Poole Collectors suceed in Rare Panel Bid
Poole Collectors Succeed in Rare Panel Bid
By Ben Mitchell and Lesley Richardson, PA News
Fundraisers today made a final bid to save rare pieces of British pottery for future generations as they went under the hammer.
The Poole Pottery Fighting Fund, a group of seven campaigners, raised £120,000 to bid for key items in the Poole Pottery Museum Archive sale at Christie’s in South Kensington, London.
The items were put up for auction after the renowned Poole Pottery factory went into administration.
The Poole Pottery Fighting Fund failed to raise the £400,000 needed to stop administrators auctioning the entire 290 lots, spanning 130 years of Poole production.
Instead, they focused on a panel of tiles depicting Poole town, Dorset, in 1930 that graced the original factory wall on Poole Quay, and succeeded in buying it for £15,500, the top bid of the day.
The piece, reminiscent of the firm’s early beginnings producing decorative tiles and mosaics, had an estimate of £8,000 to £12,000.
Martin Fells, 49, from Southampton, who led the fundraisers in their bidding, said they had managed to buy about 80 items totalling £88,000 or 85% of what they had intended to buy.
But he said it had been a successful day as some of the items missed still could be bought in the future on the open market.
He said: “It’s not just for Poole people. It’s part of our English heritage with a history of manufacturing that goes back to 1873.
“We are just taking this chance to save it for people so that it won’t be owned by any individual or any organisation and can never be sold off again.“
The group intends to put the pieces under the management of Poole Borough Council and show them in local museums.
But Mr Fells, who is a collector of Poole Pottery, added: “Our vision, our dream, is to have a museum just for Poole Pottery.“
The sale, which was expected to raise more than £180,000, fetched a total of £254,000.
Among bidders at the event was spoon-bender Uri Geller, a long-time collector of Poole Pottery.
The company, founded in 1873 by Jesse Carter, a builder’s merchant and ironmonger, has recently been sold to private owners.
The previous owners, Jersey-based Orb Estates plc, went into administration and the museum and archive is being offered for sale by administrators Leonard Curtis & Co.
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