Ceramics are among the most frequently collected antiques. Items made from earthernware (pottery) or porcelain (hard or soft paste) can serve functional roles such as tablewares, serving implements, vases and jugs or as ornaments, especially figures.

They usually have some form of decoration, either painted or transfer-printed, that is covered in transparent or coloured glaze. Ceramics are often catalogued by the name of their manufacturer or factory such as Meissen, Worcester, Doulton, Wedgwood and Sèvres.

May Avenue charger does it for Clarice Cliff

20 May 2003

THE auction record for Clarice Cliff was sent tumbling last week on May 14 when Christie’s South Kensington sold this May Avenue charger for £34,000, almost double the previous high of £18,000 paid in December 2001 at Phillips for a charger decorated with the Windmill pattern.

Della Robbia collection brings wide interest at Nottingham sale

13 May 2003

IT’S hard to say whether modern studio potters find the Della Robbia story inspiring or depressing. Established by Harold Rathbone and Conrad Dressler in Birkenhead in 1894, in its 12-year operation the factory became a key part of the Arts and Crafts movement but also went broke.

Gubbio vase adds lustre to ceramics sale

02 May 2003

Getting Sotheby’s Olympia’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) 288-lot April 2 sale of British and European Ceramics off to a brisk start was a well received section devoted to early Italian maiolica, Dutch Delft and other tin-glazed earthenwares.

Staffordshire market still bullish

02 May 2003

Devon auctioneers SJ Hales (15 per cent buyer’s premium) have moved to a wider field than the ceramics, and particularly Staffordshire, on which they founded their reputation but this area remains their strength. The 500 varied ceramic lots and nearly 200 Staffordshire pieces took most of the better prices among the 1500 offerings at the new Bovey Tracey rooms on March 12 and 13.

Duke of Newcastle’s Derby porcelain service

17 April 2003

Illustrated are a pair of ice pails, covers and liners from the Duke of Newcastle’s Derby porcelain service, c.1797, dispersed by Mellors and Kirk in Nottingham on April 10.

Moorcroft pottery makes its mark in Suffolk

03 April 2003

The death of Walter Moorcroft last year and the strong prices at Sotheby’s recent dispersal of the Wade collection have reinforced the popularity of this market, especially for the earlier Macintyre wares. A small collection at Bonham’s sale in Bury St Edmunds yielded the following results.

US bidder recognises superiority of Minton’s fresher fruit

03 April 2003

Minton did majolica just a bit better than anyone else – not just in their large monumental and sculptural pieces but also in the smaller and more mundane wares.

Ruskinware maintains momentum

26 March 2003

The Oriental glazes of the Midlands Arts and Crafts pottery known as Ruskinware have proved remarkably popular in the past year, as the disposal of the Wade collection at Sotheby’s and the Birkett Collection at Bonhams took prices in this market to unprecedented levels.

Posset power

20 March 2003

Top price in the latest round of ceramics sales in London was the £22,000 paid at Christie’s King Street rooms on February 24 for this 9in (23cm) wide mid-17th century delft posset pot.

Putting the spotlight on Shropshire’s debt to Sandby

20 March 2003

Caughley Porcelain has been on the up recently, gaining in followers and in value. Enthusiasts for this Shropshire factory will doubtless want to make their way to Stockspring Antiques next month for what looks to be an interesting loan exhibition under the title Paul Sandby and Caughley Porcelain.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Spring...in 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