Setting up this website has already uncovered many fantastic plaques I wasn't previously aware existed. The Maling plaque below, in the personal collection of Elizabeth Bradley, ticks all my boxes. I'm half relieved it isn't up for sale, because at auction, I don't know at what point I'd stop bidding.
Elizabeth has a large selection of Staffordshire figures, and some plaques for sale on her website, including the exceptional plaque below.
Having reported 1079edmund's activity (see two postings below) to eBay many times to no avail, I've tried a different tack. On Thursday I posted a 1p-start 'information-only listing' (260575303250). It appears beside the fake items (eg 160416306457) in the search lists. At the time of writing, eBay hasn't removed my listing which gives pointers about identifying fake over-painting on items of lustreware.
My thanks to the many people who have offered their support, through clicking on 'ask a question', many of whom I've never spoken to before. I don't know whether the listing will run until the end, but your comments send out a clear message to eBay.
1079edmund removed his plaque with fake anchors from eBay. A jug with a ship with orange/brown over-painted sails sold for £87, which is far less than it would have made if he'd just listed it without over-painting. There were no bids on this item in the last 5 days of the auction. A child's mug, currently at £51 comes up on Tuesday night. I'll keep you posted.
***The child's mug received no further bids. 1079edmund decided to remove the Mariner's Arms jug with a mixture of original and fake enamels.***
***Two buyers have left follow-up comments on eBay to say their items were over-painted. Another buyer of an over-painted item contacted me today. 1079edmund has no items listed at present.***
On the left are photos of a bowl 1079edmund purchased on eBay (290287408366) on 10 January 2010. On the right are photos of a bowl he sold on eBay (160412521739) on 18 March 2010. Click on the images to enlarge. In this case, his embellishments appear to have earned him a clear £100 profit.
Thanks to Martyn Edgell for identifying the date on the plaque of my March 17th blog posting. On January 20th, 1827, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, was buried in St Georges Chapel, Windsor. He was commander-in-chief of the British army, 'brilliantly reorganising his nation's forces, putting in place administrative reforms which enabled the British to defeat Napoleon'. This explains the mourning soldier.
What's wrong with the plaque below, currently for sale on eBay?
The enamels have been carefully faked by someone, hoping to realise more money than the item is actually worth. How do I know? I bought one from the same seller several years ago (see below).
The colours are too shrill and were never used by Victorian potters to decorate plaques. If you have an item of lustreware with this particular green and orange-brown, you probably bought it from 1079edmund. The leaves and flowers are coloured in far too neatly. Compare the decoration with that on the large plaques at the bottom of the prepare to meet thy god sub-page.
Here is how the plaque should look (right image). I bought this plaque from a reputable auction house a few weeks ago (click on the images below to enlarge).
I've posted a selection of 1079edmund's artistic handiwork on the fake over-painted items sub-page above.
So why haven't I reported this faker to eBay? I have. The full story is here:
Please contact me if you have purchased a suspect item from this seller.
The unusual plaque below came up for sale last weekend in the US. The Oxford English dictionary defines 'Obsequies' as funeral rites, but the date on the tomb, 20 January 1827, is a mystery. In the background is an army encampment. I'd love to hear from anyone who can make sense of the date. My half an hour on Google proved fruitless.
The plaque is now in Elinor Penna's collection. Over five years ago, I exchanged with her two Staffordshire figures for the black and yellow plaques that form the core of my collection. I've never regretted the swap, which seems as fair now as it did then. Elinor has a world-class collection of English pottery and is knowledgeable about Sunderland lustre, Staffordshire figures, Pearlware, Measham (bargeware) and many other subjects. She is President of the Staffordshire Figures Association, and also a dealer - primarily in Staffordshire, but always with a good selection of plaques too. The vast majority of her stock isn't listed on her website, so if you're looking for something in particular, e-mail Elinor and ask (email@example.com).
A lucky buyer picked up these rare verse plaques from Boldon Auctions today for hammer price £170 (each). I left bids but wasn't the under bidder, so interest in the items was strong. If you're the purchaser, well done, they're worth every penny. It would be great to have photos without auction stickers, so please get in touch!
Over five years ago I saw a plaque in the window of Denton Antiques on Kensington Church Street. Inside was one of the finest collection of plaques I've ever seen. Denton have very kindly sent photos of some rare verses from their private collection.
The plaque above is very similar to one of my own (below). I've never seen these verses on any other plaques. I've posted them with several other plaques from Denton Antiques on the black and yellow plaques sub-page.
The pink lustre plaque below is also a rarity. I've transcribed the verse on the poetic verses sub-page.
Though the plaques above aren't for sale, Denton still have an interesting selection on their website. On the search page, select the 'miscellaneous' category and type 'plaque' as a key word: http://www.denton-antiques.co.uk/
Myrna Schkolne, author of People, Passions, Pastimes, and Pleasures: Staffordshire Figures 1810–1835, has provided this image of a rare plaque with moulded cherubim, from her collection. I've seen several pink/red and green versions, but, until now, never a yellow one. I've posted it with two other examples on the Brightly coloured religious plaques sub-page.
Myrna has a fantastic website (www.mystaffordshirefigures.com), which is well worth visiting, even if early Staffordshire figures aren't usually your thing. The preoccupations of the Staffordshire potters were similar to those of the potters of the North East, and Myrna has provided a wealth of information on many of their subjects.
Stephen Smith lives in London, and is always happy to hear from other collectors. If you have an interesting collection of plaques, and are based in the UK, he will photograph them for you. Free advice given regarding selling and dispersal of a collection, or to those wishing to start one. Just get in touch...
This website is indebted to collectors, dealers and enthusiasts who have shared their knowledge or photos. In particular: Ian Holmes, Stephen Duckworth, Dick Henrywood, Norman Lowe, Keith Lovell, Donald H Ryan, Harold Crowder, Jack and Joyce Cockerill, Myrna Schkolne, Elinor Penna, Ian Sharp, Shauna Gregg at the Sunderland Museum, Keith Bell, Martyn Edgell, and Liz Denton.