Here’s a different theme idea for you “why not concentrate on your favourite era; dolls which capture the essence of the decade, even though they might have been made very recently? My favourite era has to be the 1960s. People say that if you remember the sixties, you weren`t there“ well, I remember it, and I was most certainly there! It was a time unlike any other, a decade of colour, movement, music and youth. It was a ‘good to be alive’ time, at least in Britain, and for once, we were proud of our country. We had the Beatles, of course, and Mary Quant, Twiggy, Tuffin and Foale, Biba and Carnaby Street. Walking down Carnaby Street in the mid-sixties, seeing the boutiques, the psychedelic window displays and the mad fashions paraded along the pavement was a crazy experience. It’s easy to recreate the feeling with a collection of dolls in those zany sixties fashions, perhaps adding a Beatle or two for good measure, and maybe displaying the whole lot against an op art background. Load a Sergeant Pepper cd (or play the vinyl version if you want to be truly authentic), dress yourself in a floaty caftan or a psychedelic mini â€“ and there you are, you’ve regressed forty years! There’s a tremendous selection of dolls to choose from, some actually dating from the 1960s while others are modern repros or fashion dolls. The 60’s look can be instantly captured by including a few Twiggy dolls. After all, Twiggy was designated ‘The Face of ’66’ by the Daily Express, and she went on to become the world’s first supermodel. Mattel issued a Twiggy doll in 1965, a vinyl teen just under 11″ high. Though she doesn’t bear a great resemblance to her namesake, she’s very cute, and certainly looks the part in her blue, green and yellow striped mini dress with yellow knee-high boots. Other outfits could be purchased separately, such as ‘Twigster’, an orange and yellow geometric-design mini. Much more recent are Medicom’s series of small, all-plastic ‘Little Twiggy’ dolls standing 4″ high with moulded outfits, and their 10″ doll with moulded hair, dressed in a black and white mini dress, red low-slung belt and pink-spotted tights. The most stunning Twiggy doll must surely be the bisque beauty issued by Franklin Mint in 2001. Standing 16″ high, she really can’t be mistaken for anyone else. Her makeup is perfect, from her ultra long spiky lashes to her pouty lips, while her psychedelic cat-suit really is groovy! Other outfits could be obtained including a lemon yellow mini, and a white dress decorated with metallic rings. Twiggy came with a fashionable op-art ‘trunk’ or wardrobe, decorated with colourful Twiggy decals. In 1960, Barbie had only been around for a year, and was sophisticated in sheath dresses and high heels â€“ not really capturing the British feel of the decade at all. However, Mattel issued a stunning 1960s look Barbie in 2000, dressed in a bright pink fun fur, so typical of the era. This ‘Groovy Sixties’ Barbie is a delight in her drop-waist dress with a print top, white boots and white cap. Amongst the range of dolls by American designer Robert Tonner are the Tiny Kitty Collier series. They mainly wear 1950’s styles, but occasionally stray into the following era, such as ‘Kitty A Go-Go’. Her classic sixties style block printed mini dress is bold and dramatic in two colours â€“ fuchsia and white. In the 1960s this style was often seen in black and white; in fact, I had one! Another creation is ‘Mod Togs’, a white sleeveless mini over a black and white striped top, while mix ‘n’ match ‘Kit and Caboodle’ contains a white mini quartered by a wide black stripe and a super lilac pvc mac with long matching boots. These outfits appeared about three years ago, and all fit well into a 1960’s collection. An absolute must in a 1960’s theme collection is Sindy. Sindy was Britain’s first 12” fashion teen, and her clothes reflected the trends. The classic is, of course, ‘Weekenders’, an outfit designed by Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale, who were very much in vogue. ‘Weekenders’ reflected the patriotic feel of the era with its red, white and blue striped matelot top, blue jeans and white sneakers. Authentic 1960’s Sindys are still obtainable at doll fairs or on internet auctions, or you could go for the stunning porcelain replica issued by Danbury Mint in 2006. Just like the original Sindy, she wears a ‘Weekenders’ outfit. Another option is the British Airways’ range of retro cabin crew Sindys; one wears a delightful representation of a 1967 white paper dress decorated with large flowers, finishing the look with a flower in her hair. During the 1960s, this outfit was sported by stewardesses on BOAC flights between New York and the Caribbean. Perhaps the designers who have most captured the 1960’s feel are Doug James and Laura Meisner. In 1999, they introduced Willow and Daisy, two glamorous girls wearing over-the-top outfits. They included ‘Ladybug Concert’ â€“ an obvious play on the Beatles â€“ consisting of a stunning white pvc getup topped with a matching ‘baker boy’ cap; a psychedelic hippie trouser suit called ‘Rock and Roll’; ‘Carnaby Street’; a lime green and lemon pvc mini with translucent panels, and ‘An Art Opening With Andy and Edie’. This tribute to Andy Warhol and his muse, Edie Sedgwick consisted of a vivid Warhol print pvc dress. Daisy’s black hair was cut in a geometric style, and the look was completed with a huge pair of turquoise earrings. The series was discontinued in 2002, but last year an associated range appeared, dressed in similar sixties’ quirky fashions, such as guitar wielding ‘Troubadour’ in a military style red and blue jacket, and ‘Sunflower’ in a lemon chiffon mini, crocheted hat and colourful velvet boots. Australian designer Jan McLean, issued a group of porcelain ‘Lollipop’ dolls a few years […]
Emerging from the Dark Ages, scholars concerned themselves with matters of magic, issues of theology and creative – if nonsensical – arguments such as the Flat Earth Theory. Pictured right: W&R Carlton Ware 3″ NEW MIKADO 2814; 4 3/4″ CHRYSANTHEMUM 2930; 6″ PARROT 3018 vases Among those who queried the absurd, Thomas Aquinas is thought to have been the first to ask that fabulous, unanswerable question, How many angels can dance on the point of a very fine needle, without jostling one another?” Perplexing himself with such paranormal nitpicking must have been disappointing, for it appears that the number of angels has never been ratified. Perhaps he should have gone out more? But just as medieval mystics exercised their brainpower on these metaphysical musings, similar unfathomable mysteries still abound in the 21st Century and cannot be dismissed. For instance, fervent Carlton Ware collectors may reflect upon spatial complexities, not to mention the impracticable infinite, in asking, “How many pieces of china can Carlton Ware enthusiasts stuff into their cabinets before a collection reaches critical mass?” Contemplating this conundrum is indicated if one is confronted by the incredible shrinking domain combined with an ever-expanding Carlton Ware display. Drastic solutions may therefore be considered: stop collecting altogether and live in minimalist bliss; or buying a stately home – none of which is possible at this time. Other options are taking up philately instead; or pruning ruthlessly and with great sorrow. Nevertheless, a more pleasant – albeit somewhat temporary – measure is to think small and buy petite, pint-sized, even miniscule pieces; and consequently live happily for a lot longer. Fascination for miniatures has featured in the art of many civilisations throughout the ages. Over the centuries Far Eastern and Asian cultures produced quantities of fine, intricately carved figurines and minute, bejewelled curiosities; these delicate trinkets are collected worldwide today for their beauty and fine craftsmanship. One example is the Japanese netske (or netsuke), a small toggle that was used to counterbalance the container (or inro) worn suspended from a sash by men to store items of everyday use, in the absence of pockets. The netske became an item of high fashion, skillfully wrought from ivory or wood into teeny animals, birds and sea creatures, portraits of dancers and demons or droll cameos of characters from everyday urban life. These superbly crafted netske are avidly sought after by collectors and continue to be worn by the Japanese on ceremonial occasions. Diminutive and decorative works of art, including mini-portraits painted on porcelain, were produced, admired and sought after throughout European high society for hundreds of years; however the Victorians, who obsessed over just about everything, took the art of the miniature to new heights. Divine, yet useless knick-knacks, for example the ubiquitous cameo, exquisite little sewing kits or tiny booklets bound in gold and studded with precious stones – enclosing nothing more than pages of ephemera such as weather forecasts and phases of the moon (a classic combination of the sublime and ridiculous) – were all the rage. From its inception in 1890, the Carlton Ware works naturally produced something for everyone: from the gloriously huge – Derek and Jane’s magnificent 25″ jardinière and stand (first showcased in CW3’s quarterly magazine The Carlton Comet issue 5), to the tiniest – this rare, BROWN LUSTRINE handled pot which stands a mere 1½” high, shown here with a 2½” BLACKBERRY butter pat dish and a 1½” Clarice Cliff Autumn Crocus quatri-footed dish. Souvenir ware was manufactured for ease of transportation, and was therefore characteristically of minimal dimensions. This area of collecting is a category of its own and was the subject of an article in Newsletter # 22. Many potteries produced tiny replicas of their larger wares, some perhaps as tradesmen’s samples. These small pieces demonstrate how their patterns were reduced accordingly, while others depict only a portion of the overall design. W&R 3″ spill vases Back row: Carlton Ware MIKADO 2881; MAUVE LUSTRINE; MIKADO 2881 Middle row: PARROT 3027; Cubist Butterfly 3190 Front row: Moonlight Cameo 2946 Crown Devon’s Sylvan and Royal George Lustrine were first introduced at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley. The sailing dinghy on this tiny blue Lustrine snuff box represents only a small element of the overall seascape depicting a majestic galleon in full sail. The elegant and enduring Crown Devon Royal George pattern commemorates an historic and mighty 18th century 100 gun warship of the same name. Crown Devon snuff boxes Left: pale blue Lustrine Royal George; Right: Rouge Sylvan Lustrine Butterflies (2½” diameter x 1¼” high) Daisy Makeig Jones for Wedgwood Flying Humming Bird mottled blue and orange lustre bowls (front: 2½” diameter x ¾” high; back: 1½” diameter x 1″ high) The stunning Sylvan Lustrine and its sister design Rural Lustrine also enjoyed continuing popularity over many decades. The wonderful Sylvan butterflies, hand-enamelled in brilliant colours on mottled blue or ruby lustre ground, were wreathed by lavishly gilded ivy leaves and, on larger pieces, fluttered past gold “pointillist” style tree trunks. Crown Devon Lustrine Royal George & Sylvan Lustrine Butterflies snuff boxes (2½” diameter x 1¼” high) Created for Wedgwood in 1917 by the celebrated artist, Daisy Makeig Jones, Flying Humming Birds formed part of the Ordinary Lustre series, which preceded her fêted Fairyland Lustre ware. Numbers Z5088 and Z5294 were allocated to the Flying Humming Birds patterns which, with their own exclusive border of Flying Geese, became a highly successful range. Wedgwood Flying Humming Bird bowls pattern Z5294 with Flying Geese exterior border Children’s or dolls’ tea sets were produced over the years but few survive, having been sacrificed whilst fulfilling the purpose for which they were intended. For this reason, an entire vintage children’s tea or coffee set is a rarity and, to remain intact, must have been carefully replaced in its box once the well-intentioned benefactor had departed; or stored reverentially in a cabinet, safe from the clumsy attentions of its young and rightful owner. This delightful Carlton Ware children’s tea set […]
The Time Tunnel remains a cult classic and we take a look at some of the The Time Tunnel collectibles, The Time Tunnel merchandise and The Time Tunnel toys that have appeared over the years. We also look at some auction results and some guide prices. The Time Tunnel was created by Irwin Allen and was his third science-fiction television series (after Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Lost in Space). It was set around time travel and starred James Darren as Tony (Dr. Anthony Newman) and Robert Colbert as Doug (Dr. Douglas Phillips) as the two Time Travellers. The Time Tunnel ran for one season of 30 episodes from 1966 to 1967. The Time Tunnel and Project Tic-Toc The series is set in 1968, two years into the future from the actual broadcast season, 1966-67. Project Tic-Toc is a top-secret U.S. government effort to build an experimental time machine, known as The Time Tunnel due to its appearance as a cylindrical hallway. The base for Project Tic-Toc is a huge, hidden underground complex in Arizona, 800 floors deep and employing more than 12,000 specialized personnel. Project Tic-Toc is in its 10th year and at a cost of $7.5 billion (equivalent to near $60 billion in 2022) and is under threat of being cancelled. After an ultimatum is delivered either the project sends someone into time and return him during the course of his visit or their funding will cease. Tony volunteers but he is turned down by project director Doug Phillips. Defying this decision, Tony sends himself into time and finds himself on the maiden voyage of The Titanic. The Time Tunnel team can see where Tony is and when he gets locked up Doug follows to rescue him. From then onwards they travel to various time periods for many adventures. The Time Tunnel View Master set (Sawyer’s B491) features 3 reels showing 21 views from the Rendezvous With Yesterday which was the pilot episode. A complete set in very good condition is estimated at $50. The Time Tunnel Gold Key comics – this ran for two issues. Issue 1 featured The Assassins set in April 14th 1865 and features the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, The Lion or the Volcano? set in August 24th 79 A.D. Pompeii and see Tony and Doug in a Roman adventure and Mars Count-Down set in 1980 and features a trip to Mars. . Issue 2 featured two stories The Conquerors in which Doug and Tony end up in the future and discover a plot to go back in time and help the Nazis win World War II and The Captives in which the pair end up stuck in the middle of a conflict between Indians and General George Custer. As with most comics condition is a major determinant of value. Issues in Near Mint condition are valued at $80 for Issue 1 and $40 for Issue 2. The Time Tunnel Game was produced by Ideal Based on ABC Television Network Series. The copy pictured was sold by Hakes Auctions for $420 in 2012. The sets see the game travel from Prehistoric Era, The Middle Ages, 19th and 20th Century and The Future. The first player to complete voyages through all four time periods wins. Very few come to auction so we would expect a near mint example to be highly sought after. The Time Tunnel Spin to Win Game was produced by the Pressman Toy Co and was one of the Spin Cycle Series of games. The copy pictured was also sold by Hakes Auctions for $132 in September 2009. As with The Time Tunnel Game very few come to auction so we would expect a near mint example to be highly sought after. The Time Tunnel Trading Gum Cards Where Historic Events and Periods did The Time Tunnel visit? Tony and Doug become participants in past events such as the sinking of the Titanic (Episode 1 Rendezvous with Yesterday), the attack on Pearl Harbor Epiode 4 The Day the Sky Fell In), the eruption of Krakatoa (Episode 6 Crack of Doom), Custer’s Last Stand (Episode 8 Massacre), the Battle of the Alamo (Episode 13 The Alamo) and even the signing of The Magna Carta and meeting Robin Hood (Episode 16 The Revenge of Robin Hood). General Kirk, Ray, and Ann in the control room are able to locate them in time and space, observe them, occasionally communicate with them through voice contact, and send help. With no concern for the Time Continuum, Tony and Doug meddle in time through the ages. The Time Tunnel Disc Cards Did Tony and Doug Escape the Time Tunnel? When the series was abruptly cancelled in the summer of 1967 by ABC, they had not filmed an episode in which Tony and Doug are safely returned to the Time Tunnel complex. Autographs and signed items from the stars are an essential in a collection of The Time Tunnel Collectibles. Further information Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Collectibles https://www.thetimetunnel.com/ lots of information on the series
When considering the talented designers of the Doulton Lambeth factory, there is one woman whose impressive works cannot go unmentioned. Hannah Barlow was not only one of the most innovative and skilled designers of this famed factory but also a pioneer in her own right due to the fact that she was the ever first female artist to be employed by the South London based Doulton Lambeth Studio. Pictured right: A pair of Hannah Barlow stoneware deer and stag vases impressed marks — 38cm. high. Sold for £2,820 at Christies, London, August 2000. Born into a family of nine children in 1851, Hannah lived in Bishop’s Stortford with her Bank Manager father, Benjamin and his wife. At an early age Hannah already had a talent for drawing and would take walks in the surrounding countryside to sketch the plant and animal life that resided there. This interest in nature was something which would stay with Hannah throughout her life and became the subject matter that was so prolific in all of her future works. Realising her talent for art, in 1868 Hannah enrolled in the Lambeth School of Art to progress this skill. It was a few years later in 1871, that, along with other fellow students, Hannah began to work for the local Doulton Lambeth pottery which had recently diversified from producing industrial ceramics to more elaborate art pottery and decorative wares. Great artists such as George Tinworth, Frank Butler and Hannah Barlow would skilfully decorate the salt-glazed brown stoneware vessels that Doulton were now creating and were allowed to choose the type of decoration themselves and what shape of vessel to apply this design to. Although Hannah was to be the first female designer employed by Doulton she was not the only talented artist in her family to join the British factory. Both her brother Arthur and sister Florence also possessed an artistic flare and attended the Lambeth School of Art, before joining their sister, and furthering their careers by working alongside her for the Doulton pottery. The two sisters, Hannah and Florence, both shared a love of nature, so it was agreed early on in their working careers, that Hannah would concentrate on designs inspired by animals whilst her sister indulged her passion for flowers and produce floral designs. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – A Pair of Salt-glazed Vases, circa 1895 each vase incised with three bulls and two horses grazing within a rugged country landscape 28.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist’s monogram. Sold for £1,062 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Both were extremely talented artists and their work was very realistic. Each would initially sketch a design then using the technique of Sgraffito (incising) they would apply the design into the wet clay of a vessel before it was fired. Every piece that was produced by the artists at the Doulton studio was hand-decorated, thus ensuring that each item was unique in design, technique and decoration. Hannah excelled at creating illustrations of animals with some of her favourite subjects being British farm animals such as sheep, horses and pigs. Many examples of her work have sold for respectable prices at salerooms all over the world; her works of art are highly sought after by collectors. Recently a shallow bowl dating to 1883 sold at Bonhams Saleroom for £2,300. Artistically incised with pigs and hens this piece is synonymous with Hannah Barlow and as such, commands a price that is expected for this female designer’s work. Another example, also sold at Bonhams. were an outstanding pair of early vases dating to 1873. These twin handled vessels were incised with six Trojan Style horses which showed them cantering and galloping across fields. An unusual example, this vase sold for a staggering hammer price of £4,800. Pictured right: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – An Early Salt-Glaze Jug with Horse, 1874 incised with a horse portrait and stylised leaf decoration 25.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist monogram Sold for £325 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Aside from the more common domestic farm animals, Hannah was inspired by many different living creatures. Her work was often embellished with countryside inhabitants such as rabbits and foxes, but she also liked to draw and incise more exotic animal motifs such as lions and kangaroos. This Australian inhabitant first appeared in 1878 on a tea service and proved popular so Hannah continued to apply this motif to all sorts of other various shaped vessels. It is said that Hannah was possibly inspired to sketch and decorate pieces with kangaroos because of the preparations for the Sydney International Exhibition which took place in 1879. Wherever Hannah gained her inspiration, her skill became evident when she would expertly sketch a scene that almost came alive when applied to the various vases, dishes and jardinières that she worked on. Hannah’s talent for drawing, combined with her skilled eye for design ensured that each piece created was not only a stunning ceramic work of art but also a living window into the animal kingdom. Her work was worthy of a place on the wall in an art gallery. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow (Fl.1871-1913) & Florence Barlow (Fl.1873-1909) Pair Of Vases, Circa 1890 stoneware, hand decorated, incised with rabbits, and pâte-sur-pâte painted birds, impressed Doulton Lambeth, incised artist’s monograms, numbers 443 & 742, assistants marks 7¾ in. (19.7 cm.) high. Sold for £4,375 at Christies, London, September 2009. Hannah was prolific in her work during the forty years that she was employed by the British Doulton Studio, and was responsible for creating some of the most innovative and finest designs in stoneware. An accomplished artist, not only is she remembered as one of the most celebrated designers of the 19th Century but also as a pioneering female ceramicist whose work will hopefully continue to command the prices that are so deserving. Fact File Doulton & Co was founded in 1815. In 1871 Henry Doulton set up the Lambeth Studio in South London Hannah Barlow indulged her passion for animals by […]
Glass is the third most popular collectible in the world, and Crackle Glass is one of the most beautiful and interesting. Crackle Glass is also known by other names, such as Craquelle Glass, Ice Glass and Overshot Glass. How is crackle glass made? It was the Venetian glass makers of the 16th Century who invented this process. Even though there are many different processes, basically, the glass is immersed into cold water while it is molten, thereby cracking the glass. It was then reheated to seal the cracks, and either molded or hand blown into the desired shape. Glass makers from the 19th Century and even today are still using the same methods. Crackle Glass was reborn in the mid 1850’s as glass makers often used this process to cover up defects in their work. If there were cordings or striations in the glass (defects), they would crackle it. Crackle Glass comes in a tremendous variety of shapes, styles and colors. It was made by the common glass makers and the best glass makers, such as Galle, Steuben, Moser, Loetz, Stevens & Williams, Webb, etc. Collectors, who start collecting crackle glass, often start by purchasing the miniatures. These items are usually 3″ to 5″ tall. They will fit on any window shelf, and when the sun hits them, they sparkle beautifully. The best thing about collecting crackle glass, is that it’s one glass that has not been widely reproduced. There are only a few companies making it today, and there are some imports from China, Taiwan, and other countries, but the experienced collector can tell these apart from the old pieces.
Bjørn Wiinblad – Instantly recognisable, his style is very modern and personal with almost naively drawn, but immensely charming, characters, usually with happy round faces
Demétre Chiparus (Demétre Haralamb Chiparus) was a Romanian sculptor who lived and worked in Paris, France during the Art Deco era. He is best known for his carved and patinated bronze sculptures of elegant Art Deco dancers and is considered to be one of the most important sculptors of that time period, and his work has been highly influential on later artists. Chiparus was born in 1886, in a small town in Romania. In 1909 he travelled to Italy to study sculpture classes under master sculptor Raffaello Romanelli. In 1912 he moved to Paris to study at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He first came to prominence in 1914, when several of his early sculptures were exhibited at The Salon in Paris. These works attracted the attention of wealthy patrons and critics alike and helped to establish Chiparus as one of the leading exponents of the Art Deco style. His early work also included a series of child figures. His work is characterized by its Art Deco style, as well as its use of exuberant, sometimes even whimsical, designs. Chiparus was greatly influenced by the Ballets Russes (Russian Ballet), French Theatre and Ancient Egypt. Many of his sculptures feature dancers in fanciful costumes and other pieces incorporated elements of mythology and folklore into his work. His female figures were full of movement and dynamism and were normally lithe with long and slender models. They often featured full flowing dresses, athletic equipment such as hoops and hounds. During the 1920s and 1930s, Chiparus was one of the most important sculptors of the Art Deco era. His work was highly influential, and he was praised by many art critics. He died in Paris in 1947. His works are on display in museums around the world. Related Demetre H. Chiparus Art Deco Clara Sculpture
With the World Cup now under way we thought we would have a look at some of the official and unofficial collectables and memorabilia available to collect and buy. The Official FIFA Store There are quite a few interesting items here. The World Cup mascots are always fun and especially nice are the range of Limited Edition prints available. There are about 20 prints available, including prints for each host and of interest to collectors will be the Romero Britto prints. Robert Harrop Designs To celebrate the World Cup in Brazil, Robert Harrop has produced 10 special Bull Terrier footballers. The England and Brazil editions are both timed and feature Red Bull Terriers. The remaining eight are all modelled using White Bull Terriers: Germany, France, Argentina, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, USA and Australia. Coca-Cola World Cup Brazil 2014 The Coca-Cola Company has had a long-standing relationship with FIFA since 1974 and has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™ since 1978. Coca-Cola has had stadium advertising at every FIFA World Cup™ since 1950. Brazil 2014 sees one of their largest campaigns ever. Look out for special bottles, cans, and promotions which will vary from country to country. Betty Boop Something different with these Betty Boop footballer figurines. There are six different posed figures. Header, On My Knee, Striker, Goalie, Free Kick and Star Player. Panini Stickers and Panini Heritage Collection Football stickers form part of every World Cup. When I was first collected you had to lick the backs to stick them in (my first was Argentina 78). Panini have a section called Panini Heritage which includes framed prints and tee-shirts featuring the covers of all the previous World Cup sticker albums. Swarovski Silver Crystal Swarovksi’s latest limited edition Soccer Champion Mo has a World Cup feel. She is very colourful with a yellow head, green body and clear horns and bell. A football hitting the target decorate her body. All very much giving a Brazilian theme.
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 […]
Collecting Butlins Badges and Butlins Memorabilia Each year millions of people head for sunnier climates to enjoy their annual holiday. Whether travelling to Spain, Italy or Florida, no-one gives a second thought to boarding an aircraft and jetting off to all the different corners of the globe. However, this wasn’t always the case as overseas travel was not necessarily an option and certainly not affordable; so holiday makers in the UK tended to pack their suitcases and enjoy a fun filled break at one of the luxurious Butlin’s British holiday camps. Billy Butlin opened the doors to the first ever Butlin’s Holiday Camp on 11th April 1936. Built in Skegness on a former turnip field, the camp originally catered for 500 holiday makers. This increased to 1,200 by the end of the first season and today the camp can accommodate almost 10,000 people. In total Billy built nine camps covering England, Scotland and Wales but today only three remain as working Butlin’s Holiday Worlds in Skegness, Bognor Regis and Minehead. With the development of the camps came an abundance of memorabilia and now anything associated with Butlins, especially the older camps, has become a vast collecting arena. Sought-after items vary from brochures, menus and leaflets to postcards, china and trophies, but it is the enamelled badges that head up this collecting area and with between 3,000 to 4,000 different ones available to collectors it is no wonder some of these badges are highly sought-after. With the development of the camps came an abundance of memorabilia and now anything associated with Butlins, especially the older camps, has become a vast collecting arena. Not only is Butlins memorabilia a large area of collecting and a huge part of our British social history. The enamel Butlin’s badges were produced by several companies, such as Gaunt of London and Fattorini of Birmingham , so no-one knows for sure how many are in existence . They were made to represent every single camp and club formed from 1936 onwards. The origin of the badges is interesting, because of the licensing laws it was necessary for each camper to wear a badge to prove that they were members of the Butlins Club and so could be served with food and drinks. ‘Initially campers had to pay one shilling for each badge, but shortly afterwards they became free. Campers became very proud of their badges, which gave them·a sense of camaraderie and enabled them to identify each other when in the local town.’ The badges became so popular that repeat visitors wore their previous ones with pride and Butlins created badges for every club imaginable. You even received a special one for staying for a second week. Soon, Butlins discovered that people were selling their badges to neighbours who were staying in cheap B&Bs nearby, thus using the badge to gain entry to the camp and use its facilities free. So the colour of the badge was changed several times each year and if the security man saw you trying to get into the camp wearing the wrong colour badge they would throw you out! Today Butlins has recognised how collectable the early badges are and has commissioned reproductions to be made to sell in their souvenir shops. But you can tell a genuine British made badge because of the dull brass colour on the reverse and it will often have a maker’s name. The modern Chinese copies are bright gilt and textured on the reverse with a smooth shiny resin front rather than the original vitreous enamel. Masses of stuff was produced for all the different Butlin’s camps around the country and unique items such as the trophies won in competitions like ‘Miss Lovely Legs’ fetch high prices together with all the staff items. Butlins is also famously know for its red coat entertainers and Graham told me that ‘today an early red coat dating from the 1930s is so rare that it is impossible to find one but the 1940s coats can command £200 each’. Even the more modern red coats designed by Jeff Banks between 1998-2001 can sell for £50. There is a growing market for Butlin’s vintage fixtures, fittings and salvaged items.