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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2334 > Taking a double lesson in current collecting fashion

Taking a double lesson in current collecting fashion

Polarised market for English ceramics highlighted by single-owner sales in Exeter and Derby


Collecting traditional English ceramics is still a popular pursuit on both sides of the Atlantic – but one where purchases are always tailored to fit the purse strings of the core collecting audience.

The well-respected and long-standing dealer in English porcelain Simon Spero sees the situation thus: “In England, it is essentially a middle-class pastime, which is partly why things are so difficult now because middle class people generally have less spending money.”

Many existing collectors are looking only for opportunities to fill gaps with rare prizes.

“Condition is important but even more important in the market is rarity. The majority of collectors are of a certain age and if they haven’t seen something in 30, maybe 50 years of collecting they think ‘I’ve never seen it before, I want it, I’ll never have a second chance’.”

This underpins the current price polarisation between the best or most fashionable wares and the majority of material that slumbers on at pedestrian prices.

A brace of named collections

The ‘best and rest’ results in two porcelain collections offered at opposite ends of the country this year illustrate this.

On January 22 in Exeter Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (21% buyer’s premium) offered the 125- lot collection of 18th century English porcelain formed by Gerald and Brenda Flowerday over a 40-year period spanning the late 1960s to the early 2000s.

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About Antiques Trade Gazette

Published every week since 1971, Antiques Trade Gazette is affectionately known as ‘the Bible of the antiques trade’. A long tradition of authority, integrity and accuracy, makes it the essential read for everyone who loves antiques. With a subscription to Antiques Trade Gazette, you’ll stay ahead of all the developments in the art and antiques market, plus you’ll enjoy • A comprehensive auction calendar – see when and where every sale will be happening • Exclusive interviews with dealers, giving you the inside track on the trade • Breaking news on key industry developments • Secrets, stories and tips from leading specialists and collectors • Top lots advertised by auctioneers • Previews of the best art and antiques fairs and markets • Special supplements focusing on specific collecting areas

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