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Buyer beware: The trade name 'SylvaC' originally belonged to Shaw and Copestake. The company went into liquidation in 1982. Reproductions of some SylvaC originals are now in circulation and, unfortunately for the collector, carry the old SylvaC backstamps. According to one experienced dealer, it is not true that crazing denotes an original SylvaC piece: some reproductions have it too (according to him).

 

Honey and Jam Pots

Watch out for the common orange pot (mould number 582) and the rare and valuable blueberry/grapes pot (mould number 584).

 

Trade advert (1963)
Click here for large file
 

'Bee' honey pot c. 1970-1980
Mould 5383. The head is detachable. The bee is seen rather frequently, but always fetches good prices. There is scattered crazing overall on this one, but no damage.

How to tell fake bees from original, given that the presence of a label on Sylvac is no guarantee of authenticity? There are three clues: (1) fakes look like they have been crudely spray-painted with a black blob on on the nose and ears; original have subtle, black, semitransparent handpainting on the nose; (2) fakes have a garish pink blob on the tongue; in originals, it is a more subtly-painted, transparent flesh tone; (3) fakes have badly painted eyes, consisting of a very crude black circle with a circular pinhole; in the originals, the black eye has a triangular space (see details of original, right).

A bee sold for over £200 in 2006 on eBay; it had no black spray paint on the nose and ears. Value: £20-40 (copies); £60 - 200 (originals). A rare variant exists - and I don't know if it is a copy - that has white instead of the honey-coloured ground, and more crudely-painted eyes (which makes me suspicious).

 

Strawberry jam-pot
Mould number 585. Common, and popular with collectors. The 'pips' are not strongly impressed all the way round the circumference, but appear to fade out: this is normal. Value: £25-30

Pineapple jam-pot
Mould number 583. This is a common and collectable piece. Value: £25-30

 

Pebble range

These pieces are common, but are not widely collected at this time. The design may be meant to evoke the beach. However, SylvaC were very knowing and witty, so maybe this is a joke about the naff 'pebble-dash' that adorned many 1970's houses. The colours look good in modern 'Scandinavian Style' interiors. They are very difficult to find without damage or crazing. Other seaside ranges: Beswick produced a range with impressed seashells, as did Hutschenreuther (in matt bisque). Hornsea made a range of white vases with a band of pebbling.

 

Vase
No. 3358. no damage but overall crazing. Value: £5
Plant pot
No crazing but a hairline to rim. It had been listed on eBay as 'perfect', of course. Value: £5-15 (if mint)

 

Brick range

These pieces are less common than the pebble pieces (above), and are not widely collected. The brick range is truly great British retro, and resembles the fake stone-cladding that people put on their houses, and around their fireplaces, in the 1970's.

 

Planter No. 3816
Mint condition. Value: £5-10
Plant pot No. 3809
Mint condition. Value: £5-10