The jug below is attributed to Cornfoot, Colville & Co, North Shields, c1830. I bought it on the internet knowing there were condition issues. Not least, it appeared discoloured and yellow. When it arrived it was obvious it had been painted, all over, in wood varnish. After sitting unloved in my office for a few months, I took my chances with a can of cellulose thinners. Here are the results: 'before' pictures on the left, 'after' pictures on the right. You can click to enlarge and move from image to image.
Although the jug will always have a few cracks, it has a new lease of life. It took hours of patience to reverse someone's 10 minutes of madness with a paintbrush. But the jug is now in our sitting room and no longer destined for a box in the attic.
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.