One thing that often appeals to us collectors is a sense of order.
I ought to say ‘bless you’. Not only for belated New Year felicitations, but also as so many of us have been snorting into our hankies lately. I too have been doing much the same, and when I saw a superbly colourful collection of glass handkerchief vases on a photo shoot for a book last week, I got thinking. Pictured: A Venini Latticino glass handkerchief vase. Sold for US$ 366 (£233) Bonhams Los Angeles 2011. Image Copyright Bonhams. The handkerchief vase shape screams the 1950s to most of us, especially thinking of the examples illustrated here that are seen at fairs up and down the country. And we’re not far wrong. The form was developed by Italian artist, designer and glassmaker Fulvio Bianconi around 1948- 1949. It wasn’t necessarily a single-handed effort, as he was working with Paolo Venini of the renowned ‘Venini & Cie’ glass factory on the Venetian island of Murano at the time. The vases became known as ‘fazzoletto’ (fats-o-let-o), which quite simply is Italian for ‘handkerchief’. Pictured: 1950s Murano Venini Freeform Pink Handkerchief Vase. Sold for £395 Ebay May 2015. They were made in a huge variety of different colours and sizes, but all looking like up-turned hankies concealing something invisible, then frozen in place. The most commonly seen forms are low, transparent and contain stripes of fine spiralling threads, known as ‘zanfirico’ rods. Others are opaque, or cased in different colours. Not all these vases were made by Venini however because, as with most Murano glass, the design was widely copied by the many other factories on the island and sold less expensively to tourists. Pictured: 1960s Chance small psychedelic black and white printed pattern glass handkerchief vase. This version sold for £17.99 on ebay February 2015. Look on the bottom for a small three lined acid-etched mark reading ‘venini murano italia’ or a metallic cream on gold Murano sticky label to be sure you’re buying an authentic Venini piece. This isn’t to say that other factories’ examples aren’t worth having, but they are generally less desirable and thus less valuable. An authentic marked Venini piece may fetch around £200-800 or more, depending on size and the type of glass used. A copy can be found more easily and for under £150, quite often under £80-100. Genuine Venini, or those in large sizes or very unusual patterns have the best chance of rising in value to me. Desirable as the Italian originals are, how about a version that is more varied, more colourful and also more affordable? Chance Glass, based near Birmingham, produced handkerchief vases in their thousands from the 1950s until the late 1970s, before the factory closed in 1981. Found in many fashionable and young homes at the time, these are also the most common examples you’ll see today. They’re immediately recognisable, as for a start they often look more like real handkerchiefs with their printed patterns, and secondly they have a sharper, more angular look. They were produced by resting a thin square pane of glass on a tall cylinder, and then heating it in a kiln, causing the plate to melt a little and sag down around the cylinder when encouraged by a tool rather like a metallic spider. Although roughly the same each time, the folds are not regular, which explains why they don’t stack, or even begin to stack if you carefully try. I say carefully try as the screen-printed pattern is on the outside and tends to scratch very easily. This is one of the most important things to look for when planning a purchase as scratches, particularly on and around the base, make a piece worth considerably less. Similarly, examine the sharp edges and corners to ensure that they are not chipped as the same rings true. Talking of ringing, try tapping one. Weird as it sounds, it doesn’t create the expected high-pitched ring, but one more like the ring of a cowbell – try it when you get one home and you’ll see what I mean! To blow out a common misconception, they were produced in four, not three, different sizes. The ‘oversize’ is the rarest and is really rather large, making quite a visual impact. The next rarest is the ‘medium’ size and the two most common sizes are the ‘small’ size at around 4 inches high and the ‘large’ size at around 7 inches high. Chequered prints in all their variety are more common, and indeed ‘Gingham’ was one of the last patterns to be introduced in 1977. Polka dotted (my favourite) and broad banded examples are also often seen. More sought after are the ones with ‘funkadelic’ 60s-tastic swirls. Pinstriped examples also seem to get the winning vote, especially in acidic colours typical of the 1960s. Not all examples have printed surface patterns, instead using textured glass produced by Chance’s owner, Pilkington, the industrial glass giant. In fact, next time you open your glass panelled back door or the door to a pub loo, look at the textured glass. Remember it, as much of that was produced by Pilkington, who also used it in resonant colours on Chance’s ranges. A varied linear pattern, a bark-type effect or a gently ‘hammered’ effect are three typical examples. Regular readers will know how fond I am of collectables we can all afford to collect, and these currently fall into that category. Most fetch under £40-60, with common sizes often being under £25. Unprinted examples are currently generally less desirable unless large, usually fetching under £20 for small sizes. The exceptions to look out for are the very rare intaglio cut examples, such as the broad-banded ruby example on this page, which can sometimes go for over £100. Just as well they’re comparatively inexpensive, as the variety of patterns and sizes is truly vast and would make a superb and addictive challenge to collect. As they appeal as much to people looking for a 1950s touch for a room as to diehard collectors, prices should rise further, especially for the large examples or […]
Up until recently, male dolls were very few and far between, but over the last few years, as the trend for character dolls has grown, men have been making their presence felt – and how. Dolls are made to represent footballers, pop stars, sportsmen and even politicians. Here, though, we’re looking at the movie men, those who star on tv or in the films. Sometimes, like Indiana Jones, they are brave and fearless, others, such as Spiderman, are crime fighters in strange outfits, then there are the suave sophisticates; Henry Higgins, Rhett Butler. The fourth category falls to those inoffensive, often funny types – think Dick van Dyke, in Mary Poppins. A collection of male dolls, all testerone, trousers and teeth, makes a fun group, and might even prove a bit of an investment, certainly if you buy some of the cheaper types. If this sounds an odd theory, it’s really very simple – there are some wonderful versions of male dolls produced by designers such as Robert Tonner. However, these top of the range models are intended for collectors, who tend to keep them safe, and with their boxes. They are unlikely to undress them, let alone comb their hair or give them rides up the garden path on a skateboard – but the cheaper dolls intended for children will soon be unboxed, undressed and scuffed. These character dolls usually have quite a short shelf life because movies are constantly changing, and new heroes are produced. So in a few years time, if you resist temptation to debox your handsome hero, you may suddenly find he is demand. Perhaps the most modelled male film character has been Harry Potter; there are dozens of different types from small plastic figures through to expensive Robert Tonner versions. Many of these dolls featured in Dolls To Delight last October, so I won’t dwell on them here, but suffice to say that the Tonner types are stunning, while the large Gotz figures and many of the Mattel versions are very good, too. In a similar vein are the Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy figures. Even so, with the best will in the world Harry Potter doesn’t really fall into the ‘handsome swash-buckling hero types’; for those we turn to characters such as swashbuckling Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or adventurer Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. The Tonner version of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) features an elaborate costume, and the beading in the hair has been painstakingly reproduced. A much more affordable version, by Zizzle, was in the toy stores a couple of years ago as a 12 inch high doll. Although this one had moulded hair, the resemblance to the actor was amazing, and the costume still very intricate. Zizzle also made an Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, in a choice of outfits – either a ‘piratey-loo king’ red shirt, black waistcoat and black trousers, or a black leather outfit with a cream brocade waistcoat. Tonner, too, have depicted Will in his pirate outfit. A recent introduction is Hasbro’s Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, as a talking version, with phrases such as ‘I think we’ve got a big problem’ and ‘That’s why they call it the jungle, sweetheart’. His mouth even moves as he speaks. Dressed in his typical leather jacket, coarse trousers and battered hat, this is a super doll and certainly one to look out for. Doctor Who, in his David Tennant reincarnation, is made by Character Options. Wearing a battered suit, he comes complete with, of course, his sonic screwdriver. This doll bears an excellent likeness to David. While we are on a space theme, there have been many Star Wars dolls (or ‘Action Figures’ as boys prefer to call them!) made over the years. In the 1980s a series of 12 inch high dolls were made by Palitoy, and are very collectable today; various others still appear from time to time. Likewise figures from ‘Babylon Five’, ‘Star Trek’ and similar cult sci-fi films, such as the Mego figures from the mid-seventies. Of course, you don’t have to be constantly warding off aliens, pirates, villains or dark forces to be a hero. You might be the suave and polished kind. Recently, Tonner created a Clark Gable doll in his role as Rhett Butler from ‘Gone With The Wind’, while in 1996 Mattel came up trumps with an excellent ‘enry ‘iggins as portrayed by Rex Harrison, from ‘My Fair Lady’. Dressed in his tweeds, Henry is depicted as the typical aristocratic gentleman. In contrast, we have Bert (Dick Van Dyke), who most certainly could have done with a few elocution lessons from Henry Higgins. The presentation of this recent doll from Mattel is most attractive – Bert is riding a carousel horse from the fairground scene in Mary Poppins. Very popular at the moment are the High School Musical dolls, and of course, Troy (Zac Efron) is included in the range by Mattel, and available in various outfits. John Travolta in his ‘Grease’ days was issued by Mattel a couple of years ago – but this was a mini-John, as modelled by Tommy, friend of Kelly, Barbie’s little sister. Barbie herself was depicted alongside James Bond in 2003. James has also appeared in Action Man special issues, though no attempt was made to capture any of the actors’ features, and more recently by Sideshow Collectables. More mystical are the ‘Lord of the Rings’ dolls. Characters such as Aragon have been expertly modelled by Applause and Toy Biz. Other fantasy figures include the comic book heroes; Batman, Superman, Spiderman – all of these have been produced in doll form, but I’m sure that most will have endured rough handling by their young owners, so pristine or boxed versions are certainly worth acquiring for your collection. That goes for ‘Thunderbirds’ dolls and Captain Scarlet too. Most heroes are handsome, or at least, reasonably presentable. If you want something a bit out of the ordinary though, then […]
Political Character and Toby Jugs at Stoke Art Pottery Toby Jugs have been around since the early 18th century. They were revived by Doulton in the 19th century, who developed the idea into a range of character jugs. Today, their popularity shows no signs of waning and they hold their price at auction sales. Their appeal is wide reaching because Doulton jugs are varied both in their craftsmanship and their subject matter. The first Toby Jug was made in the early 18th century. It was a jovial, seated, male figure, with a mug in his hand and a tricorn hat which made a pouring spout. He was dressed in clothes of the time; a long coat with low pockets, waistcoat, cravat, knee breeches and buckled shoes. No one really knows why he was named ‘Toby’ although it is possible he called after Sir Toby Belch a character in Shakespeare’s Twelth Night. Or maybe it was after a song popular in 1761, around the time the jug was first produced in a traditional, brown salt glaze version. The song ‘Brown Jug’ featured ‘Toby Fillpot’. Doulton had made Toby jugs in the traditional manner since 1815 but in the 1920’s Harry Simeon added colour. This inspired Charles Noke, a Doulton artist and modeller to rethink the Toby jug tradition. He envisaged a more colourful and stylish jug based on the head and sholders of a character rather than the full figure. He had in mind characters from English song, literature, history and legend, designed to appeal to future generations. It took him almost ten years to be satisfied with the standards of design and production, but in 1934 the first character jug was launched. He chose as his subject John Barleycorn, a figure symbolising whisky. It became an instant success and the range was added to with Old Charley, the Night Watchman, Sairey Gamp, Parson Brown and Dick Turpin. Two years later the first character jug modelled on a real person was made with Herry Fenton’s John Peel, a trend which has continued to the present day. A feature of character jugs is their handle which often shows an elaborate diversity of applied decoration. However, this is a feature which has developed over the years. The first jugs generally had plain handles, with one or two exceptions, for some of the clown jugs had multi-coloured handles, Dick Turpin had a gun for a handle and the Cellerer a bunch of keys. It was during the 1950s that the handles achieved greater creative significance when Max Henk was involved in their production. His Long John Silver had a parrot handle and for the sake authenticity does not have an eye patch, sticking to Louis Stevenson’s book ‘ Treasure Island’. The handles developed to tell more about the character and their associations, so the Dutchess from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ has a flamingo handle, the Mikado, a fan. More recently, the London ‘Bobby’ has both a whistle and Big Ben. The character jug from 1996 shows how far this trend has developed in the model of Jesse Owen who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. This handle contains the Olympic torch, a contemporary US flag of the time and a banner inscribed with the name of the Olympic town ‘Berlin’. Character Jugs Variations Sometimes variations have been made to handle design without altering the overall style of the jug. The Beefeater Guard who guards the Tower of London was introduced in 1947 and carried the initials GR on his handle for George Rex. In 1953 when Elizabeth II came to the throne, these were changed to ER, Elizabeth Regina. There was also a version with gold handle, now more valuable. In 1991 a completely new updated design shows the trend for more elaborate handles with its raven, the birds which legend says signifiy the fall of London should they ever leave the Tower. Other handle variations which help to date the character jugs are the easrly versions of John Barleycorn. The first plain handle disappeared inside the jug at their top end. Later handles were attached to the outside. Early versions of Stairey Gamp have an ‘S’ at the bottom end of the handle. There have also been limited editions of handle design. Founder members of the Doulton Collectors Club were offered versions of John Doulton with the clock on the handle pointing to eight o’clock. Members who joined at a later date find the clock points to two o’clock. Rare Character Jugs Other factors which aid dating and can affect value includes colour variations. For instance, the first clown range of jugs produced in the 1930s had red hair and multi-coloured handles, but due to the war time restrictions on supply of materials, the hair during the war years was changed to brown. Between 1951 and 1955 hair colour had changed to white. Red or brown haired clowns are two-three times more valuable than the white ones, but the most valuable if the one-off black haired clown, commissioned by a family whose grandfather was a black haired clown. This was sold at auction a few years ago for £12,000. Old King Cole designed by Harry Fenton had a yellow crown in 1938-1939 and a green handle and is vastly more valuable than the versions produced after until 1960, which had reddish-borwn crown and handle. Even more valuable are the versions which contain musical movement, produced in 1939. One of these sold at Phillips for £1,092. The Mad Hatter, from Alice in Wonederland woar a black hat in the original but ten years ago a red hatted Hatter came to the market and was sold for over £6,000. It appears that in the 1960’s a painter in the factory changed the colour of the hat and this was produced for a short period before it was discontinued. Another example are the colour variations in the buttons, hat coat and feather boa of Hary Fenton’s character jugs of the cockney pair ‘Arry […]
The Adventures of Tintin (Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of classic comic books created by Belgian artist Georges Rémi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in more than 80 languages and more than 350 million copies of the books sold to date. With the recent The Adventure of Tintin film we take a look at Tintin Books & Tintin Collectibles. Pictured right: Tintin Book – Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (in the original French, Les Aventures de Tintin, reporter du “Petit Vingtième”, au pays des Soviets) is the first title in the comic book series The Adventures of Tintin, written and drawn by Belgian cartoonist Hergé (1907-1983). Originally serialised in the Belgian children’s newspaper supplement Le Petit Vingtième between 10 January 1929 and 8 May 1930, it was subsequently published in book form in 1930. Designed to be a work of anti-Marxist and anti-socialist propaganda for children, it was commissioned by Hergé’s boss, the Abbé Norbert Wallez, who ran the right wing Roman Catholic weekly Le XXe Siècle in which Le Petit Vingtième was published. The series first appeared in French in Le Petit Vingtième, a children’s supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siècle on 10 January 1929. The success of the series saw the serialised strips collected into a series of twenty-four albums, spun into a successful Tintin magazine, and adapted for film, radio, television and theatre. Pictured left: Tintin Collectible Tintin Holding the Unicorn figurine from the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn Set during a largely realistic 20th century, the hero of the series is Tintin, a young Belgian reporter. He is aided in his adventures from the beginning by his faithful fox terrier dog Snowy (Milou in French). Pictured right: ABS Tintin Collectibles figurine showing the historic first meeting between Tintin and Captain Haddock, as featured on page 15 of The Crab with the Golden Claws. Each model is neatly presented within a Plexiglas cube, The high-quality finish of every character ensures that each tiny detail, movement and expression has been faithfully rendered to reproduce Hergé’s original drawings. Later, popular additions to the cast included the brash, cynical, grumpy and often drunk Captain Haddock, the highly intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus (Professeur Tournesol) and other supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson, who can only be told apart by the cut of their moustaches, (Dupont et Dupond). Hergé himself features in several of the comics as a background character, as do his assistants in some instances. The comic strip series has long been admired for its clean, expressive drawings in Hergé’s signature ligne claire style. Its engaging, well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories within the Tintin series always feature slapstick humour, accompanied in later albums by satire, and political and cultural commentary. Pictured right: Movie poster from the The Adventures of Tintin Secret of the Unicorn Tintin Books & Collectibles Related AbeBooks.co.uk – find more than 110 million out-of-print books worldwide. Tintin Book Titles 1. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1929–1930, 1930) 2. Tintin in the Congo (1930–1931, 1931, 1946) 3. Tintin in America (1931–1932, 1932, 1945) 4. Cigars of the Pharaoh (1932–1934, 1934, 1955) 5. The Blue Lotus (1934–1935, 1936, 1946) 6. The Broken Ear (1935–1937, 1937, 1943) 7. The Black Island (1937–1938, 1938, 1943, 1966) 8. King Ottokar’s Sceptre (1938–1939, 1939, 1947) 9. The Crab with the Golden Claws (1940–1941, 1941, 1943) 10. The Shooting Star (1941–1942, 1942) 11. The Secret of the Unicorn (1942–1943, 1943) 12. Red Rackham’s Treasure (1943, 1944) 13. The Seven Crystal Balls (1943–1946, 1948) 14. Prisoners of the Sun (1946–1948, 1949) 15. Land of Black Gold (1948–1950, 1950, 1971) 16. Destination Moon (1950–1953, 1953) 17. Explorers on the Moon (1950–1953, 1954) 18. The Calculus Affair (1954–1956, 1956) 19. The Red Sea Sharks (1956–1958, 1958) 20. Tintin in Tibet (1958–1959, 1960) 21. The Castafiore Emerald (1961–1962, 1963) 22. Flight 714 (1966–1967, 1968) 23. Tintin and the Picaros (1975–1976, 1976) 24. Tintin and Alph-Art (1986, 2004) Unfinished work, published posthumously
In England from quite early times leather vessels were used very generally. The black jack was a kind of leather pitcher or jug always lined with pitch on metal, of massive and sturdy build, corpulent and capacious. It quite dwarfed all rival pots, mugs, or pitchers of leather. Pictured right: A Charles II Silver-Mounted Leather Blackjack Jug Unmarked, Circa 1682. The silver rim with hatched lappets, the front with oval silver plaque pinned on below the spout which is inscribed The Gift of George Barteram to Abigail 1682 11 in. (28 cm.) high. Sold for £2,750 at Christies, London, March 2009. Image Copyright Christies. In the fifteenth century they were called ” jacks ” ; New College, Oxford, in 1414 pur-chased ” four leather jacks two holding a gallon each and two a pottle each, the four costing four shillings and eightpence.” The vessels were not known as black jacks till the sixteenth century, being occasionally described before then as ” Jacke of leather to drinke in.” The word jack was used for various articles—there were ” kitchen jacks” to turn the roasting spits, and leather coats were ” jacks of defence.” This defensive coat was known in England for several centuries as “the jack,” and when adopted by the French archers was called ” jaque d’Anglois ” ; the prefix ” black ” was no doubt added to the drinking jack to distinguish it from this leather jerkin, which would generally be made of buff leather and as a rule of lighter colour ; the vessels were not known as “black jacks” jacks till the sixteenth century, the full title was used in 1567 when Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, purchased a black jack for one shilling. Pictured left: A William And Mary Leather And Silver-Mounted Black Jack, Circa 1690 Of tapering form 7½ in. (18.5 cm.) high. Sold for £1,375 ($1,907) at Christies, London, January 2009. Image Copyright Christies. The black jack was a feature of the cellars, butteries, and dining halls of our ancient hospitals, colleges and grammar schools till modern times. The chief reason for its survival in such places is that the jack was essentially a vessel for the refec-tory or the baronial hail; it held a high place while the ancient mode of living prevailed, and every man of substance took his meals in his hall with his family and servants. When more luxurious fashions came in and the lord took his meals privately in parlour or dining room, the leathern pot re-mained in the servants’ hall with the excep-tion of those that were silver mounted. These latter were small as a rule and more richly treated; they were edged with silver and often lined with that metal or with pewter in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and were highly prized. There exist to-day (mostly in private collections) quite a number of these silver mounted jacks; they were more numerous than the plain ones. They no doubt owe their preserva-tion to the fact of their greater value and the ornamental treat-ment and extra beauty of work-manship bestowed upon them. Jacks were not rimmed or lined with silver from a fastidious dislike to drinking from leather, for jugs and cups of various materials, earthenware, wood, coconut vessels and even china were habitually so mounted. Pictured right: Doulton Lambeth Black Jack Leather Silver Rim Beer Pitcher Motto Jug 1880s. Sold For Us $425.00 Approximately £271.05 on ebay, April 2012. The black jack did not require a lid and was seldom made with one, but occasionally lidded ones are mentioned in old inventories. At the Guildhall Museum there is an interesting jack which has a curious lid of leather, but it is obviously an addition that was made at a remote period in the jack’s history. The lid not only covers the top but reaches nearly an inch down the sides ; it was a hinge of iron which has a long strap over the lid itself in which is a thumb-piece to enable the person holding the ack to raise the lid with the same hand. Sometimes a wooden lid was used attached to the handle by a leather strap by means of which it could be fastened down to a buckle on the spout. It is probable that ]acks with lids were used when it was necessary to fetch drink from a distance, not every village having an alehouse. Besides the wooden cups, which were so numerous in past times, cups of horn, pots of pewter and other metals, would all compete with leathern mugs, and help to render them unnecessary. By the middle of the seventeenth century many of these were in general use and the necessity for leather pots of small size would not be great ; records of them are scarce. Pictured left: Doulton Lambeth Blackjack jug “The Landlords Caution”. Made from stoneware that’s impressed with leather when still wet and then fired. It gives a very convincing leather effect that’s complete with stitching detail and grain. 7 1/2″ tall and 7″ spout to handle. The jug has the words from the poem “The Landlords Caution” “THE MALTSTER HAS SENT HIS CLERK – AND YOU MUST PAY THE SCORE – FOR IF I TRUST MY BEER – WHAT SHALL I DO FOR MORE” written about it in an unordered way. I believe the idea is that as long as the landlord hasn’t drunk too much of his own product he should be able to work out the order (as a former Landlord I can relate!). This particular jug was stamped as made for Sidney W Allen of 39 White Rock, Hastings. It also has a Doulton Lambeth stamp as well as Doulton and Slaters patent stamp. Sold for £65 on ebay, April 2012. The warden of Win-chester College in 1897 remembered that when he was a boy at school the black jacks were in daily use, the beer being brought into Hall in them and transferred to pew-ter mugs. Thomas Tusser, the author of” Five Hundred […]
WCN has been a fan of artist Colin Rayne for some time and in this feature we take a look at his varied and unique artefacts. Colin’s work ranges from traditional oil and watercolour paintings to incredible clocks, from sculpture to kinetic art, and from glass sculpture to large scale commissions. Colin Rayne was interested in art from an early age winning prizes for art at school and he was frequently encouraged to copy ‘old master’ paintings. After school, Rayne served an apprenticeship in his father’s dental equipment manufacturing company Norman Rayne Ltd which gave him experience in precision and cinematograph engineering which would serve him well in his creation and design of kinetic art and clocks. Hence, ‘a seemingly unusual alliance’ of the arts and sciences, forms the basis of Rayne’s prolific and uniquely creative and prolific artistic life. Colin had a number of successful exhibitions in London and led to many notable commissions. Early on in the mid 1960’s when Harold Wilson was premiere, London’s Post Office Tower was erected close to Norman Rayne Ltd where Colin was studying design drawing. Colin created an Illuminated Scale Model (1″:30′) of the building with rotating restaurant for the advertising department of P.O. Telecommunications. The resulting publicity, which included a live six minute interview on BBC TV, greatly encouraged him to work independently. In 1983 he was elected a Member of The British Horological Institute and was invited to display two pieces of work in London’s Goldsmiths Hall in 1987. At WCN we believe that the combination of Colin’s art, innovation and engineering are portrayed best in his clocks and kinetic art. One of Colin’s most impressive pieces is the Stonehenge clock. Stonehenge 2000 – Neolithic Time The wall mounted sculpture recreates the most ancient relics of the Stonehenge monument, showing the stones as they would probably have looked when first built. An Arc of twelve ‘Sarcen’ stones in acrylic, light individually, to indicate the ‘hour’, and an ‘Oval’ of acrylic ‘lintel’ stones divided into sixty, indicate the minute. Time showing: 9.23. The inner rings and the ‘Altar’ stone are cut from ‘Spotted Dolerite’ from the Presilli Hills of Wales. (The same location from which the actual monument’s stone was obtained). The clock’s circuitry is based upon 4.193mhz crystal, subdivided into minutes and hours. The 72 LEDs are driven from serial shaft registers; – ‘CMOS’ logic is used. The Stonehenge Horlogical Sculpture is available at £7,500. Colin’s recent works include The Ancient of Days by William Blake inspired by a 10” x 8” print forbook illustration is one of eight, all slightly different. Colin says of the piece “I hope that Blake would be flattered by my tribute to him, were he with us today, and that my followers will find it of interest, and offer some stimulating thought!” In 1983 Rayne moved from London to Brighton and in 2000 created a private gallery The House of Rayne, close to the South Downs which has on display a permanent show of approximately 100 artefacts. For more information including a virtual tour of the gallery visit TheHouseofRayne.co.uk and remember to see the kinetic art page which is of particular interest. The gallery can also be contacted by phone UK + 44.7870125991 and by email to [email protected]
For nearly 80 years, the Murano Cenedese glass factory has been renowned for its exquisite handcrafted glass creations. Founded in Venice, Italy in 1946 by master glassblower Gino Cenedese (1907-1973). He initially started the factory with several other glass masters of the time: Alfredo Barbini, Gino Fort, Angelo Tosi and Pietro Scaramal. Gino Cenedese took full control of art factory in 1949. Cenedese Glass quickly established itself as one of the most sought-after glass brands in the world. Gino Cenedese was a true visionary. With a deep respect for the artistic heritage of Murano glassmaking and an innate talent for creating beautiful and innovative pieces, Cenedese quickly rose to fame in the international art scene. His innovative designs captured people’s imaginations and earned him numerous awards and accolades over the years. Despite Gino’s early death in 1973, the legacy of Murano Cenedese lives on today through its stunning works of art. Whether you are admiring a radiant sculpture or sipping from a delicate goblet, each piece is a testament to Gino’s tireless dedication to beauty and craftsmanship. Cenedese’s Collaboration with Artists and Designers Over the years Gino Cedenese invited many of the most talented glass designers and artists to work at the factory including: Napoleone Martinuzzi, Antonio da Ros, Riccardo Licata, Ermanno Nason and Fulvio Bianconi. Though remaining closely bound to the ancient tradition of classical Murano glass – with hand blown glasses, vases, dishes, goblets and Venetian chandeliers – the production opened to the suggestions of contemporary art, pushed by a continuous research for new techniques and effects made possible by glass, and taking advantage of the collaboration with various artists and designers, each one bringing his personal interpretation of the material, colour, and light, each pieces marked out by the manual skill and the talent of the masters. Source ars cedenese web site. Napoleone Martinuzzi Napoleone Martinuzzi was a sculptor who worked for the prestigious Cenedese glass factory from 1953 to 1958. Throughout his career, Martinuzzi demonstrated a masterful command of the medium, creating striking glass sculptures with great skill and precision. Martinuzzi’s pieces were admired for their fluidity and grace, with many critics praising his use of color and texture to achieve beautiful effects. At the same time, however, Martinuzzi also had a deep appreciation for traditional arts like wood carving and sculpture and sought to incorporate these elements into his work. By blending modern techniques with classical forms and ideas, Napoleone Martinuzzi became one of the leading figures in the world of glass sculpture. When deciding what piece to display by Napoleone Martinuzzi we thought this piece The Creation of the World shows why he became one of the leading figures in the world. The Creation of the World designed 1953 for Vetreria Gino Cenedese, two illuminated columns each inset with applied glass scavo panels depicting Adam and Eve, human figures, flora, fauna and fish each column 80 1/2in (204.5cm); width 16in (40.5cm); depth 8 1/2in (21.5cm). Sold for US$ 50,312 inc. premium at Bonhams, New York, December 2021. Antonio da Ros Antonio da Ros was a talented glass designer who worked for the Cenedese factory in the 1960s. Throughout his career, Antonio was known for his innovative and creative approach to glass design. He is perhaps best-known for his unique “submerged” glass forms, which feature an asymmetrical shape that seems to almost vanish into thin air. Antonio had a unique ability to see potential in ordinary, everyday objects like vases and vessels, and his work transformed the medium of glass into something both beautiful and ethereal. a local artist fascinated by the decorative and chromatic possibilities of glass, who brought a fresh and enthusiastic approach that led to the search of unprecedented forms and chromatic effects. With Da Ros, the Sixties saw an important creation of the “submerged” glass forms among which the “Contrappunti”, fluids submerged playing on different tones of colours Source ars cedenese web site. Riccardo Licata Riccardo Licata (b, 1929) was a talented glass designer who worked for the prestigious Cedenese glass factory in Italy. Throughout his career, Riccardo focused on creating beautiful and intricate designs that brought out the natural beauty of glass. His most famous work is perhaps the glass fish aquarium block sculpture that he designed in 1952. This innovative piece captures the energy and gracefulness of swimming fish while also showcasing Riccardo’s remarkable skill as a glass artist. Today, Riccardo’s work continues to be admired and celebrated by artists and designers all over the world, and he remains an inspiration to aspiring glass designers everywhere. Ermanno Nason Ermanno Nason was a master glass-craftsman and artist who worked for the Cedenese glass factory from 1963 to 1972. He is best known for his innovative use of color and light in his glasswork. Nason’s pieces are characterized by their bold, vibrant colors and clean lines. He is best known for his “Nason e Vidal” line of stemware, which was produced by the factory. In addition to stemware, Nason also designed a number of other glass products, including bowls, vases, and Ashtrays. His work is characterized by its clean lines and simple forms. Nason’s work was influenced by the Italian Modernist movement, as well as by Scandinavian design. Ermanno Nason’s work is highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. His pieces can be found in some of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Museo di Vetro di Murano in Italy and the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. Fulvio Bianconi Fulvio Bianconi was a talented glass-craftsman who worked for the Cedenese glass factory from 1954 to 1962. During this time, he developed a revolutionary technique for working with glass that involved using both heat and pressure to create stunning works of art. Bianconi’s original pieces combined a number of different textured elements, each layer perfectly balanced against the next. His work quickly gained acclaim in the art world, and today his pieces are considered some of the finest examples of contemporary glass-craft. Pushing the Boundaries through Collaboration Over […]
Colour Box Holiday Time by Susan Brewer Peter Fagan, creator of those delightful Colour Box series of figures, depicted his cats, bears and other creatures in all kinds of situations – including holiday scenes. The Colour Box characters enjoyed a holiday just as much as we do – they knew there was nothing to beat sand beneath their paws, seaweed tangling their fur or saltwater damping their tails. And through the talent of sculptor Peter Fagan we saw the cats, bears, and many other creatures, having fun on the beach. Much of the excitement of a holiday is the anticipation and the packing – at least, Robert seemed to think so. The super sculpture Holiday Bear (TC 210) issued in 1988, showed the little bear perched on top of a large blue trunk, obviously bound for a holiday destination. The trunk was beautifully modelled to show the straps, fastenings, and name label, and Robert had his own red bucket and spade, ball, bag of chips and lollipop. This was one of the larger pieces in the Teddy Bear Collection, as was Bathing Beach (TC113) 1990, which depicted Christopher sitting on a towel with his picnic lunch of a banana, orange drink and a sandwich close by. Nearby a notice warned ‘No Bathing’ (and in tiny letters underneath ‘by order of P Fagan’)! A seagull perched on top of the notice, while beneath was a collection of items including a bucket, spade, pebbles, shells, length of rope and a bottle of Fagan’s Pop. Amongst the bears you might possibly encounter at the seaside were Jimmy, Martin or Bosun. Jimmy (TC618) 1991, looked a rather shy bear, who, according to his booklet was ‘champion at building sandcastles. He lived in Bournemouth near the beach, where his family ran a fish and chip shop.’ Jimmy wore smart blue and white striped bathing trunks, and one white woolly mitten. Martin (TC121) issued 1993, was a smart Able Seaman bear, who carried a canvas kitbag and wore a sailor’s hat with ‘HMS Teddy’ around the brim. He was dressed in navy shorts and a white shirt decorated with a motif of a cruise liner. Bosun (TC074) 1997 was an unclothed bear, except for his official peaked hat. Cats don’t seem so keen on the seaside, but Beach Boy (HS536) 1991, showed a black cat on the sand with a sailboat-decorated red bucket and the beginnings of a sandcastle, while in the delightful Sixpenny Cornet (HS528), also 1991, we saw a cheeky ginger and white striped cat busily licking an ice cream cone while snuggling up to a tub of Fagan’s Dairy Ice Cream complete with a large silver spoon. Picnic Puss, a Colour Box club special depicted those naughty cats stealing food from a picnic hamper, though whether it was on the beach or not, I couldn’t say! The dogs weren’t forgotten. Sea Dog (DG302) 1991, from the Personality Pups collection was a smashing sculpture of a very hairy brown and beige mutt perched on top of a red bollard. Ropes were entwined around the bollard, and the dog had an expectant look, which, according to the story booklet was because he was based on Peter’s boyhood dog who would jump on top of a bollard waiting to be fed batter from Peter’s fish and chips! Tethered to the bollard by a silver chain were two grey and black dogs, which could also be bought separately as Fatherly Love (DG205) 1991. Pennywhistle Lane collection featured a piece called Old Sea Salt (PL203) 1994 which showed Sam the pipe-smoking monkey dressed in beige trousers, dark red jacket, yellow-spotted blue scarf and jaunty blue hat standing on top of his old green sea trunk ‘full of past treasures’. Sitting on the end of the trunk was a cheeky little mouse wearing a sailor suit. The trunk was amazingly detailed, with all the brass studs, rivets, padlock and handles carefully accentuated in gold. Sam held a thick length of rope. The Hopscotch range included several tiny creatures you might find on your holiday, including a bright scarlet lobster (H106)), a beige crab (H105)), a plump orange fish (H104), and a cheeky blue clam peeking from its shell (H103), all issued in 1996. The Miniatures Collection also contained many animals and birds associated with the coast, for instance, Puffin (MC16) 1987, standing on a grey-green base. This model could also be found with a sand-yellow base. The Seal (MC49) 1989, and Seal and Pup (MC6) 1983, were both highly-detailed models, with the water, stones and rocks realistically depicted, as well as the creatures themselves, in tiny sculptures less than one-and-a-half inches high. If you were very lucky, you might just have caught a glimpse of a shimmering blue tail glinting in the sun, or perhaps noticed a friendly paw rise for a moment from the waves. Then you would have known that you had seen a Merbear (TC158) 1998, one of Colour Box’s prettiest-ever creations. Guardian of the Ocean, she cared for those who travel on her seas, as well as looking after the marine life. Many other sculptures from the Colour Box range featured holiday topics, including limited editions or club pieces such as Sail Away, All at Sea, Lifeguard and Out For a Run. Early Colour Box sculptures can often be found at collectors fairs, or on the net, and are worth collecting for their amazing detail and smile-making subjects. Colour Box & Peter Fagan Related Colour Box & Peter Fagan
During the Wartime years of the 1940s, and for a few years afterwards, books for adults and children alike were economy editions, due to paper shortages and restrictions.