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Where’s Wally? Two valuable pieces of Ealing Council’s Martinware collection stolen in 2005 and 2007 have been returned to the council’s library, following a complex recovery operation.
A distinctive “Wally Bird” and a rare jug worth a combined five-figure sum, are back on display after a member of the public spotted the former on sale on eBay for £30,000.
Southall Library has an impressive collection of Martinware pottery, dating from 1877 and 1923. The Martin brothers’ studio was located in the London borough.
Above One of the rare Martinware artefacts returned to the local community
Ken spruce Marking his 60th birthday, a trio of limited-edition Ken dolls and a sporty buggy sold for £6,800, with the proceeds going to charity.
Since 1961 when he first became Barbie’s boyfriend – two years after the launch of his famous squeeze – Ken’s bold fashion choices have made him a collectors' favourite.
The first Ken made for collectors was as Rhett Butler in 1994, with ‘60s ‘Dress Box’ Ken today among the most valuable and hard to find. Current Kens still uses the 1968 body mould so collectors can date him by the stamp on the back of his head.
Above The Ken dolls were each wearing different costumes
Did you know? The doll ‘Business Appointment’ Ken, produced from 1966-1967, carrying a copy of the Mattel Daily News, is another of today’s most sought-after Kens.
English rose Keen gardener, the Duchess of Cornwall opened an exhibition at the Garden Museum in Lambeth celebrating British flowers.
The museum, in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, is the burial place of John Tradescant (c. 1570-1638), the first great gardener and plant hunter. In order to preserve his tomb, Rosemary Nicholson founded the museum in 1977. It also holds a permanent art collection of 18th-century botanical illustrations.
Roman knows Actor Tony Robinson has taken to YouTube to highlight the Roman inventions that underpin modern-day trades, after it was revealed one in five Brits think underfloor heating is a modern invention.
In the mini-documentary Robinson takes plumber Danny on a journey through time, visiting Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex to show him how the skills he uses in his daily life were also used by Roman builders thousands of years ago.
The short film shows how, from underfloor heating to roof tiles and plastering, Romans were responsible for a host of innovations.
Above The Duchess of Cornwall at the Garden Museum Above Actor Tony Robinson holds an ancient Roman piece of pipe at Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex, credit
30 seconds with... Alex Alfieri founder of Manchester-based antique jewellery business, Butter Lane, who recently launched the podcast Dealing What areas are currently selling well? Colourful gem-set and diamond rings are our strong performers. In terms of antique pieces, high-quality, early Georgian jewellery is becoming increasingly harder to find. It has seemingly left the trade, so when I discover a good example I make the purchase immediately.
Are you a collector? I love Russian antique jewellery. The quality of Romanov-era pieces is magical. I am drawn to the level of detail and colour, as well as the sentimental value of, say, the magnificent eggs by Fabergé.
How is the industry changing? With the rise of technology the world is at our fingertips. Many dealers such as myself have made the shift towards online in a very traditional industry. For instance, the majority of our sales are now online where the buyer hasn’t seen the item, this would have been unheard of a decade ago. It’s also opened up brand new territories. The US is now our main market.
How can the business attract younger buyers? We are seeing numbers are growing due to the use of Instagram. Buyers who have the budget for, say, an engagement ring, but may not have typically thought to purchase an antique. This is where telling the story of antiques comes into play.
For details of the business, or to listen to the podcast, go to www.butterlaneantiques.com
Above Instagram has changed the way antique jewellery is sold
8 ANTIQUE COLLECTING