Ian Holmes e-mailed me about a plaque which sold on eBay yesterday for £127.50. The description read:
RARE ANTIQUE SUNDERLAND LUSTRE PLAQUE
DEPICTING WILLIAM OF ORANGE - WITH THE MOTTO - NO SURRENDER
THIS IS A FINE ANTIQUE PLAQUE - DATING CIRCA 1820
Ian said the inaccuracies in the description were 'typical of a seller who has no other proper lustre items,' and added '...clearly people are thinking this is not just a Staffordshire 1890s piece. Sad.'
I wrote to the eBay seller a few days ago and told him his description was way off. Being less charitable than Ian, I estimated the plaque to be of early 20th century production. At any rate, it's not particularly rare, not Sunderland lustre, and certainly not 1820.
The seller didn't respond (never mind amend the description). So if you've just purchased this item and want to keep it, you should feel no qualms about asking for £100 refund from the sale price.
The seller has written to me to say he hadn't received my e-mail, sent through eBay's 'ask a question'. He found it in his spam filter. There has been a happy outcome in that he has offered the buyer a full refund.
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.