By collectors for collectors since 1996 – Collectables Features, Collectables Articles, Collecting News, Collecting Price Guides and everything collectableSaturday, June 25, 2022
Peter Fagan initially began producing bronze animals and objects. These were successful but interest really grew with the creation of a painted bronze cat. Peter Fagan changed the bronze for a ceramic resin and put his cats in a variety of situations and, in 1983, the Home Sweet Home collection was created.
Pictured right: Dolls House – Issued April 1993 Retired 1994 from the Home Sweet Home Collection
The cats were an enormous hit and the Colour Box Teddies, which first appeared in 1987, have also been hugely popular. The Teddy collection, many modelled on Peter’s own antique teddy collection, reflects all styles of teddy bears. Each teddy is accompanied by its own story.
Pictured left: The Artist – Issued May 1995 Retired June 1996 – Colour Box Teddy Bears
Although Colour Box closed in 2000, Peter still continues to model his popular pieces today from his home in Berwick Upon Tweed.
Pictured right: The Peter Fagan Club 2012 members piece
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Of all the varieties of china manufactured by the firm of W. H. Goss, the cottages and other small buildings have probably the greatest appeal. They are accurately modelled, of a fine translucent body, well decorated and are not disfigured by a transfer crest. It is these two latter criteria which are used, quite arbitrarily, to define the term ‘cottage’ in this article. Pictured: Three W H Goss Cottages including the First and Last House in England, small with green door, Shakespeare’s House, small full length, one chimney damaged, and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Estimate £100-£150. Image Copyright Bonhams. Plain white pieces, whether parian, or glazed with a crest, have not been included. Thus the series of lighthouses has been omitted, as have any uniformly coloured buildings. It was in 1883, just over 20 years after the founding of the firm of W. H. Goss, that the well-known heraldic china was introduced, with an eye to catching the popular market, although the more costly jewelled china and parian ware continued to be manufactured. So successful was this venture that, about 1893, Goss started a new line for his wider public, which was apparently an immediate success. This consisted initially of models of three cottages, Ann Hathaway’s, Burns’, and Shakespeare’s. Pictured: A WH Goss model of Robert Burns’ cottage. Estimate £60-£80. Image Copyright Bonhams. Perhaps, at this point, there seemed little need to increase the range, and new models were at first very slow in being issued. The Manx cottage and the ‘Window in Thrums’ were issued about 1898, and in 1908 a further model, of the First and Last House at Land’s End, was produced. All these models were produced in two sizes, the larger being designed to be used as a nightlight. The choice of subject was intended to make as wide an appeal as possible and was mainly confined to well-known tourist attractions, though Goss’s liter ary interest is evident throughout, and models associated with Shakespeare, Dickens, Johnson, Wordsworth, Barry, Thomas Hardy and Izaak Walton are included. The period from 1910 to 1915 was one of intense activity, and no less than 15 new models were announced. These, as the earlier ones, are distinguished by having a registered design number, a practice which was discontinued in July 1914. The firm’s fortune started to decline during the First World War, but new models continued to be issued. As a group these were labelled ‘Copyright’, until about 1922, when any reference to protection of the design was omitted, although all the models were clearly labelled with the name W. H. Goss and the trademark, the Goss hawk, a kind of falcon which was taken from the family crest. In addition, every model bears a brief inscription as a form of identification. Some, particularly the earlier models, also bear an impressed mark, W. H. Goss, but this is not, as has been suggested, a reliable method of dating. A collection of eleven W H Goss cottages, early 20th century – Comprising two large cottages ‘Model of Burns’ Cottage’, 14.5cm wide, and ‘Model of Shakespeare’s House’, 18.5cm wide,and nine smaller examples ‘Ann Hathaway’s Cottage’, ‘Charles Dicken’s House’, ‘Prince Llewelyn’s House Beddgelert’, ‘Rt. Hon D Lloyd George’s early home Criccieth’, ‘St. Nicholas Chapel, Lantern Hill, Ilfracombe’, ‘A Window in Thrums’, ‘Old Maids’ Cottage at Lee, Devon’, ‘The House at Lichfield in which Dr Samuel Johnson was born’ and ‘Model of oven in which Goss porcelain is fired’, printed black marks. Estimate £800-£1000. Image Copyright Bonhams. The exact date of issue of the pieces is by no means easy to establish. As long as the registered design numbers were used, it is quite straightforward to find the approximate first date of issue. From 1914, the only evidence readily available is from the Goss Records, which were small catalogues listing all the so-called ‘special models’, covering heraldic ware as well as cottages, parian busts and many other types. The last two editions of these Records were issued in 1914 and 1921 with a slim supplement in 1918, so that any exact dating is impossible from the simple list of new models that was issued. The 1921 Record, for example, lists six models as being in preparation, but for the last six, no documentary evidence is available. The lists given here represent an attempt to place the models roughly in order according to the first date of issue. With the exception of the last piece, John Knox’s house, it is likely that all the models were issued well before the firm sold out in 1929. The buyer had also acquired several other china firms, together with their moulds, and a num ber of their products were issued, marked with the Goss trademark, which had a well-deserved reputation for quality. As regards the cottages, these were mainly very inferior models of Shakespeare’s and Ann Hathaway’s cottages, in various sizes, crudely coloured and bearing the original Goss transfer label. John Knox’s house, how ever, having no counterpart in the for mer range, bears the later style of trade mark, ‘W. H. Goss, England’, which applied to new designs after 1929. Although, as the lists show, there are only about 40 different subjects, my own collection comprises about 115 recognisably different varieties, either Because of different size, different colour, or depending on whether the models are matt or glazed. For example, of the first 17 subjects listed, that is, of those first issued up to about 1912, 15 are found both glazed and unglazed. The Newquay Look-out House, being akin to a lighthouse, and having little colour ing, is invariably glazed, while the First and Last Post Office has so far not been seen glazed, although it may well exist. None of the subsequent subjects has been found in the glazed state and it is postulated, with some supporting evi dence, that all models were issued glazed for a limited period around 1912. The glaze has the effect of protecting the paint, so that the glazed models are normally found in outstanding […]
The Grimwades Royal Winton Chanticleer series first appeared at the British Industries Fair in February 1936. The range of realistically moulded cockerels and hen, in warm colours, were a popular addition to the breakfast table and was produced for many years. Grimwades described the range as ‘distinctive novelties’ on their advertising leaflets. Chanticleer is French for cockerel and items from the Chanticleer series are sometimes marked on base with Chanticleer while others are marked Rooster. A few examples and smaller pieces such as cruets are unmarked. The range included various teapots, hot water jug, sugar and cream, milk jug, marmalade with cover, sugar sifter, cheese cover and stand, 3 and 4 piece cruet and condiment sets, 3 and 5 bar toast racks, jam, covered butter, mint boat and stand, and dessert plate. Except for the toast rack, the Chanticleer items produced were in the shape of the bird set on a grassy green base. They were also available in different colourways, with the hand painting adding variations to the pieces. The teapot, for example, can be found in streaked and speckled shades of a golden brown, with the tail and lower body feathers highlighted in soft green. Alternatively, a rich, dark blue combination was used with bands of scarlet emphasising the tail feathers. These tail feathers curve down to create the handle of the tea pot, with the spout being formed by the open beak of the bird. Sugar shakers were either golden brown or a pale yellow lightly streaked with red, the wings being a light grey and the breast cream. As mentioned the toast racks differed from the rest of the range by not being designed to be on a grassy mound. The toast racks were main in green and yellow and featured a cockerel decorating either end. Two toast racks were produced: a 3 bar toast rack and 4 bar toast rack. The cruet and condiment sets included: a 3 piece set featuring salt and pepper pots on a base and show the cockerel standing with his head held high, while the hen stares into space; whilst the 4 piece condiment set features salt, pepper and covered mustard pot on a base and has the cockerel in the same proud pose, accompanied by two hens, one as before, the other shown head down, pecking for food. The male bird always sports a large scarlet comb and scarlet wattle, while the hen has only the merest suggestion of a comb. The base resembles a grassy field, the carrying handle depicting a fence. The images below show some of the variations in colour. Grimwades Royal Winton Chanticleer Series Price Guide / Value Guide Prices for pieces with no defects and good colour. We have seen great variations in prices especially in online shops. The prices below Chanticleer Teapot £40-£80 / $60-$120 3 Piece cruet set £40-£80 / $60-$120 4 Piece cruet set £50-£80 / $75-$120
Copper jelly moulds are among the most attractive and popular of all kitchenalia. The humble copper jelly mould came in a variety of shapes and sizes and became more and more elaborate over time. The moulds that were part of the batterie de cuisine of the larger houses sometimes bore the name of the house or their owners initials. Moulds were made of copper and tinned on the interior and were used for the wide range of world recipes developing in the Victorian era including many jellies such as Constantia jelly and desserts such as Dutch Flummery and sponge puddings. Copper jelly moulds shapes varied from simple round forms, fluted forms, castellated forms, vertical asparagus forms, and animal shapes. The Alexandra Star shaped mould was named after Queen Alexandra Queen to King Edward VII. Some were created in tiers making larger moulds and some have central hollows to allow the creation of ring desserts. Copper Jelly Mould Price Guide / Value Guide Famous names in the creation of copper moulds include Benham and Froud, Copeland and Henry Loveridge. Fine copper jelly moulds remain collectables and prices vary depending on quality, maker, size and condition.
The Fulper Pottery Company was founded in Flemington, New Jersey in 1899 by Charles Fulper and his sons. However, the pottery had existed since 1815 when the first pottery was created by Samuel Hill. The pottery initially produced a wide variety of utilitarian ware, and drain tiles and storage crocks and jars from Flemington’s red earthenware clay. In 1847 Dutchman Abraham Fulper, an employee since the 1820s became Hill’s partner. He later took over the company. It was not until the early 1900s when William Hill Fulper II (1870-1953) started to experiment with colored glazes and the company started to create some of the art pottery it is famed for. Fulper is credited with inventing the dry-body slip glaze, which was used to create colorful designs on his pottery. He also developed a method of using electric kilns to fire his glazes, which resulted in brighter and more consistent colors. Fulper Pottery’s Vasekraft line was inspired by the work of German potter John Martin Strangl. The line includes a wide variety of vases, bowls, and other vessels, all with Strangl’s signature clean lines and simple forms. The company is especially known for the Fulper lamps-with glazed pottery shades inset with colored glass-were truly innovative forms. The firm’s most spectacular and innovative accomplishments are the table lamps made with glazed pottery bases and shades, which were inset with pieces of colored opalescent glass. These were produced from about 1910-1915 and are very rare, especially in perfect order. William Hill Fulper II was also an excellent advertiser and marketeer and Fulper’s Vasekraft products were sold throughout the United States in the most prestigious department stores and gift shops. Fulper’s pottery was exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where it received a gold medal. His work is also included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. During its first twenty-five years, Fulper Pottery was particularly known for its flambé glazes, which were heavily influenced by Chinese and Japanese ceramic traditions. These glazes, which resulted in vibrant and often unexpected colors, helped to establish Fulper Pottery’s reputation for innovative and high-quality art pottery. After World War I, Fulper Pottery began to shift away from its Germanic roots and move towards more Oriental-inspired forms. The company’s designers began to experiment with new shapes and glazes, inspired by the Art Deco movement that was sweeping Europe at the time. The Vasekraft name was changed to Fulper Pottery Artware. These new pieces were softer and more graceful than the functional stoneware that Fulper had been producing up until that point, and they proved to be very popular with the public. In the 1920s, Fulper Pottery was one of the leading producers of Art Deco ceramics in the United States. The company’s designers created a wide range of vases, lamps, and other objects that were both beautiful and stylish. Fulper’s pieces were featured in some of the most prestigious design magazines of the day, and they were popular with both collectors and everyday consumers. In 1925, Charles Fulper died, and his sons took over the operation of the pottery. Under their leadership, Fulper Pottery continued to experiment with new glazes and firing techniques. They also began to produce a line of dinnerware, which was very popular during the Depression-era. The Great Depression hit Fulper Pottery hard, as it did many other businesses. The company was forced to lay off a large number of employees and cut back on production. However, Fulper’s designers continued to experiment with new ideas, and the company managed to survive the difficult economic times. William Hill Fulper II died suddenly in 1928. The company continued to be run with Martin Stangl as President. In 1935, Fulper Pottery Artware production was ceased at the small remaining Flemington location, and that building was utilized solely as a retail showroom for the company’s ceramic products. After 1935, the company continued to be Fulper Pottery, but produced only Stangl Pottery brand dinnerware and artware. Related Fulper Pottery at Auction American Pottery at WCN
You may find that you have a copy of a board game that sounds familiar, but the game itself and the artwork may look dated and different from the versions you have seen more recently. From time to time even modern hobby board games get to the age where they are reprinted. New artwork may be added, extra gameplay or player counts added or maybe even changed with a whole new theme altogether. When this happens the value of the original versions of the board game can rocket in value as copies can become rare and sought after. Martin Wallace is a renowned British board game designer and his board games are quite famous for getting reprinted and updated. The values of his first editions can increase whenever word gets out that he will be bringing out a new edition of a previous game. His collaborations for theme are of fine pedigree, from Neil Gaiman’s work to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld! I own this very game as it was one of the first games my partner bought for me when we started getting into the modern board gaming hobby. This game was picked up for a mere £30. You will now see it listed at a higher value, for sale online for over £100. Purely because it is not produced any more. The game itself is out there, but was re themed in London as Nanty Narking. I won’t be selling my copy of Discworld Ankh Morpork any time as we love the game. However I will be looking to pick up a copy of Nanty Narking as it does look like a good re skin and you can pick it up for around £60. Another fine example of reprinted games is War of the Ring. A battle between the Fellowship and the dark forces of Sauron through Middle Earth, trying to gain possession of The One Ring. A very popular second edition of the game is available and first editions are available, but not as highly sought after. One edition of the game is the Collectors’ Edition. Limited to only 1500 copies in the world and printed in English and German, this edition has exclusive 3D painted figures and structures and is encompassed in a huge wooden case. There is currently a special edition of this game listed on eBay for $3,900 (around £2,750) making this a HUGE outlay for any collector. Board game related features How much is my Monopoly worth? Cluedo Detecting the Value of this Classic Game Cluedo feature by Rob Edmonds.
After a very rainy and dismal Summer, we’re now looking at chilly mornings and nights returning, so why not curl up in the warm and turn on the radio to listen to your favourite programme? After all, it’s better than the reality contest rubbish that assails our senses on the Box isn’t it? I find the sound is made so much warmer, making me feel even more cosy, when the programme emanates from a good, old fashioned vintage radio. It’s the valves, I think. They just make everything seem so much better than bland old circuitry. Or may be I’m an old nostalgic at heart. I’m almost reaching for the buttered, toasted crumpets as I type! Pictured: EKCO model M23 with bakelite case Personally speaking, I listen to an EKCO model M23, designed in 1932, that I bought at auction in Somerset. Its clean-lined, modern architectural shape reminded me of an Art Deco building. And it’s precisely this that interests collectors the most. It’s actually not the sound (lovely as it is!), but the case that matters. The more stylish and evocative of the period the design is, the more desirable it is likely to be. My radio was made around 1931, so fits in to the time period when the plastic radio boomed in popularity. Developments in plastics during the 1920s and 1930s saw all manner of shapes and colours being produced, allowing the radio to break out from the dull dominance of cases built like the wooden furniture of the Edwardian period and unappealing ‘build it yourself’ crystal kit boxes with wires. Bakelite and similar early plastics were easy to mould into all sorts of shapes, often in a rainbow of plastic colours, although some were still put into wooden or veneer cases to attract traditionalists. EKCO (short for the maker’s name ‘E.K. Cole’) was one of Britain’s most revered radio companies. They were responsible for the unique and innovative ‘Round’ EKCO, which was designed by British architect Wells Coates and made in five different variations. Values today vary from around £500 to over £1,000 depending on the model as some designs, such as the first AD65 of 1934, are more popular than others. Most were made in plain or mottled brown bakelite, but examples are also found in Deco black and chrome and these tend to fetch a premium. Also look out for blue, green or other coloured examples. Pictured: EKCO model A22 radio bakelite Exceptionally rare to the point of being legendary, prices go stratospheric, although the few examples I’ve seen over the years look as though they were sold (and even made) by Del Boy from the Trotter stall! Another solid British name to look out for is Philips, who made radios from both bakelite and a mysterious laminated wood known as ‘Arbolite’. Those with Art Deco styled grilles are particularly appealing and can fetch anything from £200-500. Kolster Brandes (known as ‘KB’) made a fun little radio known as ‘the toaster’, for obvious visual reasons. In plain, sprayed on colours, they can be found for around £50-80, more for wild ‘solid’ colours or combinations of colours. A great start to a collection is the chunky 1950s Bush DAC90, the doyen of many an antiques centre, which can be found for anything from £20 upwards. Now I said ‘old fashioned’ when I introduced my article, but many vintage radios were and still are far from it – even more so than the round EKCO. In fact during their day, they were the height of fashionable, avant garde interior decor. The country that did it best was undoubtedly the US. The name FADA instantly springs to mind, particularly its famous ‘Bullet’. Shaped like a gumdrop, its streamlined shape shouts late American Art Deco of the early 40s. Made in a variety of bright colours, it became one of the most popular radios ever made. The colour was down to the choice of material, a cast phenolic plastic often known as ‘Catalin’ after the American company that made the material. Cheery cherry reds, yellows and strong cobalt blues abound, but look out for the ‘All American’ produced when the US entered WWII with its patriotic combination of red, white and blue. This can fetch over £2,000 in great condition, whilst others can fetch around £500-700 upwards. Other names to look out for include the desirable skyscraper-like Air King, designed by the notable Harold van Doren, Motorola, Addison and Bendix for their funky colours and louvres or grilles, and Emerson for its radios aptly nicknamed ‘tombstones’. A rare baby blue Air King ‘Skyscraper’ fetched over $50,000 at auction a while ago, but in general prices vary from around £500 to around £3,000. So keep your eyes peeled at a relative’s house and at local fairs and auctions where they may not be recognised. If the 50s are more your thing, look out for the Philco ‘Boomerang’ or a Crosley ‘Bullseye’ as nothing beats them in getting the look of the day. Colour is important to value, with vibrant blues, greens and cherry reds usually being more sought after and valuable than yellows, browns or beiges. Great combinations of colours, such as between the body and grille, are also desirable. On that note, it’s also worth pointing out that many of the ‘butterscotch’ yellow radios weren’t made like that. They began as an attractive ivory colour, but discoloured over the years to ‘chicken tikka masala’ yellow. Polishing can remove these signs of ages, but this is best done by a professional. This brings me on to another thing best done by a professional – restoration. Never, ever plug a new purchase in to the mains to see if it works, no matter how excited you are. Always get it checked out by a qualified electrician or vintage radio restorer first. Whilst the collecting arena is hot with spares and information on how to restore your radio yourself, it will take time and it’s best to seek advice if you are […]
The rise of the cult of wine, the growth of the British middle classes in the 18th century and the fact that the dining-room had become the most important room in the house meant that every architect and designer of the time gave a great deal of attention to its decoration and furnishing. As Robert Adam FRSE FRS FSA (Scot) FSA FRSA (3 July 1728 – 3 March 1792) pointed out, the “eating room” was a place ·where the gentlemen, at least, spent a great deal of their time, and its “elegance and splendour” had to be beyond question. The period was one of hard drinking in which comfort and enjoyment were catered for in every possible way. There were special tables, sideboards, and receptacles designed to ensure that liquor was both adequate in quantity and fit to drink. Then, as now, some wines had to be iced, some chilled, and some kept at room temperature, and wine coolers for these purposes were made in many beautiful styles and of many different materials. There is often some confusion between the definitions of what is a wine cistern or cellarette and what is a wine cooler, particularly as they are often very similar in appearance. The cellarette was intended as the name implies to hold a supplemental supply of wine, and was of course kept in the dining-room. It was furnished with a lid and almost invariably it had a lock and key, but it is important to remember that coolers also were sometimes lidded, although in that case they were often fitted with taps in order that the melted ice (from the ice-house) might be drawn off. The available storage space, in shape octagonal , hexagonal, oval, round, or bombe was supplied with a shelf pierced with round holes or else divided into rectangular compartments, and more elaborate examples were fitted with provision for wine glasses in the lid, trays for glasses, and even spaces for decanters and punch bowls. The earliest cellarettes were made in the late seventeenth century, but their popularity reached its peak in Georgian times, when they were designed to stand beneath the side tables that preceded sideboards. They were then usually fitted with castors. Even when about 1780 sideboards were made with fitted cellarette cupboards, the available restricted space was supplemented by separate articles, and a particularly fine example, hooped with brass, partitioned, and lead-lined, is illustrated in Hepplewhite’s Guide. Specimens made of light coloured mahogany and decorated with inlay and stringing were probably made to match sideboards, and are on the whole comparatively late in date. The earliest silver coolers were often very large and heavy, circular or oval in shape, and made to stand on the floor. Such pieces are naturally extremely rare, though not so rare as their predecessors, some as early as the fifteenth century that were made of marble, copper , bronze, or other metals. Generally speaking coolers were designed to match dining room furniture, particularly as regards their legs, which were in the contemporary style of the chairs. Every designer had his own ideas. Adam advocated the use of ormolu mounts in the form of festoons, banding, and satyr heads on either mahogany or rosewood. Chippendale’s “Director” suggests that a cooler should be “made in parts and joined with brasswork,” or even cut from solid wood or marble, while Sheraton (apparently making no distinction between cellarettes and coolers) preferred the sarcophagus style that was so popular in Regency years. Many coolers, though not strictly “cooper made,” were made to imitate his work, and were probably inspired by the humble oaken tub of the butler’s pantry, the iron hoops being replaced by two brass, copper, or silver ones. For easy handling drop ring handles were fitted, usually with lion’s head back plates. In both cellarettes and coolers there are many variations of the ordinary tub shape, mostly differing in detail. We find rare pieces in which two splats are carried upwards above the rim to form pierced or carved handles instead of the usual metal ones, and some have legs which continue upwards outside the splats, and which are reeded or carved to form an effective decorative feature. The legs and the stands provide endless variety and are held by their design to indicate possible date. When the legs are built in the result is stability, but stands are often separate. Instead of legs, especially on the much larger nineteenth century pieces, we sometimes see short bracket or claw feet, though even the bulky sarcophagus form may have rather incongruous cabriole legs. Scroll or ball and claw feet indicate a mid-eighteenth century origin, and on particularly fine pieces the knees of the appropriate cabriole legs are sometimes elaborately carved or fitted with ormolu mounts. A little later came the Chippendale style of square-sectioned legs, with or without the typical C brackets at the joining of the legs to the top of the stand. The so-called Hepplewhite cooler of about 1785 features tapered, often out-sloping legs fitted with metal shoes, and we should expect to find inlaid decoration upon one in Sheraton style. Cellarettes and coolers have many relations. A useful piece of dining-room furniture, probably of Irish origin and now rarely seen, was the wine waiter, a tall case on stand partitioned for bottles and fitted with castors. It was intended to stand beside the dining table, and so served a rather different purpose from either the cellarette or the cooler, as did a form of dumb waiter included in Sheraton’s ” Cabinet Dictionary ” of 1803 intended , so the description reads, ” for use in the dining parlour on which to place glasses of wine, both clean and such as have been used.” Then there are the coolers as we know and use them to-day, intended to hold single bottles, made either of silver or some kind of plate. These urn or vase shaped vessels have two handles but no lids, and being intended partly as side-table ornaments […]
In 1919, Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer created Felix the Cat, one of the most popular and enduring cartoon characters of all time. Felix was a black cat with white eyes who starred in his own series of short films from 1919 to 1930. The character became so popular that he even appeared in comic books, toys, and other merchandise. In 2019 Felix celebrated his 100th birthday. The Origins of Felix the Cat Felix the Cat was created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer in 1919. The pair were working for the New York-based animation studio, Paramount Pictures. At the time, Sullivan was the studio’s head animator and Messmer was his assistant. The two men came up with the idea for Felix while they were working on another short film called “The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird.” In that film, there was a black cat who appeared briefly in one scene. Sullivan and Messmer thought the cat was cute and decided to make him the star of his own series of shorts. The first Felix the Cat cartoon, “Feline Follies,” was released in 1919. In the film he was referred to as Mister Tom. It was a huge success and made the character an overnight sensation. Felix went on to star in over 50 short films over the next 11 years. In 1930, Sullivan and Messmer sold the rights to Felix to another studio, Universal Pictures. The new owners of Felix changed the character’s design and gave him a more cartoony look. Felix’s popularity began to decline and he faded into obscurity in the 1940s. However, Felix made a comeback in the 1950s when he appeared on television in a series of new shorts. These shorts were produced by Walter Lantz, who had also worked on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. The Felix the Cat cartoons from the 1950s are some of the best-known and most beloved entries in the series. They introduced a number of iconic elements, including Felix’s Magic Bag of Tricks. The shorts from this era also featured the voice of Dal McKennon as Felix. McKennon’s performance is widely considered to be the definitive portrayal of the character. Did you know? TV Guide ranked Felix the Cat number 28 on its “50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” list. Felix the Cat has also been featured in a number of comics and books over the years. One of the most notable is the 1960 graphic novel, “The Adventures of Felix.” This book was written by Otto Messmer and illustrated by Joe Oriolo. Oriolo also created a series of Felix the Cat toys in the 1960s. These toys were produced by the toy company, Mattel. Felix the Cat has also appeared on a variety of other merchandise, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, toys, games, clothing lines, figurines and even bedsheets. Felix the Cat Theme Song The Felix the Cat theme song is just as iconic. The song, which was written by written by Winston Sharples and performed by 1950s big band singer Ann Bennett. The song perfectly captures Felix’s mischievous personality. It starts with a cheerful melody that reflects Felix’s upbeat attitude, but quickly turns into a playful tune that hints at his propensity for trouble. The lyrics are also clever and humorous, making them instantly memorable. This is evident in the opening line, ” Oh, Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat…” which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the song. His longevity is down to a number of factors: he is relatable, has great design and a great sense of humor that appeals to people of all ages. Felix the Cat is one of the most iconic and beloved cartoon characters of all time. He has been entertaining audiences for over 100 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Related Lucky Black Cats featuring Felix the Cat
The Van Briggle Pottery was founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1901 by Artus and Anne Van Briggle. The Van Briggle Pottery they established continued production of pottery for over one hundred years, and was until the company’s closure in 2012 the oldest continuously operating art pottery in the United States. The Van Briggle Pottery was noted for its Art Nouveau styles, Arts and Crafts colours, distinctive matte glazes, and its floral, figural and tiles of Anne Van Briggle. The Van Briggle’s pottery were awarded high honors from prestigious sources, including the Paris Salon, the Saint Louis Exposition, the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, and the American Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Boston. Artus Van Briggle was born on March 21, 1869, and his family lived in Ohio which was one of the main areas for ceramic design in America featuring potteries such as Roseville, McCoy, Weller, Hull and Rookwood to name a few. It was in fact Rookwood Pottery where Artus was destined, after first attending the Cincinnati Art School and later a position at the Avon Pottery where he was initially introduced to the ceramic arts. His skill and talent were recognized by Rookwood founder, Maria Storer, who became his benefactor, even sending him to France to study art at the Académie Julian in Paris. Whilst in Paris, Artus was exposed to new styles of art and techniques and took a great interest in an early matte glaze from the Chinese Ming Dynasty; a type that was lost to history. It was also in Paris where Artus met his future wife, fellow American student Anne Lawrence Gregory, an accomplished artist in her own right. Artus and Anne returned to America in 1896, where he continued at Rookwood experimenting with recreating the lost Ming Dynasty glazes. Artus was to eventually develop the “matte glaze” used at the Rookwood Pottery. This was a flat but textured glaze, often painted on soft colored clay, which used “sea green” for aquatic and floral motifs. This pale blue-green glaze was usually applied over a soft yellow, bluish or red base. Artus left Rookwood Pottery in 1899, suffering with tuberculosis, and moved to Colorado Springs. Whilst in Colorado he was able to develop his Art Nouveau influenced pottery and after two years of trials and experimentation he perfected his matte blue glaze based on an ancient Chinese process that had long been lost to history. The VanBriggle.com website says of Artus’s discovery ‘one day in the spring of 1901 he reached into the kiln, with the anticipation known well by countless potters throughout the ages, and finally held in his hands the perfect, rich, matte-glazed pottery he had sought for so long – the first pieces created in centuries, the first ever on this side of the world. Against the odds of failing health and a pursuit which no western artist had ever achieved, he succeeded; his passion was realized – a lost art was now reborn. The world would once again see and touch of the soft marble-like glazes first known by ancient Chinese masters half a world and so many generations away.’ With his new glaze and graceful Art Nouveau designs, Artus opened The Van Briggle Pottery in 1901. He was joined by Anne Gregory and they married in 1902 who was to have a major input in all aspects of the pottery as well as design. Van Briggle’s pottery and designs received national and international acclaim and in Europe’s the were proclaimed, “A supreme discovery in modern ceramics.” Artus and Anne established hundreds of Art Nouveau styles of pottery under the Van Briggle name. The Despondency vase won Van Briggle wide acclaim and first place at the Paris Salon in 1903. A display at the 1904 Centennial Exhibit in St. Louis won Van Briggle more awards and greater international fame. Artus Van Briggle died in July 1904, at the age of 35. Anne continued the pottery using the forms created by Artus as a foundation and adding more designs of her own. It was only after the death of Artus that the company started making hand pressed tiles. The tiles featured Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau designs. The tiles were very popular, especially among local builders who used them in the booming Colorado housing market and the tiles also decorated the facade and interior of the new pottery (designed by Dutch architect Nicholas Van den Arend) that was opened in 1908. Production of tiles at the pottery continued until 1920, with most of the limited production being for architectural use. For collectors access to Van Briggle tiles is limited and when do they appear at auction they achieve good prices. For collectors it is the early pieces that command most interest and highest prices for collectors notably the work of Artus. Early production was always limited and ‘one prominent collector has suggested that only about 400 pieces total were made prior to his death’ (Rago and Perrault). Although the Van Briggle Pottery continued production for over one hundred years in one form or another according to Rago and Perrault the last pieces of collecting merit date to 1932. Pieces attributed to Artus and Anne can sell for many thousands of dollars – the record price for an attributed Artus piece is his classic prototype Lorelei piece whilst he was a decorator at Rookwood. The 7 1/2-inch-tall vase is incised ‘A. Van Briggle 1898,’ and has a Paris Exposition Universelle 1900 label sold for $187,500 at Rago Arts and Auction Center’s 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design Auction in June 2016. Van Briggle Pottery Reference Rago, David and Perrault, Suzanne, How to Compare and Appraise American Art Pottery (Miller’s Treasure or Not?), 2001 VanBriggle.com web site Van Briggle Pottery on Wikipedia click here