We are not the only ones who celebrate Christmas – dolls do, too! Often, manufacturers issue their regular lines festively dressed in Christmas colours of red and green, or maybe silver, gold or white. They trim the costumes with white ‘fur’, tinsel, glitter or sparkly sequins – anything to make the doll look more Christmassy. Sometimes a Christmas special is dressed as a fairy, Santa or a character from a pantomime or fairy tale. Usually these dolls are made in limited numbers and, because they are sold for such a short period, eventually become very collectable. Teen dolls are often issued as Christmas Specials, such as the delightful Festive Sindy issued by Hasbro in 1997. She was dressed in a gold-flecked red gown with white fur trim, her hair covered by a fur-edged hood. More recently, Vivid Imaginations produced a Christmas Sindy, only available through Argos. Sindy was dressed in a short red Santa-style mini-dress, worn with a cap and cape, all edged in white fur. This doll is sure to become a future collectable. Barbie features in the ‘Happy Holidays’ collection which began in 1988, in a variety of gowns such as the full-skirted black & silver velvet ballgown worn with a dramatic cerise satin stole, dating from 1998. Her fabulous gowns use luxury fabrics in shades of green, scarlet, gold or white. The smaller dolls in the Barbie range, such as Maura, also often appear in festive mood. A couple of years ago, Maura was dressed as Winter in a pretty white and ice-blue dress scattered with snowflakes, and sporting a fetching pair of teddy earmuffs. Occasionally, dolls are issued in Christmas play sets. A few years ago the enchanting Madeline dolls, based on a character originally created by Ludwig Bemelmans in the 1930s, included a festive set in their range. Madeline is a pupil at a Parisienne school run by nuns, and dolls representing her and her friends were made by Eden in the 1990s, but have now been taken over by Learning Curve. The Madeline Christmas Gift set comprised a seven and a half inch tall doll wearing a santa-type outfit of a red dress edged with white fur and a matching hat, white lacy socks and black shoes. She had a felt Christmas tree and a tartan stocking. Learning Curve introduced large Holiday Madelines – soft cloth dolls dressed in red or green Christmas outfits. The German company, Zapf, makers of Baby Born, Annabell and Chou Chou, produce Christmas outfits for their dolls each year. Recent BabyBorn festive get-ups have included a dark red velour dress worn over Christmas-patterned tights, finished off with a jaunty, star-trimmed velour hat, a red long-sleeved dress with a matching flower-trimmed head band, and an unusual white and blue creation. A Christmas play set was also amongst the recently-discontinued Zapf Baby Born Miniworld series of dolls. This tiny baby doll, just four and a half inches tall, was dressed in a sweet red fleecy outfit and white bib embroidered with a Christmas motif. She wa s seated on a soft red beanbag with her teddy, beside a Christmas tree, and her box was designed to look like a festively-decorated nursery. Until recently, Zapf made excellent designer dolls, and amongst them was Rolanda Heimer’s Siggi, a nineteen inch tall baby with blonde hair. He was dressed in fleecy red hooded jacket with a knitted clown motif, and beige cord trousers. He came with a cd of Christmas carols. Anne Geddes ‘Baby Santa’ was issued a few years ago and is now quite difficult to find. Anne is famous for her photographs of babies dressed as animals, flowers and insects and a whole range of dolls based on the photos were made by Unimax, including rabbits, bears, butterflies and sunflowers. Baby Santa is a smiling, slightly podgy baby doll wearing a red Santa outfit. The box bears photographs of the real babies on which the doll was modelled. Woolworths often produce dolls in Christmas themed outfits, recently they were selling Christmas Holly, under their Chad Valley label, a sweet-faced sixteen inch baby dressed in a red dress, Santa hat, green bag and with adorable crocheted red shoes. Cabbage Patch Kids have featured in several Christmas issues over the years, including a 1990s Special Edition set of Holiday Babies by Mattel. Dressed in various outfits, such as a red needlecord dress trimmed with lace, a delightful white satin dress with a net overlay sprinkled with gold stars, or green corduroy shorts and a red tartan waistcoat, these are an excellent addition to a festive collection. Mattel also produced Christmas Cabbage Patch dolls in their Garden Fairies series, including some Wal-Mart exclusives. Poinsettia, Winter Holly and Winter Lily were obtainable in the UK, but the Wal-Mart versions were sold in the US, so aren’t often seen in Britain. These sweet dolls are ‘Holiday Scented’! Soft dolls by companies such as Ty and JellyCat are often found, and many stores and supermarkets sell Christmas specials, such as the cloth dolls sometimes sold by Tesco at Christmas. Ty’s Beanie-Boppers, with names such as Jolly Janie, Holiday Heidi, Merry Margaret and Christmas Carol, wear festive outfits. Carol has a green long-pile jacket over a gold-spotted red velour mini-dress trimmed with long-pile ‘fur’ and thigh-length boots. Her blonde hair is crimped and curled, and she has a Santa hat to match her dress. A similar range are the smiley eight inch character dolls from Jellycat, such as Princess Icecapade, obviously ready for the winter freeze with her ice-skates, and Holly Blooming Babe (wearing a holly-leaf skirt with a red berry belt). Toys ‘R’ Us have featured Christmas specials in their line of eleven and a half inch Jessica teen dolls. She has appeared in a long red gown with gold panels and a white fur cape, or a sophisticated white satin dress with a black bodice and stole. Vivid Imaginations have produced Holiday Bratz dolls, in both large and the ‘Baby Bratz’ versions, dressed in beautiful, frothy […]
When looking to the designs of the Art Deco period one talented sculptor and ceramist that cannot be ignored is Josef Lorenzl. A master designer, his Bronze statuettes and ceramic figural work epitomise the era perfectly. As like Preiss, Chiaparus and Kelety the other great sculptors from this period, Lorenzl was inspired by the female form and the new found freedom that women enjoyed, which he executed beautifully both in his bronze and ceramic designs. Pictured right: A Josef Lorenzl Cold-Painted Bronze and Ivory Figure With Decoration By Crejo Circa 1930 Modelled cast and carved as a young woman adopting a stylish pose, her costume decorated with enamelled flowers, onyx plinth, base signed Lorenzl, dress signed Crejo 10.5/8 in. (27 cm.) high. Sold for £5,000 at Christies, London (Feb 2014). Although very little is known about Lorenzl’s early life we are aware that he was born in Austria in 1892 and was soon to become one of the most talented sculptors of the Art Deco Period. He started by working for a bronze foundry in Vienna Arsenal where he produced stunning bronze statuettes. The majority of his works in bronze and ivory were of singular slim female nudes with long legs which conveyed elegance. His preference was for dancing poses which were not only evident in his singular statuettes but also in those attached to marble clocks, lampbases and bookends. Like his contemporaries Lorenzl work was created using “Chryselephantine”, a Greek word which refers to the combination of various materials such as bronze, ivory, gold and silver. He signed his pieces in various ways sometimes abbreviating his name to “Lor” or “Enzl” but on some of the statuettes you will find an additional signature by Crejo. A talented painter who worked alongside Lorenzl, Crejo would paint decoration onto the statuettes such as flowers and these are the figures which bear his signature. Far more desirable with Crejo’s painting these can command a premium at auction. Recently Bonhams sold an example of Lorenzl’s work with Crejo decoration for £10,500 but the pieces created by Lorenzl alone generally fetch in the region of £600 – £1,200 depending on the subject matter. Pictured left: A Josef Lorenzl (1892-1950) Cold-Painted Bronze and Onyx Timepiece Circa 1920 Modelled and cast as a crouching nude female figure holding a dial with onyx face, on onyx plinth raised on slate base, apparently unsigned11½ in. (31.7 cm.) high. Sold for £4,700 at Christies, London (Nov 2013). From his designs in bronze and ivory Lorenzl went on to work for the Austrian ceramics company Goldscheider. Again creating stunning sculptures of the female form collector’s are more aware of this period and his sculptures in ceramic than they are of his earlier bronze and ivory statuettes. Inspired by shape and bold colours Lorenzl’s sculptures had clean lines and geometric shapes. Although each piece possess great movement there was no intricacy or attention to detail and most of his figures wore their hair in the boyish bob which was fashionable at the time, making these simplistic and stylish figurines the epitome of Art Deco design. One of Lorenzl’s friends Stephan Dakon who he had met whilst working at the bronze foundry had the same vision and style as Lorenzl so it was the obviously thing for Lorenzl to recommend Dakon to Goldscheider when he started to work for them. Taken on as a freelance designer Dakon was of the same mindset as Lorenzl and so much of their work was very similar. People at the time even believed that the two were in fact the same person. Both the artists had an interest in the female form, dance and theatrical costume. This was enhanced with Lorenzl when he took a trip to Paris and visited Folies Bergeres. Famous dancer Josephine Baker was on stage with her chorus dancers, all wearing extremely flamboyant costumes, Lorenzl was captivated by t he glamour and outlandishness of the dancers and so on his return to Austria reproduced gorgeous figurines wearing vibrant coloured costumes and in various dance poses. He was also able to use his skill as a bronze sculptor to use the earthenware to his advantage. Carving delicate fingers and enhancing the women’s female form Lorenzl set about producing some stunning sculptures. “Captured Bird” was one of his most popular and was created in many different colourways and sizes. This particular piece is of a dancing girl with a gossamer winged dress which was inspired by a dance performed by Niddy Impekoven and was also captured onto a lamp base with three figures of this elegant lady dancing around the stand.. Other dancing girl figurines which were created by Lorenzl include “Butterfly Wings,” “Spider-Web Dress” and “The Arabian Dancer.” Not only did all his creations represent the elegant and feminine side of a women but each were also very subtly seductive. Adapting his theme of dance Lorenzl also went on to produce the “Egyptian Dancer or Odalisque” in 1922. This particular piece was again reproduced with models wearing different coloured shawls and is one of the most recognisable figures today. By the 1930’s Lorenzl and Dakon were the principle designers at Goldscheider, although there were many freelancers employed by the firm. It is here that we see another slight change to Lorenzl’s work. Although he had used the naked female form in much of his bronze and ivory works it was during this period that he started to produce these mildly erotic yet beautiful nude figurines for Goldscheider. “Awaken” and “Nude with a Borzoi” are perfect examples of Lorenzl’s talent for taking the naked female form and making it glamorous yet sophisticated. Although the majority of Lorenzl’s sculptures for Goldscheider were females and these are the ones that command the higher prices he also experimented with other ideas. “Mephistopheles” was a figure of the devil dressed in theatrical costume, and although one recently sold at Bonhams for just £385 it shows his passion for theatre, costume and the arts. Lorenzl is considered the most important Goldscheider artist in the […]
To many people, the thought of ‘royal commemoratives’ conjures up a vision of rows upon rows of ceramic mugs, each bearing a royal crest, or, maybe, a picture of the queen. But it doesn’t have to be like that. I’ve collected royal memorabilia for many years, and go out of my way to seek out the quirky, often slightly disrespectful pieces! I look around for cheaper royal commemoratives too; things like eggcups, keyrings, tins, cards, hankies, scarves, mascots, jigsaw puzzles and cruets. Much of this tends to be referred to as ‘kitsch’ – but let’s face it, part of the fun of any royal or patriotic event is the plethora of bunting, stickers, flags, posters, badges and other colourful items which normally we wouldn’t give house room to. And maybe that is the key, because as nearly all of this stuff is soon discarded, you find that after a few years it starts to become collectable, often worth more than the few pence or pounds you originally paid. These cheap and cheerful collectables are the kind of items which tend to end up in charity shops and boot sales, and might not look much; yet when they are grouped together, maybe in a bookshelf or on a side table, they can make an amusing and eye-catching focal point. A major royal occasion will spawn all kinds of ephemera, so it’s worth looking out for patriotic paper napkins, tablecloths, plastic hats, programmes, toy windmills, periscopes, chocolate wrappers, souvenir grocery packets and much else. I’ve accumulated foil milk bottle tops from the Investiture of Prince Charles in 1969, paper napkins from the 1977 Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and an interesting thin cardboard box, which originally contained cupcakes, celebrating the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. This box is printed with a ‘Corgi Racin’ Game’, a colourful design of corgis and a finishing post. The idea was to cut out the corgis, glue them to coins and then flick them along the table to the finish. Almost certainly the majority of these boxes would have been thrown out when the cakes were eaten, so packaging such as this makes an interesting find. Other cheap and cheerful items often discarded after the event include pencils, tins, rulers, badges, notebooks, children’s paint boxes and pens. I have a pretty baby’s bib printed with pictures of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, issued for their 1981 wedding, presumably to prevent tots getting jelly all over their party frocks at the street parties which were held all over Britain on the big day. Also in my collection is a super 1980s’ stand-up cardboard Sarah Ferguson, with a note pad attached. She is drawn as a caricature, dressed in a ski suit and sporting a ‘hello, sailor’ badge as a reference to Prince Andrew. Another unusual piece is a royal family set of wooden stacking dolls I snapped up recently at a bootsale for £5. This super piece shows the Queen, while nestling inside is Charles, inside him is Diana, inside her is Fergie, who contains a tiny Andrew. One of my favourite royal commemoratives is quite recent, making its appearance last year. It’s a set of ‘wind-up royals’. Made by Paladone, the box contains four clockwork characters – the Queen, Price Phillip, Prince Charles and Camilla – and the idea is just to wind them up and see who moves the fastest. They stomp along, regally waving to us lesser mortals as they go, and the first one to reach the finishing line gets to rule the country! With character faces and colourful costumes, this hilarious, colourful plastic set of royal people is worth every penny of the £10 or so which they cost, and they are available from various gift and novelty shops. Commemorative headscarves and handkerchiefs can be bought cheaply, and these are frequently very attractive, bearing pictures of the royal coach, the processional route, soldiers and members of the royal family. Usually they are found unused as they would have been intended as souvenirs rather than functional items, which is just as well, because many fabric items used non-fast colour dyes. Don’t wash them unless it is really necessary, especially if they are silk, or you might end up with a crumpled, sorry-looking object in which all of the colours have run. I’ve often seen these scarves and hankies, still in pristine condition, for £10 or under. Mascots are sometimes sold for royal occasions. At one time they consisted of small celluloid dolls, dressed in red, white and blue ribbons, which could be pinned to a coat or a dress. Nowadays, mascots are more likely to be small red, white & blue teddy bears or character animals. Other slightly more permanent souvenirs include jigsaw puzzles and moneyboxes. Small metal crown-shaped moneyboxes appeared in 1953 to commemorate the coronation, and various tinplate pillar-box shaped types crop up from time to time, including one issued for the 1937 coronation of George VI. Jigsaw puzzles are always colourful; amongst my collection are some very attractive coronation versions, including one made from wood which shows a complete map of the coronation route, from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. Don’t forget tins, some of the royal related ones are stunning, and apart from the usual tea caddies and biscuit tins, smaller tins can be found which contained peppermints, chocolate or other sweets, Years ago, my parents gave me the thermos flask they bought to celebrate the 1953 coronation. Made from bronze-coloured metal, it is printed with a portrait of the Queen, as well as a sketch of the royal coach in a procession. These flasks can still be found today for well under our shoestring limit, and it’s fun to imagine the tourists sipping tea from their royal flasks as they lined the processional route, waiting for the newly-crowned Queen to emerge form the abbey. Over the years Viewmaster handheld 3D screens have appeared with hundreds of different film reels and the company have often produced commemorative reels for royal occasions. […]
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 […]
We thought it would be fun to take a closer look at George Tinworth and his humorous comical mice. For a more detailed account on the life and work of George Tinworth visit George Tinworth – The Greatest Doulton Lambeth Designer. Here we look at some of the Tinworth mice and mice groups and their values. A rare George Tinworth Doulton Lambeth stoneware mouse group ‘Tea Time Scandal’ – modelled as three mice seated at a table drinking tea and gossiping, whilst a young mouse sits underneath the table, glazed in green and highlighted with ochre and treacle glazed detailing, the base inscribed ‘Tea Time Scandal’. Sold for £2,625 at Bonhams, London, 2012. Image Copyright Bonhams. A similar model also sold at Bonhams in April 2014 for £2,750. George Tinworth For Doulton Lambeth a Set of Five Mouse Chess Pieces, circa 1890 – comprising a King/Queen, a Rook and three Pawns in a pale green glaze 8.2cm, 8.8cm and 6.5cm high each with ‘G.T’ monogram, the King/Queen with Doulton Lambeth mark. Sold for £3,125 at Bonhams, London, October 2014. Image Copyright Bonhams. George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth ‘The Cockneys at Brighton’ a Figural Mouse Group, circa 1880 – with mice modelled in a rowing boat at sea, titled to base 11cm high. Sold for £3,360 at Bonhams, London, Sep 2009. Image Copyright Bonhams. George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth A stoneware model of a mouse on a bun, circa 1905 – 7.2cm high, impressed factory marks, incised artist monogram (SR). Sold for £1,920 at Bonhams, London, March 2009. Image Copyright Bonhams. George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth A Stoneware Model of a Mouse on a Bun, circa 1880 – the mouse glazed in a deep blue, the bun in a dark treacle glaze 7cm high, incised artist monogram ‘GT’ (restoration to ears). Sold for £937 at Bonhams, London, April2012. Image Copyright Bonhams. George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth ‘Waits and Water’ a Good Mouse Group, circa 1885 – modelled with three musicians standing below an open window about to receive an unexpected reward for their playing, in salt glaze with green and blue, on titled base 13.5cm high, artist monogram. Sold for £4,000 at Bonhams, London, April 2013. Image Copyright Bonhams. Books on George Tinworth
Star Wars Drifter In 1977 George Lucas’s Star Wars was released in cinemas all over the world. The film revolutionised the cinema industry, and the two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi were equally successful. Around the films has been built a massive merchandising industry which seems set to grow as a new generation of fans arrives willing to buy figures, comics, posters, autographs, cells, games, puzzles, light sabres, masks, stationary, videos of the films, videos of the making of the films, display pieces, promotional material, Pez dispensers, Tazos etc etc etc. Outside of the main characters which we are all so familiar with, there was a cast of hundreds. At a recent collectors show WCN met John Chapman who played one of the X-Wing Pilots in the briefing room scene. This scene never made it into the final cut and eventually only the scene with the back of the X-Wing pilots viewed. The lost briefing room scene still exists and has caused a lot of debate among die hard fans. His character Gil ‘Drifter’ Viray was one of the survivors of the assault on the Death Star and John also appeared in the end ceremony where Luke, Han and Chewbacca are awarded medals. John Chapman is attempting to find other members from the lost briefing room scene to have a re-union. He is also attempting to develop his character further with stories of Drifter’s adventures after Star Wars. Although in only a small, non-speaking part John Chapman is developing a fan base, especially among completist Star Wars collectors, who just have to have everything associated with the film. As well as attending memorabilia fairs, John has been a guest at several Star Wars conventions where he has been surprised by the interest in his character. “I’d never bothered with the convention circuit as I didn’t have speaking part, I was just one of the extras in the briefing room scene”. Will Drifter memorabilia be collectable? Probably not, but to the many Star Wars fans out there, this is another slice of unusual Star Wars history that adds a new dimension to their collecting.
Wow! 25 years ago Disney released WCN’s favourite Disney film The Nightmare Before Christmas. The cult film from Tim Burton and has certainly stood the test of time to become of Disney’s best franchises and we would say has had some of best and coolest merchandise, collectibles and toys. With the Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary well underway, we take a look at what Jack Skellington, Oogie Boogie, Sally and team have on offer in the way of Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary Collectibles & Toys. Lets start with this fantastic figure by Jim Shore. The figure is called What a Wonderful Nightmare and blends Disney Magic with traditional folk art to create a great piece featuring Jack Skellington, Sally, Zero, Mayor, Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Two classic games Operation and Monopoly have been released in 25th Anniversary editions. Operate on Oogie Boogie in Operation and explore Jack’s Tower, Oogie Boogie’s Casino, Dr. Finkelstein’s Laboratory, and Sally’s Alley in Monopoly. Funko have released some excellent editions including Mystery Minis, Snow Globes, Plushies, a super deluxe vinyl figure of Jack Skellington with Zero, Vinyl, Pen Toppers and more! Some cracking Nightmare items. The collections feature all the main characters including Jack Skellington, Sally, Dr. Finklestein, the Mayor, Pumpkin King Jack, Lock, Shock, Barrel, and Scary Teddy. Funko have also released a number of anniversary Vinyl Pops as well. With the film covering both Halloween and Christmas there are of course some ornaments and tree toppers including Jack Skellington and Sally Legacy Sketchbook Ornament and a Jack Skellington Tree Topper showing Jack as Sandy Claws. There are also exclusive editions at the Disney Parks and various Disney worldwide stores. Ultimately it is all down to the movie itself and there are a number of special 25th DVD and Blu-Ray releases that will keep fans happy. A special thanks to Tim Burton and all involved for this wonderful film.
The first World Cup was in 1930 and if you are looking for memorabilia from then or even the subsequent World Cups up to 1966 you will find posters, autographs and programmes, but not much else. We can blame 1966 and World Cup Willie for the era of collectable memorabilia. Pictured right: World Cup Willie memorabilia – An official cloth doll, a snow storm in original box, an ashtray, a pen-knife, a horse brass, a hanging car mascot, a commemorative pin in original box, four metal badges, six plastic badges and three key rings all featuring World Cup Willie. Sold for £180 at Bonhams, London, June 2006. World Cup Willie was the first official mascot for the FIFA World Cup, being used to represent the 1966 FIFA World Cup in the United Kingdom. He was a large anthropomorphic lion who wore a Union Flag jersey with the words “WORLD CUP”. Willie was the creation of artist Reg Hoye, who was asked to design a mascot for the World Cup competition by the English Football Association. Pictured left: A 1966 World Cup Willie tankard – 1966 flag logo to side and World Cup Willie mascot, gold gilt trim to handle and bands to edges (faded), stamped with makers mark Gibson & Sons Ltd of Stoke on Trent underneath. Height approx. 112mm. Sold for £187 at Bonhams, Chester, February 2002. Reg Hoye was a well respected artist having considerable experience and had illustrated some of Enid Blyton’s childrens books. Willie was one of four designs created, one was a boy and three were based on Lions. The design finally selected was of course Willie, with his looked based on Reg Hoye’s son Leo. Pictured right: A collection of 1966 World Cup Football memorabilia – Including an original programme from 1966 World Cup final [g], Officials Union Jack design pin badge, World Cup Willie mascot toy, pennant, Football Monthly souvenir, W.D and H.O.Wills portable desk and folder, newspapers and magazines. Sold for £216 at Bonhams, Chester, October 2009. Willie was a massive success and was popular not only in the UK, but throughout the world. There was special interest in the character in Germany and Russia. Willie found himself on everything from mugs to bedspreasd, money boxes to posters and from tankards to plates. There was a huge merchandise boom based on Willie and the 1966 World Cup. Pictured left: 1966 World Cup Willie postcard hand signed by Bobby Moore A colour postcard of 1966 World Cup mascot Willie, postmarked 18 August 1966, with England Winners stamp, hand signed by Bobby Moore. Sold for £350 at Bonhams, Chester, October 2011. Another first for 1966 was the World Cup song which was aptly name ‘World Cup Willie’ and was sung by the skiffle king Lonnie Donegan. The song was re-released for the 2010 World Cup by Lonnie Donegan Jnr. Dressed in red, white and blue, he’s World Cup Willie We all love him too, World Cup Willie He’s tough as a lion and never will give up That’s why Willie is fav’rite for the Cup Willie, Willie, he’s evry’body’s fav’rite for the Cup Pictured right: A red England 1966 World Cup final International shirt, No.10, with crew-neck collar and embroidered cloth badge. The shirt was worn by Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany. The 1966 World Cup Final England who started the 1966 competition as one of the favourites, due to the fact that the tournament was held on home soil, began their group qualifying games with a 0-0 draw against Uruguay. In the two remaining group qualifying matches England defeated Mexico and France 2-0 in both games. In the quarter-final match against Argentina, Geoff Hurst scored the only goal of an explosive match thirteen minutes from the end. England’s opponents in the semi-final were Portugal who had the wonderfully gifted Eusebio in their side. In a very entertaining match, England were worthy 2-1 winners with both goals being scored by Bobby Charlton. Pictured left: World Cup 1966 memorabilia – Eight tickets for games played in London to include Final and all England matches; two pennants; a World Cup Willie blazer badge; three F.A. News covering the World Cup; three postcards and official book by Purnell. Sold for £384 at Bonhams, London, June 2006. In the other semi-final, West Germany disposed of the U.S.S.R. national team by the same score and this set up a final match of the tournament between two of football’s oldest rivals at Wembley on 30th July 1966. Pictured right: A 1966 World Cup Winner’s Medal belonging to Alan Ball – a gold (unhallmarked) World Cup Winner’s medal, 1966, awarded to Alan Ball, the obverse inscribed F.I.F.A., the reverse inscribed World Championship, Jules Rimet Cup, in England 1966, Alan James Ball, with ring suspension. Sold for £164, 800 at Christies, London, May 2005. Before a crowd of just under 100,000, Haller scored for West Germany in the thirteenth minute, but six minutes later Geoff Hurst scored his country’s equaliser. For the best part of the next hour, neither side dominated the match but with twelve minutes remaining Geoff Hurst had an optimistic shot at goal which spun in the air for Martin Peters to knock home for what appeared to be the decisive winning goal. However, with seconds remaining, a hotly disputed free-kick from West Germany found its way across England goal and Weber knocked the ball into the net for a dramatic equaliser which took the match into extra-time. Pictured left: A collection of 1966 World Cup memorabilia – A large collection of memorabilia produced for the 1966 World Cup including stamps, World Cup Willie cloth badge, Geoff Hurst/Martin Peters hand signed picture, 8mm film of final, German album, football signed by Nobby Stiles, Gordon Banks, Ray Wilson, Alan Ball, Jack Charlton, George Cohen, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Roger Hunt, Wembley seat back and a ‘Sooper Snooper’ World Cup periscope. Sold for £216 at Bonhams, Chester, Feb 2009. After ten minutes of extra-time, England scored their third and without doubt the most controversial goal that has […]
Antique Bisque Dolls – Years ago, the dream of most doll collectors was to be able to afford an antique doll – a doll made from bisque china with glass eyes and a jointed wood or composition body. We used to sigh over pictures in magazines and drool at doll fairs. Then, not so long ago, something happened; prices came tumbling down and doll collectors discovered that their dream really could come true. Now is the perfect time to buy antique dolls, before prices begin to rise again – and rise they will, because however lovely reproduction dolls, vinyl babies or modern collectors’ teens might be, they are not old and do not have that special air of mystery which only an antique doll can bestow. Pictured: An Antique Bisque Doll by Walther & Sohn 125.10 doll Bisque is an unglazed porcelain; it’s matt instead of shiny, hence the ‘biscuit’ finish and so it gives a natural look to the face of a doll. Before the advent of plastics, dolls’ faces would be made from carved wood, composition, papier mache, wax or bisque. Although these substances all had their advantages, bisque was not only the most durable, it also allowed artists to portray the human face in a beautiful way. A doll made completely from bisque would prove expensive, so most had bisque heads attached to bodies and limbs made of composition, leather, wood or fabric stuffed with woodwool. Pictured: An Antique Bisque Doll by Heubach 300 doll French doll makers made exceptionally beautiful dolls, though they tended to be exceedingly expensive as they were so labour intensive. These dolls, by makers such as Juneau and Bru, were dressed in top quality high fashion garments, and even today most are out of the reach of the average collector. However, German makers also made dolls and soon grew to dominate the industry as they were skilled in mass production. Consequently, they produced dolls in their thousands, far more cheaply than the French factories could manage. The vast majority of old dolls that beginner-collectors are likely to come across will be German, but just because they are cheaper, it doesn’t mean that they are less beautiful. Many German dolls are very pretty indeed, and usually they are incised on the back of the neck with the maker’s name, mark, initials or a number, so from that information and a bit of research you can find the factory and the date the doll was first produced. Pictured: An Antique Bisque Doll by Armand Marseille 390 doll The most prolific of the German companies was that owned by Armand Marseille, who, despite his French-seeming name, was German. Often it is an Armand Marseille doll that a novice collector will buy as their first old bisque doll, because they are so easily found and can be bought from around £100–£150 depending on condition. Pictured: An Antique Bisque Doll by Kammer & Reinhardt 133 doll One of the most popular and easy to find dolls are the Armand Marseille 390 girls, which have pretty faces and glass eyes. These are usually mounted on a wooden ball-jointed body, which means that you can pose the doll gracefully on display. With these 390s, as with all bisque dolls, it is amazing how dolls from the same mould look so different, due to the handpainting of their faces, which varies the colouring, thickness of lashes and shape of mouth. Also, eye and hair colours/styles influence the doll’s appearance. This is why a 390 is a good doll to start off with – there is so much choice, because these dolls were developed in the early 1900s and remained in production till 1938, and so there are thousands around. Other Armand Marseille moulds to look out for include the character toddler 990, the character girl 327 and the 370 girl. All these dolls should be available in ‘played with’ condition for under £300 – with dolls, obviously price depends on condition, and a much-played with doll with broken fingers and a scant wig will be far less than an almost perfect doll. Another Armand Marseille doll which the collector will easily find is the ‘My Dream Baby’. My Dream Baby swept Britain and the Continent during the mid- 1920s, when baby dolls came into vogue, and had a sweet face with either an open or a closed mouth. Today, the closed mouth babies sell for a slightly higher price, as more of the open mouth type were produced, but even so should comfortably fit into the £300 price range. As with the 390 girls, the appearance of these babies varies enormously depending on the painting, the body type, the eye size and the size of the doll (they range from tiny babies just a few inches high to very large babies often used as shop window display models). Of course, there are many other types of affordable German dolls, such as some marked ‘Heubach Koppelsdorf’. Ernst Heubach was a brother-in-law of Armand Marseille, and his company produced very attractive dolls, often with a rather flushed appearance. Other makers of bisque dolls that might be found by collectors include Simon & Halbig, Kestner, Schoenau & Hoffmeister, Kammer & Reinhardt, Alt. Beck & Gottschalk and Schuetzmeister & Quendt. It should be possible to buy the more common models by these makers at a reasonable price, though naturally the rare, more desirable moulds will always fetch a premium. The best advice is to familiarise yourself with the various kinds of dolls and makers by reading books on the subject. Some of these books are in the form of price guides, so will help you discover the models that you can afford. Recently, there has been something of a price slump with some of the antique bisques, so if you find one which appeals, now is the time to buy because prices are bound to rise. Wherever possible, it’s best to buy a doll that you have already seen and handled, rather than one which is advertised on […]
The Beswick Characters of David Hand’s Animaland were all modelled by Arthur Gredington and were based on David Hand’s Animaland characters. The figures were produced by Beswick from 1949 to 1955. David Hand was a cartoon film animator who originally worked for the Disney organization where he was involved in several major productions including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi. He moved to England in 1944 where he set up an animation studio – GB-Animation (short for Gaumont-British). He produced a series of 9 short films in the Animaland series on which the Beswick characters were based. The films are: The Lion (Felis Leo) (1948), The House-Cat (Felis Vulgaris) (1948), The Cuckoo (1948), The Ostrich (1949), The Australian Platypus (1949), It’s a Lovely Day (1949), Ginger Nutt’s Christmas Circus (1949), Ginger Nutt’s Bee-Bother (1949), Ginger Nutt’s Forest Dragon (1949). The Animaland characters with their Beswick model number 1148 Dinkum Platypus 1150 Zimmy the Lion 1151 Felia 1152 Ginger Nutt 1153 Hazel Nutt 1154 Oscar Ostrich 1155 Dusty Mole 1156 Loopy Hare Related Arthur Gredington and Beswick