Decorative Art

This category encompasses a wide range of three-dimensional antiques in a variety of different materials. It includes ceramics, glass and metalware (including silver and plate), medium to small size decorative objects such as tea caddies and dressing table sets.

Tin-glazed earthenware cat jug makes £45,000

19 March 2003

The market for early dated Delftware showed its claws at the Shrewsbury salerooms of Halls on March 7, where this 5in (13cm) tall tin-glazed earthenware cat jug from 1677 was auctioned with expectations of £20,000-25,000. Spotted by auctioneer Jeremy Lamond hiding behind a much-admired Royal Crown Derby saucer (worth £20-30) on the mantelpiece of a Warwickshire home, the chipped and fritted feline was added to a select group of a dozen jugs, nine of which are dated.

Engraved and back from the grave

11 March 2003

Unseen hoards of silver like this don’t appear on the market very often, so it is little wonder that the UK trade were out in force when it came under the hammer at Christie’s Amsterdam’s (23.2% buyer’s premium) Dutch and foreign silver sale on March 4. The wealth of silver came to light when part of a cellar wall collapsed during the demolition of a house on Breitenstrasse in Bad-Hersfeld, Germany in February 1967.

Lund's Bristol pail makes £18,500

11 March 2003

The little underglaze blue decorated cream pails or piggins made by Lund’s Bristol around 1750 are very rare specimens of English porcelain. Only six examples are known to exist, three of them now in museums, so West Country auctioneers Bearne’s were very pleased to offer this 23/4in (7cm) wide example, which they discovered in a local, private Devon house during a routine insurance valuation.

In no fit condition, but then it is George Jones

07 March 2003

This 19th century George Jones majolica game pie dish and cover led the way at Lawrences (11% buyer’s premium) three-day event, held at their rooms in Bletchingley between February 4 and 6.

Raising his glass to a holiday

07 March 2003

FAMILY deaths and property downsizings still account for the majority of goods sold at auction, but lifestyle options are increasingly a factor. At Andrew Hartley’s sale the decision by a local vendor to part with her Chiparus figure to pay for an extension on her new home was almost as cutting edge as the Yorkshire man who ditched this collection of modern glass, some shown left, by Lancashire master blower John Ditchfield to pay for a holiday in the Far East.

Overseas buyers make curate’s egg taste better…

20 February 2003

IF THERE is one objet d’art that best characterises the antiques market at present it is the curate’s egg – good in parts, but bad overall. The flawed ovum’s brighter regions encompass most low-value collectables – ceramics included.

Rarity outpaces condition as the horses by Beswick ride again

12 February 2003

BESWICK is one of the strongest areas of the 20th century collectable ceramics market so it was not surprising to see trade and private collectors packing these Leicestershire rooms at Gildings to bid on a large single-owner collection from a local deceased estate. What was surprising were the lengths to which bidders would go.

Chamberlain’s Worcester ‘D’ shaped bough pot

05 February 2003

In November of last year this documentary Chamberlain’s Worcester ‘D’ shaped bough pot and cover sold at a West Country saleroom to a private collector and sometime dealer for £2700.

True blue glass helps keep end up for English pieces

28 January 2003

English glass doesn’t generally compete with Continental for price, so anyone just looking at the top results from Sotheby’s mixed-owner auction held the day before their Japanese museum dispersal might have got the erroneous impression that home-produced material had played a low-key role.

Arts and Crafts lighten silver woes

20 January 2003

THE sad plight of silver is as well known as the boom in all Arts and Crafts pieces – what happens when the two come together was the question at Sworders’ sale when this pair of plated candlesticks, right, were offered.

Bonnie Prince Charlie to the rescue

09 January 2003

CHESHIRE auctioneers Peter Wilson, (15% buyer’s premium) found it hard going at their November 27-28 sale at Nantwich with only 60 per cent of the 720 lots getting away – but where obvious quality was on offer, bidders were keen enough.

Thomas Webb vase sells to a private buyer for £95,000

08 January 2003

19th century cameo glass was the strong suit in Sotheby’s sale of European glass from the Hida Takayama Museum of Art in Japan, held in their Bond Street rooms on December 19. Amongst a number of pieces that were particularly keenly contested by the room and the telephones was this 16in (41cm) high Thomas Webb vase which sold to a private buyer for £95,000 (plus 19.5/10% premium) after bidding first from the room then a battle between two telephones.

Ceramics collectors and their ilk…

18 December 2002

Ceramics, Ethics & Scandal, by Rosalie Wise Sharp, published by RWD Books, Toronto, Canada and distributed by the Antique Collectors’ Club. ISBN 0973141700 £50 hb

A first hint of West Sussex

13 December 2002

Coming up on December 11, 12 and 13 is Rupert Toovey & Co’s Sale of Antiques, Fine Art & Collectors’ Items, which will be the inaugural sale at their new Spring Gardens salerooms in Washington, West Sussex.

Susie Cooper: A Pioneer of Modern Design

11 December 2002

Susie Cooper: A Pioneer of Modern Design, edited by Andrew Casey and Ann Eatwell, published by the Antique Collectors Club. ISBN 1851494111 £29.50

Where the most appealing ingredients mix, silver shows it can still shine

06 December 2002

November 19 was a very busy day for silver fanciers, obliged to make a decision about which of a trio of overlapping London sales they wished to attend in person. As well as King Sreet's main sale, there were more standard offerings at Christie’s South Kensington and Bonhams Knightsbridge (each 17.5/10% buyer’s premium).

Tea and sympathisers

06 December 2002

Historians have spent many enjoyable hours attempting to decipher the symbolism of pictures on the back of Georgian teaspoons such as those illustrated right. Like the club tie or the secret society handshake, the picture back teaspoon was an English gentleman’s discreet method of signalling loyalties to potential sympathisers when serving afternoon tea.

Kensington is new venue for Haughtons’ ceramics fair

02 December 2002

LONDON-based Brian and Anna Haughton are moving their International Ceramics Fair & Seminar from the West End to the Commonwealth Centre in Kensington where it will be staged in conjunction with a new event, The London Asian Art Fair.

Papier-mâché is the new black

28 November 2002

“Black lacquered papier-mâché is back in vogue after a couple of years in the doldrums,” said Bonhams’ David Houlston, hailing one of the most successful components of November Chester sale on 6-8 November. This material was a decorative complement to the crepuscular interiors of Victorian houses and Mr Houlston believes that its resurgence is due to the ingenuity of modern decorators who have found brighter uses for the black.

Rare Staffordshire pearlware model of a camel fetched £27,000

28 November 2002

A private collection of Wood family Staffordshire pearlware figures was the main focus of a sale of British ceramics held by Sotheby’s Olympia on November 19.