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Which Shelley Teaware Patterns are Popular at Auction?

Debbie Porter

Shelley tea ware comes in a whole host of different sizes, shapes and patterns. Read on to find out what Shelley teaware patterns are valuable and highly sought-after at auction.

If you have ever wondered, is this tea set worth anything?, then you are not alone. Tea sets make a frequent appearance in our auction room, and it’s no surprise why. They make a statement when used for fancy tea parties or birthday celebrations, or simply make a stunning talking point in your display cabinet. But they can also be a valuable, collectable item.

One of the most sought-after brands of tea ware is Shelley Pottery. Some Shelley tea sets are very collectable and distinctive – some even have rare patterns that can reach higher prices at auction. We see a lot of Shelley Pottery in our auction houses, and our experts will identify and provide valuations for your teaware. Making sure selling or buying your pieces is as easy as possible. Read on to find out more!

The History of Shelley Teaware

Shelley Pottery is best known for its Art Deco fine bone china. It was known as a ‘fashionable’ brand, and it’s still well loved today. Shelley Pottery’s history can be complicated. It was previously called Wileman & Co, before creating working under the ‘Foley Potteries’ brand. It wasn’t until the 1900s when Shelley was used, and the name was trademarked. Shelley production was stopped in 1965 and that’s one of the reasons it’s so collectable today. Lots of the factories and manufacturing guidelines were destroyed, so the collections that exist today are even more precious.

It’s the number of patterns and the intricate design and style of these patterns that make Shelley teaware stand out.

Shelley Teaware Patterns

32 pieces of assorted Shelley tea and dinnerware in the 13291 pattern (blue)

Stealing the show! This lot featured 32 pieces of assorted Shelley tea and dinnerware in the 13291 pattern (blue). The lot came with an estimate sale price of £50-£100, but eventually sold for a very impressive £300 at one of our previous auctions.

While all Shelley teaware is pretty popular, there are particular patterns that gain more attention at auction:

  • The Vogue pattern is one of the most famous and sought-after Shelley teaware patterns in the UK. Its Art deco style attracts attention, as it’s always fashionable.
  • The Shelley Group shared a recent Shelley tea set that sold for an incredible amount in an auction in late 2021. The Shelley Part Pink and White Dainty Breakfast Set was estimated for sales at £30-£40, yet sold for £750 at auction!
  • In one of our Fine Art sales, this classic Shelley Wild Anemone 21-piece porcelain tea set, (pattern number 13977), sold for a wonderful £90.
A classic Shelley Wild Anemone 21-piece porcelain tea set
  • In another auction, we sold a delightful collection of Shelley pieces, including a range of colourful and unique patterns – the Trios in Vincent (pattern number 11355/25), Swallow & Tree Border with Blue, Vincent (pattern number 11349), Richmond (pattern number 13977), Wild Anemone, Gainsborough (pattern number 8480), Scattered Pink & Blue Flowers and Bristol Yellow Primrose.
  • However, this rare showstopper piece of Shelley tulip-handled lemon and blue Art Deco teaware was set to go under the hammer for around £850 and sold for a very respectable £1350 at auction.
Shelley tulip-handled lemon and blue Art Deco teaware

If you’d like to know more about the various Shelley teaware patterns, the Shelley Group offers more information. There is also an infamous Shelley Teaware Patterns book, by Sheryl Burdess. The guide has thousands of teaware patterns from the 1860s through to 1966. All the designs/patterns are arranged by number and include details about the colour, variation, backstamp and body shape of the china the patterns appear on. It’s also full of photographs, a must-have for any collector.

How Much Is My Shelley Tea Set Worth?

Whilst many of the Shelley teasets are delightful and would make a fantastic addition to any home, there are a few Shelley teaware patterns that are more valuable and sought-after than others:

  • ‘Boo Boo’ elf
  • Vogue
  • Eve
  • Mode
  • Yellow Butterfly
  • Apples
  • Harmony (in a purple shade/colour)
Shelley Vogue Sunray dinner and tea ware design 11742

This collection of Shelley Vogue Sunray dinner and tea ware, design 11742, comprised of 49 pieces and sold for a wonderful £1000 at our March 2020 Fine Art sale.

How to Buy or Sell Shelley Teaware at Auction

Here at Potteries Auctions, we run regular auctions and attract buyers and sellers from all over the world. We’re based in the heart of the Staffordshire Potteries with two salerooms; the Silverdale Saleroom and the Cobridge Saleroom, so we’re best placed to offer valuations and advice. This is because our experts can assess your pottery for authenticity and market value.

If you’ve got a Shelley tea set or pieces of teaware, we can identify and provide valuations to tell you how much it’s worth. Please get in touch with usto discuss how we can help you or request a call back if you are looking for an expert evaluation and are seeking to sell your tea set or add to your collection.

Did you know we can collect your pottery from anywhere in the UK? We also offer solutions for shipping too. We can pack and safely post your goods, perfect for transporting pieces that have been bought via our online auctions.