The Auctioneer's Mantelpiece VII

16/08/2021     Ceramics & Glass, Latest News, Antiques

An interest in boats was kindled by my family enjoying messing about in craft, initially on the canal near where we lived but subsequently on reservoirs and on annual holidays, usually in Anglesey.  My Mother was a great water-skier, my father loved anything with an engine and, although he was a non-swimmer he enjoyed driving the various power boats we had with Mother and other family members skiing behind.  Over 100 miles in an old Land Rover pulling a boat to Anglesey was a very uncomfortable and slow beginning to our fortnight’s holiday however!


I’ve had an interest in all boats, but particularly canal vessels, since those formative years and have enjoyed many narrowboat holidays.  The history of the canal system in Britain is fascinating and I’m drawn to any lots with a connection that may come into sales. One type of item often seen in auctions is Measham pottery, which has a strong connection with canal folk; particularly the old working narrowboats.  Sometimes known as Bargeware because of its popularity on the ‘cut’ it was principally made in Derbyshire.  There was a shop on the Ashby canal at Measham, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where it was common for bargees to order items as they passed and pick up on the way back.  The small cabins on such vessels were very traditionally decorated and usually immaculate, with ribbon plates, brasses and often very large Measham teapots, with distinctive sprigged decoration. They were usually dedicated with mottoes and verses and date from the last quarter of the 19th century.


Inexpensive in auctions as they are, that is mostly because they are usually damaged.  Some more unusual items can sell for £100s but the Teapots are the most common and vary in size and price from £60 to £250 possibly, if perfect.


I have two or three examples and this small one is dedicated ‘A Present from Carmarthen’, almost as far away from the canal system, and certainly Measham, as you can get!  Maybe worth about £100 as it is of interest to canal buffs, pottery collectors and local collectors interested in Carmarthen itself.




We now send a regular e-mail to all our subscribers with updates, catalogues and news. Sign up below!