Tag Archives: Auctions

Ashtead Pottery Genozo Toothpaste Advertising Lions

Recently a friend approached me with an interesting pair of pottery lions, to see if I knew anything about them.

After a little research they proved to be rather interesting:

Ashtead Pottery Genozo Toothpaste Advertising Figures

Ashtead Pottery Genozo Toothpaste Advertising Figurines

The Ashtead Pottery was only in operation from c1923 until 1935 and was founded to help disabled ex-servicemen.

These Genozo advertising lions were made to promote Genozo toothpaste and are an attractive piece of Art Deco advertising memorabilia. They come in two sizes, of which my friend’s pair are the smaller.

These lions also have an interesting military connection, as they were designed by Percy Metcalfe (1895-1970), who was well known for his gallantry medal designs, most notably the George Cross.

This pair of lions have been entered into an auction sale by my friend, and will appear at Tennants Auctioneers in their Spring Fine Art Sale this Saturday, 21st March 2015, lot number 450.

To view more information on the Tennants auction – click here.

Online Bidding Isn’t Enough – Cheshire Auctioneer Expands Online Presence

Here at Perfect Pieces, we’ve been trading online since 2003, during which time a lot has changed on the internet. One change that has been hard to avoid has been the impact of the internet on the auction business.

When we started trading, online auction catalogues were in their infancy and were not universally available, while online bidding was unheard of, although eBay provided some forward-thinking businesses with a clue as to what the future might hold.

Things have changed dramatically since then, and businesses such as the-saleroom.com have made it possible for buyers to bid at auctions as easily as they can buy items on eBay. Illustrated online catalogues have become the norm, and buyers now expect to be able to contact businesses through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through the ‘old fashioned’ but still-useful methods of telephone and email (did I really just refer to email as being old fashioned?).

Cheshire-based general auctioneer and coin and jewellery specialist A F Brock was one of the first auction houses to have a website, and in 2004 it became one of the first in the UK to offer online bidding, through the-saleroom.com. The company says that several hundred bidders register to bid online for every sale, highlighting just how big an impact online bidding has had one the auction industry. This is confirmed by my personal experience — when trying to buy stock at auctions, I am often outbid by online bidders!

Always keen to stay on top of the latest technology, the company has recently begun experimenting with new forms of online catalogue, including a Flipbook, which is a format that will feel familiar to you if you are a regular ebook reader, along with videos highlighting some of the best lots in each sale. You can also find A F Brock on Facebook and Twitter as well as Google Plus and Blogger.

Staying on top of online marketing can become a full-time job, so it will be interesting to see how the industry develops over the next decade — and whether companies find that some online channels are worth the effort, while some aren’t.

WIN A Bottle Of Waterless Car Cleaning Magic – Mantis Instant Shine

After all the snow on the road we’re now left with lots of dirty grit and salt everywhere. If you’ve been doing a lot of travelling around visiting Antique Fairs or Auction houses then your car or van will no doubt being showing the signs of it all!

So, if you missed the last competition on SimpleMotoring.co.uk don’t miss this one – their current competition is for one of 5 bottles of Mantis Instant Shine waterless car cleaner. It’s even more perfect for this time of year as NO water is required to wash your car!


JML’s Mantis Instant shine can be used to wash your vehicle with NO water meaning you don’t have to bother with a bucket and car shampoo, so your hands don’t even get wet – bonus! It can be used over most parts of your vehicle and appears to work as well as normal water and car shampoo – check out the review of it here.

Been Visiting Antique Fairs & Auction Houses In This Winter Weather?

If you do a lot of driving around to Antique Fairs or to Auction houses then this might be just the thing you’re after – especially given the current cold weather!

You might find that with all the gritting that’s been going on on the roads, combined with the rain and general winter dirt everywhere that your car gets absolutely filthy in no time at all. The problem you have is when it’s so cold and temperatures are below freezing washing it with water isn’t possible.

That’s where Onedrywash is perfect. Onedrywash is a waterless car cleaning product that allows you to wash your entire car – including paintwork, chrome, wheels, glass and even plastic trim – without using any water!

SimpleMotoring.co.uk are currently running a competition where you can win a complete Onedrywash Car Cleaning kit.


The Onedrywash Car Cleaning kit comes complete with a pair of latex gloves to keep your hands nice (!) and a set of two microfibre cloths.

It ends this Friday, 7th January 2011 so make sure you enter in time!

If you come across any products you think will be of use and benefit to our visitors then be sure to leave a comment below.

Cash In The Spare Room – 18th Century Chinese Vase Discovered

I’ve just been drawn to an article in the Daily Mail published on the 28th January 2010:

Elderly couple discover vase used as umbrella stands is a 270-year-old Chinese masterpiece worth £500,000

It would appear – according to the newspaper report – that this couple were given this large and imposing vase as a present around 50 years ago and it was currently being used as an umbrella stand in the spare bedroom.

Spotted during a routine valuation it is said to have a crack and a few spots of emulsion paint on it. However, considering its age – believed to be from around 1740 it hasn’t fared too badly!

After some research it is said to be called a Chinese lantern vase with mainly under-glaze blue decoration.

This vase has now been catalogued by the auction house, Duke’s Auctioneers, for sale on the 11th February 2010. It will be interesting to see what it realises.

Perfect Pieces Guide To Auctions

If you’ve been buying pottery and glass for your collection or even for someone else and are now thinking of visiting an auction house having seen them on television you might like to look at our guide:

Buying Antiques & Collectables At Auction

It’s not as easy (or cheap!) as you may think and it’s always worth knowing a few things before you start.

In this guide we cover most things from viewing goods at auction, registering to bid, all the way through to actually bidding and then paying for any successful purchases!

If you have any comments or experiences at auction you want to share then do drop us an email or leave a comment, we’re always interested in hearing from people.

Rare Art Deco Ceramics Exhibition & Sale

Anyone with an interest in Art Deco ceramics might want to consider making a beeline for Stourbridge at the end of May.

Well-known Stourbridge auctioneer Fieldings is putting on an exhibition of work by designers such as Clarice Cliff, Keith Murray, Poole’s Carter, Stabler & Adams and Lenci at its auction house on Mill Race Lane from Thursday 29th May to midday on Saturday 31st May.

The exhibition has been planned to coincide with Fieldings hosting the first official Clarice Cliff Collectors Club auction ever to take place outside London – something of a coup for the auctioneer. The sale at Fieldings has nearly 300 lots and will begin at midday on Saturday 31st May, allowing plenty of time for anyone needing to travel to the auction.

Fieldings’ auctioneer Will Farmer will be known to many as one of the experts on the Antiques Roadshow. He’s excited about the exhibition and says: “It’s going to be a really rare exhibition, we’ve been building this for five months. Collectors will be coming from all over the country and everybody in Stourbridge can come and see this.”

The Clarice Cliff auction promises to be exciting too and it will be interesting to see how prices are holding up in the current market.

Full details of the Clarice Cliff sale catalogue will be available on Fieldings’ website nearer the time.

eBay Australia Investigated Over PayPal Decision

Following on from my recent post about eBay Australia forcing its users to use PayPal, it seems that eBay’s users aren’t the only people who are unhappy about this decision.

eBay Australia is being investigated by the Australian Competition Commission to see if it is abusing its near-monopoly position in the online auction market to gain an unfair advantage in the online payments market (eBay owns PayPal).

If eBay get away with this in Australia, it seems highly likely they will extend the policy worldwide – we wait with baited breath…

More details here.

Hirer or Buyer? Antiques Transport Choices

From travelling around the various antique and collectors fairs and auctions we attend, it has become apparent that some dealers own and some dealers rent.

I refer of course not to their stock but to their means of transporting it – the indomitable van.Luton van

It’s a choice we’ve been faced with in the past, as it gradually became completely impossible to fit all our stock, shelves and tables into even a large car. This left us with two realistic options:

  1. Sell the car and buy a van
  2. Hire a van whenever we needed one and keep the car for everyday use

In the end, we decided to sell the car and buy a van. This had two advantages – unlimited usage and lower costs. The question was question of cost was determined by considering whether the extra fuel costs of a van would exceed the costs of renting one when we needed it. For us they didn’t – making it cheaper to buy a van and run it as our only vehicle.

Of course, this does have some restrictions – car parks with height barriers are out, it only has three seats (including the driver’s) and it’s a bit thirsty and agricultural to drive compared to a car.

Ford Transit white vanThese downside – plus the sometimes thorny issue of residential parking – are probably the reasons why some dealers obviously just rent a van to use when they are standing at a fair and manage without the rest of the time.

Sometimes I’ve felt tempted by that path too – but for now, I’m going to stick with my trusty Transit. What do you do?

Note: If you are not sure where to start with vans, these links might be useful:

The Taxman Starts Hunting On eBay

An interesting article in The Guardian on May 19th (got a bit behind and only found it today!)… It seems that HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs – the UK’s taxman) is starting to look in more detail at online auction activity.  According to this article, tax inspectors will be trawling through many thousands of online auction sales and looking for any UK eBay sellers who are especially busy. They will then investigate whether these sellers should be classed as traders or not.

The article provides a detailed set of examples explaining who qualifies as a trader and who does not, but in essence it depends whether you are buying to sell or whether you are simply selling surplus possessions. Capital Gains Tax can also come into play on larger sales.

The article is here and is well worth a read for anyone who trades on eBay.