Charles Dickens’ Dolly Varden ~ A Royal Doulton Treasure

  Dolly Varden is a fictional character, a gaily dressed coquette, who features in Charles Dickens’ 1839 historical novel Barnaby Rudge, set in 1780. The Dolly Varden costume, consisting of a wide-skirted, tight-bodiced print dress, worn with a white fichu and a flowered hat with a wide drooping brim, was an 1870’s version of the […]

Of Cats and Catalogues ~ Everyday Dealing

Having recently been requested by a friend to appraise a collection of books which she had been given, we approached the task with a certain degree of reservation, preferring generally to avoid the pitfalls likely to be encountered when conducting business transactions with friends. In the event, since any funds raised were to be donated […]

On a political note ~ Reflections on Brexit

We have just returned from spending ten days in Portugal where our friends of various European nationalities were as one in their bafflement at the folly of the U.K. Government in pursuing Brexit, regarding it in equal measure as a ridiculous and offensive policy. Our hostess being a woman of sound common sense from the […]

To Auction ~ Or Not ?

As will be perfectly clear to those who take the trouble to investigate the matter, auction salerooms, which usually capture the imagination of the public when some item of great importance or value makes the headlines, more typically act on a day-to-day basis as clearing houses for unwanted goods of every sort. Deceased Estates and […]

On Auctions and Auctioneers ~ Random Reflections

Prompted to rush to the keyboard following another entertaining episode of “Celebrity Antiques Road Trip”, this time, c. 2012, featuring Thomas Plant, and our favourite Auctioneer, { except, that is, when he is expounding upon the subject of Royal Doulton Crinoline Figurines ! }, James Lewis, and their celebrity guests. As will be clear from […]

In Dublin’s Fair City ~ A Royal Doulton Rarity

Molly Malone is a popular song set in Dublin, Ireland, which tells the fictional tale of a fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of the city. The song has, over the years, come to be regarded as Dublin’s unofficial anthem, and, during the Millennium celebrations in 1988, 13 June was declared to be […]

Catalogues ~ An Undervalued Educational Resource

By their nature, ephemeral publications, Auction Catalogues, particularly those produced for marketing purposes by the major auction houses to promote their sales are, generally speaking, seriously undervalued as an educational resource. This same criticism may fairly be applied, albeit to a lesser degree, to Exhibition Catalogues published by museums and others to accompany transient cultural […]

Reginald Johnson ~ Staffordshire Potter Extraordinaire

Reginald Johnson was Director of Design for Royal Doulton group, working mainly for the Paragon and Royal Albert brands. His Royal Albert bird plates from the 1980s are much appreciated by collectors and his commemorative designs for Paragon have celebrated many royal occasions over the years. For the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in […]

Over the Rainbow ~ Victorian Lustres

Once to be found capturing the sun’s rays in every middle and upper class home, these highly decorative domestic accessories fell from favour after the first World War. Sadly, along with much else of purely aesthetic, as opposed to practical value, they came to be regarded by all too many as “Victorian clutter”, and were […]

Selling your Antiques ~ Our Advice

Like most Antique Dealers we tend normally to buy the vast bulk of our stock at auction. There are many perfectly good reasons for this, not the least of which is that goods purchased in this way can be shown to have been acquired both legally and fairly within a properly regulated professional arena. That […]