The opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1955 opened the door to worldwide recognition of Hagen-Renaker’s craftsmanship. By the Fall of 1955, the first of the Hagen-Renaker “Disney” pieces were released. Walt Disney is quoted as saying, “they made the finest three-dimensional reproductions of the drawings he ever saw”. In the ensuing years, until 1965 or 1966, the “Disney series” was expanded to include most of the leading characters from “ Lady and the Tramp”, ,“Alice in Wonderland”, “Cinderella”, “Bambi”, “Dumbo”, “Pinocchio”, “Snow White”, and “ Mickey Mouse and Friends”. In 1982 a second series of Hagen-Renaker “Disney” pieces were introduced based upon “Fantasia”. Fantasia just happens to be one of John Renaker’s favorites. These were the last of the figurines that Hagen- Renaker did specifically for Disney, although for years, their standard Miniatures were featured in the Emporium and other shops at Disneyland. The Hagen-Renaker “Disney” pieces were both miniatures, i.e., 1” to 2”, or a larger series, 3” to 6” in size. Today all pieces are prized by collectors of Disney and command prices several hundreds of dollars over their original cost. The Disney experience carried over in the evolution of the Hagen-Renaker line. Many new miniatures, expressing the whimsical nature of animated cartoons such as Disney’s, began to find their way into the line. Circus sets, bug bands, and animals dancing, just to name a few. And if look closely at the line today, you’ll notice a marked resemblance to “Thumper” in Brother Rabbit, and both of their small deer, lying or standing, definitely remind you of “Bambi”. Care has been taken, however, not to violate any licensing of copyright with any of the Hagen-Renaker line, but once you like something it’s hard to completely erase it from your creative vision. Hagen-Renaker Related Hagen-Renaker Information
Sunderland lustre (luster and lusterware in North America) is a general name given to a type of pottery with a pink lustre glaze made by a number of potteries in the 19th century including Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Bristol and Swansea but principally and most famously by a number of potteries in the Sunderland and Wear area. The wares produced are also called Sunderland pink, pink lustre and even purple lustre. The ‘colour was originally derived from and tin powdered compound known as purple or cassius’ 1. Adding lustre to pottery was not a new method and examples of the lustring technique can be seen in wares from the middle east in the 9th and 10th century. Wedgwood used the technique on their Moonlight Lustre from 1805 to 1815 and later on their famous Fairyland lustre pieces in the 1920s. According to Michael Gibson 2 and The Sunderland Site 3 there were 16 potteries in Sunderland of which 7 are known to have produced lustrewares. These seven potteries also produced items under multiple names and include: Garrison Pottery; Dixon & Co; Dixon Phillips & Co; Dixon & Austin; Anthony Scott & Co.; Anthony Scott & Sons; Ball, William; Dawson, John; Dawson & Co.; Dawson’s Pottery; Dawson’s Low Ford Pottery; Thomas Dawson & Co.; Deptford Pottery; Dixon & Co.; Dixon Austin & Co.; Dixon, Austin, Phillips & Co.; Dixon, Phillips & Co.; Dixon, Robert; Garrison Pottery; Hylton Pot Works; Maling, William (the Maling Pottery was established at North Hylton, near Sunderland, in 1762 but moved to the Newcastle area in 1817); Messrs. Dawson & Co.; S. Moore & Co.; Moore’s Pottery; North Hylton Pottery; Olde Sanders Low Ford Pottery; Phillips & Co.; Scott Brothers & Co.; Scott’s Pottery; Snowball, Thomas; Southwick Pottery; The Sunderland Pottery; Thomas Snowball’s High Southwick Pottery;and the Wear Pottery. Many Sunderland lustre pieces are often difficult to attribute as they were unmarked. The pink lustre was that associated with Sunderland was added to many gift items such jugs, mugs, chamber pots, and wall plaques and often decorated with black transfer prints. A large number of items were commerorative wares and gifts for sailors and featured many repeated scenes including: the Wearmouth bridge, Ironbridge, symbols of Freemansonry, the Sailor’s Farewell and the Sailor’s Return, and countless sailing ships. Other items with lustre include watch-stands, rolling-pins, puzzle-jugs, frog mugs and carpet bowls. Sunderland Lustre and Pottery Reference 1 Collecting for Pleasure China introduced by Tony Curtis 2 19th Century Lustreware by Michael Gibson 3 The Sunderland Site – a really excellent web reference on the industrial history of Sunderland with a number of pages devoted to Sunderland Pottery. Collecting Frog Mugs – A Nice Surprise!
Mary Gregory Glass Mary Gregory Glass is a charming style of enamelled figure glass, popular in Victorian times and now being re-discovered. The distinctive feature of Mary Gregory Glass is the painted and enamelled scenes of Victorian children in silhouette, dressed in their best clothes, playing games and having fun. (see below for example Mary Gregory scenes). Pictured: Mary Gregory blue glass vase featuring etched boy and girl by a river. Sold for $455 (£375) on ebay.com January 2017. The commonest scenes are children holding of flowers, but there are many more lively occupations: fishing, catching butterflies, blowing bubbles, bowling a hoop, watering the garden, flying a kite, sailing a boat. The children can be found standing, sitting, running and lying flat on their stomachs. They climb trees, tend sheep, unkindly carry birds on strings and play a variety of games. However, the name Mary Gregory is misleading being both a designer and the generic name given to the style of glass from around 1850 to 1900, and from both Europe and America. Miss Mary Gregory (1856-1908) was an enameller, working in the 1870s and 1880s, decorating glass for the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. Pictured: Mary Gregory cobalt blue pitcher and pair of glasses. The pitcher features a girl holding flower surrounded by ferns, and pair of glasses feature boy and girl facing each other and offering flowers. Sold for $174.95 (£143.67) on ebay.com January 2017. Ornamentation on European Bohemian coloured glass became popular during the mid-19th century. It was between 1850 and 1860 that child figures were first used in this kind of decoration, and with much delicacy and grace. White enamel was chiefly used and was laid on heavily and lightly, with skilful brush-work, to produce at best an almost stereoscopic effect. Pieces from this period include decanters, jugs, drinking glasses, bottles and boxes, vases, trays and many other useful and ornamental vessels which were made in a diversity of colours, and showing a variety of the children in differing scene, but with a marked kinship between them and a sameness in the treatment of their rustic settings. Pictured: 1800’s Mary Gregory emerald green pitcher. Original c1800’s Emerald Green water pitcher, with a handpainted white enamel scene. Ruffled rim, applied handle, and pontil mark on bottom. Sold for $465.00 (£371.60) on ebay.com December 2016. In a search for documentary evidence about the production of glass decorated with child figures the only reference to be found came from America, where the name Mary Gregory has become a generic name for all the glass within the Victorian age which is enamelled with figures of children. Carl W. Drepperd refers to it as such in ” The A.B.C. of Old Glass ” (1947) and Mrs. Ruth Webb Lee, in her ” Nineteenth Century Art Glass ” (1953), gives an account of her research into the person of Mary Gregory and a page of illustrations of Mary Gregory style glass from an American collection. So, by a strange stroke of fortune, this name has come to cover the somewhat earlier and the finer European child figure glass: the only known artist now stands in history for the earlier nameless ones. In descriptions of glass pieces will be Mary Gregory style, Mary Gregory manner, or in the manner of Mary Gregory for example. So, paradoxically, the finest examples of Mary Gregory glass are Bohemian from factories such as Hahn and Moser, and date from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards. The different kinds of Mary Gregory style vessels seem to have no end: in fact, almost any object made of glass could be so decorated. There is also diversity of colour of pieces. Red is much sought after, and is to be found in all shades from a rich ruby, through. cranberry to palest pink. The glass may be flashed or stained with copper red or even painted, and there are shaded reds developed with the use of gold. The cobalt and turquoise blues, and the viridian, apple and canary greens show much diversity, even to a shading from clear to canary glass which may have entailed the unusual use of silver. Amber Mary Gregory glass is to be found and, very occasionally, a fine, light amethyst. Sometimes high quality pieces of clear glass turn up, but more often the colourless pieces are debased examples. When the enameller has stretched his terms of reference to include coloured faces and hair and even clothes, this extravagance seems rudely to sever the decoration from the simple beauty of the glass design. Again, except for some of the earliest Bohemian pieces, this use of colour in decoration is usually only found on debased examples. Mary Gregory glass is still, from the collectors’ point of view, not too easy nor yet too difficult to find. Its painting gives it an aura of intimacy and it has a pliable decorative value which makes it at home in any environment. Mary Gregory Glass Scene Examples Mary Gregory Glass related Mary Gregory Glass Price Guide / Value Guide
Ellowyne Wilde is a doll with attitude, a world-weary doll with an unusual take on fashion. There is something about Ellowyne’s languid, lazy, rather bored approach to life which makes me smile. And many of her costumes are stunning – though what else would you expect when they are designed by American doll artist Robert Tonner, as is Ellowyne herself? The Ellowyne Wilde doll stands 16 inches high, and has 12 points of articulation. She is made of a high quality vinyl with rooted saran hair and hand-painted features, although recently a few dolls have appeared featuring inset eyes. Ellowyne wears unusual designer clothing made from top quality fabrics, and is a very pretty doll with a wistful face. She was launched in October 2006 into an unsuspecting doll community who sensed here was something different, a bit special. As her in-depth website explains, ‘Along with her unique fashion sense, she suffers from chronic ennui (a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction – hence the therapy sessions), reads Sylvia Plath, writes poetry, believes you are what you eat so enjoys whipped cream and Nasturtiums; and lives in a stately Victorian home in San Francisco, which sits on a fault line.’ Her tongue-in-cheek website is a joy, littered with our ennui-sufferer’s poems and comments. It points out, ‘She’s ready to conquer the doll world – if only she had the energy’. Here, you can read about her in-depth therapy sessions where, ‘With boredom as her greatest foe, she wallows in a sense of woe’. Ellowyne doesn’t seem to mind that her therapy sessions are shared on her website for all to see, because ‘I’m just too tired to worry about it,’ is what she might say to critics.’ https://www.wildeimagination.com Robert Tonner, who based his creation on anime drawings, designer shoe ads, and eclectic fashion art, says, ‘She’s different from anything I’ve ever designed before. I think she speaks to everyone’s darker brooding side.’ Hmm, well, it could be dark and brooding, or it could just be that she needs a good telling off and a gentle push to get her on her feet! Whatever, Ellowyne’s costumes are stunning. The basic doll line comes wearing her underclothes, and the three available hair colours are blonde, brunette and auburn. As well as the rooted hair types, wigged versions are available, and there are numerous wigs in zany colours from green to purple and pink to plum, to give Ellowyne a totally new look (and maybe shock her from her boredom!). Dolls can be bought ready dressed, while, in addition, there is a good selection of outfits and separates to suit her in a vast range of styles, from demure to freaky. Amongst the dressed dolls, ‘Red, White and Very Blue’ is a stripy blue and white sweater dress with a matching hat, blue striped stocking and scarlet shoes and bag, while ‘I Wait Alone’ is a very pretty white lace dress trimmed with white ribbons, worn over a spotted dress. ‘I look around my house divine Old clocks, antiques, and things that shine; It seems the clocks they tick and moan A lonely song – I wait alone.’ In ‘Tarnished’ Ellowyne wears an appliqued organza tiered skirt and a knitted jacket with fabric flowers. She has sparkly stockings and ribbon tied pink shoes, while in ‘Invisible Ink’ she has a full tulle black skirt, black jacket top, white jumper, masses of jewellery and long sneaker boots. Ellowyne’s ‘Tatters’ outfit is a dusky pink shirred skirt and a ribbon woven top, with lots of hanging pieces of fabric to reflect the name. Ellowyne, though languid, has found the energy to make friends. Her best friend is Prudence Moody. Prudence has, apparently, ‘an upbeat mood, and is the bright spot in Ellowyne’s sometimes woeful life. With her undeveloped psychic sense, and her own unique fashion style, it’s no wonder she and Ellowyne are best friends’. Prudence has several outfits of her own, and she can wear Ellowyne’s things too. One of the prettiest Prudence dolls is ‘ESPecially Prudence’, who has auburn hair with pink streaks, and wears a tiered skirt, tulle underskirt, white t-shirt, plaid silk jacket, tights, knit hat, short lace-up boots and beaded jewellery, all in shades of lavender, pink and plum. Other Prudence dolls include a blonde version, called ‘C’est La Vie’, wearing a print floral dress, black shrug, boots and a large floppy beret. Prudence also indirectly gives rise to one of my favourite dolls – Ellowyne Wilde wearing ‘Prudence Dressed Me’, which has Ellowyne forsaking her frills and wispy look for a black wig, clashing multicoloured mini dress and black and white stripy sleeves and socks – completely out of her comfort zone! Recently another friend has appeared, Amber, who has apparently been Ellowyne’s ‘frienemy’ since childhood – lots of rivalry there. ‘Essential Amber-Wigged Out’ comes complete with two wigs, and a two-piece outfit. There is also a male doll, Rufus Rutter. Apparently, Rufus is the young handyman who works for Ellowyne’s grandmother, and he harbours feelings of unrequited love for Ellowyne, writing melancholy poems in the hope of winning her heart. Of course, Ellowyne is so busy being languid, that she doesn’t notice she has a suitor, especially one whose ‘heart is filled with pain’. Rufous, 17 inches tall, can be obtained in skinny black jeans, white t-shirt, button down shirt and grey hoodie, and can also be bought more smartly dressed, on his way to woo Ellowyne, in a raincoat and black trousers, carrying an umbrella, flowers and box of chocolates. As previously mentioned, outfits can be purchased separately for the Ellowyne Wilde dolls; amongst them such creations as ‘Somewhere Under the Rainbow’ (pleated skirt, gloriously patterned velvet long-sleeved top, purple tights and gold boots) and ‘She Wallows in White’, a satin outfit with a magnificent large brimmed hat, reminiscent of the 1930s. ‘Royal Blues’ is a long belted leather-look jacket and printed skirt, ‘Winter Blahs’ has a fur-lined coat, shaggy fur boots, stripy top and short skirt, […]
In this highly digital age board games are taking more and more prevalence for spending interactive time with family and friends. From this we seem to be digging those family board games we still own from the seventies and eighties out of the cupboards, blowing off the dust and this gets us thinking….. Is this worth selling or playing? What is mine worth? How do I get a valuation? Is mine collectible? One example is the game consisting of the original usual suspects. Colonel Mustard, the Reverend Mr Green, Mrs Peacock, Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum and the (apparently) controversial Mrs White. She was removed from the game in 2016 after it was claimed that having a housekeeper was a ‘dated idea’ and was replaced with Dr Orchid. The artwork was also updated to a more cartoon style. An original 1949 edition of Cluedo, the popular crime deduction game can sell for around £150. But wait, it would have to be unplayed !! Unplayed?? Who, genuinely in 1949 was thinking that this brand new board game would be worth buying, taking home and NOT playing with it in the hope that in seventy years time it will be something of value? Surely these games are there to be played with? A pre loved copy of a board game has more character having stood the test of time. Write in the comments below if you are a board game collector and own the games to play or to simply to have bragging rights that you own a much sought after copy. As a board game collector myself, what interests me more than anything is owning an original copy of a game that has been played with since it was originally produced. The idea that I am now sitting with my family and friends playing a game which was handled and played when it was very first produced? What are your thoughts on this? When looking for an original copy of Cluedo don’t forget that the black and white cover thought to be the first edition is not actually the case. This could affect your expected valuation. Instead you would be looking for a bold, red thumb print under the magnifying glass as in the above picture. This changed to the simple black and white as the additional printing layer of the blood red was far too costly to keep up with the demand for the game. Over the years the art has changed significantly on the box and in the game. From the late 1950s into the 1960s it would look like this. I’m in my mid forties and I remember this art from the late 1960s through the 1970s. More recently Cluedo looks like this. In recent years the game has been franchised into versions from films, specific areas (similar to Monopoly), Disney, comics and more. These include Harry Potter, Nightmare Before Christmas, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ricky and Morty, Sherlock and even a Newcastle and Gateshead edition. These editions are more niche and limited and have the potential to increase in the value. And remember that in the United States the game has simply been called Clue. There is even a spin off film starring Tim Curry which I am a huge fan of. Our research shows that certain online auction sites have varying prices. Why?Because there are two sides to the story. What someone wants for it and what someone is willing to pay. Board game related features How much is my Monopoly worth? Cluedo feature by Rob Edmonds.
Collecting for me is about amassing items that give you pleasure. Now that may well be a collection of stamps, ceramic ornaments or even toy cars but whatever you choose they are items that either bring back nostalgic memories or you simply purchase them because you love them. For me collecting is also about our social history, all of the items that we buy did at some stage have a reason for their existence. This is why I am fascinated with collecting items from various decades. Many collectors source anything and everything from the 1930s, whilst others crave items from the 1940s and there are those fascinated by the 1950s. In fact, there are collectors for every decade who either cherry pick items or even live their lives as if it was still that particular era from the 20th Century. I prefer to cherry pick as I am still very much a modern 21st Century girl at heart. There are certain aspects from each decade that attract me with the 1960s rating very high on the list. I can usually find items that epitomise this era extremely cheaply like the vivid 1960s tray I bought for 20p at a bootsale. Top Tip: Charity Shops, Bootsales and Garage Sales are perfect places to pick up vintage items for a few pounds. Look for ceramics, glass, fashion and pictures that scream the 1960s. If they are not already sought after they will be very soon. I am also fascinated by 1960s fashion. A mixture of boutique couture such as Biba and Mary Quant, the invention of the mini skirt and an all round fashion revolution – there is much on offer for the keen eyed collector. Designer labels usually come at a cost but there other wonderful fashion items from this particular decade which can be picked up at a reasonable price. I purchased a lovely bright red mini dress on one of the internet auctions for £25 which was a real bargain for a piece of vintage clothing. In fact, vintage is all the rage at the moment and I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah Turner Vokes, managing director of the London based vintage clothes store Paper Dress when I was featured in leading fashion magazine Grazia, last year. Hannah is the ultimate vintage fashion junkie and she wore an amazing disposable paper 1960s mini dress and also brought along a 1960s paper bikini to the photoshoot. Hannah often rummages around bootsales to find her bargains and this seems to have paid off as the dress cost just £9 and the bikini which she bought off of an internet site was a steal at £7, both of which are worth considerably more especially if sold in a specialist vintage store. Top Tip: Look for unusual items like paper clothing as these are becoming harder to find and collectors crave them. Jewellery is also a favourite for me and I was lucky enough to find a Mary Quant Daisy ring from a collectors fair a few years ago for £50. I have never seen this particular design before as it has beautiful blue enamel and the daisy actually opens to reveal a perfume container underneath. So this particular item fits into collecting 1960s, costume jewellery and vanity items like ladies compacts. Handbags and shoes from the 1960s are also keenly acquired by collectors and over the years I have bought many vintage examples with one pair costing just £2. Kaleidoscopes of colours they certainly make me stand out in a crowd when I wear them. These can be picked up quite cheaply like the wonderful yellow floral shoes and matching clutch bag that I bought from a bootsale for £25. When originally made these shoes and handbag formed part of the new 1960s fashion bug of ladies matching their shoes to their bags, otherwise known as The Total Look. It is not just the fashions and accessories of the swinging sixties that get collector’s hearts racing as there was much more on offer from this vibrant decade. In 1963 the Cornish pottery Troika was established by Benny Sirota, Lesley Illsley and Jan Thomson. They made attractive, yet usable art pottery which today has stormed the collectors market with people pay thousands for one of the rare plaques or sculptural Aztec heads. There are still more affordable pieces available with coffin vases and marmalade pots selling from £80-£100 upwards. So if you are looking for something dating from the 1960s that fits well into today’s environment Troika pottery is definitely an option. Toys are also a popular area of collecting and the 1960s didn’t fail to produce. The Sindy doll was launched in 1963 and many of her outfits were created by leading fashion designers such as Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale. One of my favourite pastimes is hunting out Sindy doll outfits as each replicates the fashions of the time and as I adore fashion this is just an extended way of me indulging my passion. Fact: The boys weren’t forgotten as Action Man was launched in Britain in 1966. The 1960s had so much to offer and I have literally just touched the tip of the iceberg where collecting this decade is concerned. Revolutionary in so many ways we mustn’t forget the music – especially The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. An area really worth indulging in if you can afford to collect some of the original memorabilia. Then of course 1966 supplied us with a host of World Cup memorabilia, not forgetting of course the charismatic British spy James Bond (played by Sean Connery) who first graced the silver screen in 1962 when Dr. No was released. So rather than just concentrating on one specific topic area of collecting like books, film or sporting memorabilia – take a look at what is on offer from the various 20th Century decades. Unless of course you lived through the 1960s and are now cursing the fact that you threw away […]
Arthur Gredington was one of the leading animal modellers of the 20th Century, not only for Beswick but in the world of ceramics . He was responsible for the creation of nearly 400 models (well over 400 with pieces he collaborated on), some of which will probably be in your own or a relatives china cabinet. Arthur Noel Gredington (1903-1971) was born in 1903 and after studying at the Royal College, at the age of 32, he took a position in 1939 at Beswick as their first resident modeller. Prior to this modellers at Beswick were employed on a freelance basis. His first model was a Deer on Base (model no 696) which was produced in a natural, flambe and blue glazed editions. He was able to design any animal but his speciality was horses and dogs. The 1938 Epsom Derby winner Bois Roussell was the subject of Gredington’s first racehorse and breeders reproduction model for which Beswick were to become famous. Later racehorse models included the famous Arkle. Beswick often produced different colourways of models including Bois Roussell which as well as the original brown was also produced in grey. With variations and colourways the range of Gredington horse models available to collectors is over 200, whereas the actual number of actual designs created is around 70. Gredington’s realism and accuracy in his models made them very popular with collectors and his champion models were especially sought by the farming community. Gredington was also responsible for many comic and licensed designs. These include the Cat Orchestra and Courting Penguins in 1945, In 1948 Beswick secured the right to reproduce a range of 10 Beatrix Potter earthenware characters, the first of which was Jemima Puddle-Duck which was designed by Gredington. Other character included cartoon, storybook figures, character animals and even designs for Disney including the Seven Dwarfs. When Gredington retired in 1968 he left a legacy of creations which are still collected today. Arthur Gredingtona and Beswick related Beswick Girl on Jumping Horse No 939 Beswick Zimmy Lion Price and Value Guide
On my travels around collector’s fairs I have recently been drawn to a range of unusual looking costume jewellery. So distinctive in design it keeps leaping out at me and I cannot walk past without studying its intricate patterns and styles. So intrigued was I that after some investigation and research I found myself being sucked into the vibrant colourful world of renowned French costume jewellery designer – Lea Stein. Lea was born in Paris, France in 1931 and although very little is known of her early years it is believed that a lot of her childhood was spent in a concentration camp during WW2. Lea married Fernand Steinberger in the 1950s but it was not until the 1960s that she embarked in her own business of making creative innovative designs in costume jewellery. Fernand had discovered the process of laminating celluloid; using many paper-thin celluloid acetate sheets he created a multi-layered effect, finishing the process off with a top layer of material such as lace or even straw. Once the layered sheets had been blended they were then baked to harden and various shapes could be hand carved. The master piece could take up to as long as 6 months to perfect and then when totally satisfied it was used as a template to produce the jewellery (or component to use its official term), these components then transformed into the fantastic sculpture designs that today is so recognisable as Lea Stein. From the 60s right through to the 80s Lea produced pins, earrings, necklaces, bangles and even other objects of desire such as picture frames and mirrors. Amongst some of her earlier work are unusual buttons that again vary in design and were bought by French Couture fashion houses, but even rarer are the serigraphy pins, which were typically art deco in style, and were commonly images of ladies or girls framed like miniature paintings. Lea’s patterns and designs vary from the amusing caricature to the classic geometric deco style. Lea’s great passion for Art Deco shines through in her work with pins such as “Flapper” and one of my favourites the “Deco Cat” which I have seen sell recently for as much as £90.00. The stretch bracelets, bangles and necklaces also have a distinct deco influence with the geometric squares and colours such as green, which were typically used in jewellery during the 1920s and 1930s. One of the more common designs and the one that Lea is most famous for, is the “Fox” pin; these come in all types of colours and patterns and are easily recognisable with their looped tail and outstretched paws. This particular design can be found in layered pattern, pearlized, snakeskin and even glitter. Costing as little as £30 to £35 upwards you could easily just concentrate on collecting the foxes, as there are so many pattern variations. In the 1970’s Lea Stein bought the licence to a French Children’s Television show called “L’ile aux Enfants” – this translated into English means “Isle of Children”. She reproduced the characters onto pins, which were only made during 1975. All the characters were from the programme and include “Casimir”, “Tiffins” and the really loveable “Calimero” who is a little black bird with an eggshell sitting on his head. These are extremely hard to come by and do not come up for sale very often, but if you do find one expect to pay £70 to £100. In the early eighties the company fell into financial trouble and had to cease trading. However, this was not the end of Lea Stein, after a break of 9 years she began making earrings out of the fox head pins and cat faces left over from the factory. She hasn’t stopped there either, now from her home in France Lea is still producing and coming up with new ideas, thus keeping up with the demand from collectors. Prices for Lea Stein vary from as little as £25 upwards, depending on whom and where you buy, but it is actually the more modern pieces that fetch higher prices as less quantities are being made compared to when Lea had a factory and was able to produce on a much higher scale. The more recent designs very rarely appear on the secondary market as collectors snap them up instantly. It is not just the distinctive patterns that make Lea Stein so recognisable, the “V” shaped clasp is the trademark and is signed “Lea Stein Paris” on the back although some earlier 1960s pieces do not have the signature. This clasp creates some confusion about distinguishing the vintage pieces from the more modern but I am reliably informed the only way to tell the age is by the designs themselves. There is discussion that the clasp gives away the age of a piece by whether it has been secured by being melted into the back of the pin or whether it has been riveted. This allegedly is not true, the type of design determines how the clasp is fastened and does not identify the age of the item. Another way to distinguish between earlier and later pieces are the back of the pins themselves, some of the lying down and upright cats have nasty white backing which generally means that they are later pieces. Early vintage designs to look out for are the “Tennis Lady” or “Diver” as she is also known, this particular pin was made between 1968 and 1980 and can cost around £65 – £70. “Rolls Royce”, “French Sailor”, “Saxophone” and even rock legend “Elvis” are also highly desirable to collectors, again made in the same time bracket and costing around the same price on the secondary market. One of the more modern pieces to look out for is the front facing panther. There are only a few on the open market as Fernand and Lea recalled it due to the fact that they were not entirely happy with the finished product. Other modern designs are the bears […]
Pomp, Pre-Fabs And Poodles – Dolls in The 1950s by Sue Brewer Just as a black and white film explodes into technicolour, this decade dawned grey, but ended in dazzling colour. This eventful ten years gave young people more power that ever before, and propelled Britons into a completely new lifestyle. Though the war had ended five years previously, many goods were in short supply and some rationing was still in force. Bomb sites scarred many areas, and thousands dwelt in ‘pre-fabs’ – prefabricated buildings designed as emergency accommodation for those who had lost their homes during the bombing. Britain needed something to cheer her up, and the Festival Of Britain was a great start. Held in 1951, on London’s Southbank alongside the Thames, and dominated by the Dome of Discovery, it featured all that was new in design. Towering above the site was the Skylon, a delicately-shaped edifice which was illuminated at night, and which entranced me as a child. Millions of people thronged the festival, which spilled over into nearby Battersea Park. One of the great attractions there was the Guinness clock, a marvellous timepiece which featured toucans and other creatures popping out of windows and doors on the quarter-hour. Ideas seen at the exhibition gradually filtered through into people’s lives – geometrical designs were in vogue, bright colours, and, conversely, black and white patterns. The most famous 1950s ceramics’ range is probably ‘Homemaker’, which featured black and white drawings of coffee tables, cutlery, settees and lamps. Homemaker, designed by Enid Seeney, was made by Ridgway and sold in Woolworths stores throughout the country in the mid-fifties. Black pottery ‘African’ hands and figurines were in vogue, as was formica, spindly-legged furniture, coloured ‘atom’ knobs on small fixtures, ballet scenes on crockery, open-plan living, and poodles on everything! In 1953, patriotism was truly to the fore – Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey. Union Jacks fluttered from lamp posts, commemorative mugs were give to school children, and street parties were held throughout the country. Young and old sat down to enjoy cakes, sandwiches and jellies, and to raise a toast to her Majesty in tea or lemonade. People crowded the front rooms of those fortunate enough to own television sets to watch the beautiful young Queen ride in a fairytale coach along the Mall from the palace, and to see the Archbishop of Canterbury place the crown upon her head in Westminster Abbey. For one lady, Peggy Nisbet, the Coronation proved a career change when she was inspired to dress small dolls which were sold through the prestigious Harrods store. Little could she have known that those small dolls would be the start of a huge concern, which would go on to produce millions of Peggy Nisbet costume dolls over the next three decades. Naturally, other manufacturers jumped aboard the bandwagon, most notably Pedigree Toys, who issued an 14 inch hard plastic doll called Little Princess. Th is doll had blonde, curly hair, just like the toddler Princess Anne, and her outfit was designed by Norman Hartnell, the man responsible for the Coronation gown. Pedigree also issued a ‘Bonnie Charlie’ doll, presumably modelled on Prince Charles, and a slender, teen-type called Elizabeth. All these dolls are very much sought-after today by collectors. Hard plastic was extensively used in the world of doll manufacturing for much of the 1950s. Developed during the war, it was enthusiastically embraced by toy makers, being light, colourful and cheap to produce. It rapidly replaced the older-style composition dolls, and many beauties were made during this time. Towards the end of the decade, however, an even more revolutionary product, soft vinyl, was introduced. Vinyl enabled the hair to be rooted directly into the head, and didn’t crack when it was dropped. Soon vinyl replaced the hard plastic, though for a time, dolls often sported vinyl heads on hard plastic bodies as the new machinery was expensive to install. Barbie, the most successful doll of all time, made her debut in America in 1959, created by Ruth Handler. This sophisticated curvy teen in her black and white striped bathing costume, was a sensation, though she was scarcely known in Britain until the 1970s. Girls in the United Kingdom were less mature than their American counterparts, and although teen dolls were gradually arriving, they were softer-featured and tended to wear the everyday fashions of the time – flared skirts, blouses, smart coats and dainty hats. Even in their early teens, girls still read ‘Girl’ comic, filled with colourful comic strip adventures featuring nurses, schoolgirls or ballet dancers – children were unsophisticated in those days. Palitoy issued a tie-in ‘Girl’ doll, who wore a white dress patterned with the logo of the comic. Her knickers and hair-ribbon bore the same motif while her belt had a plastic ‘Girl’ head as a buckle. At the beginning of the decade, teen girls dressed like their mothers, often wearing twin-sets and pearls, but as the fifties progressed, they rebelled. Permed hair gave way to ponytails, and skirts were full, often with layers of net or ‘paper nylon’ petticoats beneath. ‘Pedal-pusher’ trousers, which ended at mid-calf. were in vogue for a while, as were ‘sloppy Joe’ sweaters, but, on the whole, girls still had a very feminine look – the love-affair with blue denim was not, as yet, widespread. Music-wise, Rock ‘n’ Roll was in – Bill Haley and Elvis Presley were listened to on large 78 rpm records which broke when they were dropped. However, Britain had its own teen stars too, especially Tommy Steele who appeared on the ‘6.5 Special’ tv programme every Saturday, rocking to the music. Teddy Boys loved Rock ‘n’ Roll, and wore narrow drainpipe trousers, long jackets and winklepicker shoes, combing their hair into a quiff. Skiffle groups, who performed on guitars, washboards and broom handles affixed to tea-chests, were also extremely popular. As the decade progressed, television grew to play a large part in people’s lives; programmes were followed so avidly that […]
The Who celebrate 50 years of rock in 2014 and we take a look at their history, impact and most importantly for us their collectables. The Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. Their best known line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century and are one of the world’s best-selling bands. Pictured left: The Who My Generation LP 1965 on the Brunswick label. Mono 1st Press. In mint condition this record can sell for around £300. This actual LP sold on ebay for £283 in Nov 2014. The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, before stabilising around a line-up of Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon. After releasing a single as the High Numbers, the group established themselves as part of the mod movement and featured auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Pictured right: The Who A concert poster THE WHO in A Two-Hour Non Stop Concert To Include Tommy, London Coliseum, Sunday, 14th December, 1969. Sold for £1,000 at Christies, London in June 2010. They achieved recognition in the UK after their first single as the Who, “I Can’t Explain”, reached the top ten. A string of successful singles followed, including “My Generation”, “Substitute” and “Happy Jack”. Although initially regarded as a singles act, they also found success with the albums My Generation and A Quick One. In 1967, they achieved success in the US after performing at the Monterey Pop Festival, and with the top ten single “I Can See for Miles”. They released The Who Sell Out at the end of the year, and spent much of 1968 touring. Pictured left: Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2, circa late 1967, owned and used by Pete Townshend in the early 1970s – early 1980s; the double cutaway body in cherry red finish, mahogany neck, Grover machine heads, 22 fret bound fingerboard with dot inlays, two P90 pickups, four rotary controls, selector switch, metal bridge, black pickguard bound in white, tailpiece removed; original Gibson contour hardshell case with scarlet plush lining; accompanied by a letter signed by Townshend detailing the provenance. Sold for £37,500 inc premium at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, June 2014. The group’s fourth album, 1969’s rock opera Tommy, was a major commercial and critical success. Subsequent live appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, along with the live album Live At Leeds, transformed the Who’s reputation from a hit-singles band into a respected rock act. With their success came increased pressure on lead songwriter Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse, was abandoned in favour of 1971’s Who’s Next. Pictured right: A rare Quadrophenia film poster, 1980, large format for the Italian release of the film starring Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Sting, directed by Franc Roddam, 140 x 100cm, framed and glazed. Sold for £525 inc premium at Bonhams, Goodwood , July 2013. The group subsequently released Quadrophenia (1973) and The Who by Numbers (1975), oversaw the film adaptation of Tommy and toured to large audiences before semi-retiring from live performances at the end of 1976. The release of Who Are You in August 1978 was overshadowed by the death of Moon on 7 September. Pictured left: The Who David Bailey Live Aid – A black and white limited edition photograph of The Who by David Bailey, 1985, signed by the photographer and on the verso in black felt pen by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Kenny Jones, additionally signed in pencil by the photographer, dated 85 and numbered 1/3. Sold for £960 at Christies, London in May 2006. Kenney Jones, formerly of the Small Faces and the Faces, replaced Moon and the group resumed touring. A film adaptation of Quadrophenia and the retrospective documentary The Kids Are Alright were released in 1979. The group continued recording, releasing Face Dances in 1981 and It’s Hard the following year, before breaking up. They occasionally re-formed for live appearances such as Live Aid in 1985, a 25th anniversary tour in 1989 and for a tour of Quadrophenia in 1996. Pictured left: The Who – A very rare concert poster Uxbridge Blues And Folk Festival, 19th June, 1965, artists include The Who, Marianne Faithfull, John Mayall, The Birds, Long John Baldry, Spencer Davis, Zoot Money, and others — 29x40in. (75×101.6cm.) Sold for £9,375 at Christies, London in June 2010. The Who resumed regular touring in 1999, with drummer Zak Starkey, to a positive response, and were considering the possibility of a new album, but these plans were stalled by Entwistle’s death in June 2002. Townshend and Daltrey elected to continue as the Who, releasing Endless Wire (2006), which reached the top ten in the UK and US. The group continued to play live regularly, including the Quadrophenia and More tour in 2012, before announcing in 2014 their intention to retire from touring following a new album and accompanying live shows ending the following year. Pictured right: This Japan Polydor 7″ 45 The Who Won’t Get Fooled Again / Don’t Know Myself DP 1817 sold for £819 on ebay in August 2014. With 50 years behind them many studio albums, live albums, many tours, numerous singles and ephemera, there is plenty for the collector to collect. Many of the international pressings of The Who’s albums can be more valuable than the UK pressings. Japanese pressings are of great interest to certain collectors. With the re-emergence of record players, there is once again an increased market for records.