I ought to say ‘bless you’. Not only for belated New Year felicitations, but also as so many of us have been snorting into our hankies lately. I too have been doing much the same, and when I saw a superbly colourful collection of glass handkerchief vases on a photo shoot for a book last week, I got thinking. Pictured: A Venini Latticino glass handkerchief vase. Sold for US$ 366 (£233) Bonhams Los Angeles 2011. Image Copyright Bonhams. The handkerchief vase shape screams the 1950s to most of us, especially thinking of the examples illustrated here that are seen at fairs up and down the country. And we’re not far wrong. The form was developed by Italian artist, designer and glassmaker Fulvio Bianconi around 1948- 1949. It wasn’t necessarily a single-handed effort, as he was working with Paolo Venini of the renowned ‘Venini & Cie’ glass factory on the Venetian island of Murano at the time. The vases became known as ‘fazzoletto’ (fats-o-let-o), which quite simply is Italian for ‘handkerchief’. Pictured: 1950s Murano Venini Freeform Pink Handkerchief Vase. Sold for £395 Ebay May 2015. They were made in a huge variety of different colours and sizes, but all looking like up-turned hankies concealing something invisible, then frozen in place. The most commonly seen forms are low, transparent and contain stripes of fine spiralling threads, known as ‘zanfirico’ rods. Others are opaque, or cased in different colours. Not all these vases were made by Venini however because, as with most Murano glass, the design was widely copied by the many other factories on the island and sold less expensively to tourists. Pictured: 1960s Chance small psychedelic black and white printed pattern glass handkerchief vase. This version sold for £17.99 on ebay February 2015. Look on the bottom for a small three lined acid-etched mark reading ‘venini murano italia’ or a metallic cream on gold Murano sticky label to be sure you’re buying an authentic Venini piece. This isn’t to say that other factories’ examples aren’t worth having, but they are generally less desirable and thus less valuable. An authentic marked Venini piece may fetch around £200-800 or more, depending on size and the type of glass used. A copy can be found more easily and for under £150, quite often under £80-100. Genuine Venini, or those in large sizes or very unusual patterns have the best chance of rising in value to me. Desirable as the Italian originals are, how about a version that is more varied, more colourful and also more affordable? Chance Glass, based near Birmingham, produced handkerchief vases in their thousands from the 1950s until the late 1970s, before the factory closed in 1981. Found in many fashionable and young homes at the time, these are also the most common examples you’ll see today. They’re immediately recognisable, as for a start they often look more like real handkerchiefs with their printed patterns, and secondly they have a sharper, more angular look. They were produced by resting a thin square pane of glass on a tall cylinder, and then heating it in a kiln, causing the plate to melt a little and sag down around the cylinder when encouraged by a tool rather like a metallic spider. Although roughly the same each time, the folds are not regular, which explains why they don’t stack, or even begin to stack if you carefully try. I say carefully try as the screen-printed pattern is on the outside and tends to scratch very easily. This is one of the most important things to look for when planning a purchase as scratches, particularly on and around the base, make a piece worth considerably less. Similarly, examine the sharp edges and corners to ensure that they are not chipped as the same rings true. Talking of ringing, try tapping one. Weird as it sounds, it doesn’t create the expected high-pitched ring, but one more like the ring of a cowbell – try it when you get one home and you’ll see what I mean! To blow out a common misconception, they were produced in four, not three, different sizes. The ‘oversize’ is the rarest and is really rather large, making quite a visual impact. The next rarest is the ‘medium’ size and the two most common sizes are the ‘small’ size at around 4 inches high and the ‘large’ size at around 7 inches high. Chequered prints in all their variety are more common, and indeed ‘Gingham’ was one of the last patterns to be introduced in 1977. Polka dotted (my favourite) and broad banded examples are also often seen. More sought after are the ones with ‘funkadelic’ 60s-tastic swirls. Pinstriped examples also seem to get the winning vote, especially in acidic colours typical of the 1960s. Not all examples have printed surface patterns, instead using textured glass produced by Chance’s owner, Pilkington, the industrial glass giant. In fact, next time you open your glass panelled back door or the door to a pub loo, look at the textured glass. Remember it, as much of that was produced by Pilkington, who also used it in resonant colours on Chance’s ranges. A varied linear pattern, a bark-type effect or a gently ‘hammered’ effect are three typical examples. Regular readers will know how fond I am of collectables we can all afford to collect, and these currently fall into that category. Most fetch under £40-60, with common sizes often being under £25. Unprinted examples are currently generally less desirable unless large, usually fetching under £20 for small sizes. The exceptions to look out for are the very rare intaglio cut examples, such as the broad-banded ruby example on this page, which can sometimes go for over £100. Just as well they’re comparatively inexpensive, as the variety of patterns and sizes is truly vast and would make a superb and addictive challenge to collect. As they appeal as much to people looking for a 1950s touch for a room as to diehard collectors, prices should rise further, especially for the large examples or […]
The Rollieflex TLR camera revolutionized photographic history by making high-quality photography more accessible to the general public. Prior to its release, cameras were bulky, expensive, and difficult to use, limiting their use to professional photographers or wealthy hobbyists. The Rollieflex’s simple design and affordable price made photography available to a much wider audience, sparking a lasting interest in the art form. The Rollieflex TLR camera was prototyped in 1927 and 1928 and first introduced in 1929 by the German company, Rollei. The TLR design (Twin Lens Reflex) was not new, but the Rollieflex was the first to offer high quality construction and a compact size. The Rollieflex quickly became popular with professional photographers and amateurs alike. Its simple design and rugged construction made it ideal for travel and outdoor photography. The Rollieflex remained in production until the early 1970s, when it was discontinued in favor of newer SLR models. Franke & Heidecke At the turn of the 20th century, Franke & Heidecke was one of the leading camera manufacturers in Germany. With a strong commitment to innovation and quality, they began to experiment with new types of cameras that could meet the growing demand for high-end photography equipment. One of their most successful designs was the Rollieflex TLR camera, which revolutionized the world of professional photography. Using cutting-edge technologies like precision gears and precise mechanics, Franke & Heidecke designed and built a sleek and sturdy camera that quickly gained the favor of professional photographers around the world. The Rolliefleix TLR camera offered a high level of control and flexibility, allowing photographers to capture stunning images with exceptional clarity and accuracy. It quickly became known as one of the most reliable, versatile, and effective cameras on the market, setting new standards for modern photography. Today, the Rollieflex is considered a classic camera, and its unique design continues to inspire photographers around the world.
Most researchers agree that the first jigsaw puzzle was produced in 1762 by John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker from London.
The Chessell Pottery was founded in 1978 by Sheila and John Francis in the pretty village of Chessell on the Isle of Wight.
Wemyss Ware Wemyss Ware (pronounced Weems) is named after the castle situated on cliffs between East Wemyss and West Wemyss in Fife, which was the home of the Grosvenor family who became patrons of the Fife Pottery in Gallatown, near Kirkcaldy. The Fife Pottery was built in 1817, traditionally the Fife Pottery had paid its way by producing useful domestic wares, and it was not until the 1880s when the production of the hand-painted earthenware, with characteristically bold decoration, recognised today as Wemyss Ware began. The first piece of Wemyss Ware appeared in 1882 on the initiative of Robert Methven Heron. R. M. Heron had studied painting at the studios of the Edinburgh artists of his time and had travelled extensively in Europe. The production of Wemyss style pieces, particularly with traditional subjects such as the cock and hen patterns, had already begun when R. M. Heron brought back to the pottery six continental artists to augment the staff at the Fife Pottery. Five returned, and the one who remained was Karel Nekola, who became chief decorator and instructor at the pottery. Karel Nekola introduced a new style of ware to the pottery which was initially fired at a low temperature in order to produce a soft ‘biscuit’ body which would be able to absorb the colours from the decorator’s brush. It is this initial firing which is responsible for giving Wemyss Ware a body which is very fragile. After being painted and dipped in a soft lead glaze the pottery was again fired at a very low temperature, this time so as to avoid spoiling the brilliant colours. Wemyss Ware was decorated with natural subjects, such as flowers, in particular the red cabbage roses, but also buttercups, honeysuckle, sweet peas, carnations, Canterbury bells, thistles, irises, violets; and fruits are to be found including: cherries, plums, apples, pears and oranges may be seen, but also rare fig pattern, or lemons and grapes. Pictured: A Wemyss ‘Cabbage Roses’ ewer and basin – The basin painted by Karel Nekola, ewer 16cm high, 19cm diameter, both impressed WEMYSS and with green painted Wemyss mark, ewer with blue printed T.Goode & Co mark. Sold at Bonhams, Edinbugh for £275, August 2011. Image Copyright Bonhams. Wemyss Ware was a instant success, and with interest shown in the pottery by the Grosvenor and other Scottish families, Wemyss became an exclusive, expensive product much sought after by the affluent. Thomas Goode & Co. the well-known Mayfair china shop, became the companies sole retail outlet in England. Goode’s would often request special shapes and designs. Pictured: A large Wemyss Ware pig, with sponged black markings, the details picked out in pink, 46cms long, impressed WEMYSS WARE, R.H. & S., and bearing red printed retailer’s mark for T.GOODE & Co. Sold at Bonhams, Edinburgh for £1,995, December 2004. Image Copyright Bonhams. Karel Nekola continued to work at the pottery until disability prevented him and even then continued working at home, using a small kiln which was built for him in his garden, so that at his death in 1915 he had completed 30 years arduous service for the pottery. Edwin Sandland became chief decorator to the Fife Pottery following the death of Karel Nekola. Edwin Sandland, was from a family of potters and was a decorator in the Staffordshire area, and was posted to Perth during the Great War. He joined the pottery until his own death in 1928. New designs were introduced at this time and typical Wemyss motifs were painted over an all-black ground. Another innovation was to paint the design over splashes of various colours thus producing a gaudy effect. At the same time means were successfully found to raise the temperature of the final firing and so produce a glaze which was free from crazing. Despite new designs and new techniques the great economic depression of the 1930s meant that the pottery ceased trading in Fife. Wemyss Ware at Bovey Tracy 1930-1957 Thus the Fife Pottery came to an end in 1930, but Wemyss Ware secured a kind of extended life when the patterns and designs were taken over by the Bovey Pottery Co. of Bovey Tracey in Devon. Here Joseph Nekola, Karel Nekola’s son, following in his father’s footsteps, continued the familiar style of painting on a harder, whiter body, under a brilliant glaze which was free from crazing. A number of pieces produced during this time are marked as “Plichta.” Jan Plichta was a Czech immigrant that sold and exported wholesale glass and pottery, and items he ordered from the Bovey Pottery were marked with his name. Wemyss decorators produced items for Plichta, which sometimes leads to confusion, but in general Plichta items are inferior in quality. One of the lead apprentices at the pottery was Esther Weeks who went onto become head decorator in 1952 when Jospeh died. The pottery at Bovey Tracy closed in 1957. Wemyss Ware and the Griselda Hill Pottery Ltd® In 1985 Griselda Hill started producing Wemyss Ware® back in its birthplace in the heart of Fife. Griselda was inspired by the memory of her grandmother’s Wemyss® pig, which she discovered to have been made locally when she moved to Fife in 1984. The first product was a cat modelled on an example in Kirkcaldy Museum, and over the years since then the Pottery has developed a range of Wemyss Ware® which can easily stand alongside the originals. Pictured: A modern black and white Wemyss Ware pottery cat from the Griselda Hill Pottery Ltd®. This and other cats etc are still available at https://www.wemyssware.co.uk/ As with the original Wemyss Ware®, the success of the Pottery is based on the quality of the hand painting and the beauty of the designs and colours. All the artists have been working at the Pottery for over fifteen years, and have become very skilled at their work. While some new technology has been introduced to minimise production problems and environmental pollution, the techniques of hand decoration remain the same as ever. Being hand painted, each piece is unique. Pictured: A modern small clover Wemyss Ware pottery pig from the Griselda Hill Pottery Ltd®. This and other animals etc are still […]
The glass of Emile Galle is attracting increasing attention among collectors, not only for its inherent beauty and refinement, but also because every piece, so far as we know, has that favourite feature of the collector, a signature.
With the forthcoming TCM Hollywood Cool auction at Bonhams and the sale of items associated with Happy Days and The Fonz (one of the most merchandised characters of the 1970s), we thought we would take a look at some of collectibles released over the years based on the Happy Days series and characters. Happy Days was an American sitcom television series portraying an idealistic vision of life in the 1950s and early 1960s Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Happy Days was created by by Garry Marshall and was one of the most successful of the 1970s running on the ABC network from January 15 1974 to July 19 1984. A total of 255 half-hour episodes were made spanning 11 seasons. Initially focused on the character Richie Cunningham played by Ron Howard, his family and friends and all their experiences it was a moderate ratings success but began to falter during its second season. The show took a change of direction and began emphasizing comedy and after spotlighting the previously minor character of Fonzie, a “cool” biker and high school dropout the show never looked back and became the number-one program in television in 1976–1977. The show was a hit internationally especially in the UK. The main cast included: Henry Winkler (Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli), Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham), Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham), Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham), Anson Williams (Warren ‘Potsie’ Weber), Donny Most (Ralph Malph) and Chachi (Scott Baio). The Fonz – Fonzie became one of the most merchandised characters of the 1970s Arthur Fonzarelli, a.k.a. The Fonz or Fonzie – Initially a minor character, he was a hugely popular breakout character and was made a series regular. Fonzarelli’s “Fonzie” nickname and comeback phrase, “Sit on it,” were created by the show’s producer, Bob Brunner. Known for being especially cool and for his catchphrases “(H)eyyyy!” and “Whoa!” His coolness gave him special powers, such as making machinery (such as Arnold’s jukebox and other vending machines, electric lights, and car engines) function by pounding on them with his fist, or getting the attention of girls by snapping his fingers. His parents abandoned him as a child and his grandmother raised him from the age of four. (Source: Wikipedia) The Mego Happy Days carded 8″ action figures also included Richie, Potsy and Ralph. Mego also released Fonzie’s Jalopy so the gang were able to drive around. Tuscany Studios created a chalkware The Fonz figure. We are not too sure on the likeness but it is a very rare and unusual item to have. More Happy Days Collectibles Funko released five Funko Pop! models in June 2021 which included: 1124 Fonzie, 1125 Richie, 1126 Arnold, 1127 Joanie and 1128 Chachi. Did you know? Happy Days spawned a number of spin-off TV series including Laverne & Shirley, Joanie Loves Chachi and Mork & Mindy. Related Mork and Mindy Collectibles
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls Toy boxes suddenly started to smell delicious in 1980! Delicious fruity scents of cherry, lemon, raspberry, blueberry, lime and – most of all – strawberry filled our homes. Here was a toy we really didn’t mind buying for our children. Pictured right: Strawberry Shortcake The perfume drifted from a series of dolls, of various sizes, who inhabited the ‘World of Strawberry Shortcake’. The most popular sized doll stood five-and-a-half inches tall, was jointed at hip, shoulder and neck, and was made from a hard vinyl. All the dolls had certain characteristics which makes them easily identifiable even today, twenty years later. Their most noticeable feature was their rounded heads, which were slightly larger than they should be, giving the dolls a top-heavy appearance. They all had tiny moulded bumps for noses, and their mouths resembled the letter ‘U’. Each doll had different colour hair, which normally, though not always, gave a clue to the doll’s name. But of course, the most outstanding characteristic of all was the gorgeous perfume. The dolls were marked on the back of their heads ‘American Greetings Corps 1979′, and were made by Kenner. Each doll came with its own little blow-moulded vinyl pet, and they were sold packaged in cellophane-fronted, brightly decorated boxes. The pair cost Â£4.75, which was quite expensive for the time – they weren’t really pocket-money toys. Picture left: Lemon Meringue, Orange Blossomand Blueberry Muffin Originally there were twelve dolls in the set; Strawberry Shortcake with Custard Kitten, Huckleberry Pie with Pupcake Puppy, Lime Chiffon with Parfait Parrot, Butter Cookie with Jelly Bear, Raspberry Tart with Rhubarb Monkey, Orange Blossom with Marmalade Butterfly, Cherry Cuddler with Gooseberry Goose, Lemon Meringue with Frappe Frog, Blueberry Muffin with Cheesecake Mouse, Angel Cake with Souffle Skunk, Apple Dumplin’ with Tea Time Turtle and Apricot with Hopsalot Bunny. In addition, there were two slightly larger figures who were the ‘friendly foes’ – Purple Pieman with Berry Bird and Sour Grapes with Dregs Snake. All the dolls were beautifully dressed, and it is difficult today to find them complete, because the tiny garments were so easily mislaid. Socks, tights and shoes, especially, were soon lost, and around 1984 Kenner stopped including shoes with the dolls. The boxes were marked accordingly – so it could well be that if you now find a shoeless Strawberry Shortcake, she didn’t have any in the first place! Th e little socks – the ones which fit the babies are minute – are easy to recognise, as they are green and white striped. Green and white are theme colours throughout the World of Strawberry Shortcake, and crop up several times – such as on Pupcake’s ears. Later, more friends arrived – Almond Tea with Marza Panda, Crepe Suzette with Eclair Poodle, Mint Tulip with Marsh Mallard, Cafe Ole with Burrito Donkey, Plum Puddin’ with Elderberry Owl, Peach Blush with Melonie Belle Lamb and, last but not least, the twins Lem and Ada with Sugar Woofer Dog. There was also a strange, smiling pink and white dinosaur called Fig Boot. Pictured left: Strawberry Shortcake Babies Strawberry Shortcake is simple to spot. She has bright red hair, freckles, a floppy hat and a red frock topped with a white pinafore. Today, she is the most commonly found of the dolls, and the one which everyone knows. Angel Cake’s hair is white and curly, and she wears a pale green dress trimmed with white broderie anglaise and a lilac ribbon. Almond Tea has bright purple hair, a lilac trouser suit with yellow floral sleeves and a super yellow flower-shaped hat, while the bespectacled Plum Puddin’s hair is blue, and she is dressed in a pretty purple striped and spotted dress with a spotted hat. The only male doll is Huckleberry Pie, who wears a nifty plastic ‘straw’ hat, and blue dungarees with green and white striped turn-ups. The cute babies are four inches high, and include Apricot, Cherry Cuddler, Apple Dumplin’ and yellow-haired Butter Cookie who is dressed a yellow-flowered white outfit and yellow bonnet. Apple Dumplin’s hair is curly orange, and she wears a yellow romper suit with an apple motif. She also has a yellow mob-cap. Apricot wears a sweet apricot-coloured bib-fronted suit and a hat shaped like a large teacosy, while little Cherry Cuddler has a white dress trimmed with red cherries and a red mob-cap. Pictured right: Berry Baby Blueberry Muffin and Strawberry Shortcake Perhaps the most unusual of the dolls, harder to recognise as a member of Strawberry Shortcake’s world, is the Purple Pieman. Standing nine inches tall, he has a long narrow face which contrasts with the round heads of the others, moulded purple hair and eyebrows, and, most distinctive of all, an impressive purple moustache, almost three inches across! His purple trousers are moulded onto his skinny legs, and he wears a turquoise top, white apron and floppy chef’s hat. At his waist hangs a yellow ladle, and his Berry Bird clips onto his arm. Purple Pieman is cinnamon scented. The other friendly foe, Sour Grapes, is a thin lady of similar build to the Pieman, with a pointed chin and high arched eyebrows. She wears a long mauve dress decorated with grapes, and has moulded-on lime green gloves. Sour Grapes has purple hair with blue streaks, a pale lilac chiffon scarf, and she wears a pet snake around her neck. Her legs are purple! Many of the dolls were later issued wearing party outfits, which had fuller skirts than than the basic costumes and though for the most part the colouring was the same, these dresses were very pretty with lots of braid, lace and frills. Cafe Ole’s dress, for instance, was orange-patterned, with a pink bodice, white frill at the hem trimmed with pink ric-rac braid and edged with green lace. She had a matching hat. In addition, a selection of clothes were sold separately; each pack included an outfit for the doll and a matching one for the pet, and amongst […]
Netsuke date back to the 17th Century, and became extremely popular in Europe towards the end of the 19th Century. This coincided with the Japanese adopting the suit and its pockets and with oriental artefacts being very much in vogue with buyers in western Europe. A huge supply of redundant netsuke came into Europe and were sold in many places as novelty items very cheaply. For the collector today there are many styles, and types, some by well known designers and the range in price can be incredible: from a few $/£ to £140,000 paid for a netsuke horse carved by Tomotada. Netsuke served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The tradtional Japanese dress, the kimono had no pockets. The robes were hung together by a broad sash (obi), so items that were needed to be carried were held on a cord tucked under the sash. The hanging objects (sagemono) were secured with carved toggles (netsuke). A sliding bead (ojime) was strung on the cord between the netsuke and the sagemono to tighten or loosen the opening of the sagemono. The best known accessory was the inro, a small box used by the wealthy for carrying medicines and seals. Netsuke were also used to secure purses, and were widely used to hold the tobacco pouches that became almost universal with the introduction of smoking in Japan. The quality of Netsuke was variable. As everyday objects many were carved quickly with left over materials. Netsuke could be made using a variety of materials mainly wood, and ivory (also shell, bone, horn, even metal and precious stones). Wealthier people would have finer netsuke, and it could be possible to tell the status of an individual by the quality of their netsuke. The workmanship is some is outstanding and despite their small size 1 to 2 inches, there can be considerable detail. There are several types of netsuke including: manju, round or square button like boxes; and kagamibuta, comprising a metal lid and a bowl; and katabori. The range of subjects included all manner of animals, birds, the heores and villains from folklore, the immortals and mythical animals of Japanese legend, the grotesque and the amusing. The variety and variability of netsuke is a reason for their continued popularity today. Knowledgeable collectors look for compactness, a design that appears good from any angle, and the cord holes must not interfere with the piece and may often form part of it. With the decline of the kimono there was less demand in Japan for netsuke, but they continued to be produced for export. Some skilled designers continued to produce excellent pieces which are much sort after. Production continued into the 20th Century with a revival in the art as interest incr eases. In recent years a number of poor netsuke have been produced and a number of fakes of original pieces have also been manufactured. These pieces are often produced using ivory obtained from illegally poached elephants and other animals. Resin replicas are also being produced. Many are sold as such but collectors should be careful. Forms of Netsuke kataborinetsuke (形彫根付) or “sculpture netsuke” – this is the most familiar style, a compact three-dimensional figure carved in the round, usually around one to three inches high anaborinetsuke (穴彫根付) or “hollowed netsuke” – subset of katabori which is hollowed-out and carved within; the most common are scenes in clams sashinetsuke (差根付) – this is an elongated form of katabori, literally “stab” netsuke, similar in length to the sticks and gourds used as improvised netsuke before carved pieces were produced, about six inches long obi-hasami – another elongated netsuke with curved top and bottom. It sits behind the obi with the curved ends visible above and below the obi. mennetsuke (面根付) or “mask netsuke” – the largest category after katabori, these were often imitations of full size noh masks, and share characteristics in common with both katabori and manju/kagamibuta manjunetsuke (饅頭根付) or “manju netsuke”- a thick, flat, round type of netsuke, with carving usually done in relief, sometimes made of two ivory halves. Shaped like a manju. ryusanetsuke (柳左根付）- shaped like a manju, but carved like lace, so that light shines completely through kagamibutanetsuke (鏡蓋根付) or “mirror lid netsuke” – shaped like a manju, but with a metal disc serving as lid to a shallow bowl, usually of ivory. The metal is often highly decorated with a wide variety of metallurgical techniques. karakurinetsuke (からくり根付) or “trick/mechanism netsuke” – any netsuke that does something, ones with moving parts or hidden surprisesForms of Netsuke text – Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. Books on Netsuke
Imagine sitting down to enjoy a nice drink and whilst taking a sip you look down you are faced with a small frog in your mug. A nice surprise or maybe not! This was the idea behind the Frog Mug which were first produced around 1750 but became very popular during the first quarter of the 19th Century. One theory of how the frog mug came to be made was that a potter who had nearly completed some mugs, had left them to cool overnight. On his return he found a frog sitting at the bottom of one of them. He was so surprised and amused he decided to make a mug with a frog inside based on the idea. They proved so popular the frog mug was created. Most frog mugs feature a frog on the side or on the bottom, and occasionally on the rim. Some frogs have open mouth so when the drink was poured it would also go through the frog’s mouth. There are some examples of larger vessels having multiple frogs and even lizards as well. The earliest frog mugs date to around 1750 and are largely associated with the Sunderland potteries including Brunton & Company (afterwards Moore & C0) who were noted with early examples. One of the most noted potteries for the production of the frog mug was Dixon and Co. Although Sunderland and the north-east were the leading area for the frog mugs, they were also made in the Stafford potteries and the Leeds potteries. The frog mugs created in Sunderland pimarily feature the famous Sunderland lustreware with its pink lustre decorated with black transfer prints often with mottos, phrases and sayings. More popular designs include portrayals of the Wearmouth bridge, Ironbridge and the Crimea. As many of these mugs were used by sailors many had a strong nautical theme and featured sailing ships, the Sailor’s Farewell and the Sailor’s Return. The majority of antique frog mugs made in Sunderland can be bought from around £60 to £200. The main factors affecting price are rarer transfers & motifs and condition. The price of other examples is variable, with great variations in price – from £40 to £1,000. Example pieces and prices have been given in this feature. The frog mug is a quirky, attractive item with great historic interest, and collections can still be created for a modest investment.