What’s it Worth – Free Antiques & Collectables Price Guide
Free Antiques & Collectables Price Guide
Free Antiques & Collectables Price Guide
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!
Collecting Communion Tokens and small Communion Tokens price guide. Communion tokens were round or oval in shape, and they were given to individuals who took communion in churches during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Presbyterian worship in Scotland is particularly associated with them, but they may also be found in England, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland. The Communion tokens were used to identify those who were entitled to receive Communion. The minister would give the person a token before giving them Communion. When Communion was being given, the individual would show the token to the Communion steward. There are a number of reasons why communion tokens were used. First, communion tokens ensured that only those who were members of the church and who had been properly instructed in the faith were able to receive Communion. This was important because Communion is a sacred act in which Christians partake of the body and blood of Christ. Second, communion tokens helped to prevent Communion from being taken by those who might not appreciate its significance or who might abuse it in some way. Finally, communion tokens served as a tangible reminder of an individual’s commitment to the Christian faith. Though communion tokens fell out of use in the 18th century, they remain an important part of Protestant and Calvinist history. Communion tokens remind us of the importance of maintaining a proper understanding of Communion and of our commitment to the Christian faith. They were also used as a means of identifying Communion members who had been away from the church for a period of time. They were also given to children when they were first admitted to communion. Often, these tokens would be made of metal or other durable materials and would be worn around the neck or on a keychain. The most common materials were metal, wood, and bone. In some cases, Communion Tokens were also made of other materials such as stone or glass. They could have holes in the centre and so could be strung together. Tokens were often engraved with a Christian symbol or the initials of the person who received the Communion Token. Communion tokens were collectibles even back then and people would try to get as many different ones as possible. There are many different types of communion tokens that can be found. Some have biblical scenes or symbols on them, while others have the name of the church or the year they were made. Messages on tokens would include biblical quotes such as ‘This Do In Remembrance of Me’ and ‘Let A Man Examine Himself’. Today, they are still collected by some people as a hobby and for the most part can be acquired fairly inexpensively.
Tea was introduced to this country in the mid-seventeenth century, and within 100 years it was a national beverage enjoyed by all classes, the direct cause of considerable changes in the times of meals and in social customs and, of course, of the introduction of the tea services so highly prized by housewives of every succeeding generation. Pictured right: A Leeds creamware teapot and cover circa 1770 – The globular form with foliate spout and grooved double entwined strap handle with foliate terminals, painted in a limited palette with a seated lady, the reverse with a large low building with thatched roof and smoking chimney, beaded borders, the cover painted with a similar building beside the flower knop, 11.5cm high. Sold for £780 at Bonhams London, April 2010. Image Copyright Bonhams. Other meals might be eaten from vessels of cream-ware or delft, from plates and dishes not necessarily matching, but tea drinking was from the beginning a ceremony in which women took a predominant part to the exclusion of their menfolk, and which demanded a proper set of pot, sugar basin, cream-jug, teabowls and saucers and, most important, a slop basin in which the proud owner might wash her precious pieces while seated at the tea-table. Pictured left: A good early Staffordshire teapot and cover of Whieldon type Circa 1750-60. – Globular with a crabstock handle and spout and a twig finial, sprigged in relief with fruiting vine branches extending from the sides of the handle, further leaves and grape sprigs on the cover, 11cm high. Value £2,500-£3,500. Image Copyright Bonhams. In spite of opposition from such wiseacres as the philanthropist Jonas Hanway (1712-1786) and later William Cobbett, who condemned the new habit as harmful and sinfully alien, it is a fact that as early as the 1740s over one million pounds of tea were imported annually into London alone, and our earthenware makers and, later, our porcelain makers were quick to meet the resultant demand, with the early support, we may note, of Dr Johnson who defended the ” elegant and popular beverage ” against Hanway and who, if legend is to be believed himself conducted experiments in the making of porcelain. Pictured right: An English Creamware Cauliflower-Moulded Teapot And Cover Circa 1760, Probably Wedgwood – Naturalistically moulded, with foliate handle and cabbage-leaf spout 5 1/8 in. (13.2 cm.) high (2). Sold for £1,560 at Christies, London, January 2007. Image Copyright Christies. So to the most important single item of tea-drinking, the pot itself, to find whose origins we have to go back as far as the Chinese Sung Dynasty (420-79 A D.) when the drinking of tea was considered to be a serious masculine pursuit. The origins, but not the actual making as we know it, for at first tea was brewed actually in the tea-bowls, of any vessels of familiar tea-pot design were almost certainly winepots. Nevertheless, R. L. Hobson (Wares of the Ming Dynasty) refers to tea-pots of the Cheng Te period (1506-21), and as early as the latter part of the seventeenth century tea-pots which formed the greater part of the output of the great potting centre of Yi-hsing were exported to Europe with consignments of tea. These pots were made of stoneware in brown, buff and red, unglazed and relied for their beauty upon good design and shape (flattened globular, pear-shaped, or faceted) rather than upon elaborate detail. It was this kind of ware that was copied at Meissen and by the Elers brothers in this country, dating from the early eighteenth century, and though such pots were much too small for European use they were nevertheless the first to be made in England, developing into the familiar size by the middle of the century. It is always inevitable that with the introduction of any new article in household furnishing designers find themselves hard put to resist the temptation to allow their imaginations to run riot. English teapots were for a time made in the forms of houses, ships, shells, birds, camels, and other animals, in salt-glazed or lead-glazed pottery. Even the great Whieldon, usually a master of restrained design, so far forgot himself as to fashion a pot in the shape of an elephant, and among the rarest of early Chelsea specimens are some in the shapes of Chinamen, dating to the early triangle period. One such, seated, holds a protesting parrot whose open beak serves as a spout, and another clasps a snake. We must remember that this was a time when anything Chinese was widely copied, and it is probable that pieces of this kind were facsimiles of actual Chinese wine-pots. Pictured left: A Staffordshire Creamware Hexagonal Teapot And Cover Irca 1760, Probably Thomas Whieldon – From a block-mould by William Greatbatch, with rectangular panels of Oriental figures at various pursuits against a fretted geometric pattern ground, the shoulders with scrolls and Chinoiserie fretwork, the fluted spout with ozier-pattern and elongated geometric panels, the finial formed as a griffin, recumbent, the scroll handle with a biting serpent terminal, enriched in a typical palette of green, ochre, brown and grey glazes 6 in. (15.2 cm.) high’ Sold for £1,125 at Christies, London, January 2008. Image Copyright Christies. At the other extreme the Staffordshire potters were obliged to make some kind of ware which would imitate the whiteness of porcelain, and we find white salt-glaze tea-pots made between 1740 and 1760. These, and other domestic wares were often decorated with ” sprigging,” the process of adding separately moulded relief decoration such as vine-pattern or prunus sprigs in Oriental style. Pieces so ornamented usually have ” crabstock ” handles and spouts fashioned in imitation of gnarled branches. Variety was introduced by the use of differently coloured clays for body and ornament, and from about 1745 onwards relief ornament similar in appearance was produced by casting, when it was sometimes picked out with japan gilding. This process was, of course, used for the making of the camels, ships, and so on. Confusion sometimes creeps in (especially in sales catalogues) between salt-glazed and lead-glazed ware made […]
Polly Pocket & Polly Pocket Collectables by Susan Brewer (follow Sue on Twitter @bunnypussflunge) Small children love small items; they get enormous pleasure from a tiny doll hidden inside a walnut shell or a matchbox filled with beads. Obviously, the smallest toys aren’t suitable for a baby, but as soon as they get past the ‘toys in mouth’ stage, they seem to revel in the miniature. This was something Beatrix Potter understood very well, and why she insisted that when her famous Peter Rabbit series of books were first published in the early 1900s, they were of a size to fit the hands of a small child. They have been published that size ever since. So, when a gentleman called Chris Wiggs had the bright idea of turning a powder compact into a doll’s house for his daughter’s tiny doll to play in, success was almost guaranteed. It was the 1980s, a time when dozens of new and exciting girls’ toys were flooding the market – Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Flower Fairies and Care Bears, to name but a few. Even so, when Chris showed the toy to Bluebird Toys of Swindon, they snapped up the idea and, despite all the competition, it soon proved a hit. Polly Pocket compacts were neat, tidy toys, and girls loved them. The compacts were small and secretive, and as well as containing a tiny doll they were moulded inside as room settings, with staircases, furniture and other items. Although there was hardly enough room inside for the tiny doll to breathe, there was plenty of room for a child’s imagination. The compacts were hinged, just like a powder compact, and came in a variety of colourful shapes, including circular, square, shell, heart and oblong. The original Polly Pocket dolls were very small – around an inch high – but they were beautifully made, with hinged waists so they could fold when the compact lid was closed. When opened, each compact revealed extremely well planned interiors with every scrap of space utilised. The interior of the lift-up lid would be a house, for instance, while the base was a garden with moulded paths, flowers and ponds or paths and often a small revolving turntable so that the tiny Polly could move or dance. She could also be fitted into various holes in the mouldings. Frequently other characters or animals were included as well. All the detail was amazing, and to a child, almost miraculous. Even the exterior moulding was impressive; the plastic was smooth and rounded and was pleasant to hold. Picking up an unfamiliar, closed Polly Pocket compact was an adventure, there was a feeling of anticipation and, on opening, an air of wonder. Some of the specials, such as the Christmas versions with their sparkly interiors, were beautiful. Parents liked the toys too, because they were the perfect toy for children to take on a journey. They were small enough to fit inside a pocket or bag, and as the dolls stored neatly inside the compact, there was little chance of losing pieces. As more and more of the toys were made, children became spoilt for choice, and it wasn’t long before there was a Polly Pocket to suit every occasion, or so it seemed. In addition to the little houses, Polly Pocket compacts could also be obtained containing such delights as a Studio Flat, Hair Salon, Movie Star’s House, Winter Chalet, Parisienne Hotel, Dance Studio, Pet Shop and many, many more. In 1993, the Gamleys chain of toy shops were advertising an extra large play set, called Polly’s Dream World. They stated ‘The dream house has two wings that open out to reveal lots of beautiful rooms. In Polly’s dream world there are so many secret places to visit and exciting things to do. It’s everything you ever dreamed of for Polly!’ At the time this set cost £24.99, over five times more than the average Polly Pocket compact price of £4.99, and, like many other Polly Pockets, is beginning to be quite sought after today. Eventually over 350 different compact sets were produced. The toys continued to be made throughout the following decade, but in the late 1990s Mattel, who had taken over production from Bluebird, decided to redesign them. They made Polly larger, bringing out different designs and larger play sets – although she is still imaginative, she seems to have lost much of that miniature magic which charmed little girls during the late 1980s and for most of the 1990s. However, the larger dolls are more realistic with ‘real’ hair rather than the moulded hair of the Bluebird dolls, and also have removable clothing. Mattel still make some small types, such as the recent ‘Polly Wheels’ – tiny cars containing a 1.5 inch high jointed-at-the-waist doll – though these items are not as small as the originals. Running alongside Polly Pocket were the Polly Pocket Walt Disney compacts, which were also made by Bluebird. They were called the Tiny Collection but were invariably referred to as ‘Polly Pocket Disneys’. These themed play sets, made to resemble scenes from Disney films, were charming, and contained minute Disney characters. Some of the sets were in compacts, just like the original Polly Pockets, but many were slightly larger and shaped like buildings, the outside decorated like a house so it was an attractive item in own right, lacking the plainness of the compacts. Some sets were even larger, though the scale was just the same, with the characteristic little characters. For instance, the thatched Snow White cottage was delightful, and it even lit up. Snow White and the seven dwarves were included, and the cottage could be closed up with the characters inside. Some of these larger play sets came with their own compacts, which could be played with separately. Amongst the Walt Disney films which appeared in the Tiny Collection were Bambi, The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Alice In Wonderland, Beauty and the […]
Each year during the run up to Christmas I make a special trip to London and head straight for the prestigious department store Harrods. The purpose of this annual adventure is not to admire the festive window displays or even take in the electric atmosphere as people frantically cram their baskets full of Christmas goodies. For me this special journey is so that I can purchase that particular years exclusive Harrods Christmas bear to add to my growing collection. Pictured right: Harrord Christmas Bear 1986 The tradition of Harrods celebrating each Christmas with a specially designed teddy bear began in 1986 with ‘Snow Bear.’ This 13” snowy white plush bear appeared in the Christmas catalogue wearing a green and red knitted hat on his head which was decorated with Christmas designs and the word ‘Harrods’ in white across the front. He also had a removable matching scarf around his neck but unlike the bears which followed he was not graced with the Harrods logo and was not foot dated on his left paw. An extremely rare and sought after bear the mere fact that he was not foot dated does cause confusion with collectors as a full set of anniversary replica bears were produced in 1995 and this included the replica of the 1986 bear. The differences between the original bear and the replica are that the second issue bear does have the 1986 date and Harrods logo on his left paw and his knitted hat and scarf have a slight variation to the pattern. The Harrods archive department informed me that generally collectors check the ‘tush tag’ – but of course a collector needs to know what the authentic ‘tush tag’ looks like in order to tell if the bear is the genuine original 1986 bear, the 1995 replica or even a copy. In fact even the Harrods archive department are not in possession of the original as the archiving didn’t begin until 1989. Although they have acquired the other early bears this elusive 1986 example is proving almost impossible to find as they seldom appear on the open market and when they do can sell for in excess of £600 – a vast improvement of its original £14.95 retail price tag. This first bear proved such a success that Harrods made the decision to produce an exclusive Christmas bear for each year thereafter which people could only buy during the holiday season. They also decided that the bears would carry the year date and Harrods logo on the left paw. 1987 saw the release of the first foot dated bear, made with beautiful soft brown plush again he wore a festive knitted hat with a green bobble on top and a matching scarf with green bobbles on each end. This bear is also desirable with collectors and some are prepared to pay over £100 to own him. Pictured left: Harrods 1993 Christmas Panda bear In 1988 a cream plush bear – very much along the same design theme as the earlier two – was released however, in 1989 Harrods produced their exclusive bear in the form of a simple white plush polar bear as it tied in with the store’s theme of ‘White Christmas.’ In 1990 Harrods went back to producing the more traditional looking bear until 1992 when a grizzly was released, again to tie in with an American theme. The following year their Christmas bear was a plush panda. During the 1990s the Harrods Christmas bears had become increasingly popular especially with the Japanese collectors. However, these collectors wanted to know more about the bears themselves, whether each had an individual name and what were the stories behind the bears? So in 2003 wearing a bright red duffel coat, ‘William’ was released as the first ever named Christmas bear and in 2004 ‘Thomas’ arrived. However, in order to satisfy the curiosity of the collectors and to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Christmas bears in 2005, Harrods produced a special booklet for the Japanese market in which all the bears up to that date were retrospectively given names and background stories. The 2005 Christmas bear, ‘Nicolas’ also had ‘20th Anniversary’ embroidered on his right paw and his tag contained his Christmas story which read that ‘Nicolas had grown up in the Scottish highlands of the Harrods Balnagown Estate and it had become a tradition for all his friends, the other Harrods bears, to spend the winter months together in the old mill of the Balnagown Estate by the stream. Here they would celebrate the holiday season, trimming the old mill with Christmas decorations, enjoying a feast of Christmas treats and playing in the snow.’ 2009 sees the newest Christmas bear ‘Maxwell’ join the twenty-four strong hug of furry friends. Made with a super soft caramel coat he has warm chocolate brown eyes and is snugly wrapped up in a cherry red hooded jumper which has embroidered Christmassy items such as a festive tree, gingerbread man and Christmas pudding around the bottom. Maxwell is a friendly little soul and loves shopping at Harrods. His tag says that ‘he buys lots of gifts to make his family and friends smile but because he is so special he is even invited into Father Christmas’s secret Harrods workshop, a place where only select toys are allowed. Together with his friend George (another plush Harrods bear released this year) the two bears travel around the store with their favourite place being the Candy room where they eat lots of colourful sweets and plan their next exciting adventure!” Pictured right: Maxwell the Harrods 2009 Christmas Bear Priced at just £19.95 Maxwell is a definite must-have for any collector of bears. In fact this is one of the reasons that Harrods Christmas bears are so appealing, they tick all the right boxes where collecting is concerned as only one is released each year, they are easy to obtain, are more than affordable for every pocket and aside from being delightful have the probability […]
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 […]
Clarice Cliff is well known for her range of colourful pottery but she was also responsible for other items such as the Clarice Cliff Teddy Bear Bookends. The Teddy Bear bookends date from the 1930s and were sold in pairs and show a teddy bear sitting holding on to plinth with their legs in the air. The bears wear a ribbon collar and sport a fine bow. The bookends were produced in variations including differing colours of the bears, the ribbon & bows and most importantly the plinth. Patterns on plinths include Sunburst, Black Umbrella, and Blue W. A white bear and green bow are the most common set. Wedgwood re-issued the Clarice Cliff Teddy Bear bookends in a centenary limited edition of 150. The Bizarre bookends show the bears in the popular white form with green ribbon and bow. Clarice Cliff related A look at Clarice Cliff Clarice Cliff Cottage Bookends Clarice Cliff Bizarre Grotesque Masks by Ron Birks
Manuel Cipriano Gomes Mafra (1829-1905) was one of the foremost Portuguese ceramists of the 19th century who developed a vast array of work influenced by the natural world. Manuel Mafra’s pottery work, marked by naturalism, was strongly influenced by the French 16th century engineer, craftsman and potter Bernard Palissy . Palissy was famed for his figulines rustiques (rusticware), or decorative faience fired in a high-relief pattern inspired by nature, and especially pond life: reptiles, insects, vegetation, flowers and fish. Palissy’s work apparently often used moulded from casts taken of dead specimens. The tradition Mafra developed of Portuguese Palissy-style ceramics became an important movement in the decorative arts in the second half of the 19th Century. Mafra moved to Caldas de Rainha to work at the famed Maria dos Cacos factory. He was later to run the same factory from 1853 till his death in 1905. The town was to become a magnet for other ceramicists and it became the centre for Portuguese Palissy Ware. The factory produced faience wares and later Did you know? Mafra was actually christened Manuel Cipriano Gomes and took the name Mafra, the county of his origin in 1853 19th Century copies of Palissy’s work were made in both faience and in majolica, a 19th Century version of faience with an improved lead-based glaze. Reference Manuel Mafra at the Met Museum A Concise Guide to Caldas Ceramics
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
Unlike us, bears have discovered the enviable secret of eternal youth. An eighty-eight-year-old Rupert? Ridiculous! A seventy-eight-year-old Mary Plain? Unthinkable! An eighty-eight-year-old Pooh? Preposterous. And as for a fifty-year-old Paddington – you must be joking! How can a bear who creates mischief and mayhem wherever he goes – admittedly a bear whose sole aim in life is to be helpful and polite, but who is unfortunately accident prone, impulsive and always in deep trouble – be well on the way to collecting his bus pass? Bears always find an age with which they are comfortable and stick to it. So, believe it or not, Paddington really does celebrate his fiftieth birthday this year. Pictured left: Paddington Bear by Gabrielle No doubt he will be hosting a party with an iced cake cooked by Mrs Bird, buns and cocoa donated by Mr Gruber, and a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ wobbly jelly from the Blue Peter team. (For many years, Paddington was a regular in the Blue Peter studio.) Of course, there will be a huge pile of sandwiches too, but the vital question is, will they be filled with marmalade – or Marmite? Up until recently, the choice of filling would have been a forgone conclusion, but suddenly our loveable bear has developed a taste for the sticky brown stuff. Of course, he still loves marmalade very much. In fact, when Paddington was first approached by the advertising company he exclaimed, “But I always have marmalade in my sandwiches!” The agency explained, “That’s exactly why we think you would be perfect for the campaign. We want people who normally have something different in their sandwiches to try Marmite.” Pictured right: Paddington Bear with Marmalade Hidden Treasures from Arora Design – each figurine has a secret compartment containing a hidden treasure. So, rather tentatively, Paddington took a sniff, and then a nibble, and finally a big bite. He discovered that he enjoyed Marmite very much indeed, and though it could never really replace his beloved marmalade, it certainly made a jolly acceptable change. The pigeons and the ducks are not too sure, though, as can be seen in the adverts. Michael Bond is not too sure, either, and in a letter to The Times wrote, “Paddington likes his food and tries anything, but he would certainly never be weaned off marmalade”, saying that Paddington’s characteristics are “set in stone and you shouldn’t change them.” In the past he has always tried to avoid any hint of commercialising Paddington Bear, so he added darkly, “Now there’s no going back.” What actually is Marmite? Well, it’s a spread made from yeast extract, vegetable extract, salt and various spices and, as the adverts proclaim, ‘You either love it or hate it’. You certainly can’t be indifferent to that tangy, tongue numbing taste. Although Paddington has been weaned off the marmalade for a while to promote the new, squeezy Marmite, I’m sure it won’t be long before he reverts to his favourite marmalade chunks. A marmalade-free Paddington is about as unthinkable as a Paddington who has lost his duffel coat and floppy hat. When Michael Bond found a small toy teddy bear on a shelf in a London Store on Christmas Eve 1956, he decided to buy it as a present for his wife. He called the bear Paddington. Just for fun, he wrote some stories revolving around the bear, and after a few days realised he had a book on his hands. However, he admits that while he was writing he didn’t consciously set out to write a children’s book – which is good, because, as all Paddington enthusiasts know, the books are far too special to be the sole prerogative of youngsters. Eventually, the book was placed with William Collins and Sons (now HarperCollins), and illustrator Peggy Fortnum was commissioned to produce the delightful sketches which complemented the stories so well. ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ was published in 1958, and as we all know, the rest is history. Amazingly, the Paddington series of books have sold over thirty million copies world wide and have been translated into thirty languages. Pictured left: Paddington Bear by Steiff As the birthday bear’s big day approaches, as well as planning his party shopping list and putting both Marmite and marmalade at the top of it, how else will Paddington be celebrating? For starters, he will be starring in a new book, the first Michael Bond Paddington Bear book to be published for thirty years. Rumour has it that a mysterious stranger will cause Paddington to reflect where home really is – surely he won’t forsake 32 Windsor Gardens and return to darkest Peru? ‘Paddington Here and Now’ will be published in June, while in October, to commemorate the publication of that very first book, HarperCollins will issue a special anniversary edition of ‘A Bear Called Paddington’. And there’s more – in March, as part of World Book Day, a £1 read, ‘Paddington Rules the Waves’, will be amongst the titles on offer. There will be plenty of new Paddington Bear collectables and merchandise this year, too, including a new Steiff creation. As we all know, Paddington was first discovered by Mr and Mrs Brown on Paddington Station, hence his name. The optimistic little refugee was sitting hopefully on a suitcase containing his worldly goods, and Steiff have depicted him, carrying his case, in a limited edition of 1,500 pieces. This 11 inch tall Paddington wears a pale blue coat and is complete with a gold-plated button-in-ear. He is based on the FilmFair Paddington Bear from the television series, a super bonus for fans of the animated episodes. Other items include puzzles courtesy of Hausemann en Hotte/Falcon, while Robert Harrop has produced a gorgeous commemorative figurine of Paddington munching a marmalade sandwich (not a blob of Marmite in sight!). More planned Paddington releases include a commemorative coin, a pewter figurine, clothing, greetings cards, a cookery book and gift wrap, as well as a range of soft […]