Some plaques you have to work a little harder for than others. Fellows listed a 'lustre plaque a/f' in amongst a box of other things, guide price circa £40–60. I didn't have high expectations when I requested photos.
So I was amazed to receive the picture below. I have transcribed the verse on the poetic verses page. The condition report said the plaque had a chip (behind the ribbon in the photo), but couldn't guarantee its condition after the viewing, with hordes of people rummaging through the boxes!
Not wanting to draw attention to the lot, because they might have posted photos on the website, I waited nearly a whole month before sending my bid of just over £200. I got confirmation the bid had been registered. What could go wrong!
The box sold for £65 and I posted a celebratory piece on this blog. But when I rang the following day to pay, I was told my bid on lot 477 had been transcribed incorrectly, and recorded as lot 447. The buyer had paid and taken the box home. There was nothing they could do. To give Fellows their due, they were sincerely apologetic.
My indomitable friend Myrna suggested I ask the auction house to contact the buyer, explain what had happened, and say I was interested in buying the plaque. Fellows were extremely helpful and contacted the buyer twice on my behalf.
The buyer eventually agreed to sell it for £100, so we both benefitted from the arrangement (the postage and packing on the box to London would have cost around £40).
The plaque arrived today and is great. Well worth the extra grey hairs I gained securing its purchase.
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.