Sunday, 25 November 2012




I thought blog readers might be interested in some recent prices paid at auction for canal collectables.

Measham bargeware can be had at all kinds of prices.A typical Barge teapot  usually costs around £100 -£150 depending on condition and there are always plenty of these around. However you need to have very deep pockets when it comes to buying rarer Measham items like the very rare Toby Jug which sold very recently at auction  for twice the pre sale estimate of £500.

Despite the fact that so called ‘Bargeware’ is thought to get its name from the boaters who were supposed to use it, I must admit that I have yet to see one inscribed with the name of a boat. The nearest items I have seen were a group of 3 items which sold in the same sale for £700.LS15975_HR

The larger of the two mugs was inscribed ‘Navigation Inn 1887’ which gets us a bit nearer to the cut ! Interestingly the large two handled loving cup bears the motif ‘ Cap’n Salt Polran’ – a captain at sea or the steerer or No1 of a NB engaged in the salt trade?? I suppose we will never know.

Other rare Measham appearing at the same auction house in the last couple of years includes the twin spout teapot ,chamber pot and vase shown below which fetched nearly 8 times the pre sale estimate of £300 (£2,300)

Apart from the more usual Teapots,jugs,kettles,tobacco jars,sugar bowls etc one of the most unusual jugs in the shape of an owl and estimated at £300 exceeded this by 5 times selling for £1500 in 2011.

On the other hand a spitoon which I’ve never seen before sold for only £50 which must make it the Measham bargain of the year.

Some of you may have noticed the old Buckby Can on EBay recently which sold for something in excess of £130. It certainly was an old can, the wrought handle testified to that but the painting in my eyes left something to be desired in terms of quality and age.

Elsewhere and also on EBay a superb Canal postcard fetched what must be the record price for a single card of £156. It has to be said that it had all the right qualities that the collector is looking for namely –Subject,Location and rarity. It showed a superb reasonably close up view of a wide beam barge or trow on the detached portion of the Stroudwater at the junction of the canal and the R Severn. The boat is waiting to enter the lock for its journey down river whilst a man and a boy operate the lock . In sepia and around 1906 there cant be many of those around. Whilst the Stroudwater is at present being restored, this portion of the canal is now disused and the site of the junction lock into the river is on private land.

On the other hand a lovely sepia card from around 1922 showed a Sunday School outing from Linslade  crammed into one of L B Faulkners boats. This fetched only £12 and was a bargain.

At one time I had a good canal card collection myself but sold them all years ago. With the sort of prices described above you need to be extremely ‘well heeled’ to say the least to collect everything. Personally I stick to books!!!

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