There's nothing wrong with the description of the items below listed on eBay, except for what it doesn't say.
"2 X SUNDERLAND WARE STYLE PINK LUSTRE SHIP WALL PLAQUES DEPICTING TWO SHIPS AGAMEMNON FLYING BOSTON CLOUD THERE ARE NO MAKERS MARKINGS TO THE REAR OF THE PLAQUES SO DESCRIBED AS SUNDERLAND WARE STYLE AS I CANT BE 100% SURE THEY ARE SUNDERLAND WARE THEY BOTH MEASURE 8 1/2" X 7 1/2" & BOTH ARE IN PERFECT CONDITION WITHOUT ANY CHIPS OR CRACKS"
The plaques are late 20th century reproductions, and as decorative items might be worth a few quid. However, the bid at the time of writing is £78!
You can read Ian Holmes' guide to spotting reproduction plaques on the Reproductions page. He writes... 'You will probably never see a damaged or restored AGAMEMNON or FLYING CLOUD BOSTON plaque (because they are so new and also if broken not worth restoring).' And.. 'They often appear together as a pair'.
Sold for £102.01, so approximately five times what they would have done, had the words 'modern reproductions' appeared in the description.
Ian contacted the seller who writes:
"Thanks very much for your email I appreciate it & I'm not at all offended, I know very little about the plaques or Sunderland ware, they were just items given to me ages ago by my father, I actually thought my starting price was fair for them & didn't anticipate the price they are at now. since having looked into Sunderland wear, I will contact the winning bidder before they make payment to explain exactly what the plaques are & they then can decide if they still want them or not, if they don't I will re-list with a different wording."
So all's well that ends well, and best wishes to the seller. I know from personal experience that selling items on eBay – all that photographing, listing, answering questions and packing – can sometimes feel like a thankless business.
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.