Optical toys such as kaleidoscopes have been popular for decades: children still play with stereoscopes which have been popular since the time of Queen Victoria, while projectors, toy cameras and many other optical novelties are all manufactured today.
January 1940 – Britain was at war with Germany. War had actually been declared in September of the previous year, but it was during the 1940s that the effects were to hit home, changing many people’s lives forever. Food rationing began on January 8th, with meat, sugar and butter the first foods to be affected, but as the war took hold more and more shortages became apparent. 1940 saw people restricted to 4oz bacon, 2 oz butter, 2 oz tea, a shilling’s worth of meat (a pork chop and a couple of sausages), 8 oz sugar, 2 oz jam and 1 oz of cheese. People were encouraged to ‘Dig For Victory’ by transforming their flower gardens into vegetable patches, and recipes appeared which used non-rationed products in so-called appetising dishes. Women were urged to ‘Make Do And Mend’ by unravelling woollens and re-knitting them, cutting-down adult garments for youngsters and transforming pillowcases and sheets into underwear. Parachute silk was sometimes obtainable, and in 1941 a Utility Mark, which looked like a pie with a slice taken out of it, appeared on products to indicate they passed government regulations regarding quality and restrictions. No unnecessary trims and embroidery were permitted, even on baby clothing. As items such as stockings became unavailable, young women resorted to staining their legs with gravy browning and getting a friend to draw a seam line down the back with an eyebrow pencil. They prayed that not only would the friend have a steady hand, they would not get caught in the rain. The British faced grim times – huddling in an air-raid shelter while bombs rained down was no joke – while London Underground stations were also pressed into service with many people spending their nights there, safe if uncomfortable. However, it wasn’t all gloom and doom, and a great cameraderie developed, especially amongst Londoners who bore much of the brunt of the onslaught. The younger people, especially, deemed it a great adventure, and would think nothing of racing along the streets while shrapnel rained down, dodging from one doorway to another. My mother and aunts seemed to be out dancing every night, partying with the soldiers on leave – perhaps a release from the horrors they witnessed and uncertainty they faced. No-one ever knew if their brother or boyfriend was going to be the next soldier killed, or if their family would be eradicated by a direct hit from a bomb on the house. In 1944 the terrifying Doodlebugs droned overhead; when the buzzing stopped, there was fifteen seconds to escape before they exploded. Many premises were taken over for munitions work, including doll factories such as Pedigree and Palitoy, and young women would be employed to make aircraft parts or guns; all women under sixty were required to undertake some form of war work. Sometimes, their skin turned yellow with the chemicals they came in contact with, and they were encouraged to use make-up to form a barrier on the skin. Headscarves became fashionable – they were a necessity in the factories to pro tect hair from machinery – as did wedge-heeled shoes with cork soles; leather was scarce, but the cork proved durable. Skirts were worn shorter as fabric was rationed, but hair was often kept long with plenty of curls, as women strove to retain their femininity. Thousands of ‘Land Girls’ worked on farms, and for the first time wore trousers, a freedom which women were reluctant to relinquish after the War. Of course, countless women joined the services and worked alongside their male counterparts in the war zones. Although Britons had to adapt to a more frugal way of life, they were still able to visit the cinema or theatre, and music played a vital part in keeping up morale. Dance halls throbbed to swing music; the American Glenn Miller band was a huge hit with numbers such as ‘In The Mood’, and a crazy dance called the Jitterbug literally swept girls off their feet. Forties’s films and shows included Oklahoma, Casablanca, Bambi, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Easter Parade, The Red Shoes and Brief Encounter. ‘Gone With the Wind’, released the year before, won eight Academy Awards in 1940. Radio programmes such as ‘ITMA’ and ‘Music While You Work’ kept the people in Britain entertained, while in Russia, Prokofiev’s stunning new ballet, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, was premiered. As so many factories had been requisitioned, dolls were not particularly easy to find, and those which were available tended to be of composition or pottery, often cheaply made and with homely faces. Nevertheless, these were the dolls which comforted children through the air-raids, and went with them when they were evacuated. Dolls were also made from cloth, or knitted from old garments, while Norah Wellings made mascot dolls, donating a percentage of the proceeds to servicemen’s organisations. After the War, plastics began to be used by toy companies, and by the late 1940s were becoming increasingly popular. Pioneering developments were made at this time by companies such as Palitoy, Rosebud, Roddy and Pedigree, while Mormit produced a innovative soft plastic doll with detachable limbs for easy drying. Although composition dolls were still manufactured, it was obvious that plastics was the medium which people wanted; these new dolls were lightweight, washable, virtually unbreakable, warmer to hold, and pretty, as the modelling was finer. Other developments included ‘Beauty Skin’, a kapok-filled rubbery plastic patented by Pedigree. After the war, people became a little resentful when goods and clothing were exported rather than being sold ‘off ration’. Christian Dior introduced his ‘New Look, with longer skirts, as there was now no need to conserve fabric, but in Britain, clothes and fabric were still rationed, and would be till the end of the decade. Britain in the late 1940s was feeling a bit jaded, and something new was needed. It came in the 1950s, with a new queen, a futuristic exhibition and a phenomenon known as a ‘teenager’.
In the UK, government land is known as crown land. Anything belonging to the government is called crown property, and if you are prosecuted in the courts, you are prosecuted by the crown. So the crown is more than just a symbol of Royalty in the UK – it represents the state, the country and the Queen. There are a lot of different crowns on the buttons and badges of the armed forces and other uniformed government employees, so I am going to tell you what little I know about them. The Queen Victoria’s crown 1837-1901, (R49*). This isn’t strictly Victoria’s crown because it was used by most of the monarchs before her, but it is associated with her more than anybody else. Its’ proper name is St. Edward’s crown. The Hertfordshire Yeomanry (R 387) and The Royal Canadian Regiment (Smylie F111*) both still wear Victoria’s crown on their buttons to this day. The Royal Canadian Regiment is allowed to wear it as an honour for the services they gave in WW1. On January 1, 1901 the Irish Guards were formed. They all paraded wearing their badges and buttons with Victoria’s crown on them. Then on the 22nd of January she died, and they all had to be replaced. These buttons and badges are very rare, I have never seen any. The King’s crown, 1901-1952, (R59). Known to the Edwardian soldier as “Teddie’s hat,” it is the Imperial state crown that was made for Queen Victoria when she became Empress of India. She did not like the St. Edward’s crown and always found it too heavy to wear on state occasions, (no she didn’t wear it when she was doing the house work either). After her death, the Kings were depicted wearing it on coins, etc., and it was used on buttons and badges, so it became known as the King’s crown.The Queen’s crown, 1952 onwards, (R44). Now we are back to St. Edward’s Crown. * The numbers referenced here are from Howard Ripley’s Buttons of the British Army, and Eric Smiley’s Buttons of the Canadian Militia.Other Crowns The Green Howards, (R233), Alexandra the Princess of Wales’ own Yorkshire Regiment. This crown is a coronet. It is Danish, because Princess Alexandra was a Danish Princess who married the Prince of Wales. In 1902 he became Edward the Seventh.The Rifle Brigade (R567) and The Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (R341), Prince Alberts Own. Albert’s crown is the Guelphic crown. Prince Albert was a German, and this crown is the crown of the Dukes of the House of Hanover, of which he was a member, as were the British Royal family. Victoria and Albert both had the surname, Sax-Coburg-Gotha, and they were first cousins, as are the Queen and Prince Phillip (they like to keep it in the family). The Yorks and Lancsaster Regiment, (R284). This is a Ducal crown because the Regiment is named after two Dukes (the Duke of Lancaster is the Queen). If the tiger has its’ head up, the button is Victorian. If the head is down, it is post Victoria, because the tiger was depicted with its’ head down in mourning for Queen Victoria. The Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry (R249) has the same crown. The Somerset Light Infantry (R224). This is a Mural crown. Mural crowns were Garlands given to the first R oman soldiers to scale the walls of a besieged city. As you can see, the crown is made to look like masonry work. This crown is worn because during the Afghan wars, 1838-1842, the Somerset Light Infantry were besieged in the City of Jellalabab (as were the Russians 100 years later – we won). During the seige, the commanding officer ordered everthing metal (including buttons) to be melted down to make musket balls. They wore Jellalabab on their badges and buttons until 1959.The Queens Royal Regiment (R203). This is the crown of the Royal Navy, and is worn because the Queen’s Regiment fought as marines in a naval battle. The Royal Green Jackets fought as marines during the battle of Copenhagen, in April 1802, when Nelson gave the Danish navy a lesson in naval tactics. Unfortunately, the Danish navy couldn’t put this lesson into practice because Nelson destroyed the Danish fleet in the process. Royal Cyphers Every King or Queen has their own cypher, which is displayed on certain buttons and badges, notably the Royal Engineers. (R66) Queen Victoria 1855-1901 (R67) Edward the Seventh 1901-1910 (R70) George the Fifth 1910-1936 (R69) Edward the Eighth 1936 (R68) George the Sixth 1936-1952 (R71) Queen Elizabeth the Second (R 402 & 403) This cypher is also worn by Norfolk Imperial Yeomanry. The Grenadier Guards have the Royal cypher and the cypher reversed on their buttons. (R75) Queen Victoria 1855-1901 (R76) Edward the Seventh 1901-1910 (R77) George the Fifth 1910-1936 (R78) Edward the Eighth 1936 (R79) George the Sixth 1936-1952 (R80) Elizabeth the Second 1952. Prince Charles will be known as George the Seventh when he becomes King. (R376) The Honourable Artillery Compnay wear the same buttons as the Grenadier Guards but theirs are white metal and the Grenadiers Guards are brass because the H.A.C. are volunteers. Personal cyphers The Wiltshire Regiment, The Duke of Edinburghs own, (R280). This button has the cypher of one of Queen Victoria’s sons, Alfred Duke of Edinburgh who died in 1950. This button was worn until 1956 when Prince Philip became Duke of Edinburgh and his cypher has been worn since. (R281) The Second King Edwards Gurkha Rifles (R570) has the cypher ERI. This stands for Edwardus Regina Emporatum, which is latin for Edward the King Emperor. The Rifle Brigade, Prince Alberts Own (R567). This is Prince Albert’s cypher. The Green Howards (R233) has the cypher of Alexandra on it. This is an “A” within a “Cross” and is known as the Danebrog. When the Britiish army went to France in WW1 the Green Howards cap badge got the nickname of the Eiffel Tower because of the shape of this cap badge. The […]
Most of you will have a copy of Monopoly of some form tucked away somewhere. Whether it’s at the back of a cupboard, on a shelf or in the attic. Before you dig it out for a post lockdown car boot sale check out the value of it. You could be surprised. Borne from a board game devised by Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Magie called ‘The Landlord’s Game’ to promote the Georgist idea of a single tax system for land owners, Monopoly has gone on to achieve worldwide success, acclaim and has most probably caused more arguments than any other family activity. Does anybody actually know and play by the correct and full rules? Has anybody actually played a game to its completion? The answer to both questions is ‘very probably’ as there have been, until now, 14 Monopoly World Championships which are held every 4 to 6 years. The most recent being held in Macau in 2015 and won by Italian Nicolò Falcone. The original Monopoly game by Parker Brothers was a worldwide success, putting their stamp on board game producing. They credited a salesman as the sole inventor of the game. No mention of Ms Magie. The salesman became the first board game designer millionaire, but more about him later. More recently Parker Brothers was absorbed into Hasbro who have been the current producers since 1991. So what is the appeal? Why is this game in particular deemed collectible by fans old and young? Well there are many intellectual properties used in Monopoly from cities across the globe, movie franchises like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, pop culture such as Only Fools and Horses, Nintendo and Fortnite. There are even copies which can be personalised to you and your family. For collector Neil Scallan from Crawley in the UK, he started collecting copies of the geographical line due to his love of travel. He said in an interview that it was a postcard from places he had visited and worldwide destinations he would never be fortunate enough to visit. He achieved a Guinness World Record in September 2018 of the largest collection of Monopoly games and memorabilia with 2,249 items and his collection continues to grow. Waddingtons, a printing firm based in the northern city of Leeds in the UK, began printing playing cards in 1921 due to the demand for games played at home after the First World War. They acquired the UK rights to produce Monopoly in 1935 and strangely, despite being based in Leeds, they based the game on the streets of London. Fun fact – Angel Islington is not a road. It actually refers to an old inn called ‘The Angel Inn’ in the Islington area of London. So what is a copy of the game worth? Do you remember Lizzie Magie who designed ‘The Landlords Game’ ? Despite having it patented twice, she sold the rights to her game to a heating salesman, Charles Darrow for the sum of $500. Much less than she had spent trying to produce it. Darrow was the one to take it to Parker Brothers. By 1933, and before selling his own tweaked version of Magie’s game to Parker Brothers, he had rewritten the rules and simply renamed it ‘Monopoly’. Darrow hand made 5,000 copies of the game, some of which are still in existence today. In December 2010 one of these original copies turned up at in auction at Sotheby’s, New York as part of the Malcolm Forbes toy collection and sold for a staggering $120,000 (around £90,000). For the French version of the 80th anniversary edition in 2015, Hasbro hid real money in variations of the game totalling a run of 30,000 copies in various forms. Different amounts were included and in one box all of the money was real – over €20,000! However do not discount any copies of Monopoly you may own and would like valued. Sealed copies of the game will obviously be worth more, but are harder to find. Collector’s Special Editions can be valuable even having been opened and played. Look for: Early editions of the game from 1935 with ‘Patent Pending’ on the box as they can bring in anything from £200 The last games produced by Parker Bros in 1991 were valued from around £1,500 The 1985 produced 50th anniversary edition is only expected to be worth around £50 The 80th anniversary edition had tokens from over the years represented and can fetch around £30 to £50 Look for early Waddingtons UK produced editions and 1994 editions before the ownership went to Hasbro Older does not necessarily mean more valuable. The 2012 South Park special edition is pretty hard to find. Still sealed these can sell for hundreds of pounds due to the high demand So don’t get caught out like Lizzie Magie. Do your research and contact us for a valuation. Monopoly feature by Rob Edmonds.
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 brass basins, dishes and bowls created in Nuremberg, Bavaria in the 15th, 16th and 17th century are often referred to by collectors as ‘alms dishes’ hence the collective term Nuremberg Alms Dishes. Although Nuremberg was the leading centre for base metal production in Europe at the time, the manufacture of brass dishes were also made in Dinant and the surrounding area from Bouvingnes to Aachen, and up to the Netherlands. The Nuremberg brass dishes were exported all over Europe including England. During the period all metals were expensive even brass and the alms dishes produced, although functional, were often purchased by wealthy townspeople who would display decorative domestic objects to give the impression of wealth, style and status to guests. Brass dishes were a less expensive alternative to the silver and gold displayed in the European courts. The dishes were often embossed and decorated with secular and religious scenes including: Coats of Arms; scenes from the Bible such as the fall of man, the annunciation and The Spies of Canaan; inscriptions; scenes from Classical Mythology; stags, flying harts etc. Some dishes are inscribed with an ownership mark which shows that these objects were significant possessions. The dishes were embossed by hammering/beating the brass into a steel die. Other features were punched through. Inscriptions and lettering were often added but these were often meaningless. One of the reasons that Nuremberg became the main centre for the production was the strength of the local guilds. The Nuremberg Guilds Unlike other production centres which were governed by guilds, Nuremberg craftsmanship was governed by the Town Council. The council was made up members of the most powerful Nuremberg families who controlled the standard of craftsmanship within the town. The strictest professions were the trades bound by oath. Craftsmen had to take an oath to follow strict rules of production in order to be able to practice their trade. The Basin Beaters, who made brass dishes and bowls, became an oath bound trade in 1471. Rules included a restriction on the number of apprentices and journeymen each master could have and a regulation that apprentices must be citizens of Nuremberg. This helped to protect the town’s production and to ensure that no one craftsman became more powerful than the rest. (Source V&A) As the dishes went out of fashion at the end of the 17th century many found there way into the churches and were used as ‘alms dishes’. Nuremberg Alms Dishes Price Guide From looking at the recent auction prices there is enormous variation in the value of different Nuremberg dishes. Although some are four to five hundred years old, they were made in such numbers that many have survived and many in relatively good condition. Simpler designs range from £50 / $70 to £200 / $300. A dish featuring St George and the Dragon sold for £4,600 at Halls Auctioneers in 2012. A few more examples are pictured in this feature. Nuremberg Alms Dishes Reference Collections at V & A Nuremberg Basin at https://www.antiquemetalware.org.uk/
First developed in the early nineteen hundreds, it’s a range of patterned, pressed glass suffused with an iridescent lust re, which reflects the light, making the surface gleam with metallic highlights. It resembles the rainbow effect that you see when oil is spilt in a puddle. This effect was gained by spraying the hot surface of the glass with metallic salt solutions and then re-firing to set the iridescence. Pressed glass products using this method first appeared in the US in 1905. They resembled the high lustre finish achieved by high-class glass manufacturers such as Tiffany on their exquisite hand-blown pieces. It is said that when pressed glass companies began producing iridescent glass, Tiffany sales slumped because customers didn’t like to think that poor folk could now afford to have similar products in their homes!During the 1880s, hand-operated press moulds were developed by the American glasshouses, which enabled them to produce domestic glassware in large quantities much more cheaply than the traditional methods allowed. Unlike hand-blown glass which was time-consuming to make, pressed glass was formed using these moulds. Two moulds were needed. The molten glass was poured into the outer mould, and then the inner mould (or ‘plunger’) was forced in, using great pressure. Sometimes the moulds were in two or more parts, and so a trickle of the molten glass would seep through the gaps. Later, these seam lines would be polished out if they weren’t hidden in the intricate design. At first the products were made from clear glass, but gradually colours were introduced. Even though Carnival glass was initially pressed into moulds it still needed plenty of hand- finishing, because the makers wanted to create an air of individuality. The glassmakers completed their creations in a variety of ways. Sometimes they would very gently draw up the edges of a plate into a fluted shape, thu s creating a bowl. They might even add some rounded feet. Using special tools, they could pinch or crimp edges, or could make ruffles, pleats, frills and scallops. Gorgeous rose bowls and posy bowls could be formed by carefully pinching in the top edges of small basins, while tall vases were elongated by using centrifugal force which had the effect of stretching the malleable glass. Then the top edges could be decorated by crimping. The most commonly-found shade of Carnival glass is marigold, then comes amethyst, blue, green and red (probably the rarest of all.) Other shades do exist, including black, pastel shades, and many varieties of the main colours such as amber, electric blue or sapphire. In addition, some of the colours were coated with white, altering the hues – for example, marigold and white is called peach opalescent. The colour refers to the actua l base colour of the glass, not to the iridescence, and the best way to discover it is to hold the piece to the light. Then the true colour will show.An amazing variety of items were created from Carnival glass, many of which were intended for everyday use, rather than for decoration, so it surprising just how many items have survived over the years in good condition. Rose bowls, plates, ashtrays, hatpins, salad bowls, cream jugs, punch bowls, plates, stemmed dishes, vases and hair tidies were just a few of the items that poured from the factories during the relatively short period that the glass was in production.America was the major producer of Carnival glass, and the first country to produce the glass in commercial quantities. The so-called ‘big five’ companies were Northwood, Fenton, Imperial, Dugan and Millersburg, and they each had their own specialities. In addition there were a few smaller concerns. Other countries which produced the glass included England, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, Estonia, Finland and Sweden.The glass was originally made to bridge a gap in the market by providing ornamental glass for those who couldn’t afford to buy the fashionable, expensive, iridised handmade glassware. However, by the 1930s, fashions changed as as people began to follow Art Deco trends and the pretty glass became less popular.It wasn’t till much later that it acquired the name, ‘Carnival glass’, as it was thought that when it fell from favour, it was sold off cheaply to fairgrounds and offered as prizes. Whether or not this was true is a moot point. Other names for the glass were Poor man’s Tiffany, Rainbow glass, Aurora glass or Taffeta glass. The enormous range of patterns means that collectors will always be searching for more pieces. It’s calcul ated that well over a thousand different patterns were produced by the American companies, and when you realise that they came in many different colours, shapes and sizes, you can see why a Carnival glass collection can never be complete.Patterns were given names which usually echoed the design, such as leaf and beads, starfish, pineapple and bow, beaded cable, peacock tails, Persian medallion, open rose and fluffy peacock. Flowers, fruits, leaves were especially popular designs – pansies, roses, water-lilies, blackberries, grapes, cherries, oak and vine leaves. Sometimes horses’ heads, dragons, birds, or kittens were featured. Geometric shapes or abstract patterns are found too, and are shown to perfection by the iridescence which catches the light as the piece is turned, emphasising the various facets.Because of the way that the glass is manufactured, no two items are quite the same – if you place two dishes or vases of the same pattern, shape, colour and size from the same manufacturer, side by side, you will notice subtle differences. One may seem more blue than purple, or have a section which gleams gold, or maybe have a pink or green tinge. A single item of carnival glass on display is beautiful – a collection, especially if illuminated by spotlights, or perhaps placed in a north-facing window (away from the danger of the sun’s rays which could trigger a fire), makes a stunning spectacle.The price of carnival glass varies considerably, depending on the manuf acturer, colour, design – and where you buy. Although […]
The George Ohr Pottery is one of the most fascinating ceramic art movements in history. The eccentric artist George Edgar Ohr was its founder, and his unique pottery has become highly sought after by collectors. However, much of George Ohr’s fame, recognition and interest in his work came posthumously. In this feature, we will take a look at the history of the George Ohr Pottery and explore why it is so unique. We will also discuss the life and work of George Edgar Ohr, and see why he is considered to be one of the most important ceramic artists of all time. George Edgar Ohr was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1857. He was the second of five children, the son of a German immigrant who ran a successful grocery business. As a young man, Ohr showed an interest in art and began to experiment with clay. He later studied ceramics at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and then apprenticed in 1879 with a local potter and family friend Joseph Fortune Meyer at his factory in New Orleans. After a couple of years of learning to be a potter Ohr travelled throughout America discovering the art-pottery movement. After learning how to “boss a little piece of clay into a gallon jug,” Ohr set out on his own to see what other potters were doing. In the early 1880s, he traveled through 16 states, dropping in on ceramics studios, shows and museums. By the time he got back to Biloxi in 1883, he had absorbed the essence of America’s burgeoning art-pottery movement. In Cincinnati’s Rookwood studio and a few others, potters were decorating their wares based on Japanese or French ceramics, adding animals, birds and bright floral designs. Ohr returned home determined to make art, not pots. (Bruce Watson) On his return Ohr opened his own pottery studio and shop in Biloxi, actually next to his father’s house. He found and used a red clay for the pottery along the banks of the Tchoutacabouffa River. Initially he created utility pieces such as pitchers, planters and chimney flues. He would later experiment with pots in anatomical shapes and eventually with pieces he called his “mud babies”. He did take his experimental pottery which featured unusual shapes glazed with wild colours to exhibitions in New Orleans and Chicago but they were not greatly received and did not sell well. The Mad Potter of Biloxi More eccentric than mad, George Ohr was happy to self proclaim as the “Mad Potter of Biloxi”. This was fuelled by the way he looked and his pottery and shop which was unlike anything that had been seen before. It is also said that his eccentricity can be seen in his pots. Several striking features were evident his large stature, his amazing 18 inch mustache and his eyes. Bruce Watson mentions “And there was something in Ohr’s eyes—dark, piercing and wild—that suggested, at the very least, advanced eccentricity.” The George Ohr Pottery was a mass of colour and the signs advertising the pottery and on the pottery also provided a great deal of humour including “Pot-Ohr-E”, “Get a Biloxi Souvenir, Before the Potter Dies, or Gets a Reputation”, and “Unequaled unrivaled—undisputed— GREATEST ARTPOTTERON THE EARTH.” He was certainly way ahead of his time. His work really evolved after a great fire in 1894 destroyed a lot of downtown Biloxi including Ohr’s fathers shop and his own pottery. Ohr collected his “killed babies” (the burned pots he had made) and apparently kept them forever. Ohr was able to rebuild his pottery including its pagoda. The fire ignited a new desire in Ohr to make pottery as distinctive as he was. He stopped glazing pots stating “God put no color in souls, and I’ll put no color in my pottery”. The best of Ohr’s pots are formed, thrown paper thin and then manipulated with twists, crinkles, crimping, ruffling, off-centering, twisting folds and dimples using his coil and pinch method. He threw perfectly formed pots and then misshaped them. He was creating Abstract Expressionist objects 50 years before the movement started. There is debate on how he could have created such fine, thin pottery at the time and it is possibly something in the red clay he gathered himself. He was against large scale factory production and thought that only real art could be made by the individual. Ohr’s work is extraordinarily idiosyncratic and he practiced his own mantra of “no two alike.” George Ohr stopped potting in 1909 having claimed he had not sold a pot for years. Articles and features suggest that at the time of his death in 1918 there were some 7,000 (although some articles refer to 10,000 to 20,000) pieces of unsold pieces. One reason that Ohr did not sell many of his pots was the high prices he put on them. “When I am gone, my work will be praised, honored, and cherished. It will come.” George Ohr Surprisingly, it was not until fifty years later that the collection was once again discovered and a few years later started to trickle into the market. In the 1980s his work started to receive critical acclaim and pottery that a hundred years previously struggled to sell were now selling for thousands of dollars. Artists, including Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, bought Ohr’s pots, as did several collectors, though the curator of ceramics at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History protested Ohr’s inclusion in a show in 1978, calling him “just plain hokey.” Only in 1984, when Ohr pots appeared in paintings by Johns at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery, did praise and critical esteem begin to flow. After a series of one-man shows of Ohr’s work, collectors such as Steven Spielberg and Jack Nicholson purchased pieces and drove prices up. Today, the same pots scorned a century ago sell from $20,000 to $60,000 each. (Bruce Watson) George Edgar Ohr is considered the most important US ceramic artist for several reasons. First, he was a […]
Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. To mark 60 years of The Queen’s reign the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around an extended weekend in 2012 on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June. Pictured right: A selection of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Collectables As with many Royal events collectable companies, gift producers and memorabilia makers have been working over time to produce a wide range of collectables for collectors. World Collectors Net takes a look at some gifts on offer. Lilliput Lane Lilliput Lane has taken the opportunity of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to revitalize their popular Britain’s Heritage™ collection to incorporate Jubilee celebrations. The four Jubilee pieces are: Jubilee Tower Bridge, Jubilee Big Ben, Jubilee Tower of London and Jubilee at Windsor Round Tower. Pictured right: Jubilee at the Crown Inn and Jubilee at the Windsor Round Tower These iconic landmarks have been adorned with bunting, flags, gems and a commemorative plaque. All of these superb miniatures of our finest buildings will only be available during 2012 and are produced in a Limited Edition of 2,012 pieces each. Another special cottage has been produced to celebrate Her Majesty’s sixty-year reign, again only available during 2012. Picked for its name, The Crown Inn — a delightful eighteenth-century pub from St Ewe, Cornwall — has inspired the 2012 Anniversary Cottage, Jubilee at The Crown Inn. Caverswall English Fine Bone China Caverswall China was founded in 1973 and is starting to gain an excellent reputation for its Commemorative Ware. In 2011 they produced a number of pieces for the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Pictured right: A selection of Caverswall China celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Caverswall China have created a 10″ plate, 8″ coupe, Edinburgh Mug, 3″ round box, 4″ round sweet dish, a lionhead beaker and an excellent Durham Vase. Border Fine Arts Border Fine Arts have introduced three models featuring the Queen. As with all Border Fine Arts models their is great attention to detail and the models show the Queen at various times during her reign including Trooping the Colour in 1952, Newly Crowned in 1953 and the Her Majesty at Balmoral. Pictured left: Trooping the Colour 1952 – Celebrating the Queen’s sixty-year reign, the figurine depicts Her Majesty at the Trooping the Colour parade of 1952, her first as Sovereign. Wearing the scarlet tunic of the Colonel-in-Chief of the Scots Guards and the blue ribbon of the Order of the Garter, Her Majesty is elegantly poised on her chestnut horse, Winston. The black plume on her tricorn hat is in remembrance of her father, His Majesty King George VI, who died four months previously. Pictured right: Her Majesty at Balmoral – This delightful figurine depicts Her Majesty in a relaxed pose at the Balmoral Estate, where she can unwind and enjoy some of her favourite things. Here, her beloved corgis are never far from her side and many have been recorded on what can only be considered some of the most endearing photographs ever taken of the Queen. Tiny is on her knee and Brush is at her feet. Caithness Glass Caithness Glass have produced a number of editions including the fabulous Limited Edition Elizabeth Rose Garland paperweight (Pink and red roses with entwined stems sit alongside sprigs of myrtle in this diamond shaped weight) and Magnum paperweight (Shimmering sand and dichroic shards of glass to form the internal design inside this magnum sized paperweight). Pictured left and right: Elizabeth Rose Garland Limited Edition Paperweight and Magnum – Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Limited Edition Paperweight Also available is the Crown paperweight, Rose paperweight, Elizabeth Rose Garland paperweight, Coat of Arms paperweight, Sand Rose paperweight and Penny Black Sandcast paperweight. Carters Teapots Tony Carter the UK’s leading teapot designer and created two new teapots and two new mugs for the event. The teapots include the Heart Diamond Jubilee Teapot and Diamond Jubilee Flag Teapot. Pictured left and right: Tony Carter’s Diamond Jubilee Flag Teapot and the Heart Diamond Jubilee Teapot The pottery is known as one of England’s leading makers of handmade collectable teapots, supplying shops and stores throughout the UK with over 70% of the pottery/output exported throughout the world. Each collectable teapot is cast and painted by hand, resulting in no two teapots being exactly the same.
Raphaël Kirchner (1876 – 1917) was an Austrian artist, best known for Art Nouveau and early pin-up work, especially in picture postcard format which became extremely popular during World War I. Kirchner attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and began his career as a portrait painter for the fashionable in Vienna. He moved to Paris in 1900, creating illustrations for magazines including La Vie Parisienne, where he worked with other notable artists such as Mucha. Kirchner became best known for his saucy ‘glamour’ postcards of young women which are very collectable over 100 years later. Raphaël Kirchner produced over a thousand published paintings and drawings in his lifetime, mostly in the form of picture postcards. His postcards are very sort after with collectors, from his orientalist Geisha series which had influences of Art Nouveau, East and West, to his ephemeral beauties from La Vie Parisienne to the more realistic erotic young ladies who were the favourites of the European and American soldiers in the Great War who pinned his cards up in the trenches. Raphaël Kirchner postcards were the original pin-ups. It was Kirchner’s witty, accurate portrayal of the seamier, yet perhaps the most exciting and glamourous aspects of Parisian night life–of the world of the bar and of the boudoir–that provided the real road to success for the artist. Kirchner’s alluring, often erotic depictions of the typical Montmartre female in La Vie Parisienne and in watercolours and pastels such as ‘Les Joueuses’ became so popular that the prettiest and most expensive of the ‘Montmartre Girls’ became associated with the artist’s images of them, and were duly dubbed ‘Kirchner Girls’. There are normally 350-400 Raphael Kirchner postcards on ebay click on link to view – Raphael Kirchner postcards on ebay.