Time to start a royal collection

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee might just be the perfect time to start collecting your own royal commemoration antiques, say experts Craig Wharton and Philip Traves
Sherborne Antiques Market

Over the past 200 years, many items have been produced to commemorate royal events.
However, it has only really been since 1897, when Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee, that items were mass-produced.
For collectors, the best to look out for are the early commemorative ceramics celebrating Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1837 and any previous royal events. These are increasingly rare.

A 1937 mug commemorating the coronation of George VI

Family treasures
It has always been popular to obtain a mug to mark these events – I still have my 1977 Poole Pottery mug from the Silver Jubilee – but these do survive in vast numbers. I think most of the population has one!
When King Edward abdicated in 1936, most of the commemorative items had already been produced.Mugs, ceramics and tins were all ready for sale, but were then sold off cheaply, mainly to staff who worked for the producers at the time. I have a tin which my great aunt gave me in 1980. She hoped it was rare and valuable, but many survive. I still have it to this day and when I see it in my tin collection I remember her fondly.

Cecil Beaton royal photographs and a 1977 Silver Jubilee tea-set

Start collecting
Royal commemorative memorabilia is certainly an area which is accessible to all. Mugs and ceramics from the 1953 coronation can be purchased for less than £5. Why not start your own collection? Spoons, thimbles and plates are always available for only a few pounds. Most ceramic and glass factories produced commemorative items and some of the finer factories produced quite exclusive limited edition ranges of wares. These now certainly fetch a premium.

A collection of commemorative mugs

Those windows
It’s no secret that at Sherborne Antiques Market we pride ourselves with our window displays (see picture below) – and yes, we love a patriotic window! We have enjoyed our Platinum Jubilee displays and have appreciated all the positive comments we have received.
Phil and Craig

by Philip Traves and Craig Wharton

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