West Midlands


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Majolica rarities still hold firm

22 June 2004

WHILE recent months have seen some softening in the majolica market as a whole, scarce pieces by good makers continue to attract bids close to those they did three or four years ago. Pictured right is one of George Jones’ best-known Stilton dish designs, modelled as a thatched bee skep on a rustic base of mottled greens and browns that also includes a registration lozenge for 1872.

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Melon-form caddy is a £3600 fruit

22 June 2004

ALTHOUGH catalogued as a late 18th century fruitwood apple form tea caddy, this finely turned and carved 5 1/2in (13cm) high vessel sold by Biddle & Webb (15% buyer’s premium) on April 1 was more accurately a melon.

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At £4000, the genuine Beatles for sale

15 June 2004

THE large sums of money rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia collectors are prepared to part with for a complete set of Beatles autographs inevitably means the market is peppered with fakes. The watertight provenance of an early Beatles extended play record, Twist and Shout, Parlophone, 1963, signed to the sleeve by the Fab Four, was key to its success at Biddle & Webb’s (15% buyer’s premium) 511-lot sale of toys and juvenilia in Birmingham on May 21.

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Daimonomageia discussed…

10 June 2004

AN undated medical volume offered as part of a May 8 antiques sale held by Fieldings of Stourbridge brought a bid of £430.

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Specialties of the house pull in the offbeat enthusiasts

09 June 2004

THE way Bonhams’ (17.5% buyer's premium) empire has adapted to the received wisdom that specialisation is a key to today’s macro auction environment is to have niche markets catered for at different outposts. Among the areas catered for at the Midlands branch at Knowle are such widely known ones as mechanical music and railwayana and, in ascending degree of arcane nature, wireless sets, optical instruments, firemarks, truncheons and tipstaffs.

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Langley-lover triumphs again

09 June 2004

THE West Midlands auctioneers Fieldings (12.5% buyer’s premium) are making something of a habit of getting impressive prices for market-fresh watercolours by the Newlyn School painter Walter Langley (1852-1922).

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Limehouse pickle is a £4200 dish

02 June 2004

THE market’s mood for the earliest English porcelain was in evidence at the April 27 sale held by Brettells (12% buyer’s premium) of Newport. The Shropshire firm offered a 16-lot private collection of mainly Worcester wares.

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Estimating the silver trade

02 June 2004

DESPITE the well-documented vagaries of the silver and electroplate market, if vendors can forget the price history of the previous two decades it is still possible to hold a successful sale of country house tablewares.

Nantgarw porcelain plate sold at Philip Serrell

26 May 2004

Right: this fine Nantgarw porcelain plate, once thought to be painted by Thomas Baxter and traditionally known as the ‘Three Graces’, was part of a collection of porcelain offered by Worcestershire auctioneers Philip Serrell on May 20.

Beswick tops Whieldon in cattle market

26 May 2004

THE meteoric growth in demand for the rarer Beswick farm animals in good condition saw more money change hands for a 20th century Beswick Belted Galloway Bull than for an 18th century Whieldon bull and calf, at Brightwells' (15% buyer's premium) 524-lot April 28 specialist ceramic outing.

A toast to two Drunken Bricklayers

19 May 2004

BIRMINGHAM auctioneers Biddle & Webb (15% buyer’s premium) have been holding regular decorative arts sales for some years now. Generally 20th century ceramics top the sales list and this was again the case at the April 16 sale when two 13in (33cm) examples of Drunken Bricklayer vases designed by Geoffrey Baxter for the Whitefriars pottery were major stars.

Sale of faience ware charger at Fieldings

19 May 2004

RIGHT: the faience wares decorated by Louis Kramer for Burmantofts between 1887 and 1890 are among the most coveted productions of the Yorkshire factory. So there was lots of interest among academics, collectors and dealers prior to the May 8 sale at Fieldings of Stourbridge in this fully signed 18in (46cm) diameter charger.

PREVIEW

11 May 2004

THIS fine Nantgarw porcelain plate, right, once thought to be painted by Thomas Baxter and traditionally known as the ‘Three Graces’, is part of a collection of porcelain to be offered by Worcestershire auctioneers Philip Serrell on May 20.

The upper glass – and big-wheel potters

05 May 2004

FOR some years now the country’s top glass fixture, the next bi-annual National Glass Collectors Fair will be held at the Heritage Motor Centre, near Gaydon in Warwickshire this Sunday, May 9.

Baldwin, Stinton & Davis

05 May 2004

CHARLES Baldwin’s stock-in-trade as a porcelain artist was swans in flight, but the celebrated Royal Worcester painter did occasionally apply his meticulous technique to other subjects including mammals and other birds. The sale held by Philip Laney (10% buyer’s premium) at the Malvern Auction Centre on April 6 included the impressive vase, top right, decorated by Baldwin with goldfinches.

Close to a bumper Brum

28 April 2004

THERE were signs of an improving trade climate at the Antiques For Everyone fair held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre from April 15 to 18, and this is particularly significant at the country’s largest vetted antiques event.

Fashions change, but oak stands firm

19 April 2004

ONCE the rustic Cinderella of the antiques trade, but proving to have more solid staying power than some other fashions, the strength of the oak furniture market was evident at Brightwells' (15% buyer's premium) 139-lot single-owner Herefordshire outing on March 18.

Broadfield scoop the Oscars as Stourbridge vases come to light

19 April 2004

OSCAR Pierre Erard is one of the many shadowy figures who occupy the record books of the 19th century glass industry in Stourbridge.

An underrated library chair is a £5000 best seller

15 April 2004

OF the 830 lots offered in Fieldings (12.5% buyer's premium) February 28 sale, a painting provided the highest price but a chair the biggest surprise.

Wardle’s worldwide appeal

06 April 2004

A POPULAR breed, a popular artist, plenty of puppies, totally fresh to the market, a come-hither estimate... When it came to dog paintings, this signed Arthur Wardle (1864-1949) canvas of a long-haired Jack Russell terrier with her pups had pretty well everything going for it when it came under the hammer at Wintertons (15% buyer’s premium) of Lichfield on March, estimated at just £2000.

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