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Finance: TREASURE HUNTERS; TV antiques expert JAMES BREESE'S tips on how to make the most of the world of antiques and collectables.


QI HAVE a David Winter ceramic cottage ornament which I bought for my daughter many years ago. It is called Tythe Barn and is an idyllic scene featuring a large thatched roof barn, three large trees and stacks of hay. I know there are many such cottages around - could this particular one be of value? Mr N. Redmond, Colchester, Essex.

ADAVID Winter is famous for creating one of the world's true cottage industries. Earliest examples from the late 70s are highly desirable, as are limited editions. Reports of items changing hands for over pounds 3,000 are not unheard of. Rare items include The Coaching Inn (pounds 1,800) and The Forge (pounds 1,000). Tythe barn is a desirable piece - expect up to pounds 700 on the open market.

QI HAVE a collection of 30 Beswick china figures which I have amassed over the years. It includes several large horses, a Canadian mounted policeman, huntsmen and a pack of hounds, large labrador dogs, giraffes and small horses. Most were bought in the 50s. Could you please advise if these would be of interest to collectors and approximate values if possible. - Mr Ivor Keightley, Coventry, West Midlands.

ABESWICK became one of the most popular ceramic manufacturers of the 20th Century. This English firm began life in 1894, but it wasn't until the creation of the Beatrix Potter characters in the late 1940s that the company was really put on the map. However, it is the wide range of animal figures and in particular the cattle and equestrian subjects which have become collectable of late. If you have been collecting since the 50s, it is quite likely you are sitting on a small fortune. The Beswick giraffe, for example, was made between 1959-71 and is worth around pounds 100. The zebra makes around pounds 150. The Cancara horse figure is worth about pounds 450, while the huntsman and hounds has made pounds 485 at auction recently. The British shorthorn bull can fetch up to pounds 650.

QI RECENTLY found a brass microscope at a local shop. I paid pounds 75 for it as it looked interesting. It appears to be in working order and is marked "C. Zeiss, Jena" and is around 11in long when closed. It has the familiar black horseshoe-style base and a small mirror above it. It came with three eyepieces and a wooden case. - Mr Anthony Crawford, Bridgewater, Somerset.

ATHE German firm Zeiss started in 1875 and developed the popular Continental-style frame microscope. Your find is probably a model VA or VI from around 1885 and is a desirable piece. They are still usable to this day and at auction, if in fine condition, it could make pounds 500-plus.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2001
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