1. Ewenny jardinière
There has been a pottery in Ewenny for five centuries but the collecting market tends to focus upon those piece produced under the influence of the Art s & Crafts movement in the late 19th century.
A key figure is the London-based designer and ceramics dealer Horace W Elliot who visited the pottery regularly from 1883-1914 – commissioning and designing pieces to sell in his Bayswater showrooms. Among the most talented modellers working in Ewenny in this period is the enigmatic William Doel. A relation Edward Doel (possibly his brother) is also listed in local records as modeller but he died aged 24 in November 1883.
Some idea of William Doel’s talents can be seen in the rare Ewenny jardinière sold by Rogers Jones in Cardiff on October 20 as part of The Welsh Sale. Worked with trailing flowers and a sculptural pair of dragons to the rim, the base is signed W Doel, Bridgend, Glam, 9 Jan (18)84. Despite some damage to the many vulnerable areas of relief decoration, it sold at £5500 (estimate £1000-1500).
2. Silver cigarette case
This German silver cigarette case, sold for £4600 at C&T Auctions in Tunbridge Wells on October 24 is engraved with a detailed scene from the Siege of Mafeking – the famous Boer War defence of a small town commanded by Robert Baden-Powell. Below the depiction of two men operating an artillery field gun is the inscription 15cm Creuzot ‘Lady Jane’ Mafeking 1899-1900” while to the reverse is engraved Major AD to General BP 1901. Although British military commanders were privately critical of his performance, Baden-Powell became a national hero on the listing of the siege in May 1900 and was promoted to Major General. After his military training manual, Aids to Scouting became a best-seller he later formed the Boy Scouts movement.
3. Petrol pump globe
Prices for the best British automobilia are slowly catching up with the huge sums regularly paid for advertising and promotional material in the USA. Rare glass petrol pump globes regularly fetch decent four-figure sums as evidenced by this hexagonal example promoting the merits of The Albion Oil and Petrol Co. Ltd. Fully stamped by the makers Hailwood and Ackroyd and in excellent condition, it took £8000 from a bidder using thesaleroom.com at automobilia and enamel sign specialists Richard Edmonds of Chippenham on October 19.
4. Banksy 'Love is in the Air'
The ‘anti-establishment’ street artist Banksy (b.1974) is seldom out of the news. Stunts such as the shredded Girl with Balloon picture that made headlines following Sotheby’s October contemporary art sale will no doubt keep prices for more pedestrian works ticking over. This screenprint on wove paper Love is in the Air is numbered 478 of 500 published by Pictures on Walls in 2003. At Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet on October 23 it sold to a bidder on thesaleroom.com at a mid-estimate £13,000. The work was accompanied by a certificate from Banksy’s authentication body Pest Control.
5. Suffragette medal
On June 13, 1913, just five days after the infamous death of Emily Wilding Davison under the king’s horse at the Derby, two suffragettes set fire to the Hurst Park grandstand. One was the German-born actress Kitty Marion (1871-1944) who famously endured more than 200 force-feedings while on hunger strike in prison. The other was Clara Elizabeth Giveen (b.1887) who was also force-fed before release under the Cat and Mouse Act.
Giveen’s medal for valour as offered for sale at Halls, Shrewsbury, October 24.
The medal with green, white and purple ribbon, has three engraved clasps - For Valour (July 3rd 1913 and Nov 24th 1913) and another reading Fed by Force 1/3/12 – while the original box is inscribed to the silk: Presented to Clara Giveen by the Women’s Social and Political Union in recognition of a gallant action whereby through endurance to the last extremity of hunger and hardship, a great principle of political justice was vindicated.
Also offered as part of the lot were a silver toffee hammer engraved March 1912 (as awarded to window smashers) and a silver prison portcullis, the official piece of jewellery designed by Sylvia Pankhurst for women who had been imprisoned or force-fed. Both are valuable items (the portcullis medal can bring over £2000) while an additional collectable was a gilt metal badge for the Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers, a militant trade union for taxi drivers that became a founding constituent of the Transport and General Workers’ Union. Offered as an ensemble with an estimate £6000-8000, it found plenty of willing buyers before selling at £12,000.
Only around 100 hunger strike medals are thought to have been made. In 2004 the medal for valour 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, took £19,000 at Dix Noonan Webb.
More recently, in this year marking the centenary of the women’s vote, a large archive relating to the Welsh suffragette Kate Evans – including her hunger strike medal - was bought by National Museum Wales for £40,000 at Catherine Southon Auctioneers in July.