River? Windmill? Maybe, until ICI got there

ICI worksWhat do you think of when someone mentions Delftware to you? Blue and white tin-glazed pottery from the Netherlands decorated with river scenes and windmills?

There may well have been a river and, indeed, a windmill at Rozenburg in Holland. But that was before chemical giant ICI turned up in 1963 and built a polyurethanes manufacturing plant.

What inspired someone to immortalise the factory setting on a piece of Delftware is anyone’s guess. Maybe it was in celebration of the firm’s polymer solutions production moving from Billingham to Rozenburg in 1992. Or perhaps it marked the tearful farewell to the ICI name in 1999, when the company sold its polyurethanes and acrylics interests.

Anyone who wants to wile away the hours looking at this hand-painted panoramic scene should be able to pick the piece up for between £50 and £80 when it goes under the hammer at Moore Allen & Innocent’s antiques and general auction in Cirencester on Friday, January 23.

In further exciting chemicals news, a pair of handsome Stuart Crystal goblets celebrate the 100th anniversary of Brunner Mond, producer of soda ash, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, and associated alkaline chemicals.

The company was founded in 1873 at Northwich in Cheshire, and was one of four British companies who merged to form – guess who? – ICI in 1926. The goblets were produced in limited edition of 1,000, and command and estimate of £30 to £50.

They form part of a larger collection of glassware which also includes a one-off engraved goblet commemorating the 700th anniversary of the birth of Robert the Bruce, together with a handwritten note by the artist, David Gulland (estimate £50 to £80), and a Stromberg Shyttan art glass vase, depicting three deer (estimate £80 to £120).

On the subject of British technological innovation, there was a time when British people bought British television sets to watch the coronation of a British monarch. Names like Murphy, Pam and Ekco ruled the airwaves. And a large collection of TV and radio sets from those manufacturers, as well as brands like the Dutch Philips and Chicago-based Revere Camera Company – who also made radios – will be going under the hammer with estimates of £30 to £50 each.

The chunky circa-1950s gadgets are ideal for restorers, upcyclers, collectors, or anyone who wants to add a splash of black and white retro-chic to their home or workplace.

And staying on the subject of British manufacturing, a pair of circa 1930 oak reclining chairs in the Arts & Crafts style by Newcastle-under-Lyme-based cabinetmaker George Scott & Sons should attract bids of between £200 and £300.

The swept form chairs – which have a simulated lapboard sides and castellated fronts of block form – were made by Scott to furnish a family home.

For a full auction catalogue, log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk

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