Anglicised, Anglican and Tory landowners controlled many aspects of Welsh life in the Georgian period – particularly when it came to politics.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Terence Ryle
Scarcely was this clearer than during the general election of 1812 when a pact between local landowners, the coal magnate John Owen of Orielton and the Earl of Cawdor, ensured both the Pembrokeshire County seat and Pembroke Boroughs were held by the regional gentry.
The agreement stated that Sir John (as he was by 1813) could represent the County unopposed until 1838, the year the earl’s heir would come of age.
‘Victory’ in the 1812 Pembroke election was celebrated in print and in pots – vessels such as the rare Dillwyn pottery canary yellow and silver lustre jug offered for sale at The Summer Fine Catalogue Auction at Peter Francis (20% buyer’s premium) in Carmarthen on June 19.
Along with a rust-coloured transfer print of the family crest it featured the enamelled inscription John Owen Bart, MP for Pembroke. Although in poor condition (a chip to the spout, a star crack and heavy wear) it took £800.
A Llanelly blue and white coffee pot sold at £420 was also a documentary piece. It included alongside transfer-printed decoration on a maritime theme the hand-painted dedication A present for Mary Jones Llanelly 1880. It took £420.
A pottery has stood in Ewenny for five centuries but the collecting market tends to focus on those pieces produced under the influence of the Arts & Crafts movement in the late 19th century. A key figure is the London designer and ceramics dealer Horace W Elliot, who visited the pottery regularly from 1883-1914 – commissioning and designing pieces to sell in his Bayswater showrooms.
A popular entry at Peter Francis was a large, 14in (36cm), early-20th century model of a seated black cat marked Ewenny to the base which sold at £700.
Pull of postcards
A large group of old postcards, that represented a lifetime of collecting for a local vendor, generated plenty of interest at the sale. Offered in five lots, close to 2000 examples of Welsh interest improved on estimates to bring around £4500.
Just over 600 cards depicting the landmarks and the personalities of late 19th and 20th century Carmarthen sold at £1300 on thesaleroom.com, along with a lot of two albums comprising around 280 cards covering the towns and villages of Carmarthenshire that took £1150. Subjects included Ammanford, Laugharne, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llansteffan, Llanybydder, Pencader and Pendine.
Howard in demand
Clocks and furniture opened the sale. Very much to current fashion are the early 20th century upholstered chairs and sofas by Howard & Sons of Berner Street, London.
A low easy chair marked for Howard to a caster brought in to a general sale, but upgraded by the auctioneers to this more select event, took £1900 from an online buyer.
Most longcases sold on estimate for low three-figure sums but an eight-day painted dial clock signed for RJ Isaac of Llanelly with a rocking ship automaton took £950.
A 21in (52cm) clockwork tinplate model of the fire-engine red Alfa Romeo P2 Grand Prix racing car made by the French toymaker Compagnie Industrielle du Jouet sold online at £1700. Made shortly after the full-size version won the first European Championship in 1925, this is one of half a dozen examples of one of the great toys of the inter-war years sold in regional sales in recent months.