Rare and Unusual David Winter
Six to a set each measuring 4.5″ x 3.5″ depicting some of David’s cottages – The Dower House, The Bakehouse, The Bothy, Stratford House, Tudor Manor and Sussex Cottage – launced in August 1984 and were available for
approximately two years. Plans to re-issue were cancelled due to the adverse effect this would have had on the Secondary Market prices.
A set of new illustrations was planned but cancelled.
Medium Sized Plate Mats
Each place mat depicted the same illustrations as the coasters 10″ x 8″ (details above). Prototypes of four larger sized mats for North America were made but never released.
Blue/Gold China Mug
Royal Blue with gold lettering, this bone china mug first appeared at Eggars Hill, just prior to the 1995 Carnival held that year in Windsor, Berkshire. A limited edition piece whih for reasons unknown failed to complete its edition size.
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Belleek Pottery was founded in 1857 by John Caldwell Bloomfield. The company is located in Belleek, County Fermanagh, Ireland. Belleek Pottery’s porcelain is characterized by its thinness, delicate features, and a translucent quality that resembles ivory. The pottery has become one of the most popular potteries in the world, and has managed to remain successful and still continues to produce pottery today. In fact the Belleek Factory produces over 100,000 pieces of pottery every year. The history of Belleek Pottery Belleek Pottery is a world-renowned pottery company that has been in operation for over 150 years. The company was founded in 1857 by John Caldwell Bloomfield in the village of Belleek, County Fermanagh, Ireland. Bloomfield was inspired by the Chinese porcelain he had seen while working in England, and he set out to create a similar product using local materials and resources. The company started out by producing earthenware products but later switched to producing porcelain. The change was due to the discovery of feldspar, kaolin, and other raw materials on Bloomfield’s land. These materials allowed for a higher quality of porcelain to be produced. On discovering, whilst having a geological survey of the land , that the area was rich in minerals, Bloomfield went into partnership with London architect Robert Williams Armstrong and Dublin merchant David McBirney. In setting up a pottery business, Bloomfield managed to get a railway line built to Belleek so that coal could be delivered with which to fire kilns. The first pieces of Belleek pottery for which the company became famous were made in 1863, using this local white clay found in the nearby Sligo Hills. The pottery was an instant success, and By 1865, the prestige of the company had increased that Belleek was exporting all over the world including Australia, Canada, and the United States. In England customers included the Prince of Wales, Queen Victoria and the nobility. Porcelain was featured by Belleek for the first time at the Dublin Exposition of 1872 which showcased their range of Parian china statues and busts, ice buckets, compotes and centrepieces. The influence of Goss on Belleek’s early production Initially, the company struggled to find its footing, but everything changed when they recruited craftsmen, including William Bromley, from the Goss factory in Stoke-on-Trent in 1863. These experienced workers helped to transform Belleek into a world-renowned pottery, known for its intricate designs and beautiful products. Around the time there were some similar pieces produced at both factories including a bust of Charles Dickens. The Famous Belleek Baskets made by William Henshall The Belleek porcelain baskets with applied flower-work made by William Henshall are some of the most beautiful and collectible pieces of Belleek pottery. Born in 1839, Henshall was the son of a Belfast linen merchant and was apprenticed to the Belfast firm of John Caldwell, china and glass dealers. He later studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and then worked as a music teacher in Dublin. In 1862, he joined the staff of the newly established Belleek Pottery in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Henshall quickly rose to become one of the leading designers at Belleek, and his elegant porcelain baskets with applied flowers and lifelike floral designs were among the most popular items produced by the pottery. Today, Henshall’s baskets are highly coveted by collectors and can sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction. Thanks to Henshall’s talent and artistry, the Belleek Pottery is known for producing some of the finest porcelain in the world. The challenges the company has faced over the years The company has faced several challenges over the years, including two World Wars and the Great Depression. The first World War brought with it many restrictions on exports, causing Belleek’s business to suffer. However, World War II caused many similar challenges to WWI with its rationing of coal and drying of the export markets. In those years, the company produced utility earthenware pieces fired at lower temperatures and managed to survive as a business. During the Great Depression, with fewer people buying luxury items, Belleek’s sales plummeted and the company was forced to lay off many workers. In order to stay afloat, Belleek began producing more affordable items such as vases and tourist souvenirs. The company also started selling its products through department stores and gift shops, which helped to increase its exposure. The company has continued being adaptable including having a collectors club and thriving International Collectors Society and moving to tourism buy opening an award winning Visitors Centre in 1988. Although the Visitor Centre opened in 1988, Belleek has had tours for decades. In fact, the Belleek Visitors book actually shows a visit on October 1st 1868 by the Earl & Countess of Lanesborough of Lanesborough Lodge, Belturbet, Co Cavan. What makes Belleek Pottery’s porcelain so unique Belleek Pottery’s porcelain is world-renowned for its delicate beauty and intricate designs. What makes this porcelain so special is the way it is made. All of Belleek’s pieces are handcrafted from start to finish, using techniques that have been passed down through generations of potters. The clay used to make Belleek porcelain is gathered from the s hores of Ireland’s Atlantic coast, where it is combined with water from the nearby River Shannon. This clay is then formed into shape and fired in a kiln. After cooling, the piece is hand-painted with intricate patterns and finally glazed to give it a smooth, lustrous finish. It is this painstaking attention to detail that makes Belleek porcelain so treasured by collectors around the world. Belleek Pottery has been crafting high-quality porcelain since the 19th century. Each piece is handcrafted from start to finish, using only the finest materials. The clay used to make Belleek pottery is unique to the region, and it is mined by hand from the hills of County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. The clay is then expertly shaped and fired three times at very high temperatures. This process gives Belleek porcelain its distinctive creamy white color […]
The Fulper Pottery Company was founded in Flemington, New Jersey in 1899 by Charles Fulper and his sons. However, the pottery had existed since 1815 when the first pottery was created by Samuel Hill. The pottery initially produced a wide variety of utilitarian ware, and drain tiles and storage crocks and jars from Flemington’s red earthenware clay. In 1847 Dutchman Abraham Fulper, an employee since the 1820s became Hill’s partner. He later took over the company. It was not until the early 1900s when William Hill Fulper II (1870-1953) started to experiment with colored glazes and the company started to create some of the art pottery it is famed for. Fulper is credited with inventing the dry-body slip glaze, which was used to create colorful designs on his pottery. He also developed a method of using electric kilns to fire his glazes, which resulted in brighter and more consistent colors. Fulper Pottery’s Vasekraft line was inspired by the work of German potter John Martin Strangl. The line includes a wide variety of vases, bowls, and other vessels, all with Strangl’s signature clean lines and simple forms. The company is especially known for the Fulper lamps-with glazed pottery shades inset with colored glass-were truly innovative forms. The firm’s most spectacular and innovative accomplishments are the table lamps made with glazed pottery bases and shades, which were inset with pieces of colored opalescent glass. These were produced from about 1910-1915 and are very rare, especially in perfect order. William Hill Fulper II was also an excellent advertiser and marketeer and Fulper’s Vasekraft products were sold throughout the United States in the most prestigious department stores and gift shops. Fulper’s pottery was exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where it received a gold medal. His work is also included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. During its first twenty-five years, Fulper Pottery was particularly known for its flambé glazes, which were heavily influenced by Chinese and Japanese ceramic traditions. These glazes, which resulted in vibrant and often unexpected colors, helped to establish Fulper Pottery’s reputation for innovative and high-quality art pottery. After World War I, Fulper Pottery began to shift away from its Germanic roots and move towards more Oriental-inspired forms. The company’s designers began to experiment with new shapes and glazes, inspired by the Art Deco movement that was sweeping Europe at the time. The Vasekraft name was changed to Fulper Pottery Artware. These new pieces were softer and more graceful than the functional stoneware that Fulper had been producing up until that point, and they proved to be very popular with the public. In the 1920s, Fulper Pottery was one of the leading producers of Art Deco ceramics in the United States. The company’s designers created a wide range of vases, lamps, and other objects that were both beautiful and stylish. Fulper’s pieces were featured in some of the most prestigious design magazines of the day, and they were popular with both collectors and everyday consumers. In 1925, Charles Fulper died, and his sons took over the operation of the pottery. Under their leadership, Fulper Pottery continued to experiment with new glazes and firing techniques. They also began to produce a line of dinnerware, which was very popular during the Depression-era. The Great Depression hit Fulper Pottery hard, as it did many other businesses. The company was forced to lay off a large number of employees and cut back on production. However, Fulper’s designers continued to experiment with new ideas, and the company managed to survive the difficult economic times. William Hill Fulper II died suddenly in 1928. The company continued to be run with Martin Stangl as President. In 1935, Fulper Pottery Artware production was ceased at the small remaining Flemington location, and that building was utilized solely as a retail showroom for the company’s ceramic products. After 1935, the company continued to be Fulper Pottery, but produced only Stangl Pottery brand dinnerware and artware. Related Fulper Pottery at Auction American Pottery at WCN
From their home studio tucked away on the rural coast of northern California, a pair of sisters create works of art that look good enough to eat. Dinah and Patty Hulet have created stunning art glass that you’ll find in museums, galleries, and the finest gift shops in the world. Both went through college and pursued meaningful careers. While working as a librarian for a chemical company, Dinah found inspiration in the creations of the scientific glassblowers and it wasn’t long before both sisters were fully entranced with the captivating medium of glass art. By the mid-1980s, the sisters created Hulet Glass. They sold their works at local art and wine festivals with plenty of success, but they both felt it best to move to a rural portion of northern California to put their sole focus on creating their art and marketing to galleries and high-end gift shops across the country. Looking at their works, it’s amazing to discover that they are both self-taught in the field of glass art. Dinah excels at lampworking torch methods while Patty’s artistic focus involves the kiln with fusing, casting and pate de verre. What started as a hobby for both women became a full-blown career in art glass. Hulet Glass is now known around the world for upstanding quality and impeccable craftsmanship. Dinah’s portrait murrine have been exhibited in places like the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. Patty’s pate de verre was represented at SOFA. After years of experience in glass art, they’ve lectured to aspiring glass artists, taught their techniques locally, nationally, and internationally, and Dinah is a past board member of the Glass Art Society. In addition to these accomplishments, the sisters have found the perfect recipe for success in the form of art glass chocolates. Under the name Hulet Glass Confections, Dinah and Patty began creating these delectably-designed art glass treats in 2005. Lavish details make each piece look good enough to eat, perfectly mimicking the look of gourmet chocolates, petit fours, tartlets, cupcakes, chocolate drops, and other delightful treats. The truly astounding embellishments include art glass chocolates topped with nuts that look so real you might attempt to taste them. When they displayed the glass chocolates at the Buyer’s Market of American Crafts in Philadelphia in 2007, buyers responded in a frenzy. Since then, the Hulet sisters have continued to create their art glass chocolates for collectors in the US and around the world. Each piece is crafted by the sisters only. They take great pride in ensuring the precision and quality their glass art brand is known for. A display of gorgeous chocolates adds a touch of class to any room, a symbol of both romance and opulence. As we eat with our eyes, the sight of stunningly-detailed chocolates evokes memories of innocence, love and happy times. Collectors will go out of their way to find a unique piece to add to their Hulet Chocolate collection. Many times when one friend or relative starts collecting, others in their close circle begin to do so as well, creating a partner to assist in tracking down that perfect piece. One look at Hulet Glass Confections and you’ll be amazed these pieces aren’t real gourmet treats. The sisters continue to craft them, coming up with new designs every year to tempt collectors to add to their growing collections. The sisters also devise decorative boxes for their art glass treats, making them the perfect vessel to commemorate special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and more. The creations they make are the ideal special gift for anyone that wants to give something unique. The Hulet sisters’ Chocolate Drop is a beautiful piece that can be used as a necklace or ornament and given for holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or as a sweet treat for teachers at the end of the year. For more details on these great creations visit Hulet Glass Chocolates
Marc Davis – Disney Legend by Tawnya Gilreath Marc Davis is probably the world’s most beloved unknown man. Marc’s fabulous career spans over 60 years, including 43 years at Disney. In 1988, Marc was officially designated a “Living Legend” by The Walt Disney Company which is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Disney artist. Many of Marc’s creations such as Cinderella, Tinker Bell, Sleeping Beauty, Cruella de Vil and the beloved skunk Flower are fond memories for people throughout the world. Disney utilized Marc’s humor and storytelling abilities in many of their most popular theme park rides. His contributions to It’s A Small World, The Haunted Mansion, and The Pirates of the Caribbean have enchanted millions of visitors. His talent is timeless and future generations will surely cherish his genius as we do today. In addition to being the world’s foremost animator and theme park designer, Marc is also an adventurer and an explorer. He has created hundreds of sketches and paintings of the people and cultures he encountered during his travels. Marc was so intrigued by the art and culture of Papua New Guinea that he created over 400 works of art which capture forever the beauty and mystery of this disappearing world. Since Marc is also an avid collector, he has a special affinity for collectors and understands the difficulties in building an outstanding collection. That is why he has agreed to open his vaults to The Official Marc Davis Collectors Society. From time to time Marc will hand pick previously unavailable works of art that will be made available to members only. All works will be numbered and signed for limited distribution. The Marc Davis Collectors Society is both the key and the vehicle through which Marc Davis treasures will be made available to the public. The organization has a charter that allows only 5,000 founding members worldwide making the membership itself a collector’s item. Founding members receive a hand-signed print of the “Jolly Roger”, a pirate character which Marc and Walt Disney considered for their walk-in attraction, The Pirates of the Caribbean, before it became the ride. This rare item will never be available through normal Disney channels in any form. A one-time membership fee of $275 secures your lifetime membership into this exclusive organization. Benefits include quarterly newsletters, a membership card and certificate, and an invitation to the annual convention. Whether you are a Disney buff or a fine art collector this is the opportunity of a lifetime. To join the Marc Davis Collectors Society or to learn more about Marc’s life and works, visit The Official Marc Davis Collectors Society web site. Membership may also be procured by calling (818) 347-4837 or fax to (818) 347-4793.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea a cult classic and we take a look at some of the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea merchandise and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea toys that have appeared over the years. We also look at some auction results and some guide prices. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea first appeared as a film from 1961 that tells the story of the crew of the submarine Seaview as they battle against a giant sea monster. It later appeared as a cult classic TV series that aired in the 1960s (running from 1964-1968). The show followed the adventures of the crew of the submarine USS Seaview as they battled villains and explored the depths of the oceans. The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea toys and merchandise that have been released over the years are highly sought after by collectors. Some of the most popular Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles include the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea action figures released by Mattel in 1964. These Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea toys are highly detailed and feature articulated limbs, making them a favorite among collectors. Over the years, there have been various Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles, toys and merchandise items produced. These include action figures, model kits, lunch boxes, t-shirts, comics and more. Other popular Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles include Irwin Allen’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea trading cards, which were released in 1964. These cards feature photos and information about the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea tv show and movie. These appear to be quite rare in sets and high graded cards are available for upwards of $10 each card. There were 66 cards in the set. A set of 66 in good condition is estimated at $350-$500. Some of the more popular Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles include the Mego action figures which were produced in the 1970s. These are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices at auction. Gold Key created a series of 16 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea comics from 1964 to 1968. Gold Key Comics was known for their adaptions of popular television shows and movies, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was no exception. The comics were written by a variety of different writers and artists, giving each issue its own unique feel. The TV Series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1960s American science fiction television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV Series created and produced by Irwin Allen. The show starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was originally broadcast on ABC from September 14, 1964, to March 31, 1968. During its run, it was one of the most popular shows on American television. It was cancelled after its fourth season due to low ratings. However, it remains a cult classic and has been syndicated in many countries since its original run. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was inspired by the success of Allen’s film The Lost World (1960). Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’s premise is similar to that of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, however, rather than a submarine Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’s protagonists use a state-of-the-art nuclear submarine, the Seaview, to investigate strange occurrences and fight evil forces. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was also notable for its time for being one of the first television series to be shot in color. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’s theme song, “The Voyage”, was composed by Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’s musical director, Leonard Rosenman. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’s opening credits sequence featured footage from Allen’s film Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965). What to collect? If you are thinking of starting a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collection, then there are a few things you should consider. First of all, you need to decide what items you want to collect. There is a wide range of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles available, so it is important to narrow down your focus. Once you have decided on the type of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles you want to collect, you need to do some research. This will help you to find out what items are available and how much they are worth. Collecting Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles can be a fun and rewarding hobby. It is important to remember, however, that these items can be valuable investments. So, it is important to do your research before you start buying Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea collectibles. Related The Time Tunnel Collectibles
Pinky and Perky were two adorable puppet characters that first appeared on the BBC in 1957. The two puppets starred in their own show which at its peak had a television audience of 15 million. In this Collecting Pinky and Perky feature, we take a brief look at how the puppets were created and explore some of the Pinky and Perky collectibles and Pinky and Perky merchandise over the years. The creation of Pinky and Perky In 1948, Jan and Vlasta Dalibor were living in London as Czech immigrants. Jan was a painter and sculptor and Vlasta an actress. Vlasta suggested that Jan created some pig puppets. Drawing inspiration from their homeland’s traditional puppetry, and where pigs were a symbol of good luck in Czechoslovakia, they created two pig characters initially called Pinky and Porky. The piglet puppets were party of a puppet show that appeared in the Summer Season ay Heysham. The show and the puppets Pinky and Porky were discovered by Margaret Potter, the wife of producer Trevor Hill. There was an issue around the name Porky and eventually, it was Margaret who renamed Porky to Perky. So the duo became Pinky and Perky. The show itself was set at their own fictional TV station “PPC TV” where they would sing, dance and perform comedy sketches usually with a human host. Actor John Slater worked with them as a straight man for many years, enduring soakings from water pistols and similar pranks. Other human companions included Roger Moffat, Jimmy Thompson, Bryan Burdon and Fred Emney. The Pinky and Perky look and Sound Pinky and Perky looked exactly the same with Pinky sporting red clothes and Perky wearing blue. However, as the show was made in black and white, to differentiate the two, Perky would often wear hat. Pinky and Perky enjoyed a very successful recording career releasing a number of records. They used their high-pitched voices to lip-sync along with contemporary pop music. Pinky and Perky spoke and sang in high-pitched voices, created by re-playing original voice recordings at twice the original recorded speed; the vocals were sung by Mike Sammes while the backing track was played at half normal speed. Pinky and Perky and The Beatles Pinky and Perky also traveled overseas and had some success in the USA appearing on The Ed Sullivan show six times. In 1964 Pinky and Perky actually shared were on the same show as The Beatles, where they performed “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby” and “Speedy Gonzalez”. The Pinky and Perky Show had various other puppets including a parody of The Beatles called The Beakles. These were an Avian looking band with Beatles style haircuts. Other puppets in the show included Topo Gigio. The show ran from 1957 to 1968 on the BBC and the moved to ITV from 1968-1972. A CGI Pinky and Perky show was released in 2008. The pair have had a influence on modern culture and have been referenced in TV shows such as The Good Life, The Goodies and Call the Midwife. For many people of a certain age, Pinky and Perky is a reminder of their childhood and a symbol of British culture. Pinky and Perky collectibles and Pinky and Perky merchandise In addition to their starring roles on television and their legendary music career, Pinky and Perky have also appeared on countless pieces of merchandise and collectibles over the years. From t-shirts and coffee mugs to lunch boxes and puppets, there’s no shortage of ways to show your love for these beloved characters.
You see them every day. They fasten your shirt together, hold your pants up, and maybe make a fashion statement on your new sweater. Buttons! Almost everyone has some buttons stashed away in a box or jar. They can be plain and simple, or truly elegant works of art. Due to our natural hoarding instincts, buttons find their way into nooks and crannies in our homes. It is time for them to step up and take their rightful place as a popular collectible. History of Buttons Buttons have been in use for hundreds of years. In very early times, clothing was fastened with ties or pins, but gradually toggles and buttons as we know them came to be in use. Many ancient burials have included buttons or button-like objects. In the Early and Middle Bronze Age, large buttons were primarily used to fasten cloaks. By the 13th century, buttons were widely in use, mainly as decoration. As most clothing of that time period was closed with lacing or hooks, garments didn’t use buttons as methods of closing on a regular basis until the last half of the 16th century. Most of the buttons from this time period were small, but over the next century or so they became larger and very ornate, often using precious metals and jewels. During the 17th and 18th Century, most buttons were worn by men. By the 18th century, buttons were becoming larger, and had even more elaborate designs. Buttons continued to make a fashion statement and the button-making industry hit such a high standard that the period from 1830-1850 has become known as the Golden Age. As mass production techniques progressed, and new synthetic materials were developed, the general standard declined. From 1860 on, women have been the main consumers of “novelty” buttons. A button is officially an object that can be used to fasten garments, with either a shank (usually a loop) on the back used to sew the button to the clothing, or with holes in the center to allow thread to pass through the body of the button. Design of Buttons Buttons have been made from almost every material found in nature or created by man. Metals are one of the most popular materials, including everything from iron to gold. Another popular material used in button making is mother of pearl, or shell of any kind. Bone, ivory, cloth, glass, stone, cinnabar, horn, antler, leather, papiér maché, ceramic, celluloid, Bakelite, and wood, plus any combination of these, have been used to fashion these miniature works of art. One of the most interesting and misrepresented materials used in buttons is jet. This is a naturally occurring mineral, with a carbon base. It is lightweight and fragile, so surviving examples are very hard to come by. Queen Victoria started a fashion in 1861 by wearing black jet buttons to mourn the death of her husband Albert. Since jet was such a rare and expensive mineral, black glass came to be substituted by the rest of the population for their mourning attire. Consequently, black glass buttons are still very common today, but are often mislabeled as “jet” buttons. Adding to the confusion were a number of companies that made black glass buttons and marketed them as “French Jet.” One way to test whether that black button you found is jet or glass is by giving it the floating test. Glass buttons will sink to the bottom in a glass of water, but the lightweight jet buttons will float. Fashion of Buttons Throughout the years, the decorations on buttons have reflected both the fashion and passions of the time. Nearly everything has been pictured on a button. Animals are one of the most popular subjects, along with plant life and objects like belt buckles and hats. Some buttons are shaped like the item they portray, and are known as “realistics” for their realistic appearance. Others simply had the design engraved, stamped, painted or enameled on the surface of a conventionally shaped button. Many of the antique buttons feature very detailed paintings in miniature. A rare and very unusual type of button is called a “habitat.” These have a metal back, with a dome shaped glass cap. But what makes them special is what is UNDER the glass. These buttons include dried plant and animal material, usually arranged to create a natural looking scene. Sometimes whole insects were used. Because of their age, and lack of preservation techniques used in the past, these buttons are rarely seen, and often in poor condition. A good quality habitat button will often sell for several hundred dollars. People and their many activities is another popular subject. Architectural objects like buildings, bridges and monuments also decorated many buttons. Political candidates, opera stars, and fairy tales are richly represented, and are favorites with collectors. Some buttons even portray risqué subjects. Buttons produced for George Washington’s inauguration are some of the most sought-after buttons in the United States. Uniform buttons fall into a special category all their own. Most of us automatically think of the military when we think of uniforms, but there are an amazing variety of uniforms in our society. Both Police and Fire Departments have their own buttons, often with the name of the city stamped on the front. Bus lines, airlines, shipping lines, city or state employees, hotels, railroads, banks, and even schools have their own unique buttons. A related field is Livery buttons. These buttons were worn by servants in large households, usually in England, and had the family’s coat of arms or crest on it. There are many collectibles related to buttons. It is not unusual to find a button collector that also hunts out belt buckles, cuff links and studs, buttonhooks, netsuke, or bridle rosettes. These are another way to add variety to your collection. Passion One advantage button collecting has over many other collectibles is that many of them are very reasonably priced. They can range in price from a few cents for […]
Black dolls are special, they enhance and enrich any collection of dolls. They provide a focal point, and the eye is always drawn to the black beauties amongst a group of insipid ‘white-skinned’ dolls Pictured right: Lee Middleton First Generation Doll Whether pale chocolate, dark ebony or coffee coloured, black dolls bring contrast to a collection; certainly, a group of black dolls is a stunning sight, and many collectors specialise in them. With older dolls, especially, black versions are often more expensive than their white siblings because manufacturers tended to produce black dolls in smaller quantities than their white counterparts. In the case of some of Britain’s classic dolls, such as Tiny Tears, the black varieties were only sold abroad, while although many modern play dolls come with a leaflet advertising a black version, they are not always easy to obtain. For example, when my daughter wanted a black version of a Hornby/Tyco ballerina doll in the early1990s, Toys ‘R’ Us had to order it specially for her, even though it was depicted on the box as part of the range. Even today, though millions of people in Britain are ‘ethnic’, the vast majority of dolls in an average toyshop are white. Pictured right: Composition Topsy Doll When I was a child, no collection of dolls was regarded as complete unless crowned by a black doll; mine was a 1950s Roddy thumbs-up walker with a soft, black, mohair wig, amber eyes and ‘gold’ earrings. Hard plastic, she stood 12 inches high, and as she walked her head moved from side to side. Recently, I managed to find a replacement, she cost me almost £40, although an equivalent Caucasian version would have been at least £10 less. I have also added a Roddy ‘Topsy’ baby doll, which features three tufts of hair, as well as a larger Roddy bent-legged baby – both of these, too, cost more than the white versions. Many black dolls earn the Topsy name, taken from the popular novel, ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This book, first issued in 1851, did much to popularise black dolls, mainly due to the cheeky little character named Topsy. Years later, baby dolls with three tufts of hair sprouting from their heads became known as Topsy dolls, and were made by various manufacturers, becoming especially popular during the 1930s and again in the 1950s. Pictured right: Daisy Kingdom Daisy Doll Although some black dolls have Negro features, more often they are just a basic white doll painted black or chocolate brown to save the cost of making a special mould and given a black wig and brown or amber eyes. Dolls such as the Zapf black Baby Born make no attempt to depict the correct characteristics, while at the other end of the scale, creations by doll artist Philip Heath, are amazingly-detailed depictions of African children. A German catalogue dating from 1860 reveals that a fifth of the jointed wooden dolls made at the time were black. During the nineteenth century, dolls were often made from black wax or painted papier-mache, but when bisque became popular, manufacturers had problems with the black ones. Eventually they developed a technique to fix the colour during a second firing; before that, the colour tended to chip or flake from the bisque revealing pale patches. By the beginning of the twentieth century, black dolls were produced by manufacturers such as Kammer and Reinhart, Kestner, Heubach Koppelsdorf, Armand Marseille, Simon and Halbig, and others. Many were beautiful, with even colouring as techniques improved. French black dolls, by makers such as Bru and Jumeau, were luxury creations often painted in several different shades of black and brown to create a very realistic skin tone. Production of black dolls increased during the 1920s and 30s, coinciding with the popularity of the baby doll; dolls such as Armand Marseille’s ‘My Dream Baby’ and Grace Putnam’s ‘Bye-Lo Baby’ were created as black versions, though they still had Caucasian features. Black versions of bisque dolls can cost much more than their white counterparts, especially those displaying even colouring. Pictured left: Pedigree HP Boy Doll When composition dolls began to take over from bisque in the 1930s, it was noticeable how the black colouration varied considerably, with some showing a rich hue while others were blotchy and inclined to flake. Amongst the composition dolls were several Topsy types, including a 9 inch cutie with side-glance eyes, a floral romper suit and three woolly pigtails tied with scarlet ribbons, produced by the Gem Toy Co., of America. Several other companies produced dolls with the three-pigtailed style, while the British Cecil Coleman firm issued a crawling ‘Topsy’ in the 1930s. Effanbee, of America, produced their composition Patsy dolls in black as well as white, and these were copied by manufacturers such as Bouton Woolf, who produced ‘Phyllis’, a 12 inch girl. Phyllis was unevenly sprayed and had a strange waxy glaze prone to crazing. I have one of these in my collection, and in spite of her faults she is one of my favourite dolls. Pictured right: Pedigree Kizzie Doll Black dolls were also made from celluloid, until this material was phased out in the 1950s as a fire hazard. Many of these dolls were extremely pretty, and, produced by companies such as PetitColin of France and the German turtle mark Rheinische Schildkrot, were often dressed in ethnic costumes to be sold as souvenirs. Norah Wellings, a British dollmaker working in the 1930s – 50s, was famed for her character-type cloth dolls, and one of her most popular creations was the ‘South Sea Islander’, made from dark brown velvet, and wearing a grass skirt and a smile. The male counterpart sported a bright pair of trousers and a rather toothy grin. Black fabric dolls were also produced by Dean’s, Alpha Farnell, Chad Valley and Merrythought, but the majority are more difficult to find today than their white counterparts. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, not long after the war, […]
Whilst reporting on a toy auction I came across a collection of unique jointed metal dolls from the A. Bucherer and Cie Company of Amriswil, Switzerland. The dolls ranged from popular characters from the 1920s including Charlie Chaplin and Mutt & Jeff to farm ladies and a pilot. On checking my reference library I was only able to find one reference to A Bucherer dolls in Dawn Herlocher’s 200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide and even internet search did not reveal much more information of these inventive dolls except an excellent feature by Sherry Minton on AntiqueTrader. Luckily a number have made their way for sale and to the auction market enabling us examine the dolls in more detail. ‘Bucherer, Amriswil, 1921-1930, made dolls with a patented metal ball-jointed body. Advertised as having changeable heads, the dolls represented comic characters and celebrities such as everyday civilians such as chauffeurs, policemen and firemen. Many were dressed in regional costumes with outfits sewn directly onto the doll.’ 200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide by Dawn Herlocher The A. Bucherer and Cie Company produced dolls from 1921 to 1930. Swiss innovation and invention in the early 20th Century made the country a world leader in clocks and watch technology, and music boxes among others. It seems that knowledge and technology moved into the creation of finely articulated dolls. The dolls had changeable heads which were made of plaster composite material as were the hands and feet. Head features such as hats were also moulded see the Bucherer Policeman and Bucherer Coldstream Guard as examples. The dolls measured between 6 to 10 inches high and were marketed under the name SABA an acronym for Speilwarenfabrik (toy factory) August (first name of Burcherer) Burcherer Amriswil (location of factory). Many of the dolls were made for particular markets especially America where the celebrities and comic characters were popular, and according to records two-thirds of the dolls produced found their way to US market. Bucherer Reference 200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide (200 Years of Dolls: Identification & Price Guide) Speaking of Dolls: Metal in their bodies shows invention and innovation in the world of dolls by Sherry Minton
Everyone I know who has seen Wicked the Musical has become a massive fan. As with the original Wizard of Oz it has captured the public’s imagination and is now performed all over the world. The original production of Wicked premiered on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre in October 2003, and its original stars included Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. It’s full title is Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz had has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. There are some fans who have seen the show scores of times and many who have started to collect Wicked related merchandise, collectors items and collectables. We take a look at some of the items available to Wizomaniacs and look further at the Wicked phenomenon. The show is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West which is an alternative telling of the original The Wizard of Oz film and L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Gregory Maguire has written a series of Wicked books which also include by Son of a Witch (published in September 2005), A Lion Among Men (published in October 2008), and Out of Oz (published in November 2011). Most fans and collectors first see the musical and then some discover the books. The original 1995 Gregory Maguire book has become quite desirable with 1st editions in good condition selling for upwards of £300. Signed copies fetch slightly more and some copies even have drawings by the writer himself. The book can be somewhat of a surprise to fans of musical as it dark, has serious political undertones, a lot of sex and some think does not show Elphaba in a good light. I read the book after seeing the musical and without going into an in depth analysis, although I was intrigued Maguire’s explanation of the history and origin of the Oz characters, I found parts disturbing. On a positive the musical came out of it. Wicked the Musical Dolls Doll companies love Wicked! It is full of strong female characters with colorful costumes and has the history of Oz behind it. Madame Alexander have created some wonderful re-creations of the characters notably Elphaba and Glinda in various situations and dress. Wicked the Musical Collectables The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy’s arrival in Oz from Kansas, and it includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum’s novel. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard’s corrupt government and, ultimately, Elphaba’s public fall from grace. Wicked the Musical Plush Toys A Wicked film is in production for release in 2019 which should see a massive increase and attention to the story and related merchandise. So start collecting now. Wicked the Musical 10th Anniversary A number of special editions were created for the 10th anniversary of the show.