The Chessell Pottery was founded in 1978 by Sheila and John Francis in the pretty village of Chessell on the Isle of Wight.
Baccarat Paperweights Baccarat Crystal is a manufacturer of fine crystal glassware located in Baccarat, France. The Musée Baccarat, on the Place des États-Unis in Paris, displays many of its finest productions. Pictured: A very rare Baccarat concentric millefiori `fireworks’ paperweight circa 1848, it was made specifically to commemorate the French Revolution of 1848. This brilliant object is one of only two examples of this type known. Image Copyright: Bonhams. History 1764-1816 In 1764 King Louis XV of France gave permission to found a glassworks in the town of Baccarat in the Lorraine region in eastern France to Prince Bishop Cardinal Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency (1761-1802). Production consisted of window panes, mirrors and stemware until 1816 when the first crystal oven went into operation. By that time over 3000 workers were employed at the site. 1817-1867 Baccarat received its first royal commission in 1823. This began a lengthy line of commissions for royalty and heads of state throughout the world. In 1855 Baccarat won its first gold medal at the World’s Fair in Paris. Pictured: A Baccarat spaced concentric millefiori weight and a Baccarat spray weight mid 19th century and 20th century, the second with stencilled mark. The first enclosing a central cane encircled with six others including three silhouettes of a goat, a cockerel and a dog, within an outer circlet of canes; the second with a spray of white lilies with orange stamens and green leaves on a white honeycomb-ground. Sold for £900, May 2006, Christies, London. Baccarat first began marking its work with a registered mark in 1860. The mark was a label affixed to the bot tom of the work. In the period 1846-1849 Baccarat signed some of their high quality glass paperweights with the letter B and the year date in a composite cane. A special paperweight dated 1853 was found under the cornerstone of a bomb damaged church in Baccarat when construction recommenced after World War 2. The crystal production expanded its scope throughout this period, and Baccarat built a worldwide reputation for making quality stemware, chandeliers, barware, and perfume bottles. 1867-1936 The Imperial Era ended in 1867 with the defeat of Napoléon III. Influences outside of France began to have a stronger influence on Baccarat’s work during this era, particularly imports from Japan. Strong growth continued in Asia for Baccarat. One of the strongest production areas for Baccarat was perfume bottles, and by 1907 production was over 4000 bottles per day. Pictured: A Baccarat dated carpet ground weight signed and dated on a single cane ‘b1848’ The clear glass set with assorted scattered brightly coloured millefiori canes, including animal silhouettes of a stag, a peahen, a horse, an elephant, a butterfly, a cockerel, and a monkey, set on a ground of red and white canes, some with blue star centers. Sold for $13,145, October 2004, Christies, New York. In 1936 Baccarat began marking all of its works via acid or sandblasting. 1936—Present Baccarat created an American subsidiary in 1948 in New York City. By 2007 there were stores in Chicago; Costa Mesa; Dallas; Houston; Greenwich, Connecticut; Honolulu; New York; Troy, Michigan; San Francisco; Palm Desert, California; Las Vegas; and Atlantic City. A 12th location is set to open in Atlanta in 2010. A retrospective was held in 1964 at the Louvre Museum to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the crystal works. In 1993 Baccarat began making jewelry and in 1997 the company expanded into perfume. Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
Tiny Tears Dolls – The Most Popular Vinyl Doll – Launched in a blaze of publicity in 1965, amazingly Tiny Tears dolls are still sold today – and the earliest ones are becoming exceedingly collectable. At the time, Palitoy was one of Britain’s largest toy manufacturers, and their revolutionary doll went on to win the ‘Toy of the Year’ award no less than three times. But what made this vinyl doll any different to the hundreds of others on the market at the time? Well, not only she could she shed ‘real’ tears and wet her nappy, additionally her limbs were attached with unique rotational joints, causing her to fall naturally into a floppy, babylike position when she was held. The very first, 1965, Tiny Tears doll was 16″ high with fine pale blonde hair and blue sleeping eyes. The back of her neck was marked ‘Made in England 16D’. She had delicate features, a small, pursed mouth, wore a turquoise or pink gingham romper and came with a bib, bottle and a dummy. This doll proved so popular that a year later Palitoy produced a smaller version, Teeny Tiny Tears, just 12″ high. Shortly after, Palitoy became part of the American company, General Mills Inc., who decided to keep the Palitoy name. Sometimes today collectors come across a baby doll similar to Tiny Tears but with a smiling face. This is Baby Flopsy, issued around the same time and advertised as being able to wear Teeny Tiny Tears outfits. She was sold wearing just a nappy. Five years after the initial launch, Tiny Tears was given a complete revamp which made her appear older; her delicate face was more rounded, her eyes were larger, her mouth wider and her hair was thicker. This is the face which most people remember, and it was to stay the same for the next fifteen years. She was marked ‘Palitoy’ on the back of the neck. One of her most popular outfits was a white nylon dress with blue and pink smocking on the yoke, and she was sold in this from 1973 to 1980, at a recommended retail price of œ7.99. Tiny Tears dolls came with guarantees and gift certificates, as well as instructions on how to feed the doll and make her cry. The tear mechanism was activated by ‘feeding’ the doll with water, quickly inserting a dummy to prevent the water trickling out of the mouth, and then squeezing her tummy hard. She would wet her nappy at the same time, probably due to shock! To mark the next decade, Tiny Tears was given a pretty cotton dress with a floral design in either pink or blue, and, at first, matching pants and bonnet, though soon a nappy was substituted for the pants while the bonnet was discarded.The eye-catching box read ‘She’s as cute and cuddly as a real baby. Just like a real baby she cries real tiny tears.’ The decade also heralded a new addition, the little Teeny Weeny Tiny Tears, just 9″ tall, who is now extremely popular with collectors and quite hard to find. A Tiny Tears logo was introduced, shaped like a yellow ‘sun-ray’, to decorate clothing and accessories, and in 1982, the floral outfit was updated to a white cotton dress trimmed with blue gingham. Three years later one of the prettiest versions of Tiny Tears appeared. Her ash-blonde hair was very thick and curly, her face was slimmer, and she wore a distinctive all-in-one jump-suit consisting of pink and blue spotted trousers over a white and blue striped top, with the words ‘Tiny Tears’ embroidered in blue on the trouser bib. Although the boxes of these dolls were labelled ‘Palitoy’, the actual doll bore no mark. It was around this time that General Mills withdrew from the toy scene and for a while, it seemed that Tiny Tears would disappear too. However, you can’t keep a popular doll down, and soon she was back, now produced by Tonka Toys, who introduced a brunette version as well as the standard blonde. It was Tonka who were responsible for one of the more unusual innovations when, in 1988, they gave Tiny Tears ‘flirty’ eyes, which moved from side to side. At the same time, they revamped her body, giving her realistically-curled fingers. This roving-eye doll is very collectable, but be careful, because the delicate eye mechanism is often damaged. When Tiny Tears celebrated her 25th birthday in 1990 (sold in a special anniversary presentation box) she was given a complete makeover, and reverted to the original delicate features. Tonka introduced two new dolls to the range. Timmy Tears, still a favourite today, and advertised as Tiny Tears’ twin brother, had dark hair, a saucy face, and wore a white and navy dungaree suit. He had the same crying and wetting abilities as his twin. The other addition was big sister Katie, who was a triumph, and one of the prettiest dolls on the market at the time. She was dainty, with a sweet face and, at 17″ tall, an inch taller than her siblings. Her outfit consisted of a white-spotted cerise or navy dress, and though she wasn’t a crying doll, she could do something even more clever – she could grow her hair! Around her neck hung a large plastic locket containing a pull cord, which enabled the hair to be wound in or out from her head, and an additional hairpiece was included in her box. Katie was soon discontinued, and is today one of the most sought-after of the Tiny Tears collection. During this period, the who-owned-whom became complicated. A spokes-person, writing in 1998 on behalf of Playmates Toys, a more recent owner of Tiny Tears, states that General Mills was bought out by Tonka and ‘eventually Kenner Parker. The company stayed Kenner Parker up until about 5 years ago (1992), when it was bought out by Hasbro, however the company still remained with the name Kenner Parker, which became a part of […]
Antique and vintage glass rolling pins vary from simple clear examples, to the famous Bristol Blue colours, to elaborate multi-coloured Nailsea examples and to examples with motifs and words. Glass rolling pins although functional developed into quite an art form and also became known as love tokens as they were often given by departing sailors to there loved ones with words on such as ‘be true to me’, ‘remember me’, ‘forget me not’ etc. They were often hung upon parlour walls and prized as emblems of good luck, only to be taken down when pastry was ceremoniously prepared for a wedding feast. Such pastry was believed to bring good fortune to all who ate it. Nautical themes were also common on rolling pins with sea-faring motifs, ships, mottos and inscriptions. These would be applied as painting, gilding and printing. Some of the designs are quite intricate and attractive original Victorian are much sought after. Rarer examples include anti-slavery messages, and those marking special events such as coronations. They were hollow in form and often served as dual purpose for holding salt. They would have had a cord and would have been hung in the kitchen or by a fire to keep the salt dry. During the 17th to 19th centuries salt was taxed heavily and was considered a luxury item. Later, in a clearer bottle glass, they were used also as containers of tea and the standard rolling pin measuring 15 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter will hold exactly one pound of tea. They were also sold as fairings with sweets and treats inside. The rolling pin used to hold salt or tea or comfits was fitted at one end with a ground-in ballheaded stopper of glass: when the purely ornamental rolling pin came into fashion both ends consisted of matching solid knobs. The production of a Nailsea glass rolling pin The Nailsea examples were not only made at the Nailsea works in Somerset but also Bristol, Newcastle, Sunderland, Wrockwardine Wood in Shropshire, Alloa in Scotland and elsewhere. Nailsea has become the generic term for the type of glass produced in these areas. These rolling pins were created from hot molten glass and rolled in coloured and/or white enamel chips which were sprinkled on the marver plate. The glass is then reheated and blown into shape with the glass rolling pin incorporating the selected colour such a purple, blue, mottled and striped. Antique and Vintage Glass Rolling Pins price guide Related A Look at Nailsea Glass Fairings – Fun at the Victorian Fair
Evenings are longer now, and traditionally this is the time of year when witches shake the dust from their broomsticks to take off into the skies, black cats polish their whiskers and wizards settle down with their spell books and a goblet of something tasty made from newts. Harry Potter is big business, and as well as dvds, keyrings, mugs and sticker books there are some stunning dolls made in his likeness, and those of Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and the rest of the Hogwarts’ inhabitants. Ever since Harry first appeared – ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’, was released in 2001 – dolls have been made as tie-ins with the films, and it has been fascinating to watch these dolls develop, reflecting the growing up of the children in the films. So far, the films which have appeared are ‘Philosopher’s Stone’, ‘Chamber of Secrets’, ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, ‘Goblet of Fire’, ‘Order of the Phoenix’ and the latest ‘Half-Blood Prince’, and as each hits the cinemas, so a new range of toys and dolls reaches the shops. Not all of the dolls are intended just for children, either! When Robert Tonner, a prestigious American designer, announced in 2005 that he intended to issue a line of Harry Potter dolls, collectors were intrigued. The first doll in the series, ‘Harry Potter at Hogwarts’ featured Harry in his school outfit of grey sweater and flannel trousers with a black robe, and was breathtaking; this was a perfect Harry! Most of the dolls in the series stand around 17 inches tall, and feature 17 points of articulation, which means they are eminently poseable. They have hand-painted faces and the modelling is excellent. Since that initial release, other Tonner versions of Harry have appeared, such as Harry in his Quidditch outfit and Harry ready for the Yule Ball. The Quidditch Harry features him dressed in a custom knit sweater over racing trousers and shin guards. His red and yellow house robe bears the Gryffindor crest. A magnificent Firebolt broomstick is available separately. The Yule Ball version is a rather sinister Harry, in a long black robe over a formal shirt, trousers, waistcoat and bow tie. A model of Hedwig, his owl, can be purchased to add a finishing touch by perching it on Harry’s arm. The Ron and Hermione dolls are equally stunning, especially the Yule Ball versions. Ron at the Yule Ball wears his vintage tapestry robe – the subject of much mirth in the book – over a frilled formal shirt, trousers and velvet bow tie. His ginger hair is set off well by the autumnal shades of his robe. Hermione is beautiful in her long ball gown in graduated shades of purple chiffon ruffles, and with her upswept hair styled in ringlets around her face. The company also sells casual outfits which the three friends can wear for weekend outings. Now Tonner has added more characters, such as Draco Malfoy, Cho Chang, Professor Snape and Voldemort. Even Dobby, Kreacher, Crookshanks, Fawkes and the Sorting Hat are included in the Tonner creations, which means that keen collectors can act out the stories through their dolls if they want, or arrange them in scenes from the books or films on a shelf. Perhaps the most handsome of the dolls is the fair-haired Draco Malfoy, which conveys not only a sense of smouldering evil, but also of smouldering good looks. Draco has also been created as a ‘special’ in his Quidditch outfit. The delightful Cho Chang is charming in her school uniform, while the elegant Yule ball version features her in an embroidered kimono-style dress. Of course, Tonner aren’t the only company to have made Harry Potter dolls; amongst others are Gotz, Mattel, Vivid Imaginations and Gund. Gund created a series of plush dolls a few years ago, skilfully modelled with flocked-felt faces. They also produced a range of all-fabric dolls. Mattel too made soft-bodied dolls featuring Harry and his friends. These Mattel dolls, which were some of the earliest Harry Potter commemorative dolls, were 12 inches high and featured thick yarn hair. Each doll came with an appropriate charm – Harry had an owl, Ron a dragon, whilst Hermione had a hat. Hagrid, the burly half-giant, has been made as plush toy by both Gund and Vivid Imaginations Various smaller dolls have appeared over the last decade. Mattel have been responsible for several ranges, amongst them the ‘Wizard Sweets’ series, which featured 8 inch high dolls packed in sweet shop illustrated boxes and included various sweet-themed items. They also produced moulded figures in assorted sizes, incorporating some of the characters not normally issued as dolls, such as Dumbledore and Ginny Weasley, and even a model of the Hogwarts Express, all ready to leave from platform 9¾ . Gund, too, produce unusual characters – they make an excellent ‘Fluffy’ (three headed dog), baby Norbert (dragon), Hedwig (owl) and Mrs Norris (Kneazle), all created from soft plush or fabric. They even make a golden snitch with pearly fabric wings, ready for a game of Quidditch. In 2002 the German Gotz company released a set of three excellent characters – Harry, Ron and Hermione. Each doll was 18 inches high, and the modelling was impressive. Their costumes were very detailed and excellently constructed and the character faces were slightly quirky These dolls were limited editions, but surprisingly, although they were so well-made (and expensive, around £100), they don’t sell for much on the secondary market at present. I would expect these to be ‘sleeper dolls’, which will suddenly rise in value. Character dolls, especially the top-of the range kinds, such as those featured here by Gotz and Robert Tonner, are usually a good investment for the collector.The world of entertainment is volatile, and so personalities tend to come and go. Soon, there will be no new Harry Potter films, and manufacturers will turn to different films for inspiration. Then the Harry Potter dolls, especially those which have been kept mint in box, will come into their own. DID YOU KNOW? […]
Polly Pocket & Polly Pocket Collectables by Susan Brewer (follow Sue on Twitter @bunnypussflunge) Small children love small items; they get enormous pleasure from a tiny doll hidden inside a walnut shell or a matchbox filled with beads. Obviously, the smallest toys aren’t suitable for a baby, but as soon as they get past the ‘toys in mouth’ stage, they seem to revel in the miniature. This was something Beatrix Potter understood very well, and why she insisted that when her famous Peter Rabbit series of books were first published in the early 1900s, they were of a size to fit the hands of a small child. They have been published that size ever since. So, when a gentleman called Chris Wiggs had the bright idea of turning a powder compact into a doll’s house for his daughter’s tiny doll to play in, success was almost guaranteed. It was the 1980s, a time when dozens of new and exciting girls’ toys were flooding the market – Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Flower Fairies and Care Bears, to name but a few. Even so, when Chris showed the toy to Bluebird Toys of Swindon, they snapped up the idea and, despite all the competition, it soon proved a hit. Polly Pocket compacts were neat, tidy toys, and girls loved them. The compacts were small and secretive, and as well as containing a tiny doll they were moulded inside as room settings, with staircases, furniture and other items. Although there was hardly enough room inside for the tiny doll to breathe, there was plenty of room for a child’s imagination. The compacts were hinged, just like a powder compact, and came in a variety of colourful shapes, including circular, square, shell, heart and oblong. The original Polly Pocket dolls were very small – around an inch high – but they were beautifully made, with hinged waists so they could fold when the compact lid was closed. When opened, each compact revealed extremely well planned interiors with every scrap of space utilised. The interior of the lift-up lid would be a house, for instance, while the base was a garden with moulded paths, flowers and ponds or paths and often a small revolving turntable so that the tiny Polly could move or dance. She could also be fitted into various holes in the mouldings. Frequently other characters or animals were included as well. All the detail was amazing, and to a child, almost miraculous. Even the exterior moulding was impressive; the plastic was smooth and rounded and was pleasant to hold. Picking up an unfamiliar, closed Polly Pocket compact was an adventure, there was a feeling of anticipation and, on opening, an air of wonder. Some of the specials, such as the Christmas versions with their sparkly interiors, were beautiful. Parents liked the toys too, because they were the perfect toy for children to take on a journey. They were small enough to fit inside a pocket or bag, and as the dolls stored neatly inside the compact, there was little chance of losing pieces. As more and more of the toys were made, children became spoilt for choice, and it wasn’t long before there was a Polly Pocket to suit every occasion, or so it seemed. In addition to the little houses, Polly Pocket compacts could also be obtained containing such delights as a Studio Flat, Hair Salon, Movie Star’s House, Winter Chalet, Parisienne Hotel, Dance Studio, Pet Shop and many, many more. In 1993, the Gamleys chain of toy shops were advertising an extra large play set, called Polly’s Dream World. They stated ‘The dream house has two wings that open out to reveal lots of beautiful rooms. In Polly’s dream world there are so many secret places to visit and exciting things to do. It’s everything you ever dreamed of for Polly!’ At the time this set cost £24.99, over five times more than the average Polly Pocket compact price of £4.99, and, like many other Polly Pockets, is beginning to be quite sought after today. Eventually over 350 different compact sets were produced. The toys continued to be made throughout the following decade, but in the late 1990s Mattel, who had taken over production from Bluebird, decided to redesign them. They made Polly larger, bringing out different designs and larger play sets – although she is still imaginative, she seems to have lost much of that miniature magic which charmed little girls during the late 1980s and for most of the 1990s. However, the larger dolls are more realistic with ‘real’ hair rather than the moulded hair of the Bluebird dolls, and also have removable clothing. Mattel still make some small types, such as the recent ‘Polly Wheels’ – tiny cars containing a 1.5 inch high jointed-at-the-waist doll – though these items are not as small as the originals. Running alongside Polly Pocket were the Polly Pocket Walt Disney compacts, which were also made by Bluebird. They were called the Tiny Collection but were invariably referred to as ‘Polly Pocket Disneys’. These themed play sets, made to resemble scenes from Disney films, were charming, and contained minute Disney characters. Some of the sets were in compacts, just like the original Polly Pockets, but many were slightly larger and shaped like buildings, the outside decorated like a house so it was an attractive item in own right, lacking the plainness of the compacts. Some sets were even larger, though the scale was just the same, with the characteristic little characters. For instance, the thatched Snow White cottage was delightful, and it even lit up. Snow White and the seven dwarves were included, and the cottage could be closed up with the characters inside. Some of these larger play sets came with their own compacts, which could be played with separately. Amongst the Walt Disney films which appeared in the Tiny Collection were Bambi, The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Alice In Wonderland, Beauty and the […]
There seems to be a little confusion as to the origin of enamelled coins, and the subsequent artists who created and designed them. The craft sprang from the Victorian love of unusual jewellery. Enamel buttons were popular, and the skills of enamelling could be transferred to coins. Being decorative and not functional, these could feature elaborate designs. The main year of production was 1887, Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee “The magic year of enamelling”. The year saw a huge growth in the demand and production for Royal memorabilia. The majority of enamelled coins are based on the existing design of the original coin. The first task in the production process was to take out all the background of the coin, leaving the letters and pattern in. In some cases the letters and design were even removed. The enamel was then applied in layers, fired and then ground down to enable the colours to come through in varying shades. This process was often done in more than one stage to enable the intricate colours and painted effect to be perfected. It was most usual to enamel on just one side of the coin, but some coins are enamelled on both sides. These are considerably rarer, and leaves the question: How did they get the enamel to flow on the second side without the first side dropping of? As it was assumed that all enamel would fuse at about the same temperature. The art has now disappeared, so we cannot answer this question. Popular designs included leaves and flower, coats of arms, Britannia and of course Queen Victoria. In some the bust of the monarch are completely removed and replaced in enamels. The coin pictured top right by an unknown designer features many of the popular designs in one coin. The rarest enamel coins are those of gold. Few examples can be seen today, and those that do exist are mainly are made from dated sovereigns. Pictured: An enamelled coin featuring Queen Victoria by Edwin Steel. Two of the finest coin enamellers were William Henry Probert and the Steel family. The earliest enamelled coins were thought to have been produced by William Henry Probert in his Birmingham workshop. His initial designs were very plain with no more than three colours used. However, the coins were expertly engraved. As the coins became more popular his designs became more colourful an elaborate. Pictured above left is an early coin by William Henry Probert. Edward Steele, was a well known engraver and enameller, who started a venture in his own name designing enamelled coins. His son Edwin and later Edwin’s son Henry carried on the business of manufacturing coin jewellery. Edwin’s enamel coins are thought to be the finest, with engraving under the enamel to enable light to filter through the enamel. This created superb variations to the reflections.
Dumbo by Walt Disney Productions premiered on October 23, 1941 and celebrates its 75th Anniversay in 2016. It was Walt Disney’s fourth animated feature and was based upon a storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl. The main character is a baby elephant Jumbo Jr., who is nicknamed “Dumbo” due to his big ears. Dumbo is ridiculed for his big ears, but in fact he is capable of flying by using his ears as wings. Throughout most of the film, his only true friend, aside from his mother, is the mouse, Timothy. A number of Dumbo related collectibles and art have been created or are being released to coincide with the 75th Anniversary. Jim Shore Sweet Snow Fall – Dumbo 75th Anniversary Figurine Jim Shore celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Disney classic Dumbo with this unique design featuring the beloved baby elephant decked out for the holidays. Disney Dumbo 75th Anniversary Musical Ornament This delightful Hallmark Gold Crown Exclusive is designed by Kristina Gaughran and features Dumbo being cradled by his mother. The ornament plays Baby Mine. Lionel Dumbo 75th Anniversary Boxcar This little gem from Lionel features a traditional boxcar featuring Dumbo designs. It is priced at $84.99. New Zealand Mint Dumbo 75th Anniversary Coins The New Zealand Mint has been minting legal tender collectible coins, gold bullion and medallions for more than four decades and has released to coins for Dumbo’s 75th Anniversary – the Dumbo 1 oz Silver and Dumbo 1/4 oz Gold Coins. Thomas Kinkade Company Disney Dumbo Limited Edition Art Continuing the work of Thomas Kinkade, this wonderful new release from the Thomas Kinkade Company celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the release of Dumbo. Disney Dumbo by Thomas Kinkade Studios portrays the happiness and pride that his circus friends feel for Dumbo as he soars above the crowd. This painting captures Dumbo’s shining moment, reminding us, as Timothy tells him, “The very things that held you down are going to carry you up and up and up!” Disney Dumbo’s 75th Anniversary Facts Disney premiered Dumbo in movie theaters across the United States on October 23, 1941. Dumbo was the fourth movie in the “Walt Disney Animated Classics” series. The story was based upon the “Roll-A-Book” written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl. The film was conceived during the Great Depression and Disney’s goal was to give Americans a story with an uplifting message as they faced difficult times. Walt Disney acted out each part of the movie, as it was being planned. With a run-time of 64 minutes, Dumbo is one of Disney’s shortest animated features
Bonzo is probably the most popular character collected from the 1920’s right through to present day. A strange looking creature with a pudgy face and bright blue eyes he has appeared on everything from postcards through to toffee tins. I felt the urge to find out what made this little dog one of the top collectors items on the market and why he was so envied by all in his day. Pictured – George Studdy, Bonzo’s creator. Image courtesy of Richard Fitzpatrick. George Studdy, Bonzo’s creator was born on 23rd June 1878 in Devonport, Plymouth. He had one older sister and a younger brother and all were brought up in a strict household due to their father Ernest Studdy, being a lieutenant in the 32nd Regiment, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Ernest was hopeful that one of his sons would also follow a military career but due to an injury to his foot George’s life took a completely different path. His Aunt was aware that George had a love for art and gifted him £100 to start him on his way. He attended evening classes at Heatherley’s Art School and also one term at Calderon’s Animal School where he studied animal anatomy. He began to put a portfolio together and was then able to sell some of his sketches to publications and make a little money for himself. Comic Cuts was the first ever publication to buy his work on a regular basis and this was the start of George building up his client base amongst the Fleet Street publishers. Pictured – The Bonzo Book. By 1912 George’s reputation was formidable as a cartoonist and had illustrations appearing in all sorts of publications from “The Tatler” to “The Sketch”. An odd little dog kept appearing in his illustrations but it was not until 1918 when the editor of “The Sketch” became interested in what was known as “The Studdy Dog” that this little character really began to develop. Changing from recognised breeds over the years this little dog began to take on the form of a more cartoon character appearance, a mischievous pup he really caught the hearts of all the readers but there was one thing missing – his name! After receiving a host of letters from readers asking when this pup’s name was going to be divulged. The Editor of “The Sketch” Bruce Ingram, made the decision in 1922 and announced to the world that that this dog was called “Bonzo” and changed Studdy’s weekly illustration from “This Week’s Studdy” to “This Week’s Bonzo” thus the first official appearance of the cute little pup as we know and love him today. George and his wife Blanche had a daughter Vivienne who appeared in some of these sketches alongside Bonzo but she was not always happy with the end result especially when “Heads I win” was published. It wasn’t the fact that a little girl was crying against the wall with a headless doll in her hands and Bonzo grinning with a dolls head in his mouth that upset her but the fact that her knickers were showing and her socks were half way down her legs “I would never had looked that dishevelled!” she told her father. Pictured – A collection of various Bonzo soft toys. Image courtesy of Richard Fitzpatrick. Bonzo went from strength to strength and was in huge demand. Other publications wanted him on board and he was a regular image on various advertisements. He even appeared in neon lights in London’s Piccadilly Circus. The little pup began to pop up everywhere and so also did a host of Bonzo merchandise. Items such as scent bottles; plates, ashtrays and condiment sets were just the tip of the merchandise iceberg. Every toy shop in the country had Bonzo Toys that were made by both Chad Valley and Deans Rag Book Company. George was producing hundreds of postcards, which was the strongest market and today are collected all over the world. Bonzo even stared in 26 films for which George and ten other artists had to illustrate thousands of drawings, these ten minute films were released during 1924 and 1925. Sadly “The Sketch” finally made the decision to give poor little tired Bonzo a holiday after over 5 years of publication – this was to be his final appearance in the newspaper although George returned with other characters such as Ooloo! in 1929. Although he was no longer in “The Sketch” his image appeared in the countless postcards published by Valentines of Dundee and Dean’s published him in many Bonzo books from 1935. George Studdy sadly passed away in 1948 but the Annuals continued to be published up until 1952 other artists were used but the quality was no where near as good so Bonzo too was laid to rest Pictured – A modern enamelled badge. This was originally made by Richard Dennis to accompany the publication of The Bonzo Book by Paul Babb & Gay Owen. The badge has proved so popular with collectors that the Richard Dennis company still makes it today. Image courtesy of Richard Fitzpatrick. This strange little dog was part of people’s lives for over 30 years and is still very much part of collectors lives today. Anything associated with him now commands high prices on the secondary market especially the more unusual items. “Bonzo The Life and Work of George Studdy” is published by Richard Dennis Publications and written by Paul Babb and Gay Owen. Both are avid collectors of this little character and Paul explained to me that it was Studdy’s humour that made Bonzo such an interesting item to collect. The rarest items in Paul’s collection are original artwork and paintings that he acquired at an auction many years ago when illustrators were not so sought after or highly regarded as today. There are so many different pieces of merchandise to collect but one of the most sought after items by collectors is the Bonzo toffee tins manufactured by […]
The Grimwades Royal Winton Chanticleer series first appeared at the British Industries Fair in February 1936. The range of realistically moulded cockerels and hen, in warm colours, were a popular addition to the breakfast table and was produced for many years. Grimwades described the range as ‘distinctive novelties’ on their advertising leaflets. Chanticleer is French for cockerel and items from the Chanticleer series are sometimes marked on base with Chanticleer while others are marked Rooster. A few examples and smaller pieces such as cruets are unmarked. The range included various teapots, hot water jug, sugar and cream, milk jug, marmalade with cover, sugar sifter, cheese cover and stand, 3 and 4 piece cruet and condiment sets, 3 and 5 bar toast racks, jam, covered butter, mint boat and stand, and dessert plate. Except for the toast rack, the Chanticleer items produced were in the shape of the bird set on a grassy green base. They were also available in different colourways, with the hand painting adding variations to the pieces. The teapot, for example, can be found in streaked and speckled shades of a golden brown, with the tail and lower body feathers highlighted in soft green. Alternatively, a rich, dark blue combination was used with bands of scarlet emphasising the tail feathers. These tail feathers curve down to create the handle of the tea pot, with the spout being formed by the open beak of the bird. Sugar shakers were either golden brown or a pale yellow lightly streaked with red, the wings being a light grey and the breast cream. As mentioned the toast racks differed from the rest of the range by not being designed to be on a grassy mound. The toast racks were main in green and yellow and featured a cockerel decorating either end. Two toast racks were produced: a 3 bar toast rack and 4 bar toast rack. The cruet and condiment sets included: a 3 piece set featuring salt and pepper pots on a base and show the cockerel standing with his head held high, while the hen stares into space; whilst the 4 piece condiment set features salt, pepper and covered mustard pot on a base and has the cockerel in the same proud pose, accompanied by two hens, one as before, the other shown head down, pecking for food. The male bird always sports a large scarlet comb and scarlet wattle, while the hen has only the merest suggestion of a comb. The base resembles a grassy field, the carrying handle depicting a fence. The images below show some of the variations in colour. Grimwades Royal Winton Chanticleer Series Price Guide / Value Guide Prices for pieces with no defects and good colour. We have seen great variations in prices especially in online shops. The prices below Chanticleer Teapot £40-£80 / $60-$120 3 Piece cruet set £40-£80 / $60-$120 4 Piece cruet set £50-£80 / $75-$120