Tag Archives: auction

“No PenDelfin Auction Sale This Year” – Stella Ashbrook

For enthusiastic PenDelfin collectors and dealers from all over the UK (and further), the annual PenDelfin Auction has long been a keenly-anticipated and enjoyable event. Organised by Stella Ashbrook (the author of the definitive PenDelfin Collector’s Handbook), the auctions have always provided a chance to view and buy some of the rarest and most interesting pieces of PenDelfin, as well as to meet other like-minded collectors.

We attended last year’s PenDelfin auction, at Chester – you can see pictures of some of the pieces that were for sale here. The sale was attended by PenDelfin founder Jean Walmsley Heap and seemed quite successful.

However, this year there is not going to be a PenDelfin Auction, according to a message posted by Stella Ashbrook on the PenDelfin Collectables Message Board. According to Stella’s message, there will be a selection of PenDelfin for sale at Byrnes Auctioneers in Chester on 16th April, but no full-scale auction.

Now I’m even more glad we went last year! Hopefully the auction will resume in 2009, but I won’t be holding my breath, as the sale and subsequent offshoring of the factory means that the company doesn’t have the same kind of presence in the UK that it once had – nor the quality output, sad to say.

In the meantime, here’s an example of the kind of piece we saw at last year’s auction – and have seldom seen anywhere else (For more PenDelfin, click here to see our selection of PenDelfin for sale):

PenDelfin Phynnodderee Miniature A Series Plaque

Stella Ashbrook Pendelfin Auction, April 21st

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:

Original PenDelfin Fairy Shop Plaque, signed by JWH

Reverse of Pendelfin Fairy Shop plaque, signed by Jean Walmsley Heap

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:

PenDelfin Juliet Wall Plaque, by Jean Walmsley Heap

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)

PenDelfin Metallion Flying Witch Plaque, Doreen Noel Roberts

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.

PenDelfin Cyril Squirrel

Another one from DNR’s collection – a bit worn, but one of the rarest characters around – Cyril Squirrel. £380 hammer price.

PenDelfin Rheingold Lamp Base

Doreen’s own rare Rheingold Lamp Base, in reasonable condition with just a few paint flakes, this fetched a handsome £700.

Jean Walmsley Heap original art Tommy Tweet

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.