Saleroom Life

by Sheffield Auction Gallery

Month: October 2015

Bow Porcelain

The Bow Factory operated from 1744 and made wares in a type of soft paste porcelain made using a special patented formula known as ‘Bone-ash’ that was developed by Thomas Frye and Edward Heylen. They added ground calcined ox-bones which made the porcelain denser and heavier. Bow is thought to be the first English factory to include bone ash in its recipe although it was also used by the likes of Chelsea and Lowestoft during this period.

Bow is particularly well-known for its blue-and-white porcelain. They produced vast quantities of everyday wares in a style to imitate the very popular Chinese and Japanese porcelain, so much so that the factory is sometimes referred to as the ‘New Canton’. Early Bow was painted in a bright royal blue and the potting was thick with classic designs such as flower, tree and bamboo motifs, Chinese landscapes and imitations of the Kakiemon style particularly the partridge pattern. Bow can often be distinguished due to the deepness and darkness of their blues and powdered decoration that was dusted on was a speciality of the factory.

Unfortunately the burnt ash component in the porcelain caused regular cracking and browning to occur especially on the everyday wares that were used and washed regularly and this is now seen by collectors as a key characteristic of the Bow factory. The quality of the porcelain decreased after Frye’s death in 1761 and was more thinly potted so even more vulnerable to the browning problem.

The Bow factory also made ornamental porcelain making figures that despite often being viewed as poor copies of the more sophisticated ones produced by Meissen and Chelsea, sold well as their rustic look matched the fashionable Rococo style popular at the time.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Dinky

Dinky Toys were first referred to by this name in 1934; a year after they were first produced and marketed as ‘Modelled Miniatures’ – a set of trackside accessories for the famous Hornby trains. Dinky Toys was founded by Frank Hornby of Meccano and Hornby fame, who had decided to branch out into diecast vehicles after watching their success when sold by American company, Tootsie Toys who first made model cars in 1909.

A boxed Dinky No.184 – A Volvo 122S, Sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery for £620 in April 2014

A boxed Dinky No.184 – A Volvo 122S, Sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery for £620 in April 2014

The first early Dinky toys were made of lead. They were generally produced in sets or series with the first being the 22 series (a to f) which included a military tank, delivery van, a motor truck, sports car, sports coupe and a tractor. They were brightly coloured, perfect miniatures and are extremely rare and collectable today.

The early lead examples were quickly replaced by models made from the much safer magnesium-zinc alloy mazac. However, this came with its own difficulties as the alloy contained lead impurities which caused corrosion and cracking of the metal, sometimes even crumbling. Consequently the survival rate can be poor for pre-war examples and the condition affected of those still around today.

Boxed Dinky Aircraft

Boxed Dinky Aircraft

Dinky toys continued to be made in series and sold in trade packs of six vehicles with individual boxes not introduced en masse until 1952. Dinky toys manufactured post-war were of a better quality alloy but the paint on the vehicles was distinctly duller. Production and popularity of the toys continued to rise with the mid-1950s often referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of Dinky Toys when every man and boy had a collection and Dinky had started to upgrade its range, particularly re-introducing their bright pre-war colours.

Boxed Dinky Commercial Vehicles

Boxed Dinky Commercial Vehicles

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Carlton Walking Ware

Carlton Ware was produced in a factory in Stoke from 1890 but it was a ceramics company that went through many ups and downs. Arthur Wood & Sons bought the company in 1967 and by the early 1970s it was in real difficulties. It could be said that Danka Napiorkowska and Roger Michell and their wonderful Walking Ware saved the company.

A Pair of Carlton Ware Pottery Vases, of globular form, painted and gilt with the Fantasia pattern with stylised swallows on a matt grey/blue ground. Sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery for £720 in 2013

A Pair of Carlton Ware Pottery Vases, of globular form, painted and gilt with the Fantasia pattern with stylised swallows on a matt grey/blue ground. Sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery for £720 in 2013

The first Walking Tea Set was designed and made in 1973 by Napiorkowska and Michell in their tiny private studio called Lustre Pottery in Malton. The idea saw two little legs added to all elements of a tea set with brightly coloured Mary Jane shoes (children’s shoes with one thin strap fastened with a button or buckle) and equally as vibrant socks. The first range of Walking Ware produced consisted of teapots, sugar bowl, milk jug, coffee or water jug, soup bowl, mug, salt, pepper, plate, biscuit -barrel and egg cup.

Vintage 1970s Carlton Ware Lustre eggcup

Vintage 1970s Carlton Ware Lustre eggcup

The success of Walking Ware was huge and often put down to its ability to capture the freedom and the sense of new found optimism of the 1970s. The success meant that Lustre Pottery couldn’t keep up with demand so it made an agreement with Carlton Ware that they would manufacture the wares. This simultaneously secured Walking Wares’ future and saved Carlton Ware from bankruptcy.

The Walking Ware range was quickly extended to include the RJS series; Running, Jumping and Standing Still and the Big Foot range with over-sized feet in polka dot socks. They became expert at meeting the high demands for these novelty items including producing one-offs such as the Queen’s Silver Jubilee kneeling mug and cups for both Charles and Diana following their marriage.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Hummel Figurines

The famous Hummel figures began life in the sketch book of Berta Hummel, born in Bavaria, Germany in 1909, who would later become Sister Maria Innocenti after joining the Franciscan convent of Siessen in 1931. Hummel’s drawings, largely of children, were published on ‘art’ postcards and this is where they were first seen by Franz Goebel, owner of the Goebel porcelain factory, W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik. He knew that they would make great novelty figures and after making contact with Hummel, gained the rights to her illustrations.

In 1935 Goebel produced the first Hummel figures; Puppy Love, Little Fiddler and Bookworm. They were a huge triumph. Goebel expertly marketed his novelty range and cornered the home market as well as the US market where their success was immense; they were a ‘million seller’. During the Second World War Hummel figures were bought by American soldiers stationed in Germany and sent home to their sweethearts. The nostalgia of their journey through soldiers’ hands has always given them added appeal to collectors.

Hummel figures are still being produced today so dating a piece using the backstamp is very important. The inclusion of a crown indicates an early figure between 1935 and 1949 as after 1950 a motif with a bee and a V shape was introduced with the bee getting smaller and moving inside the V shape between 1950 and 1970. The addition of the name ‘Goebel’ began in 1964. All figures are marked with Hummel’s signature; M. I. Hummel, except those without bases or where there is insufficient room.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

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