A to Z Anthology

As the Society no longer produces newsletters, we will post occasional items of interest here.
Topics will be chosen at random.
Your contributions are welcome.

R is for Rare

The word "rare" is widely abused in the antiques world. For example, the story goes that, as Edward VIII was never crowned, pieces for his proposed coronation are rare. Nonsense! The minute the old King was in his grave, factories started churning out pieces for the next coronation. What could be more of a racing certainty and an opportunity to do good business?

The coronation was planned for May, 1937 and King Edward reigned for some 11 months until the abdication in December 1936. So these pieces are not rare. Until...

An enthusiast contacted the society to say: "My collection of Edward VIII stands at about 2,500 items, but little Maling". He asked for any Maling-related information, and we sent him a few photographs of the five transfers which we know the pottery used on white wares for this occasion, including the "Norfolk" shape mug shown below left. Pretty humdrum. Until...

We got this response: "The outer design of laurel wreath and flags with 'Honi Soit' is common but it usually has a stylised bronze picture of a bare-headed Edward facing to the viewer's left. This is different and, in 30 years of collecting, I have not seen this particular adaptation". The Maling piece on the right shows the difference.

So one person's commonplace is another person's rare. As ever, caveat emptor.

We thought we'd serve you Windsor soup for a change.
More in newsletter 14.

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