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.

The Rothschild Treasures sale, Sotheby’s

14 January 2004

Sotheby’s, who have continued the tradition of separate works of art sales rather than combining them with Continental furniture, were actually able to serve up a double helping in December. Their usual mixed-owner offering on the 12th was preceded by a separately catalogued single-owner sale, called Treasures from the Rothschild Collection, of cameos and other antique jewels, gold boxes, silver-gilt, Limoges enamels and other objects made of precious materials.

Wedgwood Ravilious Coronation mug

14 January 2004

Following the £620 sale of three Wedgwood Ravilious Coronation mugs in November, Tom Delaney of Mallams in Cheltenham recalled seeing a similar mug in a local house – this much rarer example transfer printed with a brick kiln together with a silhouette portrait of Stoke-on-Trent’s most famous son and the inscription Josiah Wedgwood Barlaston 1940 Etruria 1730.

Art Fund grant for 13th century stained glass

08 January 2004

A National Art Collections Fund grant of £37,500 has helped Ely’s Stained Glass Museum acquire an important early 13th century French stained glass panel of the bust of a king.

The eyes have it as plate tells a tale of libel and reform…

08 January 2004

THE inscription Wilkes And Liberty No. 45 on this 9in (23cm) diameter Lambeth delftware portrait plate is as good as a date as it refers to the publication of the 45th issue of John Wilkes’ sharp-tongued periodical The North Briton.

Stateside for ceramics

08 January 2004

THERE will be even greater English trade interest in one of the big success stories of recent years on the New York fairs scene – The New York Ceramics Fair. The fair, which has expanded from four to five days and will run at the National Academy of Design Museum, 1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, from January 14 to 18 with a preview party on the evening of January 13.

Slim pickings make for tasty morsels as demand outstrips supply

08 January 2004

ENGLISH POTTERY AND LATER ENGLISH CERAMICS: The mixed-owner, all-English sale held by Bonhams Bond Street on December 10 covered a much broader canvas than the Billie Pain collection. It ranged from early delftwares to 20th century Royal Worcester, with examples of most other ceramic categories in between.

Porcellaneous figure modelled as the circus performer

08 January 2004

Combining exotic subject matter with rarity value, figures of the Victorian lion-tamer Isaac Van Amburgh are among the most desirable of all Staffordshire portrait figures.

Drinking with the Beggar’s Benison

08 January 2004

One of the unforeseen consequences of the arrival of Enlightenment philosophy in Puritan Scotland was the creation of clubs and societies that encouraged exuberant and outrageous behaviour in their members. The best known is the Beggar’s Benison.

Women’s Social and Political Union medal

08 January 2004

This Women’s Social and Political Union medal for valour was awarded to Mary Richardson, the Canadian-born militant suffragette who, in protest at the re-arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst in March 1914, slashed the ‘Rokeby’ Venus with an axe at the National Gallery.

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Beswick rides high in the Potteries

27 December 2003

Prior to the sale of two record-breaking lots of Beswick at Bonhams’ October 28 sale – a colour trial Galloway Bull (£8800) and the Spirit of Whitfield (£9500) – the auction record for Beswick could well have been the £3500 paid for this rare figure at Potteries Specialist Auctions on October 22.

15th century parcel-gilt and silvered bronze roundel

16 December 2003

The object on which the keenest attention in the works of art world was focused this month was this 161/2in (42cm) diameter, 15th century parcel-gilt and silvered bronze roundel depicting Mars, Venus, Cupid and Vulcan.

Arsenic on old plates

11 December 2003

The technique of Limoges enamelling, imitated by a number of historically-minded potteries in the second half of the 19th century, was championed at Worcester by Thomas Bott and then by his son Thomas John Bott.

Hand and Machine

09 December 2003

Hand and Machine by Robert Welch, published by Robert Welch, ISBN 0951085506 £20hb, and available from Robert Welch, Lower High Street, Chipping Campden, Glos. GL55 6DY. Tel: 01386 840522.

Raise a glass to decanters

09 December 2003

DECANTERS of all types from the 18th century to the present are the subject of an exhibition running at the Broadfield House Glass Museum, Dudley, until April 18 next year.

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Indian Sporting summer for Spode collectors

22 November 2003

David Drakard is well known for his contribution to our knowledge of British ceramics both as a longstanding member of the English Ceramic Circle and as the author of two books on blue printed wares.

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A rare chamber pot with commercial appeal

22 November 2003

This unmarked mid-19th century chamber pot was one of the choice lots in the mixed-vendor section of Dreweatt Neate’s recent sale.

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Last firing stamp adds to character

22 November 2003

To mark the last firing of a traditional bottle oven in 1978, the Royal Doulton factory produced a special backstamp to apply to the base of a few otherwise ordinary character jugs.

Plaque sets £2900 record for Rhead

23 October 2003

This 10in (25cm) Burleigh Ware pottery wall plate, by Charlotte Rhead established a new auction record for the industrial ceramicist when it sold for £2900 (plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium) at Andrew Hartley Fine Arts on October 8. Consigned to the Ilkley rooms via a local house clearance, the vibrantly-coloured plaque carried the pattern number 4350, a design previously known only from pattern books dated to c.1928-29.

Cameo role takes centre stage as vases leave estimates far behind

23 October 2003

Bonhams weren’t the only London salerooms to be offering a good selection of antique glasswares. On October 9, just a week after the Harvey’s dispersal, Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% per cent buyer’s premium) had a mixed-owner 280-lot selection of British and Continental glass to offer as part of their monthly At Home series.

Ceramics charge ahead of silver with rare pieces

16 October 2003

An early autumn mixed hors d’oeuvres of silver and European ceramics went under the hammer at Sotheby’s Olympia (20/12% buyer’s premium) on October 2. Roughly two-thirds of the 375 lots were devoted to silver and vertu, and the remaining third to ceramics, but it was the latter that provided half of the ten highest prices, including what proved to be very much the top lot of the day.

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