Most researchers agree that the first jigsaw puzzle was produced in 1762 by John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker from London.
Masons Ironstone China The 19th Century saw a massive growth in the British pottery industry with the production of functional, durable and decorative ceramic tableware. The durable nature of the pottery being produced and the ability to use transfer-printing, meant that customers still wanting Oriental patterns could now have the patterns on a much more dense, and stronger “china”. Pictured: A Mason’s Ironstone Part Dinner Service Late 19th Century, Impressed And Black Printed Ironstone China Marks Each piece with a figural chinoiserie vignette within a paper scroll and oyster ground punctuated with floral sprays and cartouches of precious objects. The set comprised over 100 plates, platters, dishes etc. Sold for $50,400 at Christies, New York, 2006. Image Copyright Christies. The manufacturing process could also be scaled up and the production moved to large factories, the cost of items was reduced and a new market of aspiring middle classes could now afford household china for everday use. This move supplanted the more delicate Chinese style porcelain that was common at the time. One such material was ironstone – a hard, dense and durable, slightly transparent white earthenware. The first form of ironstone was thought to have been manufactured by William Turner around 1800 at the Lane End potteries at Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. A number of potters were experimenting and it was also known as semi-porcelain, opaque porcelain, English porcelain, stone china and new stone. Pictured: A William Mason blue and white dessert-plate and three Mason’s Ironstone dishes Circa 1820, the dishes with printed and impressed MASON’S PATENT IRONSTONE CHINA marks The dessert-plate printed with the ‘Furness Abbey’ pattern, within moulded arcading and broad borders of scrolling cartouches of landscapes divided by passion-flowers and convolvulus, the dishes of leaf-shaped form with double-scroll handle, printed with the ‘Blue Pheasant’ pattern (all with riveted repairs and slight chipping, and staining to first) The first 7½ in. (19 cm.) diam., the second 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm.) wide (4). Sold for £688 at Christies, London, 2009. Image Copyright Christies. Ironstone was first patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason, the son of Miles Mason. The Mason’s were a family of potters and had been developing a number of potting techniques at their works at Lane Delph, Fenton. The patent was No. 3724 was for a process for the “Improvement of the Manufacture of English Porcelain’, IRONSTONE PATENT CHINA”. The initial patent was for 14 years and was not renewed. Other companies such as Davenport and Hicks, Meigh & Johnson started producing similar wares. Pictured: Eight Mason’s Ironstone Jugs Circa 1825-35, Black Printed Marks Of octagonal form and graduated in size, painted with Oriental figures within shaped cartouches on an iron-red tiled ground The tallest 7½ in. (19 cm.) high (8). Sold for £688 at Christies, London, 2009. Image Copyright Christies. At the time the patent was taken out the ownership of the company was transferred to Miles Mason’s two sons and became known as G. & C. Mason or G. & C. Mason & Co. Family members include Miles Mason, his sons William Mason and Charles James Mason, and George Miles Mason.The company enjoyed enormous early success and continued to introduce new wares and designs. However, a change in fortunes saw Charles James Mason declared bankrupt and the firm close in 1848. Charles James Mason started a new factory at the Dasiy Bank Pottery but he died in 1856. At that time all the Mason patterns and moulds passed to Francis Morley. Morley and the Ashworth family formed a partnership during the period 1858-60, at the Broad Street works in Hanley. In 1862 Morley retired and passed everything to Ashworth including the Mason patterns, copper plates, moulds and trade marks. The company was acquired in 1884 by John Shaw Goddard and remained in the Goddard family until 1973 when the firm joined the Wedgwood Group. Masons Ironstone Related Masons Ironstone at Auction The Mason Family of Potter MILES MASON Miles was born in December 1752 in the village of Dent, Yorkshire. By 1769 he had moved to Chigwell where he was a neighbour of the Farrar family. On 13th August 1782 he married Ruth Farrar at St. Gabriel’s, Fenchurch Street. He was aged 30 but she was only 16 years old. After the marriage Miles became tenant-in-chief of a fine house and other properties at Chigwell Row, Essex which had previously been let to his late father-in-law by the Lord of the Manor of Barringtons. Apparently he never lived there. On 8th September 1783 Miles became a Freeman of the Glass-sellers’ Company and took the Livery on 23 September 1784. He was the founder of the Mason company and was producing porcelain of a high quality from the early 1800’s. He started by taking over the business of selling imported china which had been started by Richard Farrar, his father-in-law, in London in about 1783. Much of the porcelain sold was of the shape and design of the very popular Chinese export market porcelain. At this time a producer of such wares was called a ‘chinaman’ – a producer of china. By September 1784 he had taken over the china business of Richard Garrett. In 1793 he moved with his family from Fenchurch Street to 41 Finsbury Square and it was at this time that he was master of a City Livery Company. In 1796 Miles had moved to 25 Queenhithe near Blackfriars and it was a this time that he became a partner in three different partnerships and was involved in the manufacturing and retail sides of the pottery trade. One partnership was with Thomas Wolfe of the Islington China Manufactory, Folly Lane, Liverpool, a manufacturer of earthenware, a second with James Green of Upper Thames Street, London, a wholesale pottery-dealing company and thirdly a partnership was formed with George Wolfe so that he could make eartherware at Lane Delph. In June 1800 he dissolved the partnership with Thomas Wolfe, due to the heavy duties that were imposed by the Government in 1799 on […]
During the Wartime years of the 1940s, and for a few years afterwards, books for adults and children alike were economy editions, due to paper shortages and restrictions.
Clarice Cliff is well known for her range of colourful pottery but she was also responsible for other items such as the Clarice Cliff Teddy Bear Bookends. The Teddy Bear bookends date from the 1930s and were sold in pairs and show a teddy bear sitting holding on to plinth with their legs in the air. The bears wear a ribbon collar and sport a fine bow. The bookends were produced in variations including differing colours of the bears, the ribbon & bows and most importantly the plinth. Patterns on plinths include Sunburst, Black Umbrella, and Blue W. A white bear and green bow are the most common set. Wedgwood re-issued the Clarice Cliff Teddy Bear bookends in a centenary limited edition of 150. The Bizarre bookends show the bears in the popular white form with green ribbon and bow. Clarice Cliff related A look at Clarice Cliff Clarice Cliff Cottage Bookends Clarice Cliff Bizarre Grotesque Masks by Ron Birks
We thought it would be fun to take a closer look at George Tinworth and his humorous comical frogs. For a more detailed account on the life and work of George Tinworth visit George Tinworth – The Greatest Doulton Lambeth Designer. Here we look at some of the Tinworth frogs and frog groups and their values. A George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth `The Scrimmage’ a good Modelled Frog Group, circa 1880 – George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth `The Scrimmage’ a good Modelled Frog Group, circa 1880 depicting a group of frogs in sporting combat, in a green and brown glaze, on titled base 12.3cm high, artist monogram. Estimate £6,500 – 7,000 US$ 9,900 – 11,000 Bonhams, London, 2009. Image Copyright Bonhams. A George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth a Double Frog Footed Vase, circa 1880 – Doulton Lambeth George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth a Double Frog Footed Vase, circa 1880 modelled with two frogs clasping the sides of a bell-shape vase, glazed blue and buff 10.8cm high, obscured monogram to body. Estimate £2,000 – 2,500 €2,600 – 3,300 Bonhams, London, 2009. Image Copyright Bonhams. A George Tinworth A Doulton Model of a Frog in a Canoe by George Tinworth – A Doulton Model of a Frog in a Canoe by George Tinworth he is depicted seated with oar in his hands, glazed green, blue and brown 12.5cm long, (S.R to oar). Sold for £2,400 at Bonhams, London, Dec 2005. Image Copyright Bonhams. George Tinworth For Doulton Lambeth; ‘Hunting’ Figural Group – c.1888, stoneware modelled as frogs riding mice in a steeplechase incised monogram and impressed marks 4½in. (11.5cm.) high. Sold for £4,200 ($7,711) at Christies, London, July, 2006. Image Copyright Christies. George Tinworth For Doulton Lambeth; ‘Jack And The Green’ Figural Group -c.1885, stoneware modelled as frogs at a Jack in the Green May Day festival impressed and incised marks 5in. (12.8cm.) high. Sold for £4,560 ($8,372) at Christies, London, July, 2006. Image Copyright Christies. Books on George Tinworth
The classic Planet of the Apes film was released in 1968 and four further films were released in the first series: Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970; Escape from the Planet of the Apes 1971; Conquest of the Planet of the Apes 1972; and Battle for the Planet of the Apes 1973 We take a look at the UK movie quad posters created for the films. The quad posters for the Planet of the Apes films are some of the most recognizable pieces of movie advertising from the late 1960s and early 1970s and fine examples are very collectable. The original poster for the 1968 film was particularly effective, as it featured a now-iconic image of Charlton Heston as he realized the truth about the planet. Planet of the Apes 1968 In the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, an astronaut named Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) crash-lands on a strange planet ruled by intelligent apes. The apes consider humans to be primitive creatures and keep them as slaves. Taylor eventually leads a revolt against the apes, but is captured and put on trial. During the trial, it is revealed that the planet is actually Earth, and that the apes have evolved while humans have devolved. The film ends with Taylor wandering off into the ruins of civilization, contemplating the situation. Planet of the Apes is a classic science fiction film that is still relevant today. It addresses issues of racism, slavery, and human rights, and offers a devastating comment on the potential consequences of nuclear war. The poster features the classic heading SOMEWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE THERE MUST BE SOMETHING BETTER THAN MAN. IN A MATTER OF TIME, AN ASTRONAUT WILL WING THROUGH THE CENTURIES AND FINE THE ANSWER. HE MAY FIND THE MOST TERRIFYING ONE OF ALL ON THE PLANET WHERE APES ARE THE RULERS AND MAN THE BEAST. Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970 In the 1970 film Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Brent (played by James Franciscus) is a journalist who arrives on the planet in search of his missing friend, Taylor (played by Charlton Heston). Brent soon discovers that the planet is ruled by apes, and that humans are treated as slaves. He also finds out that Taylor has been captured and is being held prisoner. Brent then sets out to rescue Taylor, with the help of Nova (played by Linda Harrison), a human woman who falls in love with him. Brent travels to the Forbidden Zone, where he discovers a group of human survivors living underground. These survivors have developed telepathic abilities and are planning to destroy the surface world with a nuclear bomb. Brent attempts to stop them, but he is ultimately unsuccessful and the bomb destroys everything. Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a powerful film that explores themes of loyalty, love, and betrayal. It is considered one of the best films in the Planet of the Apes franchise and has won numerous awards. Escape from the Planet of the Apes 1971 The film begins with a trio of apes – Cornelius, Zira, and their infant son – escaping from a destroyed Earth in an spacecraft. They crash-land in contemporary America, where they are immediately captured and put on public display. While being studied by scientists, the apes learn to speak and soon come to dominate their captors. Fearing that the apes will overthrow them, the humans devise a plan to send the apes back to their own time. But when Zira’s baby is born human, the apes realize that their destiny has changed forever… Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a science fiction classic that explores what might happen if intelligent apes were to take over the world. The film is suspenseful, thought-provoking, and entertaining, with excellent performances from its all-star cast. It is a must-see for fans of the genre. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes 1972 In Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the year is 1991 and apes have become slaves, used for manual labor and entertainment. Caesar, son of the late great ape leader Cornelia and Cornelius, is brought to a zoo where he is caged and tormented. witness these atrocities firsthand, Caesar leads an uprising that culminates in a full-scale revolution. With apes in charge and humans now the slaves, will peace reign or will this new order merely mirror the old one? Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a gripping tale of oppression and rebellion that raises questions about what it means to be human. vConquest of the Planet of the Apes is a thought-provoking film that explores the relationship between humans and animals. It is also a brutal story that highlights the dark side of human nature. Battle for the Planet of the Apes 1973 The 1973 film Battle for the Planet of the Apes is set 10 years after the events of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The apes have established a peaceful society in the ruins of San Francisco, but they are soon threatened by a group of humans who want to take back control of the planet. As the two sides prepare for war, Caesar (played by Roddy McDowall) tries to find a way to avoid bloodshed. However, when his wife is killed in an attack, Caesar leads the apes into battle. The film ends with the apes and humans reaching a truce, but it is clear that the peace will not last long. Battle for the Planet of the Apes was well-received by critics and was a box office success. It is considered to be one of the best films in the Planet of the Apes franchise.
Two birds flying high, A Chinese vessel, sailing by. A bridge with three men, sometimes four, A willow tree, hanging o’er. A Chinese temple, there it stands, Built upon the river sands. An apple tree, with apples on, A crooked fence to end my song. As one of the most renowned and fascinating of romantic fables, with its Shakespearean overtones of doomed love and tragedy, the Willow Pattern story is universally familiar. This timeless tale of star-crossed lovers appeals to the imagination whilst the intricate and decorative Willow Pattern itself has been hugely popular for centuries. This instantly recognisable pattern is a classic Chinese landscape design, the fundamentals of which include a weeping willow, pagodas, a crooked fence, a tree bearing fruit, three or four figures on a bridge, a boat and a pair of lovebirds forever kissing. Combining these elements, the long-established and poignant saga is revealed. In a bygone age a wealthy and powerful Mandarin of the Chinese Empire lived with his lovely daughter Knoon-se in a grand palace surrounded by ornate, exotic flowers and trees. Chang, a low born but intelligent and personable young man, was employed as secretary to the Mandarin and fell hopelessly in love with the exquisite and captivating Knoon-se. Reciprocating his affections, Knoon-se met with Chang each evening beneath a weeping willow tree by the river. The Mandarin learned of their trysts and, infuriated that his adored daughter had fallen in love with a commoner, dismissed Chang, banning him from the estate, while Knoon-se was imprisoned in a pavilion overlooking the river. He surrounded the palace grounds with a crooked fence and, against her wishes, arranged for Knoon-se to marry the warrior Duke Ta-jin. With no company apart from servants, Knoon-se befriended and fed many birds and, knowing that her wedding would take place once the fruit tree outside her window was in bloom, she stared desolately into the river, contemplating her isolation and despairing of her future without Chang. The devoted Chang, unaware of Knoon-se’s approaching nuptials, also cared for and spoke with birds while dreaming of ways to contact his lost love. [Here, versions of the legend differ; as some say that] Chang sent a message to his beloved by fixing a sail to a shell and floating it down the river bearing a love poem, “As this boat sails to thee, so my thoughts tend”, which Knoon-se scooped from the river with her parasol. Her spirits lifted as she read his words and knew that Chang would come for her. During the hours of darkness she replied unseen, adding a burning incense stick to the shell and warning Chang to “Gather thy blossom, ‘ere it be stolen”. Knoon-se watched the tiny light until it disappeared downstream and prayed for rescue. [Other versions claim that the lovesick couple communicated using their feathered friends as go-betweens.] The tree was heavy with bud and near to blossom as the Duke Ta-jin arrived amid great fanfare, accompanied by a huge retinue of servants. He presented his betrothed Knoon-se with a casket of r are and priceless jewels, but she could think of none other than Chang and gazed at her unwanted future husband with a heart of stone, her eyes dull with despair. Nights of celebration and sumptuous banquets followed. Chang entered the palace grounds disguised as a servant and glimpsed the Mandarin and Duke through a window, both sated and asleep. Seizing the moment, he crept to the riverside apartment where Knoon-se languished alone. The lovers embraced with tears of joy and, pausing only to grab the casket of jewels, fled across the bridge to a boat that Chang had moored nearby in readiness. Alas, a slight noise alerted the Mandarin and he gave chase. [At the height of this daring adventure, the Willow Pattern depicts Knoon-se on the bridge holding the Staff of Virginity, followed by Chang bearing the box of jewels with the Mandarin in hot pursuit, brandishing a whip. When the fourth figure is shown in the Willow Pattern this represents the Duke, desperate to recapture his fleeing bride-to-be and her lover.] Knoon-se and Chang sailed to a faraway land where they sold the jewels to purchase a small pagoda and lived in bliss, sharing the life they had yearned for through many seasons. [The Willow Pattern shows their distant pagoda surrounded by lush foliage.] In a fit of vengeful spite, the Mandarin captured and caged all the birds in his gardens, as birdsong was anathema to his ears. Relentlessly he and the Duke sent spies and warriors on long and unsuccessful quests to find the couple. Ultimately the brooding Mandarin, obsessed by his lost daughter and thwarted at every turn, chanced upon a possible solution. He released all the birds and ordered his men to follow them as they flew away. The devoted birds, who had never forgotten Knoon-se or Chang, unwittingly led the evil army straight to their far off dwelling. At the dead of night, murderous men surrounded the pagoda, setting it alight as Knoon-se and Chang slept. Tragically, the lovers perished in the flames. Revenge and bitterness had seemingly prevailed as the fire raged and engulfed all. Cosmic winds howled as the ever-watchful gods took pity on the doomed lovers and blessed their undying devotion by granting them immortality. From the charred ruins of their home, the souls of Knoon-se and Chang soared into the sky as turtledoves and kissed again; beyond fear, beyond danger, forever free and symbolising eternal love. The Legend of the Willow Pattern – as we know it – may have little substance as an ancient Chinese fable. An expert in Chinese History at Murdoch University in Western Australia suggests that the essence and outcome of our familiar version is at odds with imperial Chinese ethics and social order of the past. Differences of perception between East and West are illustrated here; as a similar Chinese allegory would be a cautionary tale of stupidity and deception – because Knoon-se disobeyed her […]
English glass of the early eighteenth century was plain with the Queen Anne taste for simplicity clarity, and as such there was no for applied decoration. Several factors saw this change including a period of peace with the Treaty of Utrecht, which was signed in 1713, and led to an opportunity for the glasshouses of Silesia, Bavaria and Prussia to increase their exports to London. The passing of the Excise Act of 1745, whereby glass was taxed by weight, led to growth of drinking glasses of slender proportions, using smaller bowls of curved profile on air-twist stems (cotton twists, opaque twists), sometimes combined with white or coloured enamel twists. The reduction in the content of lead in the metal deprived it of the deep glow of the earlier body, and there was a move to applying decoration in the form of engraving, gilding and enamelling. Pictured: Bonhams Beilby Goblet Record Price at Auction. The Prince William V Goblet. A highly important Beilby enamelled and gilt Royal armorial Goblet, circa 1766 The deep round funnel bowl painted in colours and gilding with the arms of the Nassau Princes of Orange encircled by the Garter and surmounted by a crown and mantling, the lion supporters on a ribbon bearing the motto JE.MAIN.TIEN.DRAY, the reverse with a white butterfly and floral sprig beneath the signature in red, traces of gilding to the rim, set on a multi-knopped stem and conical foot, 30.2cm high Signed Beilby Newcastle pinxit in red enamel. Sold for £109,250 inc. premium at Bonhams, New Bond Street, November 2011.The art of enamelling had long been familiar in Germany. The process required a paste combining equal parts of lead and tin, together with colouring matter, mixed with a flux and an oil medium. This prepared enamel was then painted on the glass, fired at a low temperature and reannealed by allowing the enamelling furnace to cool gradually. German glass was harder than the English metal and more suitable for enamel decoration as the colours were less likely to flood in the firing, but the reduction of lead content in English glass following the Excise Act made it a readier vehicle. This enamelling method was used by William and Mary Beilby of Newcastle who adopted the technique, worked entirely in the tradition of German independent decorators or “hausmaler” by purchasing plain vessels from the glasshouses of their home town and decorating it in their home. The style of their work was entirely individual and belongs in spirit to the English interpretation of Rococo. William Beilby (1740–1819) was the fourth child of a Durham jeweller and goldsmith William Beilby Senior. One of a family of seven, William was placed as an apprentice with a Birmingham enameller in 1755 and while he was there the family moved to Newcastle. A younger brother, Thomas, went to Leeds where he found employment as a drawing master and is later recorded as having his own academy. When William returned, perhaps in 1761, his father was still in business, while a younger brother, Ralph, and his sister Mary (1749–97), were also at home. Ralph was an engraver and earned a reputation for his industriousness and his willingness to undertake any type of engraving. In particular he was an heraldic specialist and engraved coats-of-arms and crests on silver. Thomas Bewick, whose exquisite wood engravings were later to reveal a sensitive and poetic artist, was apprenticed to Ralph in 1767 and lived in the Beilby home. It is, in fact, to Bewick’s memoirs, written many years after his life with the Beilbys, that we owe so much information about the family. Bewick states that both William and Mary had “constant employment of enamel-painting on glass,” and while William also taught drawing in the town, he evidently instructed his young sister so that she could help him in his enamelling. As well as armorial decorations, there are examples of landscapes painted in colours to which Mary may well have contributed and also a series painted in white enamel with flowers, avian motifs or picturesque scenes of ruins and figures. The enamel of these monochrome decorated pieces has a faintly bluish tinge. Of the type of wine-glasses chosen for decoration, the bucket-shaped bowl provided the larger surface for painting, but small glasses with straight-sided or ogee bowls and straight stems containing white enamel twists, are also found. The series continued probably until 1778. Mary is known to have had a stroke in 1774, while the household was probably broken up by Ralph Beilby and Thomas Bewick going in to partner ship three years later. Mrs. Beilby died in 1778, when William and Mary evidently gave up their workshop and left Newcastle for Fifeshire. By this time English glass had abandoned the Rococo manner and the moment for such individual achievement was over.
Perfume Bottle Collecting has grown in popularity forming a part of our social and design history. Walk into any cosmetics department and the sweet smell of perfume fills the air. You can choose from designer brand names such as Christian Dior and Chanel to celebrity endorsed scents by pop princesses’ Jennifer Lopez and Brittany Spears. But from a collectors point of view it is not the smell that entices them to the shelves but the collectability of the innovative designed bottles. The word perfume is taken from the Latin word per fumum, which translated means through smoke and has been used for different reasons throughout the Centuries. The Egyptians used scented bandages when embalming, as it was supposed to be a symbol of eternity, in later centuries perfume was used as a method of hygiene to cover up repulsive smells but today it is purely for cosmetic reasons, to make us smell nice and attract the opposite sex. Throughout the ages perfume has been packaged in various shaped bottles made of many different materials. The ancient world used blown glass and alabaster whilst the Victorians favoured silver topped glass bottles. One of the most collected Victorian bottle is the dual-purpose double-ended one, two bottles fused together they are usually found in green, ruby or blue coloured glass, one end contained the flowery scent that the Victorian ladies liked to wear and the other for their smelling salts. Prices vary depending on where you buy but expect to pay £200 retail or £100 plus for one at auction (in April 2005 Dreweatt Neate Saleroom sold a collection of three double-ended bottles for £310.) It was the turn into the 20th Century when the perfume industry began to introduce pre-packaged scents for women to buy directly over the counter. Perfumeries commissioned glass manufacturers like Baccarat and Lalique to produce high quality bottles to house these scents. The Lalique ones have become highly sought after by collectors and some command big money at auction, a rare “Bouchon Mures” Lalique bottle was sold at Bonhams saleroom in 1990 for a staggering hammer price of £38,000, but don’t despair if this is a little harsh for your pocket, as you can purchase Lalique bottles for much more affordable prices. The “Girlandes de Perles” and “Cactus Pattern Globular” bottles each made a hammer price of £240 at Dreweatt Neate’s salerooms, and if you shop around you can buy a small bottle of the well-known scent “L’Air du Temps” by Nina Ricci for about £100. A Lalique perfume bottle of any sort would be a centrepiece for any perfume bottle collection. Baccarat was other leading glass manufacturer that created amazing innovative bottles to house ladies scents. One of their most recognised designs was for French Perfume h ouse “Guerlain”. The bottle has an inverted heart shaped stopper and displays the “Guerlain Paris” label on the front. “L’Heure Bleue” was the first scent to be launched by Guerlain in this bottle in 1912 and they used the same design for “Fol Arome” and “Mitsouko” in the following years. I managed to buy an example in its original box holding half the scent for £85 but I suspect it is probably worth in the region of £120 – £150. As with any female fashion collectable such as handbags or jewellery, perfume bottles really came into their own in the 1920’s. Women became more aware of their looks embracing the Jazz Age with vibrant colours, short skirts and even shorter hair. Many designer houses moved with the times and encouraged the women to complement their looks with classy scents in stylish bottles. Coco Chanel launched its signature scent “No.5” in 1921, the bottle was very stylish and chic epitomising the era that it was launched, very simple in design it oozed class and also enabled women to buy a piece of Chanel at an affordable price, especially appealing to those who could not afford the Chanel clothing ranges. One of these original bottles today, can fetch around £35-£45 if still with box or £20-£25 without the box. “Schiaparelli” was another leading fashion designer who presented her perfumes in beautiful designs, “Shocking” one of her most famous scents was inspired by the actress Mae West, this bottle is very similar to Jean Paul Gaultier’s designs today as it is in the shape of a shopmaker’s dummy, whilst Jean Paul Gaultier bottles are in the shape of female and male torsos. A rare piece, the Schiaparelli bottle can cost £250+ on the secondary market. Another of her sought after bottles are those shaped like candles, they housed the scent called “Sleeping” and were designed by Baccarat, these can fetch around £100 – £200 depending on the size and condition. The fifties continued with imaginative bottles; Max Factor produced the velour covered cat to hold their scents “Electrique”, “Primitif” and “Hypnotique.” These dome covered felines are reasonably common and cost around £10 – £20. The 1960’s saw Avon dominate the novelty perfume bottle industry producing containers for scent in every possible guise, also producing solid perfume containers that could be worn as pins on ladies clothing. Another major fashion designer of the 60s was Barbara Hulanicki founder of the Biba chain. She produced everything from scents to oils in stylised black bottles with the trademark gold logo, and these bottles are highly reminiscent of the Art Deco period in design. Today there is a huge array of different scents and novelty bottles to choose from in the commercial perfume industry but collectors are also attracted to the studio glass bottles that are skilfully made by various glassmakers. All leading manufacturers of these art glass creations, each bring a different trait to their trade and have their own personalities imprinted into their designs, these bottles are made as decorative pieces rather than functional and are to be displayed and admired. Look to manufacturers such as Isle of Wight, Okra and Glasform for high quality hand created art glass perfume bottles. Perfume bottles have […]
Some say “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” but in my case it is not the diamonds that make me shine but the handbag that I am carrying. There are so many to choose from so do you opt for a modern designer Gucci or a vintage 50s Llewellyn. The choice is entirely up to you but I do know that if you are holding a vintage bag you will definitely stand out from the crowd. Pictured: An original Llewyln 1950s Lucite Beehive Handbag with studded metal bees £300 – £450.00/$500-$750 Bags date as far back to when they were made of skin and used as a container for food and flints but from these extremely humble beginnings have progressed to become must-have fashion accessories that every woman adores. Handbags became an important part of status and substance in the early part of the 19th century but it is the innovative and colourful designs of the 20th century that made these items what they are today. Pictured: A 1960s plastic daisy bag similar to the Mary Quant Daisy. £80/$140 The Metal Mesh Bags were introduction towards the end of the 19th century but really came into their own in the 1920s as the perfect accessory for the “Flapper” girl. These bags had screen printed brightly coloured designs and the most well known are bags by American company “Whiting and Davis” which are all signed on the clasps; they reach as much as £150 on the secondary market today. Another well known and sought after designer of mesh bags in the 1930s was Mandalian, a Turkish designer who lived in the USA. The influence for his designs came from the patterns that you find on Turkish rugs and so are always brightly coloured, expect to pay £120 to £150 for a Mandalian design. Mesh bags made a revival in the 1950s but this particular decade became the most innovative for handbag design. Introducing new materials such as Lucite, the new box bags were popular, fun and modern. American designers such as Llewellyn and Willardy are the epiphany of 1950s design and so are always highly sought after by collectors. Pictured: An irredescent 1950s Llewelyn Lucite Hanbag – £130/$200 One of the rarest handbags from this decade has to be the “Beehive” by Llewellyn in 1951. It has a beehive shaped base with carved lid which has gilded metal bees on top, there are many beehive variations of this particular handbag but this is the original, thus commanding as much as £200 to £300 if you manage get your hands on one. Other popular bags in the fifties were made of raffia or wood, all highly decorated with beads, shells, or sequins and the Poodle motif was extremely popular. Post war design in bags became quirky with matching clip on umbrellas and even a battery operated light that enabled ladies to see into their bags even during the darkest of evenings. Pictured: Plastic American beehive style bags 1950s – £40 each/$70 each. Moving into the swinging Sixties plastic bags became all the range, the material PVC typified the era heavily influenced by Pop art and Op Art. Clothes designers such as Mary Quant and Biba opened their fashion boutiques and it became essential to team a dress and shoes up with a matching handbag, known as the “Total Look”. The daisy was also a popular design as it was the Quant logo and hard plastic bags appeared with all kind of daisy designs in different guises. Italian designer, Emilio Pucci, appealed to the wealthier woman of this decade with his psychedelic patterns and although he is better known for his clothes design he also produced some wonderful ladies handbags in the same swirly, kaleidoscope of colourful material but these do have a premium price attached. However, there is no need to part with large amounts of money to purchase handbags with psychedelic designs as the hippy generation towards the end of the sixties were particularly associated with this pattern and good examples can be found for as little at £50 to £80. Handbags are a woman’s must have accessory and with so much choice it is difficult to make a decision. Look for good makers names, innovative designs and shapes that ensure individuality. The most enticing thing about buying vintage bags are that these items are useable and instead of just admiring them in a cabinet use them and I guarantee you someone will want to know where you bought that bag? VINTAGE HANDBAGS FACT FILE Smell inside a Lucite 50’s bag before buying, if there is a strong chemical smell do not buy because this means that it is in the process of deteriorating. Store Lucite bags away from direct sunlight and extreme heat. Shortage of leather after WW2 forced manufacturers such as Gucci to use cane handles on bags. Look for original labels and makers marks. All well made designer handbags are signed. The more innovative the design the more sought after the bag. Check for cracks and faults especially on Lucite bags. Watch out for fake designer such as “2.55” Chanel bag, the market in the 1980s and 1990s were flooded with copies of this design. The Bolide Bag in 1923 was the first bag in history to feature a zipper. Related Vintage Handbags Vintage Handbags at Auction