Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
John Keats – Ode to Autumn, penned 19th September 1819
This is undoubtedly one of the top 20 poems in the history of English poetry and at this time of year a more than appropriate introduction to my blog. Keats was one of the great tragic figures of English literature, dying of Consumption (TB, or the Poet’s Disease as it was known) at only 26 years of age. His gravestone in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome bears the words “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.” Sad. Think about it. Hopefully, however, you will have had a mellow and fruitful September of eBaying (unfortunately I haven’t – hey ho).
Over Optimistic EBayer of the Month
When a seller lists an item with a Buy it Now price almost twice that of the highest price achieved by any piece in the same pattern in the last 3 years on eBay it is fair to say they are being seriously optimistic. This month, an Aussie seller wins the “Golden Plonker” with a sterling effort. He or she tried to get £385.00 for a 466 shape 8” vase in Tendrillon 3858. Nobody bit on this expensive morsel – quelle surprise.
A pretty good runner up though was another Aussie (what’s got into you this month, my friends?) who launched a plain white glazed undecorated butter pat dish from the POPPY floral embossed range (only 65mm in diameter) at a ludicrous price of A$1599.00 – no doubt hoping to find a mug. After a couple of days the price was altered to A$9.99. Unlucky, no mugs about, but it didn’t even sell at A$9.99 either.
Mad Items of the Month
You have got to admire the nerve of an eBayer who finds a tired and tattered old photo (preferably one with little or no artistic or significant historical interest) and lists it at a huge price to see if there are any idiots out there. One such is serial offender ampnoise who has found another such photo less than 5” x 3” in size and asked $99.99 for it. Not this time, Gromit.
An honourable mention also has to go to megabooks-uk for their book listing entitled “Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet”. Lol – ok, but why not?
This Month’s Goodies
In the early hours of the month a GONDOLA in FAN 3558 completed its run on eBay. Seller preciousbargains had quite properly drawn attention to previous fairly poorly restored damage and the final price reflected this. It cooled down at £145.99 after a 10 bid battle. I predict this will be with us again at some point looking in an apparently better state. Let’s hope the seller displays the same honesty about the condition as preciousbargains did.
An unusual, if not rare, 5” vase in shape 1156 with Heatwave 4092 pattern was auctioned by seller prosandsqs and went for the bargain price of £62.00. I bet the buyer breaks out in a sweat of pleasure to have won this hot little vase for such a cool price. I have a friend in the South East of England who has a piece in this pattern and I think it is very underrated – damn – I shouldn’t have said that, now you will all bid up the next one. Forget what you have just read. It is a rubbish pattern!
Last month might have been a juggy sort of month, but this month is very boxy! The first box which I noted was a one from the 1980s, listed as in perfect condition. I am not sure of the actual pattern name or number, but it certainly went at a massively modest price, only £6.55! I am sure the seller, alexcunliffe007 must be more than a little disappointed.
Next on my radar was a SKETCHING BIRD 3890 box listed by max313gerry, which flapped its wings majestically up to £365.00. A very high price paid for this one and no mistake, but equally speaking, a really good example. The matt glaze has the benefit of not suffering the same crazing seen on so many gloss pale yellow/cream pieces of such patterns as SKETCHING BIRD, Summer Flowers and the Mandarin (Tree and Chatting) patterns.
Next up was seller wonoften who had a tiny crimp-edged hairpin box from the HERALDIC CHINA range in PERSIAN 2882. Unfortunately this box has a few chips. Otherwise it would have made lots of money, but this time it only went to £29.89. Pity.
Back to Aussie seller 1080prospecting who this time mined a beautiful round little gem of a circular box in Moonlight Cameo 2944. 9 bidders dug deep into their pockets and raised a figure of £141.93. Again, I believe we may well see this again one day.
Another pattern I believe to be undervalued is GARDEN GATE 3863. I have described it in the past as mysterious, asking the question, what lies behind the gate. I still see it as very enigmatic, but this perhaps belies its simple and stylish prettiness. Unsurprisingly, a good CW box will attract solid money, but I imagine creamofdevon will have been well happy to trouser £161.78. Perhaps, this pattern is growing on you lot too.
Lancashire lad potteryvillage-dot has been doing a bit of decorating and I don’t mean wallpapering the bedroom!!! He has made and painted a lid for a WAGON WHEELS 3813 octagonal pot (a sort of box, hey, cut me some slack here) which came without its original lid. After a considerable amount of interest and 27 bids it sold for £280.00. Were you happy with the outcome, seller, or are you going to the pub next time and getting a man in to do the diy?
While with the same seller and the diy theme another interesting “sort of” box was sold simultaneously. This one made £155.00 and had the benefit of a real lid of the correct size and type which was repainted to suit. Were you happy with your Parkland 3523 biscuit barrel, buyer? Do let us know.
I know many of you like WATERLILY & DRAGONFLY 4492, which uses a black ground. A more traditional, used-to-be a ciggy box, but now it’s a “trinket box” was auctioned by maisy-patcheye. Even at today’s price for baccy the buyer could have bought him or herself a fair few boxes of the evil weed for £303.61. That wisp of ciggy smoke has got in my eye I think reader, because my eye is watering. Oh, hang on a minute, it might just be the mega price that’s doing it!
To bring to a close my focus on boxes a RIBBED STONEWARE box with decoration 3845 in matt pale muted tones is not a high flyer, but the box sold by seller swillyrules was a real bargain for the singleton bidder at £14.99. I told you this month was boxy. Now do you believe me? Would I lie to you?
I would have loved to have been in there fighting grimly to the last bidder for the lovely mottled ruby ground 5” 467 shape Hedgerow 3862 vase, but the item was located in South Africa and I couldn’t find out how much customs duty would be due, so I kept out of it. I regret it now, of course (I always do). Paisleylon of Pretoria still pocketed £204.35 without any help from me, though. Sigh.
Another one I lusted over (stop right there masterspy, you know I don’t want you over exciting the ladies) but had to see go elsewhere was the 9” conical bowl in Blue PERSIAN GARDEN 3892. I have a similar sized normal bowl in gloss black which is amongst my 3 top pots. It would have looked lovely right next to it. Oh dear, oh dear. Sigh. My bottom lip is quivering as I write. clarendon_house27vx has £273.88 in the back bin to console him or her. I don’t. Sob!
Sometimes a small amount of wear or damage will bring an expensive pattern into range for us poor folk and this was exemplified when shamworcs listed a 9½” 406 shape CHINESE BIRD & CLOUD 3275 vase. This piece, uncommon in this size, has a bit of staining and crazing and a short hairline inside. From the outside it looks as good as new. The price reflected our fastidiousness about such things though and the hammer came down, luckily missing the vase by a hair(line)sbreadth, at £92.73. Is it a bargain, buyer? Tell us. Perhaps another one we will see again, who knows?
Seller sportycooper81 presumably likes his deco because up came a pair of Asymmetric Flower bookends in decoration 3535, again with a little chip on one corner and again the price reflected this, ending up at only £51.51.
An unfinished 9½” bowl in SKETCHING BIRD 3891 missing its bird came to eBay (on foot of course, no bird, no wings, right?) via the hen coop of laughteristhebestmedicine. Somewhere on this there will be a fault, which explains why is was not completed. This also explains its low price of £16.01. Probably won’t fly if it goes on eBay again, readers. What do you think?
I think the little Ringmaster bell from a series of table bells is great fun. The “Toff” bell here made 2 appearances this month. Chelmsford seller debbier7414 sold hers for £50.00 to a singleton bidder. The other one didn’t sell at £155.00 (now going round again at £145.00). I doubt if it will sell this time either without a serious reduction.
Matt blue and mauve Floral Comets 3405 pots are suddenly appearing across the night sky. Quintessentially deco and one of my favourite patterns. It has to be seen as a masterpiece really. Up there with WAGON WHEELS, BELL, FLOWER & FALLING LEAF, Sunflower Geometric, JAZZ etc for me. A 5” tobacco jar with a restored chip to the underside of the lid fetched a stratospheric £311.00 for seller jamesmiles2012. Lucky James also has a footed 2 handled REVO tray which will finish early in October and another seller has another identical piece which also finishes in early October. Not only that, but a 6” globular vase also appeared briefly, but went MIA. Watch this space next month for an update.
I haven’t previously noted the presence on eBay of HANDCRAFT pattern Wind Flower 3508, but a candlestick blew into town early doors from Canada and despite a rather average bit of restoration still made £34.68 for seller the_lion_passant. A good buy at this price I would say, considering the rarity.
Canada makes another appearance in the form of harwil from Calgary. A lovely 9” lamp base in the teal green Moonlight Cameo 2969.
Again, this must be one of the rarest variants of Moonlight Cameo which should have overcome the price inhibiting effect of a small chip on the base at the back. All the more surprising then to see it only make £96.92. Are you happy with the outcome, harwil? Are you blind, buyers? It is a cracker!
Chuckin’ another HANDCRAFT pattern into the mixer, whinstanes sat back and waited for the bids for a Prickly Pansy 3424 REVO. Despite a chip on the back of the rim, unlikely to be seen on display, it rose to treetop height and realised £77.00. I had made my mind up to bid, but by the time it came to the moment of destiny to put my money where my mouth is the price had exceeded my expectations. Another sigh.
I have a small but perfectly formed collection of 3 (yes, three) jug vases, so when I saw a 7”er in dark blue Fantasia 3406 listed in the USA by kpstreet1 I sat back and watched the action with bated breath. Fortunately for the seller, 9 of you didn’t just sit and watch you made solid bids to £405.94. I believe an American may have won this one (little consolation for the battering the Yankees suffered in the golf tho’, ‘cos runner up in a field of two is, errrr, basically rubbish ha ha ha).
To finish this month I regret to inform you that collector/seller lujesjaz has unfortunately lost his marbles. Nothing short of this could explain why he has sold 3 gems from his collection. He has sold a superb 7” jug vase in Mandarin Tree 3719 for £300.00, a 5” Heron & Magical Tree 4160 flared vase, also for £300.00 and a Sunflower Geometric 3334 12” x 7½” footed and twin handled tray for £550.00.
All were in excellent condition. I had planned to kidnap his wife and children and ransom them for the Sunflower Geometric tray, but, oh well….. (Biggest sigh yet and a bunch of racking, anguished sobs and shudders for good measure). Why oh why did I have to start collecting this stuff?
So I am another month older (but not much deeper in eBay debt since I haven’t bagged anything of consequence), but at least I still possess all those important little bits a man doesn’t want to be without! I think you might just get my drift without having to spell it out any more graphically, readers. I hope you have all had a more productive month, collecting wise than I have and that you also still possess all the bits you hold dear!!!
Don’t forget. This is an interactive forum and I welcome any and all your comments. Feel free to make them, be you a new contributor or a seasoned one.
Good luck in October (as always, unless I am bidding of course),