Peter Wilson Auctioneers To Sell The Harry Sheldon Collection Of Wedgwood Wedgwood ceramics collected by a man who started work at the Etruria factory straight from school are to be sold by Nantwich, Cheshire, England, auctioneers Peter Wilson on September 7-8.
News-Antique.com - Aug 12,2011 - Wedgwood ceramics collected by a man who started work at the Etruria factory straight from school, rising to the position of manager of the Jasper warehouse, are to be sold by Nantwich, Cheshire, auctioneers Peter Wilson. The sale is on September 7-8.
Wedgwood's master potters became Harry Sheldon's friends and as the odd job boy in the historic "Ornamental Works" section of the factory, he was soon learning his trade. Incredibly, he bought his first piece at the age of 14 with what was left over from his 11s/6d weekly wage - 57 pence in today's money.
Throughout his life, Harry continued to study and collect the great wares from the past, building a vast collection of Wedgwood, which was stored in the attic of the Sheldon family home in Newcastle, Staffordshire.
Harry's knowledge was highly respected and he became an active member of collectors' groups on both sides of the Atlantic. He travelled to America regularly to participate in international Wedgwood seminars and to lecture at the Mint Museum, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Harry died, in 1996, and in 1998, his collection was dispersed in a landmark London auction. Since then, his American collector friends who vied with others from around the UK to buy pieces from it assumed the Harry Sheldon Collection was no more. They were wrong.
Harry's son, also Harry, was bequeathed various pieces in his father's will and in the years that followed, Harry Jnr built a Wedgwood collection of his own. This second sale, which Peter Wilson are honoured to have been asked to conduct, is Harry Sheldon Jnr's tribute to his father and a small measure of how he was influenced in an appreciation of the finer things in the world of art and antiques.
"As a young lad, I was always interested in antiques and collectables, following the steps of my mother and father," Harry Jnr said. "One of my first purchases was a Sambo money box, price two shillings (10p). Later in life my work took me into the construction industry, so I was able to afford to buy more and more collectables. Wedgwood, Minton and Royal Doulton became my passion.
"When my father passed away, he left some of the items to me. Some I have kept for sentimental reasons, but others have been included in this second sale along with other pieces from my collection, which hopefully, will give Wedgwood collectors the chance to obtain something a bit special or something out of the ordinary."
Pride of place in the sale will be reserved for Harry Snr's massive 18th century Apotheosis of Homer vase which he had painstakingly restored. The vase came originally from Winnington Hall, Northwich, but was damaged, apparently beyond redemption. The pieces were sent back to Wedgwood in 1974 to be copied, but Harry was allowed to buy the broken bits which were considered worthless and beyond repair, so that he could stick them all back together. Black boot polish added the finishing touch.