There is no doubt that a weak dollar has contributed to a weaker UK majolica market – and yet low estimates for good pieces continue to stimulate bidding.
The highlight of the December 3 sale conducted by Winterton's at the Agricultural Business Centre, Bakewell, was a George Jones strawberry dish modelled with a twig handle and two bluetits.
This well-known model has made substantial sums in the past so a £600-800 estimate was modest, even given the restuck handle and some damage to the cream and sugar. It sold over the phone to a collector at £2000. A Minton pineapple form jug had a reglued spout but sold at £410.
Beswick farm animals, a perennial favourite collecting area in the farming community, sold well in the Peak District. An Ayrshire bull and a Hereford family group each made £340 closely followed by an Ayrshire cow and calf pairing that sold for £320. An Aberdeen Angus calf, model 1827A reached £310, as compared to the £250 bid for the same animal with an alternative model number 1406A.
These were substantial prices for scarce models but, in a different rarity and price league is the Sussex Cockerel - one of a number of poultry models produced by the factory between 1963-70. There was one at the Felixstowe rooms of Diamond Mills in December which sold at £1050 but the example at Winterton's December 11 sale in Lichfield did a little better and sold at £1300. There were two other Beswick birds - a set of three pink-legged partridge wall plaques (one with a chipped beak) sold at £140 while a jay (model 1219B) sold at £135.
A Beswick matt Fresian cow named Claybury Leegwater
was sold at £175 as part of Winterton's first sale at 8 Short Street, Uttoxeter on December 9.
However, this event was helped most by the presence of some local horology: an oak and mahogany 30-hour longcase by George Slater of Uttoxeter (£800), an Allports of Uttoxeter oak framed aneroid barometer (£120) and a George II oak and mahogany eight-day longcase by Massey of Burslem (£1000). The top price of the sale was £1550 given for a Victorian oak gothic floor standing bookcase.
Winterton's, Bakewell, Uttoxeter, Lichfield, December 3, 9, 11
Buyer's Premium: 15 per cent