West Midlands


Great names from the golden age

08 January 2004

Over recent years the market for classic railway engine nameplates has shown itself to be as solid and reliable as the great engines they once adorned. It is 40 years since the Beeching Report condemned a third of the British rail network to the axe and effectively ended the glorious age of steam, but even then there were enthusiasts who cared enough to preserve what they could.

Familiar ground for Fran

08 January 2004

THERE is a deal of trade excitement at the latest initiative of that accomplished organiser Fran Foster, who from January 28 to February 1 launches the National Fine Art and Antiques Fair at The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

Brightwells on the move

15 December 2003

UK: Brightwells are moving their operations from Ryelands Road in Leominster to a new and purpose-built building at Easters Court, at the northern end of the A49 bypass. The new building is nearly three times the size of the present premises where space had become a problem.

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.

Watson is far from elementary

13 November 2003

Samuel Watson (1649-1710) is not perhaps as well-known as his contemporaries East, Knibb, Graham or Tompion but he is one of the blue chip names of late 17th century London clockmaking – good enough to enjoy the patronage of both Charles II and Sir Isaac Newton.

Malvern changes continue in bid for better service

24 October 2003

CHANGES are afoot over the next few months at the popular Malvern International Antiques & Collectors Fair, held every month at Worcestershire’s Three Counties Showground.

Quality control stays the course

17 October 2003

RUNNING at the racetrack since 1988, Caroline Penman’s Chester Antiques & Fine Art Show is a favourite with both local collectors and the 60 or so dealers who regularly exhibit. It will be held, as usual, at the County Grandstand, Chester Racecourse from October 23 to 25 and, also as usual at this event, most stock will be pre-1920.

Art Deco Italian style, where sex appeal is the extra ingredient

31 July 2003

THE response to the Art Deco style in Italy was different from that of the other Northern European countries – often humorous, sometimes surreal and occasionally bordering on the kitsch. These are certainly characteristics of the earthenware figures of Enrico and Elena Scavini’s Lenci factory that playfully combine hippo-riding brunettes with coquettish blondes climbing skyscrapers.

Leominster has the next big event sewn up

15 July 2003

IT seems the Herefordshire town of Leominster has quite a buzzing antiques trade with the accent on the decorative. In particular it is strong on textiles and one of the local dealers in this field is going to bring her speciality to a wider audience.

Halls change in bid to woo private buyers

14 July 2003

Halls Fine Art of Shrewsbury are to change their regular antiques sales from a Friday to a Wednesday from September. The firm’s Welsh Bridge salerooms will open for a pre-sale public viewing on Saturday mornings for its fine art and antiques sales in a bid to attract a wider public audience.

Wormington: Rowley’s legacy for sale

30 June 2003

On July 21 and 22, Sotheby’s will be holding a house contents sale at Wormington Manor near Broadway. This was the Worcestershire home of interior decorator, Christopher Rowley whose shop in Lower Sloane Street, Belgravia was a familiar meeting point for his large circle of friends and clients until his death in April this year.

Uttoxeter office for Sotheby’s

24 June 2003

In August Sotheby’s will open a new regional office near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, headed by Mark Newstead. The Staffordshire office will serve clients in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, as well as North Wales.

Trade uncover con by runners across the South

23 June 2003

Four police forces in the south of England are investigating a series of deceptions that have hit at least half a dozen dealers for high-value items. Thames Valley, Kent, Hertfordshire and Metropolitan Police are now convinced that what first looked like a series of isolated incidents is in fact part of a systematic con being perpetrated by three runners using a number of modus operandi.

19th century armorial figure of a greyhound

10 June 2003

Among the highlights of the collection of the late John Stewart Parry sold by Bruton Knowles at the Tithe Barn, Southam from May 19-23 was this carved and painted wood armorial figure of a greyhound. Standing 211/2in (55cm) high and retaining its original paintwork, the 19th century piece received plenty of interest from the trade before it was knocked down to a London dealer for £3600 (plus 15% buyer’s premium).

Early issue Hobbits have a £10,300 day out in Hagley

03 June 2003

Apparently consigned for sale by a local lady who had no idea of its commercial potential – it had been acquired as holiday reading when she was a young girl – a 1937 first edition of The Hobbit was sold at £10,300 in a general antiques sale held by Fieldings in Hagley, Worcester-shire, on April 26.

Huge and rare eagle takes wing

21 May 2003

This rare and impressive Royal Worcester porcelain model of a Golden Eagle, right, attracted huge amounts of interest from Royal Worcester collectors when it came to the rostrum on April 10 at the Worcester rooms of Andrew Grant (15% buyer’s premium).

Novelty cigarette box lights up the day

13 May 2003

SPECIALIST collector markets provided the highlights at Locke & England's Warwickshire salerooms where the 524-lot mixed sale on April 3 (12.5% buyer's premium) included sections catering to special interests in textiles, 20th century pottery and porcelain, toys and games and novelty silver.

Heart of glass in May

02 May 2003

AFTER 15 years in the glass business, Cheshire organiser Patricia Hier knows her field well and it shows at her twice-yearly National Glass Collectors Fair, the next of which will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum, West Midlands on Sunday May 11.

Coming up in Buckingham

07 March 2003

Here’s something you’re unlikely to see much this century, lifesize or otherwise: a cap-wearing boy on a go-kart, commonly known to collectors of Matchbox toys as a Soapbox Racer. It’s the cover lot of Vectis Auction Group’s Matchbox Magic 8 sale, which takes place next week at the Community Hall in Buckingham.

Motorbike museum deal shows changes come in cycles

28 February 2003

Newly-formed organisers Antiques Fair Management, a division of Shropshire-based Wellington Market Company, have acquired a series of one-day Sunday fairs at Birmingham’s National Motorcycle Museum.

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