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.

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.

Cracked tiles, but no spillage

28 November 2002

This tiled panel advertising Champagne Mercier was one of a rare ensemble of six panels made in the early 1920s, each 5ft 9in x 2ft (174 x 62cm), on offer under the Prunier hammer in Louviers (14.95% buyer’s premium) on November 17. The other tiled panels, accompanied by two landscape friezes, also advertised drinks (Rhum Negrita, St Raphaël, Guillot Triple Sec, Quenot Dijon cassis, Fine Legrand cognac), and were marked G.F.C. France for Gilardoni Fils & Compagnie of Choisy-le-Roi, near Paris.

Barlow’s horses gallop home

28 November 2002

Auctioneer Geoffrey Barfoot has noted increased activity at the general sales in the Campsea Ashe rooms of Abbotts (10% buyer’s premium) and the mood has spread to fine art – “provided the lots are fresh to market and good or rare”.

The cat’s whiskers

21 November 2002

THE sale at Amersham Auction Rooms (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on October 3 had a number of items with collector appeal – none more so than this Wemyss cat, right, a speciality within a speciality. The vendors had no knowledge of the value of the 123/4in (32cm) black and grey cat but bidders at Buckinghamshire didn’t need the Wemyss Ware Made in England painted mark to the base to recognise it for what it was and the cat sold to a local dealer at £4000.

Success on the plate

21 November 2002

Some dealers believe that the market for plated silver has never been the same since the Italians ducked out in the mid 1990s, and while it is true that types such as entrée dishes and tureens have gone off the boil, there is still (always?) demand for candelabra, anything set with mother or pearl or ivory (American interest here) and table centrepieces like the three examples illustrated here which were offered at Bonhams Chester (buyer’s premium 17.5/10 per cent) on November 6.

Why do bibulous businessmen bypass the decanter?

15 November 2002

Wine-related silver is sitting at the top table of the market at present as the luxury boozing culture of hard-working businessmen props up the value of coasters, labels, corkscrews and funnels. But one area that has not benefited so much from the interaction of wine merchants and boardroom boys in recent years has been the standard Victorian decanter and claret jug.

Caughley tops the 1000 ceramics

15 November 2002

THAT the Berkshire auctioneers Law Fine Art could garner more than 1000 lots, sell more than 70 per cent of them and reach a total of £160,0000 for this latest of their thrice-yearly ceramics and glass sales says as much about Mark Law’s and Nicholas Lyne’s operation as it does for the general strength of ceramics in these generally difficult times.

Commercial mix and keen estimates help standard offering to high take-up

15 November 2002

There were no massed ranks of Prussian royal silver on offer at Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5/10% per cent buyer’s premium) on October 24. On offer here was a good 350-lot commercial mix of English and Continental fare from a variety of sources which netted £310,000.

Plate amour...

15 November 2002

In Cologne on October 26 W.G. Herr (18% buyer’s premium) staged a Jubilee sale to mark their 50th auction in the cosy Friesenwall gallery where, as he puts it, Werner Herr has been “swinging the hammer” for 20 years.