English glass of the early eighteenth century was plain with the Queen Anne taste for simplicity clarity, and as such there was no for applied decoration. Several factors saw this change including a period of peace with the Treaty of Utrecht, which was signed in 1713, and led to an opportunity for the glasshouses of Silesia, Bavaria and Prussia to increase their exports to London. The passing of the Excise Act of 1745, whereby glass was taxed by weight, led to growth of drinking glasses of slender proportions, using smaller bowls of curved profile on air-twist stems (cotton twists, opaque twists), sometimes combined with white or coloured enamel twists. The reduction in the content of lead in the metal deprived it of the deep glow of the earlier body, and there was a move to applying decoration in the form of engraving, gilding and enamelling. Pictured: Bonhams Beilby Goblet Record Price at Auction. The Prince William V Goblet. A highly important Beilby enamelled and gilt Royal armorial Goblet, circa 1766 The deep round funnel bowl painted in colours and gilding with the arms of the Nassau Princes of Orange encircled by the Garter and surmounted by a crown and mantling, the lion supporters on a ribbon bearing the motto JE.MAIN.TIEN.DRAY, the reverse with a white butterfly and floral sprig beneath the signature in red, traces of gilding to the rim, set on a multi-knopped stem and conical foot, 30.2cm high Signed Beilby Newcastle pinxit in red enamel. Sold for £109,250 inc. premium at Bonhams, New Bond Street, November 2011.The art of enamelling had long been familiar in Germany. The process required a paste combining equal parts of lead and tin, together with colouring matter, mixed with a flux and an oil medium. This prepared enamel was then painted on the glass, fired at a low temperature and reannealed by allowing the enamelling furnace to cool gradually. German glass was harder than the English metal and more suitable for enamel decoration as the colours were less likely to flood in the firing, but the reduction of lead content in English glass following the Excise Act made it a readier vehicle. This enamelling method was used by William and Mary Beilby of Newcastle who adopted the technique, worked entirely in the tradition of German independent decorators or “hausmaler” by purchasing plain vessels from the glasshouses of their home town and decorating it in their home. The style of their work was entirely individual and belongs in spirit to the English interpretation of Rococo. William Beilby (1740–1819) was the fourth child of a Durham jeweller and goldsmith William Beilby Senior. One of a family of seven, William was placed as an apprentice with a Birmingham enameller in 1755 and while he was there the family moved to Newcastle. A younger brother, Thomas, went to Leeds where he found employment as a drawing master and is later recorded as having his own academy. When William returned, perhaps in 1761, his father was still in business, while a younger brother, Ralph, and his sister Mary (1749–97), were also at home. Ralph was an engraver and earned a reputation for his industriousness and his willingness to undertake any type of engraving. In particular he was an heraldic specialist and engraved coats-of-arms and crests on silver. Thomas Bewick, whose exquisite wood engravings were later to reveal a sensitive and poetic artist, was apprenticed to Ralph in 1767 and lived in the Beilby home. It is, in fact, to Bewick’s memoirs, written many years after his life with the Beilbys, that we owe so much information about the family. Bewick states that both William and Mary had “constant employment of enamel-painting on glass,” and while William also taught drawing in the town, he evidently instructed his young sister so that she could help him in his enamelling. As well as armorial decorations, there are examples of landscapes painted in colours to which Mary may well have contributed and also a series painted in white enamel with flowers, avian motifs or picturesque scenes of ruins and figures. The enamel of these monochrome decorated pieces has a faintly bluish tinge. Of the type of wine-glasses chosen for decoration, the bucket-shaped bowl provided the larger surface for painting, but small glasses with straight-sided or ogee bowls and straight stems containing white enamel twists, are also found. The series continued probably until 1778. Mary is known to have had a stroke in 1774, while the household was probably broken up by Ralph Beilby and Thomas Bewick going in to partner ship three years later. Mrs. Beilby died in 1778, when William and Mary evidently gave up their workshop and left Newcastle for Fifeshire. By this time English glass had abandoned the Rococo manner and the moment for such individual achievement was over.
Cats are surrounded with superstition, black cats especially so. In ancient Egypt, cats were revered, the black ones being most omnipotent of all.
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.
In 1919, Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer created Felix the Cat, one of the most popular and enduring cartoon characters of all time. Felix was a black cat with white eyes who starred in his own series of short films from 1919 to 1930. The character became so popular that he even appeared in comic books, toys, and other merchandise. In 2019 Felix celebrated his 100th birthday. The Origins of Felix the Cat Felix the Cat was created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer in 1919. The pair were working for the New York-based animation studio, Paramount Pictures. At the time, Sullivan was the studio’s head animator and Messmer was his assistant. The two men came up with the idea for Felix while they were working on another short film called “The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird.” In that film, there was a black cat who appeared briefly in one scene. Sullivan and Messmer thought the cat was cute and decided to make him the star of his own series of shorts. The first Felix the Cat cartoon, “Feline Follies,” was released in 1919. In the film he was referred to as Mister Tom. It was a huge success and made the character an overnight sensation. Felix went on to star in over 50 short films over the next 11 years. In 1930, Sullivan and Messmer sold the rights to Felix to another studio, Universal Pictures. The new owners of Felix changed the character’s design and gave him a more cartoony look. Felix’s popularity began to decline and he faded into obscurity in the 1940s. However, Felix made a comeback in the 1950s when he appeared on television in a series of new shorts. These shorts were produced by Walter Lantz, who had also worked on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. The Felix the Cat cartoons from the 1950s are some of the best-known and most beloved entries in the series. They introduced a number of iconic elements, including Felix’s Magic Bag of Tricks. The shorts from this era also featured the voice of Dal McKennon as Felix. McKennon’s performance is widely considered to be the definitive portrayal of the character. Did you know? TV Guide ranked Felix the Cat number 28 on its “50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” list. Felix the Cat has also been featured in a number of comics and books over the years. One of the most notable is the 1960 graphic novel, “The Adventures of Felix.” This book was written by Otto Messmer and illustrated by Joe Oriolo. Oriolo also created a series of Felix the Cat toys in the 1960s. These toys were produced by the toy company, Mattel. Felix the Cat has also appeared on a variety of other merchandise, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, toys, games, clothing lines, figurines and even bedsheets. Felix the Cat Theme Song The Felix the Cat theme song is just as iconic. The song, which was written by written by Winston Sharples and performed by 1950s big band singer Ann Bennett. The song perfectly captures Felix’s mischievous personality. It starts with a cheerful melody that reflects Felix’s upbeat attitude, but quickly turns into a playful tune that hints at his propensity for trouble. The lyrics are also clever and humorous, making them instantly memorable. This is evident in the opening line, ” Oh, Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat…” which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the song. His longevity is down to a number of factors: he is relatable, has great design and a great sense of humor that appeals to people of all ages. Felix the Cat is one of the most iconic and beloved cartoon characters of all time. He has been entertaining audiences for over 100 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Related Lucky Black Cats featuring Felix the Cat
Flirty Thirties – Sophistication And Elegance – Dolls in The 1930s by Sue Brewer Lights! Camera! Action! This was the decade of the movie idol. People from all walks of life filled cinemas to watch glamorous actors and actresses on the big screen, escaping everyday worries as they drifted on a sea of music and romance. Stars became household names – though, unlike today’s celebrities, managing to retain their mystique in a waft of fur, satin, diamonds and aloofness. 1930 opened with a literal high for women when Amy Johnson became the first female aviator to fly solo from England to Australia. Sadly, the year ended with a tragic aviation low when the airship R101, on its inaugural flight from England to India, crashed in France, exploding in flames with a loss of 48 lives. The early years of the decade were a combination of emotions as light-hearted young people danced the night away to jazzy music, contrasting with despair and poverty faced by millions as the Depression, following the earlier U.S. Wall Street Crash, hit home. Characterised by instability, with changes of governments, unrest amongst lower-paid workers and, amazingly, three kings in one year (1936), the Thirties were turbulent times. Germany was proving a constant threat, and a sense of unease permeated the atmosphere – this was sensed even in the fashion industry, where clothing became more simple and casual, as though preparing women for the lean times ahead. Even so, it certainly wasn`t all doom and gloom. A magnificent 1000 ft. liner, the ‘Queen Mary’, was launched in 1934; cruising was the height of fashion amongst the upper classes, and this magnificent ship with its Art Deco design, was deservedly popular. Sophisticated, elegant and stylish, just like her passengers, she summed up the very best of the decade. On her maiden cruise she arrived in New York to find the harbour filled with a welcoming armada and cheering crowds lining the shore. Millionaires, dukes, heiresses and, of course, film stars, adored the ship – this was the height of luxury and style. The rising movie culture was enthusiastically embraced, and elaborate cinemas with velvet seats and plush fittings were built at a frenzied pace. Soon it seemed that every town had its own ‘Picture Palace’ where audiences could lose themselves in a fantasy world. This was the era of Busby Berkely, a choreographer who directed amazing dance routines featuring dozens of feather-clad performers, and many films featured song and dance numbers. Glamorous stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Fred Astaire, Greta Garbo and Mae West made the cinema the place to be, while ‘The Wizard of Oz’ starring a young Judy Garland, was released in 1939, just one of the many classic movies which appeared during the decade. Two years earlier, Disney had produced his first-ever full-length cartoon, ‘Snow White’, allowing companies such as Chad Valley to make stunning commemorative dolls. Additionally, a golden-haired tot called Shirley Temple became such a cinema cult that she was created in doll-form to thrill both British and American girls alike, while sassy cartoon star, Betty Boop, was such a hit that she is still adored today. By the mid-thirties, composition had largely overtaken bisque as the best medium for doll manufacture, and while many dolls made by this method were almost as beautiful as their elegant bisque forbears, others were much more crude with slapdash face painting and basic moulding. Some of the bisque manufacturers switched to composition, while new companies evolved, keen to take advantage of the fashion for a medium which didn`t require firing in hot kilns. America had a particularly extensive doll industry at this time and amongst the classic dolls developed were Dy-Dee, Patsy and Shirley Temple. The first Shirley Temple dolls appeared in the shops in 1934, sporting a red and white spotted dress resembling the outfit the little girl wore in ‘Stand Up and Cheer’. The dolls were made by Ideal, using a kind of wood-pulp composition, and their success ensured that Shirley Temple dolls would continue to be produced for several years, wearing costumes from her various films. Additionally, extra outfits and accessories could be purchased, including a beautiful dolls pram. Composition Shirley Temple dolls were finally discontinued in 1939 as interest had waned. Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, a combination of nostalgia plus new interest in Shirley, led Ideal to release an updated range, this time using modern vinyl. Today, Shirley Temple dolls are still produced for collectors by companies such as Danbury Mint. In Britain, Cascelloid experimented making baby dolls from a material they called ‘Plastex’, which was a glue-reinforced unbreakable composition, while companies such as D. G. Todd, British National Dolls and Pedigree produced various composition dolls to a fairly basic design. These were the dolls which would later prove such comfort to children huddled in air-raid shelters, or, alternatively, be the one reminder of home to a child taken to the safety of the countryside, parted from her mother. Britain – in fact the world – was rocked in 1936 when Edward VIII, renounced his throne in order to marry American heiress Wallis Simpson. She was divorced, and so was unable to become queen. In a broadcast at the time, Edward declared that he could not carry on ‘without the help and support of the woman I love`. Instead, Edward`s brother reigned as George VI, and his delightful wife Elizabeth became universally loved, later becoming affectionately known as ‘The Queen Mum’. Before the 1939 hostilities began, the decade was an elegant age, with evening wear influenced by the slinky, sparkly gowns worn by stars such as Ginger Rogers, who whirled around the dance floors in the arms of Fred Astaire. Women embraced a feminine, curvy look, simple by daytime and stunning by night. Schiaparelli, the classic Italian designer, promoted the zip fastener which at the time had been scarcely used in fashionable clothing. At last, it was unnecessary to employ a maid to do up all those hooks […]
Raggedy Ann Dolls by Sue Brewer @bunnypussflunge Raggedy Ann Dolls are one of the great American classic dolls. Instantly recognisable with her beaming smile, red triangular nose and round black eyes, Raggedy was originally a storybook doll. Unlike the majority of dolls which are devised purely for commercial reasons, Raggedy Ann was created for the nicest reason of all – she was created through love. Her creator was an artist and storyteller called Johnny Gruelle, who told the tales and drew the delightful pictures to entertain his small daughter when she was ill – or so the story goes. However, the anecdotes woven around the creation of this charismatic doll have become embellished, contradicted and disputed over the years, so no-body really knows for certain. Johnny’s small daughter was named Marcella, and one anecdote has it that while she was playing in the attic she discovered an old cloth doll with a faded face, which had belonged to her grandmother. Her father drew a new face onto the doll, and it was she who became immortalised as Raggedy Ann. Marcella was enchanted, and from then on, Raggedy Ann became her constant companion, inspiring her father to tell stories to the little girl about her doll. Tragically, Marcella died when she was still quite young from a smallpox vaccination which became infected, and it was then that Johnny took the decision to publish the stories which she had loved, for other children to share – it was his tribute to his daughter. He patented and trademarked the Raggedy Ann design in 1915. Over the years, numerous editions of the books have appeared, though they have never been as popular in Britain as they are in the United States. Other characters have been introduced too, perhaps the most famous being her brother Raggedy Andy, Beloved Belindy, Uncle Clem and the gloriously-named ‘Camel With Wrinkled Knees.’ The stories tell how Raggedy Ann, a sweet kindly doll – because she has a candy heart – comes to life when humans aren’t around, and has great adventures with her brother, Andy. First in the series was ‘Raggedy Ann Stories’, which was published in 1918 by the P. F. Volland company, who later followed up the success with a character Raggedy Ann doll. The rest is history. More stories followed; Raggedy Ann’s Magical Wishes, The Paper Dragon, Raggedy Ann in the Deep Deep Woods and Raggedy Ann and the Left-Handed Safety Pin amongst many, many others. Raggedy Ann dolls have been made for almost as long as the books have been published. Apparently Johnny Gruelle persuaded his family to make some cloth dolls to accompany the earliest of the books, maybe for shop display purposes, we can’t be sure now. One delightful rumour said that each doll was given a candy heart which read ‘I Love You’, just as Raggedy Ann has in the story books. So far, this hasn’t be proved – old dolls don’t seem to contain any remnants of candy, though it is a charming idea. Many people, especially in America, concentrate on Raggedy Ann and Andy, forming immense collections of dolls and other memorabilia. The dolls have been made by manufacturers such as Volland, Knickerbocker, Russ, Playskool and Dakin. One hangtag reads, ‘These stories – infused with a father’s pure, simple love – became immortal.’ The early Raggedy Ann dolls often had brown hair, and less of a caricature face than later Raggedy Anns. Volland dolls were made during the 1920s and 30s, and many are highly prized, while even those from some of the later companies, Knickerbocker for instance, are increasing in price, especially in America where Raggedy Ann is one of the most famous character dolls. In Britain, she is much less-widely known, and frequently gets muddled with the ‘Orphan Annie’ character who later became the star of a musical and movie. Raggedy Ann is often dressed in a pinafore worn over a cotton print frock and stripy red stockings. Perhaps the most expensive of the early dolls, occasionally found today, is Beloved Belindy, a plump black doll wearing a headscarf. She appeals not only to Raggedy Ann enthusiasts but to the collectors of black dolls as well. Recently, R. John Wright, the famous creator of exquisite felt toys and dolls, produced a beautiful version of the young Marcella, holding her Raggedy Ann. Standing 17 inches high, the little girl has a pensive expression, and is dressed in a yellow print dress and straw bonnet, which is tied with a wide blue ribbon. She clutches her beloved Raggedy Ann. R. John Wright has also created particularly jaunty versions of both Raggedy Ann and Andy, 17 inches high, made from pure wool felt. He maintains that they are the most authentic Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls ever made. As Raggedy Ann is such a traditional character, and, being a rag doll, is relatively easy to make, thousands of home-made copies have appeared over the years, some of them excellent, others very basic. Beware when you are buying a doll which you haven‘t examined, especially if buying from ebay, because it is all too easy to be fobbed off with a copy. Having said that, many collectors are happy with the copies too, feeling that they are all part of Raggedy Ann’s history. A special museum devoted to Raggedy Ann Dolls opened in 1999 in Arcola, Illinois. Called The Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum, it is the only officially licensed Raggedy Ann & Andy museum in the world. The museum also sells dolls, books and memorabilia. And in 2005, Raggedy Ann celebrated her 90th anniversary, prompting several companies to produce commemorative versions of the doll. Johnny Gruelle, who died in 1938, eventually became known as ‘The Raggedy Ann Man’ – he would no doubt be astounded could he know that his sweet creation was still widely collected and very much loved today. Raggedy Ann Dolls values and Raggedy Ann Dolls price guide Realised prices at auction give a reflective price […]
Glass is the third most popular collectible in the world, and Crackle Glass is one of the most beautiful and interesting. Crackle Glass is also known by other names, such as Craquelle Glass, Ice Glass and Overshot Glass. How is crackle glass made? It was the Venetian glass makers of the 16th Century who invented this process. Even though there are many different processes, basically, the glass is immersed into cold water while it is molten, thereby cracking the glass. It was then reheated to seal the cracks, and either molded or hand blown into the desired shape. Glass makers from the 19th Century and even today are still using the same methods. Crackle Glass was reborn in the mid 1850’s as glass makers often used this process to cover up defects in their work. If there were cordings or striations in the glass (defects), they would crackle it. Crackle Glass comes in a tremendous variety of shapes, styles and colors. It was made by the common glass makers and the best glass makers, such as Galle, Steuben, Moser, Loetz, Stevens & Williams, Webb, etc. Collectors, who start collecting crackle glass, often start by purchasing the miniatures. These items are usually 3″ to 5″ tall. They will fit on any window shelf, and when the sun hits them, they sparkle beautifully. The best thing about collecting crackle glass, is that it’s one glass that has not been widely reproduced. There are only a few companies making it today, and there are some imports from China, Taiwan, and other countries, but the experienced collector can tell these apart from the old pieces.
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 […]
Recently, a friend said, ‘I’d like to collect dolls. But there are lots of different kinds. How do I start and what are the best to buy?’ This really had me thinking; it’s a difficult query to reply to as there’s no easy answer. The first thing to establish is why my friend wants to collect – if it’s for investment purposes, my reply will be, “Don’t!” That isn’t to say there is no money to be made in the doll collecting world – a lady I know must be rubbing her hands with glee at the moment having just sold a mint in box Pedigree doll (which originally cost £5) for over £650! While anyone who still owns their childhood Blythe doll could, with a bit of luck, be sitting on a nice little earner of £500 upwards. I’m sure that if you ask Kathy Martin which bears to collect, Mark Hill which glass to collect or Tracy Martin which handbags to collect, they will all tell you the same – “Buy those which you really love (as long as you can afford them!).” There is no point in buying items which you dislike purely because they might possibly rise in value in ten years time – after all, you have to live with them until then. If you invest in an ultra rare, mint, perfect doll, but it happens to be one of those types which scares you even before you placed your bid, well, yes, you might possibly make a profit in a few years – but in the meantime, you’ll have turned into a nervous wreck, with the doll haunting your dreams and scaring all your friends away! Stick with what appeals to you, and you’ll be fine. What if you decide you want to collect the kind of dolls you like, but the trouble is, you like them all? Well, firstly, welcome to the club, most doll collectors face this exact dilemma! Sometimes you can narrow it down a bit. Maybe, fashion is your thing and the new fashion dolls, especially those by the American designers such as Tonner, will fit the bill. There are many ranges of exquisite dolls to choose from, whether you decide to go for the 1940s look as worn by Mel Odom’s Gene, 1950s chic encapsulated in such dolls as Tonner’s Kitty Collier, 1960s zany styles as demonstrated by the new Doug James range of Gabby and Violet teens, or ballet and theatrical glamour found in the stunning range by Clea Bella. All of these dolls are worth checking out by fashion fans. If, however, your fashion tastes are more simple, then you might prefer to begin your collection by seeking out old Sindy, Barbie, Daisy, Tressy and Tammy dolls. All of these have their fans, and it is still relatively easy to pick up good examples without laying out too much money – a Sindy, for example, in her original Weekenders outfit, or a Quant Daisy wearing her trendy Bees Knees get-up, can be bought for the price of a meal out. Barbie and Sindy are still being made, so you could add some you really like to your collection just by popping along to your local toy shop. Maybe, though, it’s the older dolls which really appeal to you – it must be said that some of the bisque dolls from the 1920s and before are stunningly beautiful, with large glass eyes, creamy smooth porcelain cheeks and rosebud mouths. To me, it is a really special feeling to hold one of these old dolls, to imagine the children who played with her and the history they witnessed, a nd, especially, to marvel at the way a china doll which has been loved and played with by generations of children, can still be so fresh and perfect. Antique dolls are often expensive – yet, some modern dolls can cost just as much, if not more. If you are hoping to collect antique dolls, now is a very good time to buy. At present, many of the more commonly-found old dolls have dropped in price, possibly due to an influx on the market as elderly owners decide to part with their possessions; look out for makers such as Armand Marseille, Ernst Heubach, Simon & Halbig and Schoenau & Hoffmeister, all of whom made delightful and popular dolls. At present it is possible to buy a reasonable antique doll in good condition for around £150 from a dealer or fair. I would never recommend that you buy any antique doll without inspecting it first, unless the seller is someone known to you who you trust implicitly. When you find an antique doll which you really love, ask the seller if there are any cracks, including hairlines, chips or other damage (normally this should have already been noted on the tag attached to the doll). Check to see whether the wig is original (a replacement isn’t necessarily a problem, as long as it isn’t a modern nylon wig), and ask if you can remove some of the clothing to check the condition of the body. Sometimes you will find there are scuffed toes or missing fingers; most collectors are not overly concerned with minor play damage such as this, and some will accept a hairline crack if it doesn’t detract from the doll’s beauty. Antique dolls aren’t always made from china, there are some very beautiful wax dolls about. Many people dislike wax dolls as they find the wax likeness to human skin rather creepy for comfort, while often the faces tend to craze which can give them a sinister air. Anther reason they are out of favour is because they can dry out in modern centrally-heated homes. Nevertheless, wax dolls can be very pretty, and often not particularly expensive. With a little care, they can make an excellent and interesting collection, as can celluloid dolls, which, though prone to dents, and which, being inflammable, mustn’t be put near a naked […]
Charlot Byj (pronounced by or bye or buy) joined the Goebel Company in the late 1940’s after Franz Goebel noticed some of her artwork while on a visit to New Your City where she was living at the time. Miss Byj soon began designing the little redheaded figurines that are so collectable today today. Pictured left: Charlot Byj Goebel Plaque. The first figurine was copyrighted in 1957 with the figurine known as “Strike” featuring a little redheaded boy bowling. Pictured right: Strike. The series ended production in 1988 with the last collectible figurine being numbered Byj 109 – “A Special Friend”. Pictured left: A Special Friend. The last number in the series was Byj 110 – “Communion” but this figurine was produced in prototype form only with a total of four pieces being produced. The series includes redheaded children as well as quite a few blonde children. Some were extremely popular and were also produced as brunettes. Black children were included in the series although their numbers are quite small. The redheads were always mischievous while the blondes were more serene or religious in appearance. Pictured right: Little Prayers are Best figurine. A new book featuring Miss Byj’s works is to be available in December or early January 2001. Rocky Rockholt is the author – the book being published and distributed by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Pictured left: Print of Bless Us All. The book will include full color photographs of all the figurines as well as Christmas plates and ornaments. The book also deals with the collectibility of the series created by Miss Byj, her wonderful prints, dolls, detailed description of all items, pricing history and a collectors value price guide. Pictured right: Bless Us All figurine. The book will retail for $19.95 or may be purchased from the author for $23.15 each delivered by priority mail to customers in the USA and slightly higher to customers outside the USA. The World Collectors Net Hummel & Goebel information pages.