David Sheard | Making a Collection

David Sheard | Making a Collection

Beginning his collecting hobby in 1984, David Sheard spent many years acquiring a range of antiques, scouring charity shops and antique fairs in his spare time, with a particular interest in Arts and Crafts ceramics and pewterware. We are humbled to offer items from David's collection in our 12 September Homes and Interiors sale, and upcoming 31 October Design sale. Following David's passing in 2020, here David's wife, Pat, discusses his passion for collecting.

11 October  2023



David bought his first ‘serious’ piece of pottery – a 1930s Moorcroft fruit and leaves pot lid, mounted in an oak plaque – in October 1984, from a little antique shop in Blackpool. It cost him £5 and, being a ‘careful’ spender, he thought long and hard about whether he could justify the expenditure on the piece because it was badly damaged on the underside.   However, the pleasure he derived from that lid made it worth every penny, and from then on, he was no longer content just to visit museums and browse books; he wanted to possess, he wanted the thrill of the chase, made all the more satisfying when he felt that he had got a bargain. This meant (obsessively) scouring second-hand, junk and charity shops, car boot sales and antique fairs, where he would talk to dealers and augment his book knowledge (pre-internet, of course) with what he learned from dealers.


A Tudric pewter and enamelled cigar box (£600-900)

A Tudric pewter and enamelled cigar box (£600-900)


His primary passion was for arts and crafts ceramics and pewterware, but in truth, he took an eclectic approach, having a period when a lot of Clarice Cliff and Shelley drip-ware was bought, and he always had an eye for art pottery across the board.

A collection of seven Burmantofts Pottery coloured vases (£300-500)


David Sheard & Pat Sikes 



David was a secondary school history teacher with a strong commitment to social justice through curricular and pedagogical innovation. He became a deputy head teacher in his early 30s, but as time went on, he began to dream of early retirement and a second career as a dealer. To this end, he bought more and more stock, but although he would, occasionally, take a stall at a car boot, he wasn’t very keen on selling anything for less than the price he had fixed in his head. He loved his pieces too much.


[08:45] Otto Billstrom  A collection of Tudric pewter designed by Archibald Knox

A Tudric pewter lidded jug (£250-350), A Tudric pewter biscuit barrel (£300-500)


In the event, unfortunately there never was a second career. He took retirement at 55, continued accumulating stock and branching out, too, into first edition books. However, by this time it was clear that he was having cognitive and visual difficulties, eventually diagnosed with vascular and posterior cortical atrophy dementias. For a few years, he was able to stay at home with daily carers, spending most of his time reviewing and reordering his collections. The time came when he needed 24-hour residential care, by which point he was very poorly, non-verbal and had limited mobility. Having lived with young onset dementia for seventeen years, David died on 13 May 2020. 


35 lots feature in our 12 September Homes and Interiors sale which is available to browse at the links below. Further items from the collection will then follow in our upcoming 31 October Design sale.



Tuesday 31 October | 10am

design@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778






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