What’s it Worth – Free Antiques & Collectables Price Guide
Free Antiques & Collectables Price Guide
Free Antiques & Collectables Price Guide
Space 1999 remains a cult classic and we take a look at some of the Space 1999 collectables, Space 1999 merchandise and Space 1999 toys that have appeared over the years.
With Ghostbusters celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, and a new Ghostbusters film being released in 2016, there is renewed interest in this classic film and we look at some of the collectables and merchandise being released for the event. HotWheels Elite GHOSTBUSTERS ECTO-1 30th Anniversary Edition The Ecto-1 is the legendary vehicle that the Ghostbusters used to travel throughout the city busting ghosts. The vehicle used for the Ecto-1 was a 1959 Cadillac professional ambulance, built by the Miller-Meteor company and converted by Universal Studios. “GhostBusters” is the famous 1984 American comedy film about three eccentric New York City parapsychologists-turned-ghost exterminators. MattyCollector Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Figures Pack 1: Ray Stantz™ and Winston Zeddemore™ Pack 2: Peter Venkman™ and Egon Spengler™ LEGO Ghostbusters™ Ecto-1 Celebrate 30 years of ghost-busting action with the iconic Ghostbusters™ Ecto-1 car! Selected by LEGO® Ideas members (formerly known as CUUSOO), this fun and iconic vehicle from the blockbuster ‘80s movie is fully loaded with all the paranormal detection equipment needed to track down those ghastly ghosts. It also features cool Ghostbusters™ logo decoration, removable roof, tracking computer and seats for 3 minifigures. This unique set also includes a fascinating booklet containing building instructions, selected images and behind-the-scenes details about the classic Ghostbusters™ movie. So if there’s something strange in your neighborhood, strap on your proton pack and get ready to help Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore bust some ghosts! 4 minifigures with proton packs included. Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Commemorative Print Collection A number of fantastic prints have been created by artists such as Dan Mumford, Scott C, Anthony Petrie, Rich Kelly, Tara McPherson and others visist https://www.ghostbusters.com/ to view all the wonderful 30th Anniversary prints Ghostbusters: Stay Puft Edition Super Deluxe Vinyl The Traveler has come! Legacy Recordings celebrates the 30th anniversary of the classic comedy Ghostbusters in the biggest, fluffiest way. The Stay Puft Super Deluxe Edition Vinyl is a limited edition collectible vinyl package in honor of the terrifying but tasty Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This package contains the No. 1 hit single “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and the fan-favorite “Ghostbusters” rap by Run-DMC for the film’s hit sequel featured on a white 12” single in a deluxe collectable package.
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.
A growing interest in lace collecting has also created a renewed interest in old pillow lace bobbins. Lace bobbins have always been a decorative adjunct to lace making and although functional and fairly standard in form the bobbin flourished in its decorative charm with carving, colour, material and decoration making up for the deficiency in variety of form. Within this slender compass there was room for invention and even humour and romance in the phrasing of the inscriptions. The art of pillow lace-making was introduced into England in the middle of the sixteenth century. At that time pillow lacemaking as an industry was well established on the Continent and in 1563 the first of a great many Protestant refugees, many of them lace-makers, fleeing from religious persecution arrived in England, persecution arrived in England, along the south coast. For various reasons many of these refugees wandered inland and settled in areas notably in Bedfordshire. The emigris taught the art to their new neighbours in England and gave to them what later became a great rural craft. Unlike lace makers in the traditional centres of lace making in Belgium, Flanders and France who used large numbers of identical, plain bobbins, each bobbin on the pillow of an English lace maker was different. Hand carved or turned on a treadle lathe, bobbins were commonly made of wood or bone and could be intricately carved, painted, inlaid with pewter, wire-bound or inscribed with names and dates. (Lace makers’s bobbins, Mackovicky) . Many people took to lace-making and the area of the new industry grew so that it eventually included the whole of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and large parts of the adjoining counties, and so became known as the Midland Lace-making Industry. The lace was a creation of great beauty. The bobbins used for making lace took on special characteristics in this area and they themselves became works of art. Their attractive design and decoration alone make them worthy of collecting and study. The inscribed bobbins give us a very clear and intimate story of the lace-makers. Little has been recorded of the lives of these cottage workers: it is through the bobbins they have left that we can build up a story of their everyday existence. The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford has a collection of lace bobbins, lace samples and lace pattern bought by Henry Balfour from a Mrs. M. Butler in 1903. The collection does give an insight to the life and work of a lace maker. The feature by Nicolette Makovicky of Wolfson College is a very interesting read. However, it is Mrs. Butler’s bobbins that allow us some insight into her work and her life. Every bobbin she used was unique; different people would have given them to her and she would have personalized them by adding her own decoration. Of the collection, five stand out. All have the typical shape for East Midlands bobbins – long (3-4 inches or 9-10 centimetres), ending in a decorative ring of beads called a ‘spangle’, or ‘jinkum’ in parts of Oxfordshire. Bobbin making was a profession and while most lace makers were female, bobbin makers were invariable male. Although it was unusual for bobbin makers to mark or sign their work, collectors have been able to identify the work of enough makers to see that the profession often ran through several generations of the same family. (Lace makers’s bobbins, Mackovicky) . Three examples from Mrs. Butler’s collection. The most common form of inscribed bobbins are those with just a Christian name. Sometimes a full name is given with the place of abode and the date. The bobbins inscribed to commemorate hangings are interesting. Here are three of them: ” Joseph Castle, hung 1860 “Castle murdered his wife at Luton.” William Worsley hung 1868 “” William Worsley hung 1868 “Worsley was tried with Levi Welch for the murder of William Bradbury at Luton. Worsley’s execution was the last public one in Bedford. ” William Bull hung 1871 ” — Bull murdered an old lady named Sarah Marshall at Little Staughton. Bull’s execution was the first privately carried out in Bedford. Bereavements are recorded on bobbins inscribed like tombstones — ” William Church died April 5th, 1866, aged 63,” ” Mary Ann Betts born October 24th, died March 21st, aged 37 1873 “—” Agnes Mary Read my sister died 25th September 1870.” Romantic inscriptions are plentiful — ” Love buy the ring,” ” My love for thee no one can tell,” — ” I love my love because I know my love loves me.” True love did not always run smooth, some bobbins clearly indicate heartaches—” Tis hard to be slited by the one as I love,”” Tis hard to love and not be loved again,”—” I once loved them that never loved me.” Bobbins are made of either wood or bone because the materials were suitable, cheap, and easy to obtain. There are some unusual bobbins made of both wood and bone jointed together. One specimen of this type inscribed—” I long to wed the lad I love ” indicates there were obstacles, either financial or parental, in the way, or perhaps it was just impatience. Many of the bobbins that are not inscribed are of great interest.The fancy turned ones are good The fancy turned ones are good examples of turners art in miniature. A great variety of ornamentation can be found, bobbins are dyed in many different colours, carved, bound with fine brass wire, and inlayed with wood or pewter. Sometimes small coloured beads threaded on fine wire were bound round the bobbin. The most popular of the carved bobbins are those that are known as Church Window Bobbins. A Trolly bobbin is a large wood bobbin with several loose pewter rings round it, and was used to carry the thicker thread which outlines the design on a net ground. It is on the bone bobbins that most of the inscriptions are to be found, the wooden ones usually have nothing more than a […]
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Pictured left: LAUREL, STAN AND OLIVER HARDY. Photograph Signed (“Stan Laurel” and “Oliver Hardy”), 8 by 10 inch silver print, of both men wearing bowler hats, signed at lower margin and additionally inscribed “Hello Charles!” tipped to mat with archival tape, framed. Sold for $671 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams, California, April 2011. Image Copyright Bonhams. Laurel and Hardy Autographs At the heart of every Laurel and Hardy Collection will be autographs and signed photographs. Autographs of the pair range from $150 (£100) to $450 (£300), with some signed documents going for more. Laurel and Hardy signed photographs start at $450 (£300) with sort after and exceptional images fetching significant premiums. Composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and heavy American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957) they became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. They made over 100 films together, initially two-reelers (short films) before expanding into feature length films in the 1930s. Their films include Sons of the Desert (1933), the Academy Award winning short film The Music Box (1932), Babes in Toyland (1934), and Way Out West (1937). Hardy’s catchphrase “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” is still widely recognized. Pictured left: A Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy set of shirts from “Bonnie Scotland” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1935. Both made of gray wool, collarless with four-button front closure; Laurel’s has added striped collar detail; each have Western Costume Company labels reading “Laurel 2148 15 2” and “Hardy 2150 18 2;” each have additional ‘WCC’ stamps on inside; worn by the duo as they played characters who had their same real names; both pieces altered for later use. Included are reprinted images showing the two in costume. Sold for $4,575 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams, Los Angeles, June 2010. Image Copyright Bonhams. Prior to the double act both were established actors with Laurel appearing in over 50 films and Hardy in over 250 films. Although the two comedians first worked together on the film The Lucky Dog (1921), this was a chance pairing and it was not until 1926, when both separately signed contracts with the Hal Roach film studio, that they began appearing in movie shorts together. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team the following year in the silent short film Putting Pants on Philip (1927). The pair remained with the Roach studio until 1940, then appeared in eight “B” comedies for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1941 to 1945. Pictured right:Stan Laurel’s trademark Bowler Hat, the undersized black felt bowler hat, with black grosgrain ribbon trim — worn by Stan Laurel circa 1930s – 1940s, signed and inscribed inside To Anne, Stan Laurel; accompanied by a two page autographed letter in Stan Laurel’s hand, on Laurel And Hardy Feature Productions illustrated and headed paper, 511 Pacfic Mutual Building, Los Angeles California, November 28th, 1941 to Anne, thanking her for her correspondence and Hope you recd. the photos and also the hat… Am also enclosing you a little song book of parodies that was sent to me, thought you may enjoy it and get a few laughs.; the song bookSing-A-Laff by L. Wolfe Gilbert as mentioned and an early photograph of Stan Laurel inscribed in Laurels hand To Anne From Sweet Sixteen!! — 7×4½in. (18×11.5cm.); and stamped envelope. Sold for £26,250 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Christies, London, November 23rd 2011. Image Copyright Christies. After finishing their movie commitments at the end of 1944, they concentrated on stage shows, embarking on a music hall tour of England, Ireland, and Scotland. In 1950 they made their last film, a French/Italian co-production called Atoll K, before retiring from the screen. In total they appeared together in 107 films. They starred in 40 short sound films, 32 short silent films and 23 full-length feature films, and made 12 guest or cameo appearances, including the recently discovered Galaxy of Stars promotional film (1936). Pictured left: Laurel and Hardy, Nothing But Trouble MGM, 1945, half-sheet, style B, condition B-. 22 x 28in. Sold for $568 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams Los Angeles June 2006. Image Copyright Bonhams. Image Copyright Bonhams. A common comedy routine was a tit-for-tat fight. Their silent film Big Business (1929), which includes one of these routines, was added to the Library of Congress as a national treasure in 1992. Notable Laurel traits included crying like a baby while being berated and scratching his hair when in shock. On December 1, 1954, the team made their only American television appearance, surprised by Ralph Edwards on his live NBC-TV program, This Is Your Life. Pictured right: Rare bisque headed Laurel and Hardy wind-up toys, Hertwig & Co Germany 1920’s. Well moulded bisque heads and hats with painted features, card cylinder bodies with wooden lower arms and metal feet, wearing black and white felt suits with bow ties, mechanism to body and key to rear when wound the figures move about, both 20cm (8in) tall. Sold for £3,600 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, May 2008. Image Copyright Bonhams. The works of Laurel and Hardy have been re-released in numerous theatrical reissues, television revivals, 16mm and 8mm home movies, feature-film compilations, and home video since the 1930s. They were voted the seventh greatest comedy act in a 2005 UK poll by fellow comedians. The duo’s signature tune, known variously as “The Cuckoo Song”, “Ku-Ku”, or “The Dance of the Cuckoos”, played on the opening credits of their films. The official Laurel and Hardy appreciation society is known as The Sons of the Desert, after a fraternal society in their film of the same name. Pictured left: Laurel and Hardy – A collection of character dolls modelled as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, comprising: a pair of wind-up dolls — ½in. (14cm.) high, a pair of plastic squeezie […]
London was already the great centre for the furniture world when in 1790 Thomas Sheraton, whose styles and designs were to be dominant for many decades, moved there from the North of England. Even at that time many of London’s shops were putting up plate glass windows, and a number of them displayed furniture made by the highly skilled English craftsmen. The famous Thomas Chippendale had died about nine years before Sheraton’s arrival. George Hepplewhite. too, had been dead two years. Furniture styles were changing, as they always do with the passing of time. As each phase emerged it was developed and brought into line with existing taste. Chippendale improved upon early Georgian styles and, as we know, evolved a lastingly beautiful style of his own. Hepplewhite brought in new forms based on some of Chippendale’s work, and established his own individuality. Robert Adam, primarily an architect, furnished the houses he built in the grand manner with classic dignity. Then from the 1790’s it appears to have been Thomas Sheraton’s turn. There were, of course, other furniture designers at work. Thomas Shearer is one of these and of some importance and much of his furniture resembles Sheraton’s. Sheraton must have been a man full of energy and bursting with ideas. He settled in Soho and to keep the wolf from the door while he put the finishing touches to his first book of designs he gave drawing lessons. The following year, 1791, he published The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book, which he compiled to help the working cabinetmaker by providing designs and instructions on drawing and explanations of geometry problems and perspective. Although his designs were on the whole original, naturally his work came under the various influences of his predecessors. Straight legs to chairs, tables and so on were by no means unknown. Robert Adam in copying the forms of Ancient Greece and Rome, like the French at the end of Louis the Fifteenth’s reign, adopted severe styles with straight lines and angles instead of curves. Nor was Sheraton the first to introduce furniture that was lighter in weight. Hepplewhite’s pieces were lighter and less cumbersome than Chippendale’s with its lavish carving and cabriole legs. Hepplewhite’s carvings were less exuberant, his whole style more restrained, his lines graceful and he mounted his sideboards on tall straight legs, as did Sheraton. Going further, Sheraton swept away the curves in chairs and tables and practically all his designs, except the splayedout square cut legs to various tables. An outstanding feature of Sheraton’s furniture was, however, his great economy in the use of timber. He thinned down legs, chair arms and uprights, thus adding immensely to their grace, yet he made them strong and steady. His furniture is extremely elegant and delicate. He used mainly mahogany and a considerable amount of satinwood. Another outstanding characteristic is the very little decoration he employed. His delicately executed borders of crossbanded inlays are easily recognisable. They give just enough contrast to the mahogany by the use of satinwood, rosewood, ebony, tulip wood and am boyna. His brass handles are extremely simple. Sideboards and chests of drawers generally have round or oval brass handles with a modest moulded pattern, frequently a formal flower or an arrangement of convex dots. Handles are occasionally octagonal with curved corners. On tallboys he put the plainest rounded brass handles squared at corners or rounded with small brass backplates to fix them on. Sometimes a simple brass ring in the handle or a brass lion’s head with the ring in its mouth. Sheraton pieces are seldom enhanced with carving, and panels on drawers were almost invariably outlined with the delicate crossbanding inlays. If the piece was of lighter coloured wood, there was usually a thin border or stringing of ebony where the cross banding would have been. In discussing Sheraton’s designs it is important to realise that when we say Sheraton, we are in fact alluding to the period in which his designs were copied by craftsmen rather than to Sheraton personally. His entire work was the production of books with advice and drawings. They were, unfortunately for him, not really appreciated until after his death. And he made no money from them. The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book came out in many editions between 1791 and 1793. His next book was The Cabinet Maker’s Dictionary containing an explanation of all the terms used in the cabinet, chair and upholsterers’ branches and containing a display of useful articles of furniture. A long title was quite usual in those days! That Sheraton’s books were again published nearly a century later proves how his styles appealed. He and Hepplewhite have a great deal in common in their styles and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. As well as using straight legs, Hepplewhite favoured flat round brass handles to his sideboards which were similar to Sheraton’s. Sheraton gave particular attention to the development of sideboards. They have practically no decoration as a rule except his borders of crossbanding. He sometimes painted chairs all over, an idea no other eighteenth century designer had suggested before. He also decorated with painted panels on the lines of those done by Angelica Kauffman. His chairs have lower backs and the top rail is a separate piece tenoned between the uprights. The legs are square cut and tapered or turned and tapered. Sheraton armchairs have arms that sweep back, they are fixed in the uprights and, as in all his chairs, the back rail is fixed on separately, giving a square appearance. Another feature to look for is the swanneck pediment surmounting the cornice on cabinets. He used mahogany, which was the last of the best from the shores of San Domingo; those forests of the largest and straightest trees which had taken years to grow to their height and magnificence, and which provided the eighteenth century cabinet makers with immense smooth planks of timber. Sheraton’s designs were always in good proportions, stylish, graceful and elegant. He stood for refinement. This is typically indicated by his lovely cylinder writing […]
Chalet School Books and Chalet School Collectables. Over the decades, thousands of schoolgirls became hooked on a series of stories written by Elinor Brent- Dyer, headmistress of a school in Hereford. The books featured a school set in the mountains, and followed the progress of Joey Bettany and her friends. In all, there were 59 hardback books in the series, and today early editions are becoming extremely sought after. Elinor Brent-Dyer was born in 1894 and combined writing with her scholarly career, often using events and happenings from her school in her books. The lively stories soon gained a large following of fans and today are still being discovered by younger readers, as well as being collected by those who read them the first time round. Her first book, The School at the Chalet, was published by W R Chambers in 1925, and the last book, Prefects of the Chalet School, was published posthumously by the same company in 1970. The locations of the stories varied with the first books being set in the Austrian Tyrol, but later venues included Wales, the Channel Islands and the Bernese Oberland. Apparently Elinor visited the Austrian Tyrol in 1924, and decided to use it as a location for her imaginary school. Years later, readers managed to identify the village, lake, mountains and small railway which featured in the books, even though Elinor always tried to keep the exact place secret. Perhaps the most dramatic of the books was a wartime publication, The Chalet School in Exile, describing the homicidal persecution of the Jews, and which dealt with the members of the school fleeing from Nazi rule. Elinor’s books spanned several decades, from the thirties to the sixties, and consequently are of interest socially. In the stories, the Chalet School was founded by Madge Bettany, who married a doctor. The school was linked to a sanatorium (this was an era when TB was still rife) which consequently provided plenty of additional storylines when the girls held fundraising events or became patients. The main character was Madge’s sister Joey, who appeared in the first book as a new pupil, subsequently working her way through the books to become prefect and head girl, before leaving, marrying and having eleven children including triplets! Elinor followed the progress of some of those children through the school too. Along the way, she introduced a host of unforgettable characters, such as Miss Annersley, the capable headmistress who took over from Madge, and Matey, a firm but kind matron. Elinor cleverly managed to keep most of her main schoolgirl characters throughout the series by bringing them back to work at the school once they had left. The second title, Jo of the Chalet School, was published in 1926, the third, The Princess of the Chalet School, in 1927, and the stories continued to appear at approximately yearly intervals. In between, Elinor was writing other books; her output was phenomenal, and over a hundred were published during her lifetime. Naturally, it is the original, hard-backed copies of the books which most collectors seek out, although, to her keenest fans, condition is less important than content. Many of the paperback editions were heavily edited; sometimes whole chapters were removed, and fans seek the original books so that they can read the missing bits. Prices vary tremendously. Some of the rarer titles, mint with dust wrappers, can now cost upwards of £50, and even tatty copies still cost around £20. If the wrapper is missing, then the book normally isn’t so collectable, and these are the ones which can often be found in charity shops and at car boot sales. Sometimes the books contain black and white line drawings, very characteristic of the era, which show the girls neatly dressed in immaculate uniforms complete with hats, a far cry from today’s more casual clothing, while the wrappers are charmingly illustrated, many of them in delicate colours depicting the scenery of the Austrian Tyrol and the girls of the school. The books are moral, with manners, religion and music playing a great part, yet the principles set by Elinor of different nationalities freely mixing, religious tolerance and the emphasis on the importance of learning different languages are surprisingly modern. Those early readers in the 1930s must have been given much food for thought. The stories were later issued by Armada in paperback form, and these are now becoming collectable in their own right, especially the later publications as these were uncut versions and only available for a limited period. Over the years, the titles have appeared in several different styles of paperback, the earliest being easily recognisable by a ‘chalet roof’ drawing at the top of the cover. Some of the books have been published as extra-thick ‘doubles’ format, containing two of the novels, while the paperback version of The Chalet School and Rosalie (originally published in 1951 by Chambers as a limited edition) was first published by Armada in 1987, and later republished in a single volume together with The Mystery at the Chalet School. Presumably the first version was so thin that it didn’t sell. The Mystery at the Chalet School was a story which originally appeared in the First Chalet Book for Girls, 1947. The Chalet School Reunion, 1963, was the 50th book in the series, and was celebrated in real life by a presentation to Elinor at a large gathering of fans. In 1994, Armada reprinted a facsimile edition of the first book, The School at the Chalet, from a copy first produced in 1930. The illustration on the front of the book was taken from the original dust wrapper. This attractive paperback is certainly well worth seeking out, and is sure to become a future collectable. Other Brent-Dyer publications include those in the ‘La Rochelle’ series, which seem harder to obtain than the Chalet School Books, the ‘Chudleigh Hold’ series, many individual titles, three Chalet School annuals and a Chalet School cookbook. Various tales also appeared in girls’ annuals […]
English glass of the early eighteenth century was plain with the Queen Anne taste for simplicity clarity, and as such there was no for applied decoration. Several factors saw this change including a period of peace with the Treaty of Utrecht, which was signed in 1713, and led to an opportunity for the glasshouses of Silesia, Bavaria and Prussia to increase their exports to London. The passing of the Excise Act of 1745, whereby glass was taxed by weight, led to growth of drinking glasses of slender proportions, using smaller bowls of curved profile on air-twist stems (cotton twists, opaque twists), sometimes combined with white or coloured enamel twists. The reduction in the content of lead in the metal deprived it of the deep glow of the earlier body, and there was a move to applying decoration in the form of engraving, gilding and enamelling. Pictured: Bonhams Beilby Goblet Record Price at Auction. The Prince William V Goblet. A highly important Beilby enamelled and gilt Royal armorial Goblet, circa 1766 The deep round funnel bowl painted in colours and gilding with the arms of the Nassau Princes of Orange encircled by the Garter and surmounted by a crown and mantling, the lion supporters on a ribbon bearing the motto JE.MAIN.TIEN.DRAY, the reverse with a white butterfly and floral sprig beneath the signature in red, traces of gilding to the rim, set on a multi-knopped stem and conical foot, 30.2cm high Signed Beilby Newcastle pinxit in red enamel. Sold for £109,250 inc. premium at Bonhams, New Bond Street, November 2011.The art of enamelling had long been familiar in Germany. The process required a paste combining equal parts of lead and tin, together with colouring matter, mixed with a flux and an oil medium. This prepared enamel was then painted on the glass, fired at a low temperature and reannealed by allowing the enamelling furnace to cool gradually. German glass was harder than the English metal and more suitable for enamel decoration as the colours were less likely to flood in the firing, but the reduction of lead content in English glass following the Excise Act made it a readier vehicle. This enamelling method was used by William and Mary Beilby of Newcastle who adopted the technique, worked entirely in the tradition of German independent decorators or “hausmaler” by purchasing plain vessels from the glasshouses of their home town and decorating it in their home. The style of their work was entirely individual and belongs in spirit to the English interpretation of Rococo. William Beilby (1740–1819) was the fourth child of a Durham jeweller and goldsmith William Beilby Senior. One of a family of seven, William was placed as an apprentice with a Birmingham enameller in 1755 and while he was there the family moved to Newcastle. A younger brother, Thomas, went to Leeds where he found employment as a drawing master and is later recorded as having his own academy. When William returned, perhaps in 1761, his father was still in business, while a younger brother, Ralph, and his sister Mary (1749–97), were also at home. Ralph was an engraver and earned a reputation for his industriousness and his willingness to undertake any type of engraving. In particular he was an heraldic specialist and engraved coats-of-arms and crests on silver. Thomas Bewick, whose exquisite wood engravings were later to reveal a sensitive and poetic artist, was apprenticed to Ralph in 1767 and lived in the Beilby home. It is, in fact, to Bewick’s memoirs, written many years after his life with the Beilbys, that we owe so much information about the family. Bewick states that both William and Mary had “constant employment of enamel-painting on glass,” and while William also taught drawing in the town, he evidently instructed his young sister so that she could help him in his enamelling. As well as armorial decorations, there are examples of landscapes painted in colours to which Mary may well have contributed and also a series painted in white enamel with flowers, avian motifs or picturesque scenes of ruins and figures. The enamel of these monochrome decorated pieces has a faintly bluish tinge. Of the type of wine-glasses chosen for decoration, the bucket-shaped bowl provided the larger surface for painting, but small glasses with straight-sided or ogee bowls and straight stems containing white enamel twists, are also found. The series continued probably until 1778. Mary is known to have had a stroke in 1774, while the household was probably broken up by Ralph Beilby and Thomas Bewick going in to partner ship three years later. Mrs. Beilby died in 1778, when William and Mary evidently gave up their workshop and left Newcastle for Fifeshire. By this time English glass had abandoned the Rococo manner and the moment for such individual achievement was over.
During the Wartime years of the 1940s, and for a few years afterwards, books for adults and children alike were economy editions, due to paper shortages and restrictions.
‘Fairyland’ may not exist but the idea of an idyllic place inhabited by fairies, goblins and elves certainly is one that appeals to most children and even some adults. While Wedgwood Fairyland lustre ware may not be as unattainable, it is an unusual design and is sought after by collectors all over the world. Pictured right: A Wedgwood Fairyland lustre vase – decorated with the ‘Candlemas’ pattern, of gently tapering ovoid form, richly gilt and painted in colours with vertical bands of climbing elves and panels of fairies in a fantastical landscape, printed factory mark and painted number ‘Z5157/A’, 20cm high. Manufactured by the Wedgwood factory from 1915 to 1929 after original designs by Daisy Makeig-Jones (1881-1945), the ‘Fairyland’ line proved to be popular in the United States as well as in the UK. Credited with helping improve Wedgwood’s struggling profits, Makeig-Jones’ novel designs were far more than ‘pretty patterns’. Daisy Makeig-Jones prided herself on creating stories and hidden worlds with fantastical themes, using rich jewel-like colours and imaginative details. With expressive titles such as ‘Fairy Gondola’, ‘Butterfly Women’ and ‘Leap-frogging Elves’, her work appealed to the public possibly as they offered a form of escapism during the difficult post-war years. Wedgwood stopped the ‘Fairyland’ lustre ware line in 1929 due to an apparent lack of interest. Today the enthusiasm for Makeig-Jones’ work is as strong as it ever was, possibly even more so than when the designs were first introduced in the 1920s. Interest in the artist’s work has been further enhanced by various Art Deco exhibitions featuring examples of her work including one at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in September, 1990; an exhibition of ‘Wedgwood Fairyland and Other Lustres’ at the Long Beach Museum of Art, in September, 2001; and an exhibition comprising solely of her work from the Collection of Maurice Kawashima at the San Diego Museum of Art in 2005. Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Price Guide A selection of realised prices form auction houses and auctions Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre For Sale Wedgwood Related Wedgwood Collecting Feature NOTICE – This site is not affiliated with Wedgwood TM. The purpose of these pages is to provide information to collectors of Wedgwood.