An elderly couple are putting their ceramics collection up for auction in Lichfield to help cover the costs of private cancer treatment.

A rabbit oompah band set

The pair, who are in their 70s and have asked not to be named, started collecting 30 years ago, travelling the country hunting for rare pieces.

But with the husband fighting bowel cancer which has spread to his lungs and liver and his wife having undergone surgery for mouth cancer, they have now decided to part with their treasured ceramics.

The lots are expected to sell for thousands of pounds when they go under the hammer at Richard Winterton Auctioneers on 22nd October.

The couple said:

Bunnykins ceramics going up for sale in Lichfield

“We’ve had a great deal of pleasure collecting and had pictured we were going to sell them in our retirement, but you don’t know what the future holds and unfortunately physical illness has stopped us, initially with the diagnosis of mouth cancer 15 years ago.

“We had such plans for later in life and sometimes they don’t come to fruition.

“Now we’re into our dotage and the proceeds will probably be used to pay for private medical care.”

The collection includes:

  • Royal Doulton Bunnykins figurines and tableware designed by Barbara Vernon
  • Royal Doulton nursery ware designed by Savage Cooper and themed by nursery rhymes
  • Shelley tableware designed by Mable Lucie Attwell
  • Beatrix Potter figurines by Beswick
  • Wade figurines including iconic comic character Betty Boop
  • Disney figurines from the Walt Disney Classics Collection, and
  • Figurines and tableware by Royal Albert.

“We were avid collectors”

Their collection begin with a purchase of a Beswick Beatrix Potter feline figurine of Ginger, bought as the couple had a ginger cat named Sandy.

Some of the Royal Doulton nurseryware

“We were avid collectors, visiting fairs at Newark, Trentham Gardens and Exeter – we’ve been to Glasgow and back in a day to collect items we’d seen.

“Over time you start to look for specific items to make up a suite or you go somewhere for something specific and find something else which interests you and that sends you off on another tangent.

“You just collect and collect. We’ve had a great deal of pleasure collecting over the years and we’ve only ever bought what we’ve liked.

“We’ve seen the country and met lots of lovely people with an interest in exquisite ceramics.

“It’s a passage of time we’ve thoroughly enjoyed – a wonderful existence which has been cut short through illness.”

More details about the sale and the lots on offer are available at

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