple of dollars and successfully brought it home. I then came on a piece in a market in Belfast and decided to look into it more. I have a lovely collection of butter/preserve dishes with either matching knife and/or spoon and other assorted items that took my fancy on ebay but I like the odd cruet and fruit shaped preserve pots – the plum is my favourite (3067). As with the cruets I have often wondered if these would have come originally with or without a spoon. I have managed to pick up a few spoons for my preserve pots over the past years but what is the general rule.

    Enjoy reading your Newsletter, keep up the good work Masterspy.


    • Harvey says:

      Hi Helen, I too have wondered if mustard spoons were supplied with Carlton Wares cruets. In all surviving sales photographs and shape records a mustard spoon is not shown or mentioned. This suggests they were not, either in ceramic or metal, even though a recess for a spoon was provided in the lid to the mustard. Perhaps Carlton Ware assumed that customers would have the small spoons at home, most likely in metal.

      Regarding the ceramic knives or spoons that matched the many small jam or butter dishes, we can only guess if these were always supplied with each dish. My thoughts are that they were not, unless they were bought as a boxed set. I would have thought that customers would have a choice to buy the jam or butter dish alone, or buy it boxed with a spoon or knife. Presumably, the little dishes were intended for jam, if boxed with a spoon and for butter if boxed with a knife. Perhaps we should post an article on some of the many boxed sets that Carlton Ware offered. The boxes themselves are quite attractive, though not too many will have survived.

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hello Helen,
      Good to hear from you and that my efforts are worth reading. I don’t know if you have found my Annual Review as it is separate from my blog on the CWW site. It is found on the Latest News page (you will need to scroll down as Harvey has added other items since. Find out which was my favourite pot of all this year and plenty of other stuff.
      I have only 2 preserve pots, neither of which have spoons or even plates. One is in Tubelined Flower and the other is in Hydrangea. Funnily enough I have not yet managed to collect any butter dishes. With regard to your question about whether there is any rule or convention as to when spoons go with preserve pots or not I am sorry, but I do not know.
      I have asked Harvey to make a response if he knows of any specifics on this issue. If you were to ask me to guess I would say that the Stoke potters were canny folk and very profit oriented. As such I would guess most had spoons, as they would be an extra sellable item to increase the cost of a set. Obviously so many got separated or broken over the years that it is difficult to say which ones came with spoons and which not. Hopefully, Harvey can help.
      Best wishes,
      ebay masterspy.

  2. John Messenger says:

    Hello Masterspy
    I have been collecting CW for a few years now but your knowledge has given me a new perspective. I have collected fairly common pieces that I have liked the look of and after marking and catalogueing them they have mostly been stored away in the loft. Only a few pieces are on display with the agreement of she who must be obeyed!
    I need to gleen more knowledge as I have recently bought some pieces that I am not sure about because I think they look too new! Is CW still being made? Whatever the situation I love the stuff and as I say just purchase pieces that I like, I am not really interested in making money from them.
    Thankyou for your page and keep up the good work.

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hello John,
      Thank you for your kind message.
      To increase your knowledge, if you have not already done so, please read the articles “About Carlton Ware World”, “Brief History of Carlton Ware” and “Types of Ware” which can be accessed from the home page. Additionally, there are often articles written about CW which appear on the latest news and past news pages. Assuming you are resident in the UK I heartily recommend you attend meetings of CWW, 2, 3 or 4 of which are held through the year and the AGM which is held in Stoke each year in late September or October. I can assure you that newcomers (I was one myself as recently as 2009, so I can speak with authority) are welcomed most heartily. As for your specific query, pottery under the name of CW is indeed being made and marketed both on ebay and elsewhere under licence from Frank Salmon the current owner of the name, so it is entirely possible you have bought some of these. There are some people who only collect pieces from the time when CW was made at the Copeland Street factory which closed in 1989 and others, who buy from both the new and old eras.
      One other page which might prove of interest on the site is the Fakes page. The Blush ware, Chinoiserie and Art Deco best ware pieces were difficult and costly to forge, but the more modern pieces are generally simpler in design and execution and can therefore be more easily forged. If you are unsure about the provenance, or the date, of any of your pieces (not that it is my intention to worry you) a visit to this part of the site might well prove helpful.
      Kind regards,
      ebay masterspy

  3. Barbara Foskett says:

    Dear Masterspy,
    Could it be that there are different size spoons for jam pots, as opposed to those included with jam plates? Seems like I have some spoons packed away (they break so easily) that come in two sizes or lengths thereof.
    When it comes to cruets I have just about all of them. Cruets, egg cup sets, jam pots, jam plates, teapots, sugar/creamers, biscuit barrels, salt and peppers, toast racks. I just love the embossed ware! I’ve an entire cabinet overflowing with them. Don’t even get me started with all my bestware! I’m sure I have won some you wished for.
    Being here in the US I feel very cut off from other collectors. Is there any forum for sharing what we hold so dear? Our CW? I’d love to see what others collections look like! I bet we’d all drool over each others…..Barbara

  4. Nicholnack says:

    G’day Masterspy. I have been building a range of Carlton Ware Shapes Fact Files). on my Nicholnack website. This is a much slower job than I would like as I have recently got a job and now have much less time up my sleeve. However do I have lots of photos up in the shapes files now. On the Bowl, Trays, Plates & Chargers Fact File page). I have a photo of a large and small Bell Gondola together. I can confirm the large size Gondola is 46 cm (18”). It is interesting to note that the Large Gondola that I have a photo of is also Dragon & Traveller on the turquoise ground – pattern 3595; the same pattern as the 18” Gondola you mention. To date these are the only 18″ Gondola I have seen and they are the same pattern – curioser and curioser.Regards Bruce of Nicholnack art in Pottery

    • ebay masterspy says:

      Hi Bruce,
      Thank you for your response. I have viewed your images many times in the last 8 years and I must say you are doing a superb job. As ebay masterspy I am a naturally nosy person. As myself, I am of enquiring mind (except when I am being OCD of course).
      In your comments you have picked up on one of the best, or is it worst things about CW, the fact that we have only a flawed and partial picture of the shapes, sizes, patterns, colours, dates and so on. Is it infuriating or fascinating. I suppose it depends which side of the bed we got out of today….. and tomorrow? Well, that’s another day.
      I have 2 gondolas, one tall and one short, but both the normal size. Until the one in Dragon and Traveller came on ebay, I had no idea the monster gondola even existed. Perhaps they only exist in the monster size in D & T, who knows? It must have been hellish difficult to fire and still get an acceptable success rate out of the kiln. Perhaps they stood eyeball to eyeball in the kiln cabin at Copeland street, arguing if it was worth even trying it. Trials are the most expensive part of production, after all. But we will never know, will we?
      ebay masterspy

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