Antiques Roadshow in Scarborough

This year seems to be flying past already, and I’m now well into my list of Antiques Roadshows that I’m attending this season. Most recently, I travelled to Scarborough where the Roadshow was held in the Victorian grandeur of the Spa. I usually switch between the Collectables and Miscellaneous tables, but this time I was on Collectables. As ever, I saw plenty of treasures to interest, intrigue and delight. The highlight of the day for me was spotting an extremely lovely and very intricate Russian silver perfume bottle in a case at the bottom of a box. The quality was superb but, as it’s not at all my area of expertise, I showed it to Geoffrey Munn who became very excited by it. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but you’ll have to find out whether you’re right or not by tuning in!
Another treasure found was this fabulous Moorcroft Florian double-handled vase. These early pieces are scarce and sought-after anyway, but what made this particularly interesting was the highly desirable celadon glaze. The owner had had it valued at up to £800 about five years ago, so I gently prepared her for a shock by sucking air in through my teeth, shaking my head slightly, and looking glum. I asked my colleague Will Farmer what he thought and we swiftly came to a resolution. When I told her it was worth £2,000-3,000 today, she actually kissed me!
Very near the end of the day, another lady went away delighted after I was able to tell her that the brown and black bowl she brought along was designed by Ettore Sottsass, produced by Flavia/Bitossi in Italy, and was worth around £300. She couldn’t believe her luck, quite literally, as she had picked it up in a car boot the weekend before for a mere £3! See, things like that DO still happen…
The following day I enjoyed a wander around the town with my Roadshow colleague and friend Steven Moore, and popped into the two antiques shops we found. Steven bought a lovely set of dress studs, and I bought this rather unusual plate (above).
The back is completely unmarked, and the front is inscribed FAVS below the rather unusual looking beast. I’m quite fond of the abstract pattern he’s curling around to protect, and the one around the rim. The quality isn’t great, and it seems to me to be a tourist piece. I don’t think it’s Italian, but I’m not quite sure where it’s from…so if you have any ideas, please let me know.

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