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Guides...........and blogs

We buy lots of ceramics and inevitably we have accumulated many items that we cannot identify. Sometimes we seek help from online forums but, all too frequently, the item remains a mystery

This is the latest to go in the box, a kind of porcelain Room 101:

Polychrome Chinoiserie plate, looks to be porcelain and possibly British. 8 1/2" diameter, pronounced foot, outline transfer print with extensive hand painting.

We have two of these, one has no markings, the other has an impressed 6 or 9. Looking at an angle one can see that features were originally painted but they have worn, as have many stems.

But what age and pattern is it, never mind who made it?

We now have so many mystery ceramics… view more »

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This photo is of Lisa Minghetti as painted by Philip Alexius de László

A beautiful young woman and one of László's best known portraits. Lisa must have loved it, using a photo of the painting to sign autographs for her admirers

This photo is signed by Minghetti "To Dear George" and dated 1936. The following year the BBC reported "Only twenty-four years of age, Lisa Minghetti has already had a brilliant career. Her main studies were at the Akademie fur Musik in Vienna, her native city, where she studied under Jacques Thibaud and Carl Flesch. Since then she has appeared in almost every important musical centre in Europe. In London last year she played Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, in G… view more »

In the mid 1980s Dr. Mehta wrote to many world leaders and leading statesmen seeking their photos and autographs.

Though most responded with stock photos and facsimile autographs, some also wrote personal notes.

Featured is President Chiang Ching-kuo, who was president of the ROC (Taiwan) until his death in 1988. Wiki: "The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China. The ROC was founded in 1912 in mainland China. However, after the ROC lost control of the mainland, the government of the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan in the late 1940s."

We bought a file of many of the letters and photos sent to Dr Mehta, together with other signed photos of politicians from… view more »

For most people the run up to Christmas starts in the mid-autumn when the shops start to stock Christmas goods and the John Lewis and Coke adverts appear on the telly.

The shops started much earlier, designing and sourcing the 2018 Christmas ranges at the end of 2017 and start of 2018.

But our 2018 Christmas stock buying started in April 2015 when we bought a number of boxed Snowmen (made by Coalport) which promptly went on display. Only for a recent hall redesign to see the Snowmen packed away again.. So we decided they had to be rehomed, which is why they have just been listed on Ebay and two are Walking in the Air to new owners already! view more »

In May 2018 we decided to focus this website purely on paper and ephemera.

We moved all other items off the site, some to our Ebay and Etsy shops, which both trade under the Penllyn Collectables name.

In August 2018 we began to add more letters and autographs here and created several new categories in our important autographs and letters department to make it easier to browse.

At the time of writing we have many hundreds of items for sale and this will steadily increase over the coming months.

And we now post worldwide as well!

Right: Cora Urquhart Brown-Potter, stage actress, signed letter c 1900 (SOLD) view more »

Dealers (like us!) make a living from buying items and reselling at a higher price. We invest time, money, effort and knowledge to buy right and sell well

So if you are downsizing, decluttering or clearing a house, how do you ensure that you get best prices for your possessions?

It isn't difficult BUT you have to invest time and be thorough. Try to to examine each item, identify and value. Don't throw stuff out until identified/valued, we can still be surprised at what can be valuable! And when you sell, use the best route.

1: Identify.
Use the tips in these guides. Backstamps help, as do any stamped marks or labels. Check stones in jewellery (diamond testers are cheap) and look… view more »

William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army and this jug, dating to 1882-1884 was discovered at a local auction house together with early 20thC mezzotints, including one of William Booth.

We listed this for sale via our Etsy shop with the following description

"William Booth Salvation Army Blood and Fire Earthenware Pitcher 1882-1884

This was made by Wright & Rigby in the period 1882-1884 of earthenware, moulded with bas relief side portraits of William Booth, crown above with motto "BLOOD AND FIRE", all covered in a off white glaze

To the front is the symbol of crossed swords, cross and S for Salvation.

To the base is a Diamond Mark (the Diamond Mark was replaced by the Registered Design Number at the… view more »

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We watch too much collectables television and, judging by comments from friends and neighbours, we are not alone. But some things have changed since 2015 when we first wrote this.

Then heavyweight antiques expert James Lewis (pictured right) in "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" had bought a vase from a dealer at a car boot for £38, then identified it as a rare Nantgarw piece and sold it for £3650. But in 2017 up pops Paul Laidlaw, morphed into a bearded waistcoated Scottish gentleman, buying a sub miniature camera for £100 and selling it at auction for £20,000. That is the draw of Antiques Road Trip

To us the key for a good collectables programme is the mix of entertainment… view more »

Buying at auction can be a daunting experience. This guide aims to demystify the jargon and help you win the items you want.

Types of auction:
Fine art, quality furniture, fine jewellery and high value ceramics. Lot size will be low, often a single item sold at a time, damage should be minimal and prices will be high. Online bidding nearly always available.

May include quality items but are often mixed with miscellaneous and household items, furniture, furnishing pictures, books, metalware, ceramics, glass and costume jewellery. Lot sizes are bigger, sometimes a tray of items, sometimes a box (or multiple boxes) of items. Damage can be frequent. Online bidding increasingly available, consequently lot sizes are diminishing and auctions getting longer!

An auction that concentrates… view more »

There's none so blind as those that will not see.

OK, it's stretching the meaning of the saying but after all the studying of the lots at a recent auction (including us looking at detailed photos of the lots the night before) how come nobody spotted this little beauty?

Titanic memorabilia is a major collectable area and the hairs on the back of our necks should have been standing on end when this was included in a mixed lot of crested china. Crested china was produced by a number of porcelain companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the most well known being Goss. They would feature the crest of a town or city and made in interesting shapes,… view more »

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