Saleroom Life

by Sheffield Auction Gallery

Month: March 2016

Chelsea Porcelain

The Chelsea Factory was established sometime between 1743 and 1745 by Nicholas Sprimont. Sprimont’s background as a silversmith is evident in many of the Chelsea designs, particularly the early pieces. He ran a hugely successful and innovative company until 1769 when he sold to William Duesbury of the Derby Porcelain factory who maintained Chelsea until 1784, producing what is commonly referred to as Chelsea-Derby ware. In 1784, the Chelsea workshops were demolished with the majority of the moulds destroyed and a few removed to Derby along with some of the workers.

Chelsea Porcelain is very clearly divided into four periods defined by the marks used. The first period; the triangle period (1745-49) saw pieces marked with an incised triangle. Wares from this period have a glassy white body due to a proportion of crushed lead glass in the soft paste that can appear to have ‘pinholes’ in it when held to the light. Designs tended to be based on silver work with particular Rococo influence.

By the raised anchor period (1749-52) marked with an applied anchor on a small oval medallion, there had been some improvement in the quality of the glaze with less translucency. Many designs had a Meissen influence and scenes from Aesop’s Fables were popular. A small red or occasionally brown anchor defined the Red anchor period (1752-56) which saw fashions favour decorative tableware with designs such as fruit, animals and vegetables becoming popular. Figures from this period are particularly notable; the best produced by Flemish modeller Josef Willems. Finally the Gold anchor period (1757-69) where the small anchor was now painted gold saw an increased use of gilding and coloured grounds, the return to Rococo designs and many more elaborate figures produced.

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

Heubach bisque dolls

The Heubach factory was established in Lichte, Germany in 1843 after brothers, Georg Christoph and Phillipp Jakob, bought an existing porcelain business. They initially made porcelain dolls’ heads and other figurines but later as the fashion for using bisque travelled to Germany from France where they had been experimenting with it from the late 1860s, Heubach began to use bisque as their main material from about 1910.

Bisque Dolls

Bisque Dolls

While the porcelain dolls were glazed and therefore shiny, the bisque allowed for a much more realistic skin tone as they remained unglazed; initially fired and then re-fired after layers of decoration had been applied. It was very uncommon to find a doll made completely of bisque as it was so delicate and breakable, most
dolls had bodies made of cloth or leather and later composition, a substance made by mixing glue with sawdust or wood pulp.
Heubach made figurines completely in bisque, most famously their piano babies.

The piano babies were, as the name suggests, figurines of babies which many households sat upon their piano; perhaps just as decoration or more often than not
to hold in place the fabric that often adorned grand pianos as was fashionable at the time.

The babies were often nude but were also made with carefully painted clothes and bonnets. They ranged from about four to twelve inches in length and the babies posed in a variety of positions. They are difficult to find in mint condition due to the fragile nature of bisque. Other companies also made these ‘Piano’ babies but Heubach’s are all marked. Heubach marks include the word ‘Heubach’ enclosed in a square and more commonly on the ‘Piano’ babies, a sunburst.

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

Lea Stein

Lea Stein was a French Paris-based artist born in 1931 who become famous for her costume jewellery fashioned out of rhodoid, a form of cellulose acetate, typically the type used to make frames for spectacles. She began her own design company in 1957 but it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that she experimented with rhodoid and in 1965 started making buttons. By the end of the 1960s she had branched out from buttons to brooches and further improved her technique, with the help of her husband, chemist Fernand Steinberger. He invented a lamination process involving very thin sheets of rhodoid that enabled her to layer to dramatic effect. This method gave wonderful texture, colour and pattern to her pieces.

The subject and designs of her pieces include most commonly animals, particularly cats and people both famous and stylised. Due to the process taken to create them, each piece is completely original, no two are the same and all her work is signed in the same way; on the pin backing “Lea Stein – Paris”. Stein’s work is
categorised as either vintage (1969-1981) or modern (1988-). The company suffered from competition abroad, closing in 1981. Stein began designing again in 1988 as well as recreating some of her vintage collection. The Art Deco look of many of her designs has repeatedly lead to them being mistakenly dated in the 1920s.

Popular vintage pieces include Fox, Rhino, Felix and Ballerina. Key modern designs include ‘Buba’ (an owl), Goupil (a fox’s head) as well as Penguin, Tortoise and the cat, Sacha. It can be incredibly difficult to tell vintage and modern pieces apart.

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

The Newlyn School

In 1890, John MacKenzie founded the Newlyn Industrial Class in Newlyn, Cornwall. Along with other talented local artists, he took on unemployed fishermen and taught them to work with copper. John Pearson, co-founder of the Guild of Handicraft (1888), came to work with him at Newlyn in 1982. As a master craftsman, he was the man who taught the men their skills while MacKenzie supplied the majority of the early designs.

Newlyn used the ancient craft of repousse; the process where copper plate is laid on a bed of pitch or lead and hammered from the back to create designs. It is understood that the practice of beating on lead instead of pitch was actually devised by Pearson himself and was a trade secret of the Newlyn School for many years.

Newlyn is not always easy to recognize as not all pieces were stamped. The stamp used was generally the name ‘NEWLYN’ although there are six or possibly seven different variations on this stamp size and occasionally pieces bear other marks such as a date or designers name or the phrase ‘Newlyn Industrial Class Penzance’.

Newlyn made a huge variety of things from domestic items such as dishes, trays and coffee pots to more decorative items like vases, panels and picture frames. Designs largely featured marine subjects such as fish, crabs and seaweed but birds, fruit, landscapes and flowers also feature. One of the great appeals of Newlyn copper is the high quality craftsmanship, which incorporates quality of construction as well as brilliant design. Particular attention was paid to hinges and seams, which is in keeping with the Arts and Crafts movement thinking that construction should be part of the decorative features of any piece.

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

Goldscheider Figurines

The Goldscheider Porcelain Manufacturer and Majolica Factory was founded in Vienna in 1885 by Freidrich Goldscheider. It quickly earned itself international acclaim becoming one of the leading ceramics companies in Europe opening branches in Paris, Florence, Leipzig and Berlin. Freidrich worked with his sons Walter and Marcell who would later move to America and England respectively to continue expanding the business after Hilter’s regime forced the family to flee Austria in 1938.

Goldscheider

Goldscheider

The Goldscheider factories are probably the most well known of the potteries who made the beautiful Art Deco figurines that were so popular in the 1920s and 30s. The figurines depicted elegant, slim-lined and fashionable ladies typically displayed in movement, whether it was mid-dance, an acrobatic stance or simply a
sweeping gesture, with dramatic curves that allowed their flowing dresses and sleeves to produce eye-catching, decorative features for the pieces.

The large flat areas of the extended dresses, scarves or sleeves were decorated with intricate, colourful designs that contrasted with the light, porcelain-like skin tones of the women. A high quality of detail and skill in the artwork as well as a characterful and appealing face all add value to these figurines. Erotic subjects are particularly popular. Damage or poor restoration can dramatically reduce
desirability and thus value.

Many talented designers worked with Goldscheider at this time and work by two of the best, Stefan Dakon and Josef Lorenzl is particularly desirable. Dakon and Lorenzl worked on a huge range of these stylish and stylised women, working not just in ceramics but also in the more desirable and expensive bronze and ivory.

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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