Attitudes to these classic pieces seem to vary enormously between the different auction houses, but as Alan indicated, there is certainly an apparent or perceived lack of respect, in some quarters, for the history and appeal of these collectables among sales cataloguers.
We all know that the market value of Staffordshire figures is at a disappointing low point, but that is not to say that attitudes among dealers can’t be changed, and enthusiasm for these distinctive wares revived.
Alan was of course specifically expressing his concern for the position of figures in the markets, but his sentiments can be extended and applied to a whole field of Staffordshire pottery.
I would therefore like to add a voice in support of the Staffordshire case and the need for more appreciation of the Stoke-on-Trent heritage.
It can be heartbreaking sometimes to see once luxury pieces now largely disregarded and traded at the bottom end of the market.
Everyone is looking for new growth areas to develop but let us not forget the basics. There is still a lot of pottery with merit around and although it might be the case that familiarity breeds contempt, with effort and drive, I am sure that interest in this neglected area of collectable focus could be regenerated.
I would encourage a more realistic consideration of the Staffordshire ‘back catalogue’ with a more positive attitude and approach to pottery trading, beyond the promotion of the key popular names.
There is still great market potential for several single factory producers and the designers and decorators behind their output.
As a Staffordshire man I am always keen to promote interest in my speciality and I hope for a revival of respect for the Potteries legacy.
I would welcome a discussion around a more concerted and structured approach to the Staffordshire ‘market’.