purchase a modern timed, or limited edition collectable, range from
Horses to Sugar Sifters, and Boxes to Ornaments.
Horses – https://www.breyer.com
Breyer, the leading manufacturer of plastic, porcelain, and resin
model horses, animals and accessories have launched Cryptic, the
fourth horse in their Halloween series.
Cryptic is pictured right.
"description: Underneath Cryptic’s ghoulish tombstone-looking
exterior lies a terribly frightening surprise — a skeleton frame
that only comes out in the dark! Turn your lights off to fully
experience this thriller… Limited Edition."
Lorna Bailey Artware has released a whole new pattern Spooky Graveyard.
The new design is featured on 7 classic designs.
Pictured left is the Spooky
Graveyard pattern featured on Small Round Jug design.
design is only available for a limited period, as well as the
five other timed editions produced for Halloween 2004 which include
Merlin the Cat and Witchy the Sugar Shaker.
Witchy the Sugar Shaker from
Lorna Bailey Artware is pictured right.
Department 56 produce a number of successful ranges including Villages
For 2004 Halloween highlights include: Grimsly Manor, a lighted
building form the Snow Vilage Halloween Collection.
Manor is pictured left.
Three Happy Witches, from
the Snowbabies range are pictured right.
Krinkles are also produced by Dept 56 and are all designed by
artist Patience Brewster. The Krinkles range of quirkly seasonal
ornaments are attracting a lot of attention and look set to be
Pictured left is the
Cat Pumpkin Ornament.
Each year Christopher Radko offers some of the most interesting
Halloween Ornaments and for the past couple of years their web
site has been one of the most interesting to view around the Witching
Pictured right is the Radko
Monster Manor Figure.
& Harmony Kingdom https://www.harmonykingdom.com
Harmony Kingdom have produced three Disney Exclusives this year
including ‘Gift For Sally’ featuring Jack Skellington and Sally
from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I wonder what’s hidden in
the box. The piece is available from Disney Direct and Limited
to 1000 pieces. Gift For Sally
produced for Disney Direct is ‘Neck and Neck’ depicting the classic
story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman from The Legend
of Sleepy Hollow.
Auctions have recently had ‘Cats and Dogs Halloween’ featuring
some of Disney’s most famous cats and dogs.
Pictured above left ‘Gift
For Sally’, above right ‘Neck and Neck’ and left ‘Cats and Dogs
Hopefully, this gives a taste of what is out there and Have a
Write for WCN
Random Collecting Feature
We take a look at some of the Christmas Collectables, Christmas Collectibles and Christmas gifts available for Xmas 2018. Royal Doulton Royal Doulton has several festive offerings including their annual Christmas Figure entitled Christmas Surprise, their 2018 Father Christmas entitled Santa Christmas List and the annual petite figure Glad Tidings. Also available are two new models from the Carol Singers collection: Angels from the Realms of Glory and Here We Come A-Carolling. We especially like Santa’s Christmas List which is a colourful study reflecting all the magical charm of the festive season. The jolly Santa reads from a scroll bearing the names of the children he’s leaving gifts for under the flamboyantly decorated Christmas Tree. For more details visit Royal Doulton. Jim Shore Heartland Creek Jim Shore does create wonderful festive items and colourful items. White Woodland Santa is a new addition to the White Woodland Collections from Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore. Standing at 48cm tall, this impressive piece features Mr Claus with his arms out-stretched, holding a piece of bark in his hands. At either side of the log are small woodland creatures including a squirrel and two birds. His feet are surrounded by other creatures, with the piece depicting a white rabbit and grey raccoon. There are a number of new pieces in the White Woodland collection whose colours feature muted winter tones of ice blues, silvers and greys, creating a coherent look that will complement other items across the range while working harmoniously in any home off-set against existing festive décor. For more details visit Enesco’s Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore. Swarovski Silver Crystal The release of the Swarovski annual Christmas ornaments, stars and editions are always keenly anticipated. The 2018 Christmas editions include the SCS Christmas ornament, annual Christmas ball and a Kris Bear annual edition. The Annual Edition Ornament 2018 has been designed by Verena Castelein and is in golden crystal with 156 facets, and comes with a golden satin ribbon and a specially designed metal tag engraved with ‘SCS’ on one side and ‘2018’ on the other. The Christmas Ball edition is very nice and has been designed by Stefanie Nederegger. The Christmas Ball Ornament, Annual Edition 2018 showcases a delicate shooting star, a symbol of dreams and wishes, inside a hand-made, mouth-blown glass ball. Small hand-glued crystals add extra sparkle and make each piece truly one-of-a-kind. The 2018 Kris Bear Christmas Annual Edition shows the Kris Bear in an active pose, decorating a colourful crystal Christmas tree with a golden crystal star on top. The edition has been modelled by artist Viktoria Holzknecht. For more details visit Swarovski.com. Lladro Lladro have released three versions of the Lladro Christmas Bell and three versions of the Lladro Christmas Ball. These classic designs both feature new decoration inspired by musical instruments. In matte porcelain and decorated in three different colours. For more details visit Lladro.com. Steiff The Sweet Santa Musical Teddy Bear by Steiff is a limited edition teddy made in white mohair. It is a limited edition piece, has the white ear tag and the trademark Button in Ear – gold plated, and is being produced in an edition of only 1225 pieces. It stands 27cm tall and plays Jingle Bells . Very sweet. Visit https://www.steiff.com for more details.
Released during the Great War from 1915-1919 was an impressive set of eleven toby jugs based on the Allied Political and Military leaders by Wilkinson after designs and caricatures by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould. Each of the figures holds an item or is an item and has associated words e.g. Lloyd George holds a cannon shell with the words Shell Out on it (full list below). The set is extremely well designed, made and coloured and each molded figure was polychrome enameled and gilded. The features the retailers mark Soane & Smith, who were based in Knightsbridge. Lord Kitchener, holding a jug inscribed ‘Bitter for the KAISER’, 25cm high Admiral Beatty, holding a shell inscribed ‘Dread Nought’, 26.5cm high Field Marshall Haig, seated upon a tank, titled ‘Push and Go’ to the base, 27cm high Admiral Jellicoe, holding a jug inscribed ‘Hell Fire Jack’, 26cm high Marshall Joffre, holding a shell inscribed ’75mm Ce Que Joffre’, 25.5cm high Lord French, holding a jug inscribed ‘French Pour Les Francais’, 26cm high Lloyd George, holding a shell titled ‘Shell Out!’, 25cm high Marshall Foch holding a champagne bottle inscribed ‘Au Diable Le Kaiser’, 31.5cm high General Botha, holding a jug inscribed ‘Loyalty’, 26.5cm high Woodrow Wilson, with an aeroplane on his lap, the base inscribed ‘Welcome! Uncle Sam’, 27cm high King George V, holding a globe, the base inscribed ‘Pro Patria’, 30cm high A fabulous and rare set not often seen for sale as a full set.
Dame Muriel Spark (née Muriel Sarah Camberg) was born in Edinburgh on the 1st February 1918, and 2018 is the centenary of her birth. She is most famous for her sixth novel, published in 1961, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, with its eponymous title character, the free spirited Miss Jean Brodie. She was placed placed her eighth in The Times list of the ‘50 greatest post-war writers’. Muriel Spark began writing poetry in her early teens at school. At the age of 19 she left Scotland for Southern Rhodesia to marry Sydney Oswald Spark, thirteen years her senior whom she had met at a dance in Edinburgh. In July of 1938, she gave birth to a son Samuel Robin Spark in Southern Rhodesia and having left the marriage, Spark supported herself and her son there. Spark began writing seriously after the war, under her married name, beginning with poetry and literary criticism. In 1947 she became editor of the Poetry Review. In 1953 Muriel Spark was baptised in the Church of England but in 1954 she decided to join the Roman Catholic Church, which she considered crucial in her development toward becoming a novelist. Her first novel, The Comforters, was published in 1957. It featured several references to Catholicism and conversion to Catholicism, although its main theme revolved around a young woman who becomes aware that she is a character in a novel. Spark was to publish four more novels Robinson (1958), Memento Mori (1959), The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960) and the The Bachelors (1960) until The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1961. Brodie was to become the novel that she would forever synoymous with. In the novel Spark displayed originality of subject and tone, making extensive use of flash forwards and imagined conversations. Muriel Spark Novels and Price Guide These prices are a reflection of the market as of 15th January 2018. As with most modern first editions condition of the dust jacket is critical to the valuation. The Comforters (1957) Robinson (1958) Memento Mori (1959) The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960) The Bachelors (1960) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) The Girls of Slender Means (1963) The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) The Public Image (1968) The Driver’s Seat (1970) Not To Disturb (1971) The Hothouse by the East River (1973) The Abbess of Crewe (1974) The Takeover (1976) Territorial Rights (1979) Loitering with Intent (1981) The Only Problem (1984) A Far Cry From Kensington (1988) Symposium (1990) Reality and Dreams (1996) Aiding and Abetting (2000) The Finishing School (2004) Reference Celebrating Muriel Spark and writing about post traumatic stress – Radio 4 a look at the work of Muriel Spark and discussion with William Boyd and Alan Taylor (14 January 2018) Dame Muriel Spark – A great British novelist, and the waspish creator of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – obituary on The Guardian (17 April 2006)
Cats are surrounded with superstition, black cats especially so. In ancient Egypt, cats were revered, the black ones being most omnipotent of all.
They have a variety of names – pincushion dolls, tea-cosie dolls and dresser dolls… and there are those also known as ‘tops’, ‘pin heads’ or ‘whisk-broom’ dolls. Generally they are referred to as Half Dolls… but whatever name may be dubbed, they all have one thing in common.
Monart Glass was produced at the Moncrieff’s North British Glassworks by John Moncrieff Ltd, Perth, Scotland from 1924-1961. The design works was headed by Salvador Ysart, a Spanish glassworker, and his four sons (Paul, Vincent, Augustine, and Antoine). Monart Glass is recognisable for its mottled and marbled colour patterns and its distinctive iridising of the white decoration in its earlier pieces. Salvador Ysart was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1878. He apprenticed as a glassblower in Barcelona and later moved to France in 1909, influenced by Emile Gallé’s School of Nancy, to work in various glass factories which included the Schneider Art Glass factory (founded by Charles and Ernest Schneider). In 1915 he moved to Scotland with his family where he was recruited to teach glassblowing at Leith Flint Glassworks in Edinburgh. In 1922 he moved to the Moncrieff glassworks in Perth, initially to make laboratory glassware with his eldest son Paul. Isobel Moncrieff, wife of John Moncrieff, saw a vase made by Salvador at the factory and he realised its commercial potential. A new range of decorative glasswares was developed in 1923 and eventually released in 1924 under the brand “Monart Ware”. The Monart was from the name MONcrieff and YsART. The range to include vases, bowls, lampshades, candlesticks, scent bottles, ashtrays and paperweights and became to be sold in London by Liberty’s as well as being exported to Australia and North America including at Tiffany & Co. Monart became especially well known for their range of table lamps and ceiling shades became an important part of production. The Monart lamps are among the most valuable of the all the Monart ranges. The designs of some of the lamps reflecting Salvador’s earlier training with Schneider as well as the influence of Daum and Gallé. The Monart Ware Lighting Pattern Book recorded thirty-four bases and twenty-seven shades, some available in at least three different sizes. Production of art glass at Moncrieff’s ceased during World War II. After the war, Moncrieff’s were reluctant to continue producing art glass, so in 1947, Salvador, with his younger sons Vincent and Augustine, set up Vasart Glass. Paul Ysart stayed on at Moncreiff’s and Monart glass production was restarted in 1947, then continued for another 14 years, but on a much smaller scale than before the War. The colours were also paler after 1945 because fashion tastes had changed and also it was difficult to obtain the bold pre-war colours. During this time Paul Ysart developed line of paperweights at Monart which have become highly collectables. In fact Paul has is recognised as one the fathers of the Scottish fame in paperweights. He later designed paperweights for Caithness Glass. Production finally ended in 1961 but the legacy of Monart Glass and the Ysart infleunce continues today. Related Monart Glass – from The Glass Encyclopedia Monart Glass information and Antique Ethos
The term Fairing can be designated to anything obtained at a Fair, but the term has become exclusively attached to small porcelain figures & figure groups, and sometimes trinket boxes, match strikers, pin holders and spill holders that were given away as prizes or sold at the local Fair. They were usually humorous and sometimes risque, and for the majority they had captions inscribed on their base. Pictured right: A fairing entitled Modesty Sold for £41 at Bonhams, Honiton, 2006. Pride of place on the maid’s mantelpiece was often given to a colourful figure ornament known as a fairing – a treasured memento of a rare day at the local fair. Tony Curtis Pictured left: A Fairing pinbox titled Shall we sleep first or how? Sold for £41 at Bonhams, Honiton, 2006. Fairings were very popular from 1860 to just after the death of Queen Victoria, and costing just a few pence they were popular amongst the working class who would value and collect the Fairings, as a reminder of the day at the fair. The Fair during the mid 19th century was often an annual holiday for the local community. As the century progressed, the growth of the railways and transport networks led to increased mobility and the commercial importance of the Fair decreased. During the later part of the century Fairings were more likely to be sold in shops than be a prize at the Fair. Pictured right: This large collection of Fairings was sold by Christies in Amsterdam in 2004. The collection included over 200 assorted Fairings, of which 22 were impressed with the Shield for the Conte & Boehme Factory, Pössneck, Germany. The Fairings wer sold for 14,938 EUROS. Although seemingly quintessentially British the main production of Fairings was in Germany and in particular the Conta & Boehme 0f Possneck, Saxony. The German potteries were technologically advanced and were ale to produce the small brightly coloured, gilded Fairing pieces cheaply for the mass market. The Fairings were made of white soft-paste porcelain and would be assembled from several moulds, fired, glazed, fired a second time and subsequently had painted and gilded. Conta & Boehme made Fairings from about 1860 to 1914. Several other factories in the area also produced Fairings but generally to a lesser quality, until the start of World War I ended the trade. The subject matter for the Fairings was influenced by ideas from their British agents – many of the Fairings were based on courtship, marriage, everyday life, popular songs, characters and events from the period. The Fairings featured maidens, newly weds, drunks, couples and figures of fun. Some more serious Fairings were produced but the majority were light hearted and great fun. Towards the end of the time that Fairing were being created there was a shift towards more sentimental scenes. With the great variation in Fairing models, their humour and their colourful appearance, Fairings are popular with collectors. Today Fairings can still be purchased relatively cheaply £20-£30 ($30-$50), but early Conta & Boehme studies, rare pieces and Fairings with unusual captions have the most value. Books on Victorian Fairings
Collecting for me is about amassing items that give you pleasure. Now that may well be a collection of stamps, ceramic ornaments or even toy cars but whatever you choose they are items that either bring back nostalgic memories or you simply purchase them because you love them. For me collecting is also about our social history, all of the items that we buy did at some stage have a reason for their existence. This is why I am fascinated with collecting items from various decades. Many collectors source anything and everything from the 1930s, whilst others crave items from the 1940s and there are those fascinated by the 1950s. In fact, there are collectors for every decade who either cherry pick items or even live their lives as if it was still that particular era from the 20th Century. I prefer to cherry pick as I am still very much a modern 21st Century girl at heart. There are certain aspects from each decade that attract me with the 1960s rating very high on the list. I can usually find items that epitomise this era extremely cheaply like the vivid 1960s tray I bought for 20p at a bootsale. Top Tip: Charity Shops, Bootsales and Garage Sales are perfect places to pick up vintage items for a few pounds. Look for ceramics, glass, fashion and pictures that scream the 1960s. If they are not already sought after they will be very soon. I am also fascinated by 1960s fashion. A mixture of boutique couture such as Biba and Mary Quant, the invention of the mini skirt and an all round fashion revolution – there is much on offer for the keen eyed collector. Designer labels usually come at a cost but there other wonderful fashion items from this particular decade which can be picked up at a reasonable price. I purchased a lovely bright red mini dress on one of the internet auctions for £25 which was a real bargain for a piece of vintage clothing. In fact, vintage is all the rage at the moment and I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah Turner Vokes, managing director of the London based vintage clothes store Paper Dress when I was featured in leading fashion magazine Grazia, last year. Hannah is the ultimate vintage fashion junkie and she wore an amazing disposable paper 1960s mini dress and also brought along a 1960s paper bikini to the photoshoot. Hannah often rummages around bootsales to find her bargains and this seems to have paid off as the dress cost just £9 and the bikini which she bought off of an internet site was a steal at £7, both of which are worth considerably more especially if sold in a specialist vintage store. Top Tip: Look for unusual items like paper clothing as these are becoming harder to find and collectors crave them. Jewellery is also a favourite for me and I was lucky enough to find a Mary Quant Daisy ring from a collectors fair a few years ago for £50. I have never seen this particular design before as it has beautiful blue enamel and the daisy actually opens to reveal a perfume container underneath. So this particular item fits into collecting 1960s, costume jewellery and vanity items like ladies compacts. Handbags and shoes from the 1960s are also keenly acquired by collectors and over the years I have bought many vintage examples with one pair costing just £2. Kaleidoscopes of colours they certainly make me stand out in a crowd when I wear them. These can be picked up quite cheaply like the wonderful yellow floral shoes and matching clutch bag that I bought from a bootsale for £25. When originally made these shoes and handbag formed part of the new 1960s fashion bug of ladies matching their shoes to their bags, otherwise known as The Total Look. It is not just the fashions and accessories of the swinging sixties that get collector’s hearts racing as there was much more on offer from this vibrant decade. In 1963 the Cornish pottery Troika was established by Benny Sirota, Lesley Illsley and Jan Thomson. They made attractive, yet usable art pottery which today has stormed the collectors market with people pay thousands for one of the rare plaques or sculptural Aztec heads. There are still more affordable pieces available with coffin vases and marmalade pots selling from £80-£100 upwards. So if you are looking for something dating from the 1960s that fits well into today’s environment Troika pottery is definitely an option. Toys are also a popular area of collecting and the 1960s didn’t fail to produce. The Sindy doll was launched in 1963 and many of her outfits were created by leading fashion designers such as Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale. One of my favourite pastimes is hunting out Sindy doll outfits as each replicates the fashions of the time and as I adore fashion this is just an extended way of me indulging my passion. Fact: The boys weren’t forgotten as Action Man was launched in Britain in 1966. The 1960s had so much to offer and I have literally just touched the tip of the iceberg where collecting this decade is concerned. Revolutionary in so many ways we mustn’t forget the music – especially The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. An area really worth indulging in if you can afford to collect some of the original memorabilia. Then of course 1966 supplied us with a host of World Cup memorabilia, not forgetting of course the charismatic British spy James Bond (played by Sean Connery) who first graced the silver screen in 1962 when Dr. No was released. So rather than just concentrating on one specific topic area of collecting like books, film or sporting memorabilia – take a look at what is on offer from the various 20th Century decades. Unless of course you lived through the 1960s and are now cursing the fact that you threw away […]
Today is 21st October 2015 (well it is if you are reading when first published) and for Back to the Future fans it is a special day – it is the day Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown travelled to in Back to the Future 2 in 1989. 2015 also mark the 30th Anniversary of the original Back to the Future release, so we thought we would indulge ourselves and write a feature on Back to the Future Collectibles and Merchandise. We are going Back to, no we are Collecting Back to the Future! Pictured: Back to the Future (Universal, 1985) One Sheet (27″ X 41″) movie poster. This version sold at Heritage Auctions for $501.90 in February 2015. Back to the Future Part II (Universal, 1989) Advance One Sheet movie poster (27″ X 41″) which sold at Heritage Auctions for $195.50 in February 2006. Back to the Future Part III (Universal, 1990) One Sheet movie poster (27″ X 40″) which sold at Heritage Auctions for $143.40 in June 2015. The Back to the Future Movie Franchise The original film was directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, produced by Gale and Neil Canton. The cast included Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. The film follows teenager Marty McFly (Fox) as he travels accidentally back in time to a Hill Valley of 1955 in a De Lorean time machine built by the eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown. Pictured: One of the iconic De Lorean cars from the Back to the Future films. This version was sold by Profiles in History at their Icons of Hollywood auction in December 2011 for $541,200. There is some debate as to how many De Loreans were used in the films but seven seems to be agreed upon by several sources. Only a few have survived and at the time this was the only one in private hands. Most of us cannot afford a real De Lorean, yet alone one used in filming. Luckily there have been a number of small models over the years. Corgi produced a very popular 1:36th scale model which included a Doc Brown figure. In mint condition in box these can now sell for £50-£60. In 2001 Corgi produced a Limited Edition of 100 “Back To The Future” – Delorean – Finished In Silver to commemorate the launch of their TV & Film Collection. This model now sells for nearly £200. During his brief time he meets his future parents in high school, becomes his mother’s romantic interest and changes the course of history. Marty with the help of Doc Brown must repair the damage and find a way to return to 1985. The film was released on July 3, 1985, grossing over $300 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1985. The film marked the beginning of a franchise, with two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990). Back to the Future Action Figures There are now more toys and collectibles available for the collectors than there has even been. Surprisingly there do es not seem to be any action figures produced for the films at the time. Please let us know if you have any information. The Back to the Future license has been taken up by a number of companies and brands including Funko, POP!, Hot Toys, ReAction, MiniMates etc. Back to the Movie Props and Replicas Owning an original Back to the Future movie prop is the holy grail for any collector. Prop replicas are also an affordable way to enter this market. Online and specialist auction houses have made access to these sort of items much easier. Below are a few items from the ScreenUsed and BacktotheFuture.com 30th Anniversary auction. Replicas of the items below are also available. Back to the Future Collectibles, Toys & Memorabilia Related backtothefuture.com ScreenUsed.com
As an obsessive follower of fashion one of my favourite pastimes is spending copious amounts of money in the designer shops lining London’s smartest streets. Just recently I caught the train home armed with bags bearing the names of Gucci and Lulu Guinness, but if I’d had enough money then the bag that I would have definitely carried home would have been blazoned with the word “Chanel”. Pictured: Gabrielle Chanel, A Little Black Dress, Circa 1926 – classic silk dress in tunic form, with integral overblouse which ties at back waist, short sleeves and square neck, finely pleated apron panel, labelled Gabrielle Chanel Paris, numbered ‘2924’. Sold at Christies, London, Nov 2007 for £875 ($1,806). Born Gabrielle Chanel on 19th August 1883 in Saumur, France, into a poverty stricken family, she spent most of her childhood growing up in the austere area of Auvergne. Chanel’s mother was a sickly woman and her father a philanderer. Life became even harder for Chanel at the age of twelve when after her mother’s death from Tuberculosis she was abandoned at an orphanage by her father. Pictured: A Chanel Wedding Gown And Train 1930 – Composed of a dress with elaborately gored and top stitched bodice and skirts, the detachable train appliqué with cream velvet flowers, fixing to shoulder with hooks and eyes. Labelled CHANEL, with couture number ‘99409’ Sold at Christies, London, Nov 2013 for £40,000 ($63,520). Chanel’s passion for fashion started whilst at a boarding school in Notre Dame; she studied the other girls clothes and fabrics, then learnt to sew. After leaving school she found employment in a lingerie shop and took a second job with a tailor, but her biggest ambition was to leave the life of poverty behind. Intent on seeking wealth without marriage she knew that rich men would shower her with gifts and introduce a grandeur way of life. This dream became reality when Chanel found work as a cabaret singer in a bar at night. She sang two songs and one of these was called “Who has seen Coco”. This became her signature tune and gave her both a new name and the start of a relationship with Etienne Balsan, a wealthy man whose family money was made from textile manufacturing. Life as a mistress was a little uncomfortable at first, as she had a boyish figure and short hair, which was very different to the other mistresses who wore elaborate, corseted dresses and knew how to conduct themselves properly. Chanel decided to adopt her own unique style by wearing men’s clothing, and although this look was a little strange compared to other elegant women Chanel felt more comfortable and continued to dress in this manner. It was during this period that she started to design her own range of hats; this was the first stepping-stone of her successful career. Women craved to wear her millinery creations and it wasn’t long before she was recognised as an important hat designer, forcing her to open a workshop in 1909. Chanel’s first shop was opened in Paris in 1910, and by 1912 she had left Etienne Balsan for Boy Capel, a successful businessman. Capel took a personal interest in Chanel and backed her business financially, thus encouraging her to fulfil her dreams. She opened a boutique in Deauville in 1913 and then began to expand by designing clothing as well as hats. Using hand knitted fabrics she created jackets and skirts. These fresh new designs became an instant hit with the wealthier women, liberating them from their corsets, thus liberating their minds. Chanel wanted women to no longer be reliant on men but to think for themselves and saw that this could happen through the clothes that they wore. In 1915 Chanel’s business was thriving and she was able to open a second house of couture in Biarritz. Completely selfsufficient she no longer needed Boy Capel’s finances but he was the one true love of her life. Chanel was devastated; when in 1919 tragedy hit; Boy Capel was killed in a car crash, and once again she felt abandoned, coping with the grief by throwing herself into work. It was in 1921 when Chanel’s signature scent first appeared on the market. She asked Ernest Beaux, a perfumer, to create an innovative perfume and the result was a fresh smell that lasted longer than any other scent. She set about designing packaging that would capture what the name “Chanel” was all about; clean, crisp and modern. The perfume was housed in a square shaped plain bottle and she did what no other designer had done before by attaching her own name to the scent, “Chanel No. 5”. It was then launched at a Spring Fair on the 5th day of the month. “Chanel No. 5” has become one of the world’s biggest selling scents and the earlier bottles are highly sought after in collecting circles. Another popular area of Chanel collecting is costume jewellery. She was inspired by her own collection of precious stones to create a range of costume jewellery that would complement her clothing ranges. It was sold in a Chanel box and materials used varied from enamel and glass to crystal rhinestones and faux pearls. Some of the rarer pieces are worth thousands of pounds, such as a Peacock pin, set with poured coloured glass and clear crystal rhinestones, produced in the 1930s. This can command £1,665-£2,335. Another rare pin is the enamelled frog brooch dating from 1927, again worth in the region of £1,500-£2,000. If your pocket will not stretch to such high sums, then you can find more affordable pieces of Chanel jewellery on the market. Look for pins in the form of the Maltese Cross which was a signature motif for Chanel. Unfortunately this design is not as popular with contemporary collectors as some of the other designs, so a pin would only cost £80-£100, but it’s a good place to start if you want to begin a collection of Chanel jewellery. Coco Chanel continued to make classic sophisticated […]