There are many different strands for James Bond collectors to collect and this feature looks at collecting James Bond 007 Jigsaw Puzzles. We also include a price guide on some of the puzzles that have been sold at auction. Arrow Games produced a series of great jigsaw puzzles in the 1960s to tie in with the film franchise. As far as we can see there were four in the series. The set includes classic scenes from Goldfinger (Aston Martin ejector seat), From Russia with Love (Helicopter chase), Thunderball (Sean Connery wearing jet pack and scuba diving scene). Each jigsaw puzzle was 375 pieces. Arrow James Bond Jigsaw Puzzle Price Guide We have seen quite a range of price for the vintage Arrow James Bond 007 jigsaw puzzles. Complete puzzles in very good or better boxes: £50-£70 / $70-$100 each. Near complete puzzles in very good boxes: £25-£35 / $35/$55 each. Very good or better boxes (no puzzles): £15-£35 / $25-$55 each. Over the years James Bond puzzles have been created by a number of toy companies including Milton Bradley, HG Toys and Hestair to name a few. More recently Wentworth Wooden Puzzles have created a series of limited edition wooden jigsaw puzzles based on the films. At the time of writing four have been produced including Thunderball, Moonraker, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Dr No. The Dr No edition was an exclusive for 007store.com, and features French poster artwork by Boris Grinsson. The puzzles included 250 pieces with some shaped pieces to reflect images from the film. Jigsaw Related Collecting Wooden Jigsaws
Graceland is the name of the 13.8 acre estate and large white-columned mansion that once belonged to Elvis Presley, located at 3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. It is located south of Downtown Memphis, less than four miles north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as a museum. It was opened to the public in 1982, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991 and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006. Elvis Presley, who died at the estate on August 16, 1977, his parents Gladys and Vernon Presley, and his grandmother, are buried there in what is called the Meditation Gardens. Graceland History Graceland was originally owned by S. E. Toof, publisher of the Memphis newspaper, the Memphis Daily Appeal. The grounds were named after Toof’s daughter, Grace, who would come to inherit the farm. Soon after, the portion of the land designated as Graceland today was given to a niece, Ruth Moore, who, in 1939 together with her husband Dr. Thomas Moore, had the present American “colonial” style mansion built. Pictured right: This beautifully detailed brass ornament shows a 360 degree view of the Graceland mansion. Elvis purchased Graceland in early 1957 for approximately $100,000 after vacating an East Memphis house located at 1034 Audubon Drive. He moved because of privacy and security concerns, and the opposition of neighbors to the enthusiastic behavior of the many fans who slowly cruised by his home. Elvis moved into Graceland together with his father Vernon Presley and his mother Gladys. After Gladys died in 1958, and Vernon married Dee Stanley in 1960, the couple lived there for a time. Wife-to-be Priscilla Beaulieu also lived at Graceland for five years before she and Elvis married.After their marriage in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967, Priscilla lived in Graceland five more years until she separated from Elvis in late 1972. Pictured left: Thomas Kinkade painting of Graceland marking the 50th Anniversary of the purchase by Elvis Presley. On August 16, 1977, Elvis died in his bathroom at Graceland allegedly of a heart attack, according to one medical examiner report at the time. However, there are conflicting reports as to the cause of his death. According to Peter Guralnick, the singer “had thrown up after being stricken, apparently while seated on the toilet. It looked to the medical investigator as if he had ‘stumbled or crawled several feet before he died.’ ” The author adds that “drug use was heavily implicated in this unanticipated death of a middle-aged man with no known history of heart disease…no one ruled out the possibility of anaphylactic shock brought on by the codeine pills he had gotten from his dentist.” After initially being buried at Forrest Hill Cemetery, and fo llowing an attempt to rob his grave, Presley’s remains were moved to Graceland. The estate has become a pilgrimage for Elvis fans across the world. Graceland architecture and modifications The mansion is constructed of tan limestone and consists of twenty-three rooms, including eight bedrooms and bathrooms. The entrance way contains several Corinthian columns and two large lions perched on both sides of the portico. After purchasing the property Presley carried out extensive modifications to suit his needs and tastes, including: a fieldstone wall surrounding the grounds, a wrought-iron music styled gate, a swimming pool, a racquetball court, and the famous “jungle room” which features an indoor waterfall, among other modifications. One of Presleys better known modifications was the addition of the Meditation Gardens, where he, his parents Gladys and Vernon, and grandmother are buried. The garden was opened to the public in 1978. For more details concerning the decorative arts that makes Elvis’s mansion seem a creation as well as a site, see Karal Ann Marling, Graceland: Going Home With Elvis (Harvard University Press, 1996). Graceland’s “act of faith in serial novelty,” the author argues, synthesized the “intense concern for personal style” that made B. B. King notice a teenaged Elvis in a pawnshop years before he was famous and the fashion sense informing the “theme clothes” of the ’70s — “carapace[s] of sheer, radiant glory.” Graceland grew from 10,266 square feet when originally bought by Presley to 17,552 square feet today. Managers of the complex announced a major renovation project that will include a new visitors center, a 500-room convention hotel and high-tech museum displays. The current visitors center, souvenir shops, the 128-room Heartbreak Hotel, and museums will be torn down and replaced with the new facilities. The project will take approximately 3 years to complete. Elvis Presley at Graceland According to Mark Crispin Miller, Graceland became for Elvis “the home of the organization that was himself, was tended by a large vague clan of Presleys and deputy Presleys, each squandering the vast gratuities which Elvis used to keep his whole world smiling.” The author adds that Presley’s father Vernon “had a swimming pool in his bedroom”, that there “was a jukebox next to the swimming pool, containing Elvis’s favorite records” and that the singer himself “would spend hours in his bedroom, watching his property on a closed-circuit television.” Pictured left: Plate featuring Elvis at the Gates of Graceland. Graceland was Lisa Marie Presley’s first official home, and residence after her birth on February the 1st 1968 and her childhood home, although her main state of residence was California where she lived with her mother after she divorced Elvis when Lisa was in elementary school. Every year at Christmas time Lisa Marie Presley, and all her family go to Graceland to celebrate Christmas together. Lisa Marie Presley often goes back to Graceland for visits. When she turned 30, Lisa Marie inherited the estate and she sold 85 percent of it. According to Brad Olsen, “Some of the rooms at Graceland testify to the brilliance and quirkiness of Elvis Presley. The TV room in the basement is where he often watched three television sets at once, and was within close reach of a wet bar.” Elvis […]
John Gilroy’s iconic artwork, designs and influence for the Guinness advertising campaigns, from 1928 to the 1960s, are still current today and the original Guinness posters are very collectable. John Gilroy was responsible for some of the most famous advertising campaigns in history and helped turn around the fortunes of Guinness in the late 1920s where a worldwide depression had seen flattening sales and a urgent need to reach new markets and increase sales. The Guinness company engaged S.H. Benson’s advertising agency, and artist John Gilroy was assigned to the account. The rest is advertising history. John Gilroy’s creative and colourful artwork and memorable taglines were responsible for Guinness advertising campaigns such as “Guinness for Strength,” “Guinness is Good For You” and “My Goodness, My Guinness.” The Guinness poster was created and ‘that fans still adorn their walls with this poster today is a testament to the creative relationship between Gilroy and Guinness.’ One of the most memorable was born of his creative interpretation of a performing sea lion that caught his eye at the zoo. That animal, Gilroy mused, would be smart enough to balance a glass of Guinness on its nose. The Official Guinness website. Gilroy’s indelible designs and campaigns included: a hapless zookeeper in situations with various animals such as a lion, kangaroo and a sea-lion (My Goodness, My Guinness campaign); men performing feats of strength powered by Guinness such lifting carts and girders (Guinness For Strength campaign); and the famous Guinness toucan. The hapless zookeeper, a caricature of Gilroy himself, presented the family of unruly animals. From an ostrich swallowing a Guinness, glass and all, to a pelican with a beak full of bottles. A bounding lion, a thieving bear. A crocodile, kangaroo, and penguin. And, of course, most famous of all, the toucan. This evolved, via the toucan, into the “Guinness-a-day” campaign. The Official Guinness website. There is a growing market for Guinness posters in a premium condition.
When considering the talented designers of the Doulton Lambeth factory, there is one woman whose impressive works cannot go unmentioned. Hannah Barlow was not only one of the most innovative and skilled designers of this famed factory but also a pioneer in her own right due to the fact that she was the ever first female artist to be employed by the South London based Doulton Lambeth Studio. Pictured right: A pair of Hannah Barlow stoneware deer and stag vases impressed marks — 38cm. high. Sold for £2,820 at Christies, London, August 2000. Born into a family of nine children in 1851, Hannah lived in Bishop’s Stortford with her Bank Manager father, Benjamin and his wife. At an early age Hannah already had a talent for drawing and would take walks in the surrounding countryside to sketch the plant and animal life that resided there. This interest in nature was something which would stay with Hannah throughout her life and became the subject matter that was so prolific in all of her future works. Realising her talent for art, in 1868 Hannah enrolled in the Lambeth School of Art to progress this skill. It was a few years later in 1871, that, along with other fellow students, Hannah began to work for the local Doulton Lambeth pottery which had recently diversified from producing industrial ceramics to more elaborate art pottery and decorative wares. Great artists such as George Tinworth, Frank Butler and Hannah Barlow would skilfully decorate the salt-glazed brown stoneware vessels that Doulton were now creating and were allowed to choose the type of decoration themselves and what shape of vessel to apply this design to. Although Hannah was to be the first female designer employed by Doulton she was not the only talented artist in her family to join the British factory. Both her brother Arthur and sister Florence also possessed an artistic flare and attended the Lambeth School of Art, before joining their sister, and furthering their careers by working alongside her for the Doulton pottery. The two sisters, Hannah and Florence, both shared a love of nature, so it was agreed early on in their working careers, that Hannah would concentrate on designs inspired by animals whilst her sister indulged her passion for flowers and produce floral designs. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – A Pair of Salt-glazed Vases, circa 1895 each vase incised with three bulls and two horses grazing within a rugged country landscape 28.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist’s monogram. Sold for £1,062 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Both were extremely talented artists and their work was very realistic. Each would initially sketch a design then using the technique of Sgraffito (incising) they would apply the design into the wet clay of a vessel before it was fired. Every piece that was produced by the artists at the Doulton studio was hand-decorated, thus ensuring that each item was unique in design, technique and decoration. Hannah excelled at creating illustrations of animals with some of her favourite subjects being British farm animals such as sheep, horses and pigs. Many examples of her work have sold for respectable prices at salerooms all over the world; her works of art are highly sought after by collectors. Recently a shallow bowl dating to 1883 sold at Bonhams Saleroom for £2,300. Artistically incised with pigs and hens this piece is synonymous with Hannah Barlow and as such, commands a price that is expected for this female designer’s work. Another example, also sold at Bonhams. were an outstanding pair of early vases dating to 1873. These twin handled vessels were incised with six Trojan Style horses which showed them cantering and galloping across fields. An unusual example, this vase sold for a staggering hammer price of £4,800. Pictured right: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – An Early Salt-Glaze Jug with Horse, 1874 incised with a horse portrait and stylised leaf decoration 25.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist monogram Sold for £325 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Aside from the more common domestic farm animals, Hannah was inspired by many different living creatures. Her work was often embellished with countryside inhabitants such as rabbits and foxes, but she also liked to draw and incise more exotic animal motifs such as lions and kangaroos. This Australian inhabitant first appeared in 1878 on a tea service and proved popular so Hannah continued to apply this motif to all sorts of other various shaped vessels. It is said that Hannah was possibly inspired to sketch and decorate pieces with kangaroos because of the preparations for the Sydney International Exhibition which took place in 1879. Wherever Hannah gained her inspiration, her skill became evident when she would expertly sketch a scene that almost came alive when applied to the various vases, dishes and jardinières that she worked on. Hannah’s talent for drawing, combined with her skilled eye for design ensured that each piece created was not only a stunning ceramic work of art but also a living window into the animal kingdom. Her work was worthy of a place on the wall in an art gallery. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow (Fl.1871-1913) & Florence Barlow (Fl.1873-1909) Pair Of Vases, Circa 1890 stoneware, hand decorated, incised with rabbits, and pâte-sur-pâte painted birds, impressed Doulton Lambeth, incised artist’s monograms, numbers 443 & 742, assistants marks 7¾ in. (19.7 cm.) high. Sold for £4,375 at Christies, London, September 2009. Hannah was prolific in her work during the forty years that she was employed by the British Doulton Studio, and was responsible for creating some of the most innovative and finest designs in stoneware. An accomplished artist, not only is she remembered as one of the most celebrated designers of the 19th Century but also as a pioneering female ceramicist whose work will hopefully continue to command the prices that are so deserving. Fact File Doulton & Co was founded in 1815. In 1871 Henry Doulton set up the Lambeth Studio in South London Hannah Barlow indulged her passion for animals by […]
Confessions of a Disney Fast F ood Toy Collector I thought I’d fill you in on why I collect Disney Happy Toy meals, and such. How I Started Collecting Disney Fast Food Toys ? I started my collection of Disney toys from McDonalds and Burger King gradually. Several years ago I purchased a Happy Meal and decided that the ‘free’ Thumper rabbit toy was well made and absolutely ‘darling’. I began to buy snacks until I had all of that set except Bambi. That really bugged me. I hung the Bambi toys on my Christmas tree. Years later I ran across the Aladdin toys at Burger King, and with a meal, I got, the wind up Genie. I was thrilled with the thing, and kept it on my desk at work. Next thing you know, I would just…happen…to buy one meal a week and got all of the set except Jafar. Then they had the Snow White Happy Meals at McDs. That did it. I then began to ‘collect’ with a passion. I have purchased every Disney toy, even those only loosely connected to Disney, such as Muppet sets, since then. Then I discovered that you can routinely find the toys at flea markets. I found my precious missing “Bambi” and “Jafar Toys”. I started prowling the markets picking up toys usually for .25 to 1.00 (at more knowlegable sellers). I ran into one ‘pirate’ lady who managed to sell to me several toys at $ 3 to $ 5 each! Those were for toys that predated myself purchased collection. Now here’s the kicker. As I broke down and admitted to people where I work – a State job – other collectors of Happy Meal Toys “Came out of the Closet”. Most are casual collectors, dabblers. Some are as hard core about it as I am. Why do I collect Disney Fast Food Toys ? Because they make me feel good. My childhood predates Happy Meals, I am 44. But they are cute, they are Disney, and how many people can indulge a harmless hobby for which they can even go ‘antique’ hunting when nearly broke?! I have gotten terrific days of toy hunting for which I spent less than one dollar! Lets see an ordinary, mundane antique hunter, do that. In conclusion, I once was disappointed to arrive at a Burger King to be told that they’d sold out of the wind-up Meeko toys (Pocahontas) days earlier. Another adult on line behind me, had an absolute hissy fit. Later on, outside of the restaurant, the man, looked to be in his 30’s, told me that he collected two toys from each fast food store, for EVERY promotion! I thought I was a ‘fanatic’ because I collect 2 toys from every Disney Promotion, just at BK and McD’s. I therefore believe that there are more adults out there, – closet collectors – than anyone suspects. Ask BK about their BK Lion King promotion here in Sacramento Believe me, wasn’t just kids buying THAT many toys! from Richard Eyman
You see them every day. They fasten your shirt together, hold your pants up, and maybe make a fashion statement on your new sweater. Buttons! Almost everyone has some buttons stashed away in a box or jar. They can be plain and simple, or truly elegant works of art. Due to our natural hoarding instincts, buttons find their way into nooks and crannies in our homes. It is time for them to step up and take their rightful place as a popular collectible. History of Buttons Buttons have been in use for hundreds of years. In very early times, clothing was fastened with ties or pins, but gradually toggles and buttons as we know them came to be in use. Many ancient burials have included buttons or button-like objects. In the Early and Middle Bronze Age, large buttons were primarily used to fasten cloaks. By the 13th century, buttons were widely in use, mainly as decoration. As most clothing of that time period was closed with lacing or hooks, garments didn’t use buttons as methods of closing on a regular basis until the last half of the 16th century. Most of the buttons from this time period were small, but over the next century or so they became larger and very ornate, often using precious metals and jewels. During the 17th and 18th Century, most buttons were worn by men. By the 18th century, buttons were becoming larger, and had even more elaborate designs. Buttons continued to make a fashion statement and the button-making industry hit such a high standard that the period from 1830-1850 has become known as the Golden Age. As mass production techniques progressed, and new synthetic materials were developed, the general standard declined. From 1860 on, women have been the main consumers of “novelty” buttons. A button is officially an object that can be used to fasten garments, with either a shank (usually a loop) on the back used to sew the button to the clothing, or with holes in the center to allow thread to pass through the body of the button. Design of Buttons Buttons have been made from almost every material found in nature or created by man. Metals are one of the most popular materials, including everything from iron to gold. Another popular material used in button making is mother of pearl, or shell of any kind. Bone, ivory, cloth, glass, stone, cinnabar, horn, antler, leather, papiér maché, ceramic, celluloid, Bakelite, and wood, plus any combination of these, have been used to fashion these miniature works of art. One of the most interesting and misrepresented materials used in buttons is jet. This is a naturally occurring mineral, with a carbon base. It is lightweight and fragile, so surviving examples are very hard to come by. Queen Victoria started a fashion in 1861 by wearing black jet buttons to mourn the death of her husband Albert. Since jet was such a rare and expensive mineral, black glass came to be substituted by the rest of the population for their mourning attire. Consequently, black glass buttons are still very common today, but are often mislabeled as “jet” buttons. Adding to the confusion were a number of companies that made black glass buttons and marketed them as “French Jet.” One way to test whether that black button you found is jet or glass is by giving it the floating test. Glass buttons will sink to the bottom in a glass of water, but the lightweight jet buttons will float. Fashion of Buttons Throughout the years, the decorations on buttons have reflected both the fashion and passions of the time. Nearly everything has been pictured on a button. Animals are one of the most popular subjects, along with plant life and objects like belt buckles and hats. Some buttons are shaped like the item they portray, and are known as “realistics” for their realistic appearance. Others simply had the design engraved, stamped, painted or enameled on the surface of a conventionally shaped button. Many of the antique buttons feature very detailed paintings in miniature. A rare and very unusual type of button is called a “habitat.” These have a metal back, with a dome shaped glass cap. But what makes them special is what is UNDER the glass. These buttons include dried plant and animal material, usually arranged to create a natural looking scene. Sometimes whole insects were used. Because of their age, and lack of preservation techniques used in the past, these buttons are rarely seen, and often in poor condition. A good quality habitat button will often sell for several hundred dollars. People and their many activities is another popular subject. Architectural objects like buildings, bridges and monuments also decorated many buttons. Political candidates, opera stars, and fairy tales are richly represented, and are favorites with collectors. Some buttons even portray risqué subjects. Buttons produced for George Washington’s inauguration are some of the most sought-after buttons in the United States. Uniform buttons fall into a special category all their own. Most of us automatically think of the military when we think of uniforms, but there are an amazing variety of uniforms in our society. Both Police and Fire Departments have their own buttons, often with the name of the city stamped on the front. Bus lines, airlines, shipping lines, city or state employees, hotels, railroads, banks, and even schools have their own unique buttons. A related field is Livery buttons. These buttons were worn by servants in large households, usually in England, and had the family’s coat of arms or crest on it. There are many collectibles related to buttons. It is not unusual to find a button collector that also hunts out belt buckles, cuff links and studs, buttonhooks, netsuke, or bridle rosettes. These are another way to add variety to your collection. Passion One advantage button collecting has over many other collectibles is that many of them are very reasonably priced. They can range in price from a few cents for […]
Louis Wain was one of the most famous British artists of the early 20th century. He is best known for his paintings and drawings of cats in various humorous and abstract poses, but what some people may not know is that he also created a series of Cubist Cats. Some art experts believe that the Cubist Cats are a reflection of Wain’s mental state at the time, as he was diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life. Others believe that the cats simply reflect his love of experimenting with different styles and mediums. Regardless of the reason behind them, the Cubist Cats are an important part of Wain’s oeuvre and offer a unique glimpse into the mind of one of Britain’s most famous artists. The Cubist Cats were created between 1910 and 1912, at the height of the Cubist movement. They are considered to be among his most avant-garde and experimental works. Many of the cats in these paintings are shown in fragmented, geometric forms, with their features often distorted or hidden. This was in keeping with the Cubist style, which sought to break down objects and images into their basic shapes and forms. While the Cubist Cats may not be as well-known as some of his other works, they are significant in that they show the artist’s experimentation with new styles and techniques. They also provide a rare glimpse into his process and thinking at this stage in his career. The collection was made first by the Max Emmanuel factory and later by Amphora. The Cubist cats first appeared at an exhibition in 1914 where Wain designed a set of nine cats, a pig and a dog. Most were given a Lucky name such as: The Lucky Futurist Cat, The Lucky Black Cat, The Lucky Knight Errant Cat, The Lucky Haw Haw Cat and The Lucky Master Cat. One of the rarest is The Lucky Sphinx Cat. Louis Wain’s Cubist ceramic models of cats and animals were created in very small quantities, and one batch bound for the US was hit by a torpedo and the shipment lost. Being produced in small numbers means they are quite rare and are much sought after when they come up for sale in galleries or at auction. It is clear that Louis Wain was a talented and versatile artist, who was always exploring new ideas and styles. The Cubist Cats are a great example of this, and they provide us with a rare glimpse into his early development as an artist. Related Louis Wain and His Cats Life & Pottery The Life and Cats of Louis Wain
Batman Begins is the latest is the Batman series of movie. “Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents’ murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.” Pictured The US Batman Begins poster. “He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.” Pictured Batman Begins 13-inch Deluxe Collector Figure – a striking depiction of Christian Bale as Batman in Batman Begins. This 13-inch figure includes an authentically detailed fabric costume, an alternate set of hands, a grappling gun, Batarangs, and a stand to display the figure. This collector figure also features a full-Color Certificate of Authenticity. Packaged in a deluxe 4-color window box. DC Direct, DC Comics’ toy and collectibles brand, unveiled its line of Batman Begins authentic movie collectibles at the 2005 American International Toy Fair. Pictured right: Batman Begins Batmobile Replica – limited edition Batmobile from Batman Begins is a magnificent recreation of the mythic automobile. This hand-painted cold-cast porcelain replica measures approximately 4.25″ high x 6.5″ wide x 10″ deep, includes a full-color Certificate of Authenticity, and is packaged in an elegant gift box with foil stamping. It is sculpted directly from the actual 3D designs for the Batmobile in Batman Begins. Please note this is a collectible, not a toy. Limited edition of 2600. The line includes several Batman Statues, a Batman Bust, a Batman 13″ deluxe figure, Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow Mini-Statues, a Batmobile Replica, and a Batarang Prop Replica. Pictured left: Christian Bale as BATMAN Statue from Batman Begins – a limited edition collectible statue is a striking replica of Christian Bale as Batman from Batman Begins. This limited edition, hand-painted cold-cast porcelain statue measures approximately 14″ tall x 8″ wide x 8.5″ deep, includes a full-color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4-color box. Limited edition of 2500 The line is being introduced throughout the Summer. Pictured right: BATMAN on Rooftop Statue from Batman Begins – Batman, Guardian of Gotham City, stands watch and is ready to leap into danger at any given moment. This limited edition, hand-painted cold-cast porcelain statue measures approximately 7″ tall x 4″ wide x 4″ deep, includes a full-color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4-color box. Limited edition of 3500. The range costs from $30 to $300. Pictured left: this Batarang prop replica from Batman Begins is an authentic life-sized movie replica. This limited edition, hand-painted cold-cast porcelain replica measures approximately 2″ high x 11.5″ wide x 5.75″ deep, includes a full-color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in an elegant black gift box with foil stamping. Limited edition of 1,500. Other collectibles in the line include Christian Bale as Batman Bust, Christian Bales as Batman mini-statue, Dr. Crane/Scarecrow Mini-Statue and Ra’s Al Ghul Mini-Statue. Pictured right: BATMAN in Flight Statue from Batman Begins – Suspended in mid-air, the Caped Crusader cascades into the shadowy streets of Gotham city to unleash his vengeance against evildoers. This limited edition, hand-painted cold-cast porcelain statue measures approximately 11″ high x 8.5″ wide x 5.5″ deep, includes a full-color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4-color box. Limited edition of 4000 pieces.
Jumeau was a French company, founded in the early 1840s, which designed and manufactured high quality bisque dolls. It was founded by Louis-Desire Belton and Pierre-François Jumeau in the Maison Jumeau of Montreuil-sous-Bois, near Paris, France. While Belton did not remain with the company for long, under Jumeau’s leadership (and later, under the leadership of his son, Emile), the company soon gained a reputation for dolls with beautiful faces and “exquisite” clothing which replicated the popular fashions of the time. Pictured: French Bisque Bebe Triste, Size 14, Emile Jumeau with Original Couturier Costume c1867 – 26″ (66 cm.) Bisque swivel head on kid-edged bisque shoulder plate, perfectly oval-shaped face with appealing plumpness to lower chin, small blue glass enamel inset eyes with darker blue outer rims, dark eyeliner, painted lashes, mauve-blushed eye shadow, feathered brows, shaded nostrils of aquiline nose, closed mouth with well-defined lips enhanced by accent lines, pierced ears pierced into head, blonde mohair wig over cork pate, kid body with shapely torso, gusset-jointed arms, stitch-jointed legs, ice-blue silk antique gown, undergarments, blue kidskin ankle boots, bonnet. Condition: generally excellent, body sturdy and clean. Comments: Pierre-Francois Jumeau, circa 1867, the portrait-like model was likely created for exhibition at the Paris 1867 International Exposition. Doll from The Billie & Paige Welker Collection Image Copyright Theriaults. The Jumeau company first emerged as a partnership between Louis-Desire Belton and Pierre-François Jumeau in Paris in the early 1840s. In 1844, Belton and Jumeau presented their dolls at the Paris Exposition (at which they received an honorable mention), but by 1846 Belton’s name was no longer associated with the dolls, and Jumeau was trading in his own right. A bronze medal in the 1849 Paris Exposition followed, as did an appearance at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, at which the company was awarded a First Place Medal. Through much of this period, the firm sold only their own dolls to wholesalers, although during the 1850s and 1860s, the company moved into selling wax dolls imported from Britain. Pictured: French Bisque Bebe Triste, Size 14, Emile Jumeau with Original Couturier Costume – 30″ (76 cm.) Bisque socket head with very full cheeks and chin, large blue glass paperweight inset eyes with heavy upper eyelids, dark eyeliner, painted lashes, mauve-blushed eye shadow, brush-stroked and feathered brows with decorative glaze, shaded nostrils, closed mouth with outlined and accented lips, dimpled chin, separately modeled pierced ears, blonde human hair over cork pate, French composition and wooden fully jointed plump body with straight wrists. Condition: generally excellent. Marks: 14 (head) Jumeau Medaille d’Or Paris (body). Comments: Emile Jumeau, the wistful-faced Bebe Triste, circa 1884. Doll from The Billie & Paige Welker Collection Image Copyright Theriaults. At the Paris expositions and the Great Exhibition in London, Jumeau dolls received their commendations due largely to the quality of the clothing, and no special significance was attached to the dolls themselves. This changed in 1867, when at the Exposition Universelle of that year, the company was awarded a Silver Medal, and “special mention was made of the doll’s heads”. 1867 was also the year that Pierre-François’ son, Emile Jumeau, joined the company. By 1873, when they were awarded a gold medal at the Vienna Exposition, the company was producing their own bisque dolls in their factory in Montreuil. Pictured: Extremely rare and large Pierre Francois portrait Jumeau bisque shoulder head fashion doll – Having the features of a character lady, fixed blue glass eyes, with delicate shading to lids, closed slightly smiling mouth, moulded pierced ears and long blonde mohair wig, swivel head to kid leather body with separate fingers, wearing ivory silk and lace two piece gown, under garments, lace up boots and straw bonnet, 66cm (26in) tall. Image Copyright Bonhams. Although the Jumeau firm had won commendations, very few Jumeau dolls can be securely identified dating before the 1870s. However, by 1877 Emile Jumeau had produced the first Bébés (or dolls in the image of a little girl). With realistic glass eyes and “stylish fashions” produced by costumiers, thousands of Bébé dolls were produced for an international market. Pictured: French Bisque Portrait Bebe by Emile Jumeau – 12″ (30 cm.) Pressed bisque socket head, large grey/blue glass inset eyes known as “wrap-around” with spiral threading and pronounced black pupils, painted lashes, dark eyeliner, rose-blushed eye shadow, feathered brows, accented nostrils and eye corners, closed mouth, outlined lips, pierced ears, blonde mohair wig over cork pate, French composition and wooden eight-loose-ball-jointed body with straight wrists, pretty antique aqua silk costume, undergarments, leather slippers. Condition: generally excellent. Marks: 8/0 (head) Jumeau Medaille d’Or Paris (body). Comments: Emile Jumeau, circa 1878. Doll from The Billie & Paige Welker Collection Image Copyright Theriaults. In 1878, the Jumeau company won a Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle (1878). The award was proudly advertised on the bodies, boxes, shoes and even the dress labels of the dolls. Jumeau won a number of other high awards including the prizes for the best dollmaker at both the Sydney International Exhibition (1879) and Melbourne International Exhibition (1880) in Australia. The dolls were internationally sought after as luxury items and status symbols. The firm also was regarded as an industrial success, with production figures of over three million dolls annually by the mid-1890s. The “Golden Age” of the Jumeau factory lasted for two decades, from the late 1870s to the late 1890s, when the competition from German dolls sent the firm into financial difficulties. The Jumeau dolls from the later 1890s are of more variable quality. German dolls in the 1890s were cheaper than the French, but still well-made and much loved by little girls, even if they were by no means as elegant or graceful in face or costume as the best Jumeau dolls.
In the seventeenth century the Weald area of Kent gave rise to a simple form of pottery based on the red surface-clay found locally. The pottery became known as Wrotham Pottery. Although centred on the village of Wrotham, similar pottery wares were produced by a number of surrounding villages. The initial primitive nature of the pottery can be based on the lack or resources provided from the landscape. The Weald of the 17th Century was a combination of bare heathland and forests, with little farmland. Pictured: A Wrotham Slipware Initialled and dated TYG 1717 – Of globular form applied with twin double loop handle, sprigged with panels of flowers and fleur-de-lys and prunts, decorated with cream coloured slip on a brown ground, dated 1717, sprigged with a panel initialled PC 5½ in. (14 cm.) high. Sold at Christies for £5,000 ($7,955) on 3rd November 2011. Image Copyright Christies. The pottery was therefore simple and practical. It was not until the appearance of slipware that the pottery started to have decoration added. The growth of decorated housewares meant that there was a move to more ambitious objects and not just utilitarian wares. There is evidence that certain potters made objects to order. Pictured: A Wrotham Slipware Initialled Four-Handled Tyg Circa 1630, Initialled Il And Mc, Il Probably For John Livermore – Applied with double loop handles with trailing ropetwists below double bun knops, sprigged with initialled panels and flowerheads in cream on a dark brown ground impressed with scattered star ornament 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm.) high. Sold at Christies for £6,000 ($9,456) on 3rd November 2011. Image Copyright Christies. The Wrotham Pottery was made by hand or wheel using the local coarse red clay, a lead-glaze was then applied before firing. Decoration was added in the form of lines of dots using slip. This was applied by tube and patterned by the potter. The pale yellow colour of this contrasted with the red and browns of the clay. Pictured: A Wrotham Slipware Initialled And Dated Four-Handled Tyg 1643, Perhaps Thomas Ifield – Of tapering cylindrical form, with double loop handles, applied with ropetwist and studs, sprigged with cream-coloured slip on pale-brown ground with a rectangular panel dated 1643 sprigged with an oak leaf, fleur-de-lys, goats and a mask among dot-ornament and raspberry prunts 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm.) high. Sold at Christies for £7,250 ($11,535) on 3rd November 2011. Image Copyright Christies. Many of the potters left their initials on the slipware pads on the pieces. There is little known on the majority of potters but the research that has been carried out suggests strong family ties. Names such as Richardson, Hubble, Livermore and Ifield appear to be some of the most prominent potter families. Most of the surviving Wrotham Pottery pieces are now some 300- 350 years old and due to the fragile nature of the pieces only a hundred or so items are thought to exist. Fine examples can sell for many thousands of pounds.