We look for anything you might think is fun, interesting, beautiful, new, old or odd. Vintage and almost new clothes, ceramics, treen, ephemera, books and costume jewellery. If it fits in a box, we'll sell it.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Some news...

The bad news first. OK, here's the deal. eBay are fast becoming rubbish. I don't say that lightly as I've sold around £50,000 worth of items over the past few years and I'm grateful for it. I seem to have built a reputation for good, honest service with a fast turnaround and much of my feedback has been very personal as opposed to "great" or "OK". I get a lot of repeat custom so I must be doing something  right.  But through no particular fault of my own the visitor numbers to Curio Gifts dropped overnight a few weeks back by 90% to barely a trickle. Where once I was getting 450-600 unique visitors a day, in some cases it's down to 30. It has rallied slightly but it's still not a living. eBay have no idea why - all they can come up with was "well, your shopfront looks a bit tired". It may well do and yes, I freely admit that it's pretty rubbish but the punters didn't decide that in 24 hours. Very few actually landed on it anyway so the theory is a sinker. I pay eBay a vast amount to get my listings visible and to be honest, I feel I'm being ripped off. Things really don't change that drastically overnight (I wish I could screenshot the graph but this week they've even dumped their stats company, so it's disappeared). Total costs per month for listing and charges from eBay and Paypal are around £450-500 and it is no longer sustainable.

I have therefore taken the decision to migrate a lot of the vintage fixed price items over to Etsy, which is far better value for money if not quite so versatile. Etsy's policy is craft and arts based with an emphasis on self-made. There is though a flourishing vintage and antique market where second hand items over 20 years old can be sold and that fits in well with my stock and my market. I'm working on a new shopfront and have already got a few listings up. It's a pretty labourious task but I'll get there in good time. The shop there is called Pots and Crocks, or rather 'potsandcrocks'and you can see it here.

I will still be putting items into auction on eBay and the shop will still run - indeed, 99% of the stock will pass through eBay at one point, so don't run away yet. Certain items I can't sell on Etsy, such as newer pottery and clothing but please pay a visit to the new venue to get me visible!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Vintage Scallop Shell Soap Dish - Cauldon

Quite a large white scallop shell soap dish by Cauldon. It is stamped in green on the base with the crown device and "Cauldon England". The Cauldon history is complicated, not least the backstamps"Royal" was used after 1930 so there's a possiblity this could be 1920-30. It's in very good condition although there is a fine crack for about 1cm on one corner of the handle which would need to be watched.

12.5cm x 15.5cm 

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Vintage "The Master" Chrome Tin Opener & Sardine Server - Boxed

English made chrome plated combined sardine tin key and server,"The Master" by L & L Products. I think the base metal may be brass as the gold colour is exposed at one spot on the underside. The slotted key slides into the server for storage. It doesn't look worn so may be unused, and is still in its original box although the box has seen better days with the flaps at one end missing.
Measurements are approximate: Box: 18.5cm x 5cm x 1.5cm
Tool: 17.5cm long

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Vintage Old Trentham Sprays Fruit Bowl - D4262 - Royal Doulton

Large fruit or serving bowl in the Old Trentham Sprays pattern by Royal Douton, pattern no D4262. This pattern dates from the 1920s and there is what appears to be an impressed date stamp on the underside of "6  23" which would bear this out. The colours are still quite bright but it is showing signs of wear as one would expect of an 80+ year old piece. No cracks or chips though, only firing marks.
23cm diameter x 7.5cm

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Studio Pottery Stoneware Candle Holder

Traditional style candleholder in stoneware with a brown and blue glaze. No mark but in excellent condition despite having been used

13cm x 4.5cm

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Monday, 29 June 2015

Vintage Hand Painted Bowl - Portmadoc Pottery JW

Lovely handpainted bowl with embossed fruit design around the rim. It's not marked as such but it has all the hallmarks of being from the Portmadoc/Porthmadog Pottery, with blue brushstrokes and part matt glaze on the base. It is also marked JW in crayon, another Portmdoc trait.  It's in perfect condition.
16.5cm diameter x 5cm

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Vintage Handpainted Jug - Pattern 8166 - Grays Pottery - Susie Cooper

Hand painted buff coloured jug by Grey's Pottery. It has the later Pharaoh's boat version of the backstamp used between 1935 & 45 but on an unfamiliar colourway, this one being red and yellow flowers with what appear to be gooseberries, with a red rim and handle. My reliable internet authority has contacted me suggesting that it is floral pattern 8166, dating originally from 1928 and possibly by Susie Cooper. The later backstamp explained by it probably being a replacement piece from the company's matching service. Some ingrained crazing and a little colour wear plus a short hairline crack on the inside beneath the yellow flower. Still looks nice though. 
8.5cm x 18.5cm (d)

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Retro Brown Oil/Vinegar Bottle - Honiton Pottery - Devon

Very retro looking brown oil or vinegar bottle by Honiton Pottery. In excellent condition although no stopper, if there ever was one!

Measurements:15.5cm high x 8cm diameter
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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Vintage Tankard Shaped Mug - Secla Portugal

Large retro shaped mug in a toffee coloured glaze and plain white inner. It is stamped "Portugal" on the base and I'm almost certain it's by the Secla concern. But if I'm wrong, I apologise! In great condition with only some barely visible fine crazing.  

11cm x 12.5cm

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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Vintage Porcelain Invalid or Child's Feeder Cup - Collectable - Mr Spock?

This is a porcelain feeder cup for a child or invalid, certainly vintage, possibly antique. It has some staining on the inside with tannin visible in the spout so it was well used. There is also a tiny chip to the end of the spout and some of the gold lining is barely visible. Quite unremarkable until you flip it over and you see the backstamp - it looks like a Vulcan salute as used by Mr Spock off Star Trek.  I've been trying to research this but unfortunately to no avail so any help would be gratefully received. Win this, hopefully you'll live long and prosper! 
13.5cm max diameter x 7.5cm

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Vintage Welsh Language Sugar Bowl - Tregaron Pottery

Stoneware sugar bowl by Tregaron Pottery. It supposedly has the Welsh for sugar written on one side - rather it has "siwgwr" written on it, whereas I believe the correct spelling is "siwgr". Any Welsh speakers care to enlighten me?  In excellent condition though.

10.5cm x 7cm
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Friday, 5 June 2015

Antique Silver Plated 1 Pint Tankard - The Champion Pub, Bayswater Road

An antique, certified 1 pint, tankard in a heavy EPNS that is stamped on the base "The Champion Bayswater Road". On the front, opposite the handle, is an ornate engraved monogram, "TC". The verification mark, E, is for Edward VII (our present monarch would be EIIR) and the Verification Authority number is 2, City of London. Edward VII reigned between 1901 & 1910 so it is safe to suppose that this is well in excess of 100 years old. It is a little dented around the base and the surface is a little corroded and oxidised - the close-up of the verification mark gives a fair representation of the general condition.  Considering its age though it is still very robust and can be easily restored with some buffing and if need be, professionally re-plated. I have given it a cursory polish and it has improved no end from the state it was in when I obtained it. The Champion is still a thriving pub - perhaps you're a regular who would like a special memento of your favourite local.
14cm (h) x 15cm (diameter incl handle)

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Vintage Half Barrel/Butter Churn Effect Lidded Bowl - Secla-Portugal

Unusual lidded bowl in the form of a half barrel or perhaps a butter churn. Use for anything you like although I would not think it's suitable for use as cookware. Some light crazing but otherwise in excellent condition.

12cm x 8cm 

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Studio Pottery Stoneware Oil or Vinegar Bottle

Another mystery item. It's a hand thrown stoneware oil or vinegar bottle in pale yellow tinged speckled top half going through light brown to unglazed base. It is marked, with what appears to be an impressed on its side. This looks familiar but I can't identify it from my references. Any help gratefully received! Unfortunately no stopper but otherwise in excellent condition.

14cm x 10cm

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Pair of Hand Thrown Blue Ceramic Candlesticks

A pair of contemporary hand thrown earthenware candlesticks with a blue flow glaze. Not identical, one is slightly smaller by a few mm but not so much as you'd notice if they were at opposite ends of a mantlepiece. The smaller one has half a dozen little surface flea bites but these can be turned away or disguised,otherwise they're a very nice pair.

14cm x 7cm

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Antique Hand Coloured Shepherd Boy China Mug

Antique china mug featureing a resting shepherd boy in a woodland setting with three sheep and his dog. The transfer is on twice and has been hand detailed and coloured, and quite roughly, too. I have no clue as to the maker - the one example I found online on an auctioneer's site was similarly clueless  but the diamond registration mark dates the mug to 18th March 1876. It does have some damage, most notably the handle which has been been repaired with what looks epoxy resin although it looks to be a very old repair. There is also a hairline crack opposite the handle running for about 1/3 way down from the rim. There is also some discolouration and staining from one or two glaze cracks in the base. Colours are good though and a more skilled repair will reward the buyer with a nice piece.       

8cm (h) x 10.5cm

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Vintage Egg Separator - Brixham Pottery

Cream coloured slit style egg separator with green lining and floral transfer decoration by Brixham Pottery. In perfect condition

13cm x 8cm x 4.5cm

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Vintage Stoneware Water Jug Lovatt's - Langley Mill

Superb stoneware water jug or pitcher by Lovatt's of Langley Mill. it is a rope effect texture in beige with a darker brown tint around the rim and on the handle. You can just about make out the Lovatt's Stoneware stamp on the base. It's in excellent condition.

20cm x 20cm

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Brown Wheat Garland Jug - Arthur Wood

Mid sized fluted pitcher shaped fluted jug by Arthur Wood. It's a treacle glaze and has a garland of wheat around the neck. Unfortunately it has a hairline crack across the base, and annoyingly something I've just noticed while writing this description. It runs from just to the left of the "E" in England to the last "R" in Arthur and about halfway up the "E" side. Unfortunately it does leak but it would look good as a dried flower vase. 
16cm (h) x 13cm

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Hand Painted Golf Themed Novelty Earthenware Egg Cup

For the golf nut in your life - a hand painted egg cup featuring  a golf bag, ball and flag. In excellent condition and possibly unused.
6.5cm x 6cm max dia 

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