How to buy early 20th century Decorative arts objects at auction

Find a stand-out item for your home at an online Decorative arts sale.


A Pilkingtons Lancastrian St George and the Dragon blue-ground lustre charger, designed by Walter Crane and painted by William Slater Mycock, it is estimated at £5000-8000 at The Cotswold Auction Company.

The Decorative arts category encompasses a wide range of three-dimensional antiques in a variety of different materials that serve a decorative as well as functional purpose. In this way, it is different to ‘Fine art’ and ‘Works of art’. It includes ceramics, glass and metalware (including silver and plate), medium to small size decorative objects such as tea caddies and dressing table sets and so forth.

Many Decorative arts collectors focus on items made between 1850-1950 but the term is not exclusive of this period.

The Cotswold Auction Company’s next Modern & 20th century arts, vintage fashion and textiles sale on August 9 includes a wide range of Decorative arts as well as a selection of Modern pictures.

Find out more about buying at auction here while if furniture is what you are after view our furniture guide.

Here is a small selection of what is coming up at The Cotswold Auction Company’s sale on August 9.

Pilkingtons Lancastrian charger

Charger Reverse

The base of the Pilkingtons charger with date mark XI 1911.

Among the highlights of the sale will be this Pilkingtons Lancastrian St George and the Dragon charger (pictured above, top).

This blue-ground lustre piece was designed by Walter Crane and painted by William Slater Mycock with date mark XI 1911.

To the base of the charger the marks include WSM in monogram, the P and bee mark and no 2477. The front border bears the shield mark of Sir Walter Crane, one of the most influential book illustrators of the 19th century, who was also a founder member of the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society.

It was found in a property by two brothers, whose mother had died recently. The family hailed from the Potteries and it is believed that the piece was given to an aunt as a wedding present. As a family heirloom it had hung in its latest home for at least 60 years. It is estimated at £5000-8000.

Crewel work patterned panels


Three early 20th century crewel work panels in the 'Tree of Life' design, estimated at £900-1200.

Three early 20th century crewel work panels in the 'Tree of Life' design, estimated at £900-1200.

One includes a squirrel, signed 'LN’ and dated 1910, one with a goldfinch, initialled 'LN’ and dated 1929 and one labelled 'LHG Noble'.

Keith Murray Moonstone vase

Keith Murray (1892-1981) was a New-Zealand-born British architect and industrial designer, known for ceramic, silver and glass designs for Wedgwood, Mappin & Webb and Stevens & Williams in the 1930s and 1940s. This Wedgwood Moonstone vase is estimated at £100-150.

Clarice Cliff collection

Clarice Cliff

A group of four Clarice Cliff Autumn Crocus pattern items including a bowl, jam pot and vase, estimated at £80-120.

The Staffordshire born and bred designer Clarice Cliff made her name with the brightly coloured range of Art Deco pottery she designed in the 1920s.

This small group of her Autumn Crocus pattern, including a bowl, jam pot and vase are estimated at £80-120.

View the the full Cotswold auction here.

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