Saleroom Life

by Sheffield Auction Gallery

Month: July 2017

Ocean Liner Memorabilia

Ocean liner memorabilia brings alive the more glamorous era when the only way to travel the world was by ship and in style. It is nostalgia from a bygone era and it is that that attracts the collectors.

At the beginning of the 20th century the giant luxury liners of the shipping companies such as Cunard, White Star Line and Canadian Pacific plied the transatlantic trade. In general collectors focus on the best known liners and their memorabilia command the highest prices. Memorabilia from the lesser known companies or those that didn’t travel the transatlantic route are usually less costly.

Notable ships include the Olympic, and the Mauritania, but by far the most desirable collectables come from the ill fated Titanic. The market for such memorabilia increased dramatically after the love affair of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 film. Items owned or used by survivors or rescuers such as, watches, spoons, menus and plates generally realise the highest prices. In 2002 a rare first class dinner menu made £27,000.

Postcards and photographs are often the most reasonably priced items as they were produced in high quantities. Hand written cards are collected and value depends on the condition, the message and the sender.

Essential ocean liner memorabilia for any collector includes playing cards featuring the liner or company logo, timetables especially those with period artwork and menus especially first class or special occasion. Other items of value are original fixtures and fittings, brochures and souvenirs. Items taken from the ship as a memento tend to more valuable.

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

Dresden Porcelain

Dresden does not refer to a particular maker, but rather a combination of at least forty porcelain workshops in and around the city of Dresden in Germany, which became a major centre for the production of porcelain. Numerous factories produced wares in the style of Meissen and Sevres and many of these makers used copies of old Meissen marks.

The hard paste porcelain used by most workshops in Dresden is less white and refined than Meissen porcelain and the decoration is not applied as carefully. Nevertheless, some of the best pieces may be mistaken for Meissen. Although there was a tradition in Dresden of producing fine porcelain figures, less expensive figures also found a ready market. The very inexpensive figures were made in a single two piece mould, while more elaborate examples were assembled from
many pieces.

Among the most common products are mythological and pastoral figures and groups together with birds and animals. Figures usually wear 18th century costume. Dresden porcelain is generally considered to be poorer quality than the Meissen it mimics and thus is not as desirable. It does however offer the collector value for money.

Dresden figures are often not marked, except by impressed numbers, but with Dresden it is much better to concentrate on quality and not the maker’s mark.

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

Wine Coolers

I must admit, I do rather enjoy a glass of wine. In fact, I will go further, I absolutely love a glass of wine. In fact, I will go further still, on a lovely summers evening, on a deck chair in the garden nothing is better (almost nothing) than a glass of perfectly chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

First produced in the late 17th century, wine coolers were part of a widespread fashion for serving chilled wine and punch. They were introduced into Britain from France and made mostly by Huguenot Silversmiths. Placed on the sideboard or table for chilling wine between servings, they remained popular throughout the 19th century.

Wine coolers developed from the wine cistern made in the 17th century. The cistern was a very large and impressive oval silver basin, which stood on a spreading base and four feet with massive drop ring handles, or handles in the form of mythical creatures. It was used for cooling several bottles of wine in ice or for washing glasses. Few of these cisterns have survived though as they were melted down due to their high value as bullion.

In the 18th century cisterns for washing glasses became redundant owing to the production of larger sets of flatware and glasses and also due to their replacement with smaller single bottle wine coolers which could be set on the table instead of the sideboard.

During the mid 18th century there was a lull in the demand for wine coolers, probably due to increased popularity of claret and port, which was drunk at room temperature. However, the cooler was revived in the 19th century with sets of four being particularly popular and many being made in Old Sheffield Plate.

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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