The 21st April saw the annual Stella Ashbrook (Pendelfin Collector’s Handbook author) PenDelfin auction, this year in Chester and featuring a fair mixture of old, new, rare and unique PenDelfin, as well as some of Jean Walmsley Heap’s own pre-PenDelfin artwork.
Jean (JWH) was there, as were a reasonable number of enthusiastic collectors and dealers, although perhaps not so many as in years gone by.
Although there were quite a few older pieces, for me, one of the surprises and highlights of the sale was this piece:
This is the original 1953 PenDelfin Fairy Plaque – the second piece of PenDelfin ever to be made. The plaque was the result of much hard work by Jeannie Todd and JWH in Jeannie’s kitchen – as described
and pictured on page 16 of The Pendelfin Story, by Jean Walmsley Heap. The hammer eventually came down at £1900, which didn’t seem excessive for a unique, early piece like this.
An added attraction was its provenance – JWH’s personal collection – and the fact it was signed by Jean as well.
We were able to get a few photos of some of the more unusual pieces, so here is a taster if you weren’t able to make it on the day:
This unusual Juliet plaque went for bottom estimate at £300 and had an unusual silver label (see the Pendelfin section of our pottery marks guide)
A rare Metallion Flying Witch Plaque, from the late Doreen Noel Robert’s personal collection (as were many of the more unusual pieces). The hammer came down at £160 on this one.
Another one from DNR’s collection – a bit worn, but one of the rarest characters around – Cyril Squirrel. £380 hammer price.
Doreen’s own rare Rheingold Lamp Base, in reasonable condition with just a few paint flakes, this fetched a handsome £700.
Some of Jean Walmsley Heap’s original paintings – these for the Tommy Tweet series of children’s stories.
All hammer prices were subject to a 20% premium.
All in all, it was an enjoyable day out, and it was encouraging to see the enthusiasim of the collectors who were present – while many of them were of slightly more mature years (hmm), there were some younger buyers too! Here’s looking forward to next year’s sale.