The traditional Quimper faience pottery has been created in the Brittany region since the late 17th century and the tradition continues today with the Henriot Quimper factory. Another factory located in Quimper, Ceramiques de Cornouaille, is also continuing the proud tradition of pottery creation in the region. The Ceramiques de Cornouaille was founded in 1998 by Xavier Dutertre and still mainly produce a personalised traditional Breton bowl which sells very well to the local and tourist markets. However, it is the companies new modern designs based on traditional designs and costumes which have caught our eye. These include the Costume designs by Joëlle Josselin, and the VLGM and Pays Ocean designs by Charles Cambier. Costume Design by Joëlle Josselin These decorations are creations of the painter Joëlle Josselin of the Relecq Kerhuon near Brest, specialist of the costumes paintings of Brittany she created a special range adapted to the porcelain and gave a touch of modernity to these decorations. A very personal style, a dynamic painting that represents very well the modernity of our Brittany, imbued with its tradition. A logic well adapted to the Ceramics of Cornouaille. The colourful designs have a modern approach to the traditional Breton costumes. Pays Ocean Design by Charles Gambier Le pays, on connaît tous, c’est ici bien sur, mais l’océan c’est plus loin, c’est ailleurs, l’un n’allant jamais sans l’autre ! (“The country, we all know, it is here of course, but the ocean is further, it is elsewhere, the one never going without the other!”) VLGM Design by Charles Gambier For more information visit https://www.ceramiquesdecornouaille.com
When a Disney Movie comes out that becomes extremely popular, like Frozen has, there are bound to be massive amounts of toys, collectables and memorabilia that get launched, and this is certainly the case with this feature movie, Frozen. Pictured: Elsa Figurine, Enesco Grand Jester Studios Collection Frozen is an animated Movie, by Disney that follows the tale of a princess (Anna) and her friends who go on a quest to rescue her sister in a kingdom that has been cursed in perpetual winter. Anna’s voice is played by Kirsten Bell. It instantly became hugely popular and is seen as one of the best movies of 2013, and one of the best animated movies of all time. Pictured: Anna Figurine, Enesco Grand Jester Studios Collection As Frozen is aimed at children, there are many official frozen toys on the market, some of these include: There are a wide variety of Dolls and figurines from the Frozen movie. All your favorite characters such as Anna, Elsa and Olaf are available in different outfits and with different props. You can get complete story sets which include all of the main characters to allow you to create your own Frozen adventure. There are also many props available such as castle playsets, talking dolls, dresses, sleighs and much more for using with your dolls. Pictured: Disney Frozen Elsa the Snow Queen with Swarovski Crystals: Let It Go Figurine by The Hamilton Collection Different types of costumes and dress up props from the movie such as Elsa’s snow wand, tea sets, hair stylers, nail polish, jewelry like Elsa’s and Anna’s jewelry, purses, vanity play sets, lip balm, Tiara’s like worn by Anna, sparkle make up, back packs, bracelets and different kinds of Dresses in the styles that main characters donned in the movie. Pictured: Jim Shore Disney Traditions Frozen Elsa and Anna Arts and craft supplies such as play-doh, activity books, coloring sets, and sticker kits, paint brushes, activity tubes, easels, window markers, rolling art desks, table easels, art cases, drawing mats, and Frozen doodle etch a sketches. Pictured: Frozen The Warmth of Love Giclée on Canvas by Jim Salvati – Sisters Elsa and Anna share a tender embrace as Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf look on in this limited edition artwork. Inspired by Frozen, ”The Warmth of Love” was created by Jim Salvati and is part of the Treasures on Canvas Collection. Outdoor toys such as play tents, toy cars such as mustangs and jeeps, walkie talkies, children’s bicycles, tricycles, bed tents, roller skates, bike helmets, snow shovels, ergonomic cruisers, scooters, umbrellas, igloo makers, small electric scooters, and snow speedsters which you sit on to slide down snow. Pictured: Disney Animators’ Collection Anna Doll – Frozen production artists Becky Brese, Bill Schwab, and Jin Kim have reimagined Anna in her early years. Exquisitely costumed in a satin dress with floral detailing, this Anna doll is accompanied by the little snowman Olaf. Different Kinds of Books, DVDs and music such as Karaoke DVDs, movie soundtracks, read-along story books, Blu-ray movie DVD’s, “sound books” , coloring books, look and find books and sing-along DVD’s. Various furniture and utensils such as Toddler beds, play tents, sleeping bags, marshmallow arm chairs, marshmallow sofas, table and chair sets, step stools, bedding sets, tea pots, plates, cups, bowels, and cutlery. Not everything could even be covered in this list, so I think it is safe to say that if you want something, you could always get the Frozen version of it!
Kitchenalia are items and utensils associated with the kitchen and are now collected. These kitchenalia items range from Victorian copper jelly moulds and glass rolling pins to 1950s/1960s retro items to Kenwood Chef mixers to modern kitchen classics such as Alessi. Unlike other rooms, the kitchen is much more difficult to personalise. Kitchens, especially those in modern houses, tend to consist of rows of white metal appliances with wooden cupboards above. Pictured: Carlton Ware Sheep Mint Sauce Boat Unlike kitchens found in older houses, or those used by our ancestors (to whom many of our modern gadgets would seem alien), kitchens nowadays are often long and narrow, so it’s difficult to squeeze in a traditional dresser, let alone an old-fashioned cooking range or even an Aga. Many people today enjoy the minimalist, almost sterile look of a modern kitchen, but some of us still crave individuality. So how do we achieve it? If you want your kitchen to acquire a retro look, then there are thousands of items out there to accent your kitchen, from original 50s, 60s (and earlier) items of kitchenware through to streamlined 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s classics. With cooking being the in-thing right now, thanks to Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and co., there has been an upsurge of interest in kitchenalia. However smart a modern glass mixing bowl, plastic jug or non-stick saucepan can be, you can’t beat an earthenware bowl, blue striped Cornishware jug or maybe a seventies’ Poole casserole dish for adding a bit of warmth to your kitchen. Pictured: 1970s Kenwood Chef Some people embrace the collecting fad with a passion – they collect egg cups, or cruet sets or old mugs and display them on shelves to create a focal point – while others concentrate on a few, maybe larger items; an old enamel bread bin or perhaps a colourful enamel kettle. Sometimes, these old kettles and pans aren’t suitable for use on a modern hob, but they can still make a decorative statement. I think some of the most elegant of kitchen items are those long, tall sixties’ and seventies’ coffee pots. Many were ceramic, made by companies such as Meakin and Midwinter, while others were in subtle brushed stainless steel. The Russell Hobbs’ 3008 automatic coffee pot from the 1970s, with its wooden handle and tapered body, is still stylish today, and looks much more chic than a contemporary glass and plastic cafetiere. Other electrical items still sought after for modern kitchens include Kenwood Chef food mixers, Russell Hobbs’ stainless steel kettles and early toasters. Larger items too are collected by some people; I still use a 1960’s electric cooker manufactured by English Electric, and would never swap it for an up-to-date one. The solid doors and large, heavy grill pan are rarely found in modern cookers. Besides, the styling is much more ‘friendly’ than the flat, bland surfaces of today’s cooking appliances. Pictured: 1960s T G Green Roulette Kitchen Jars One traditional item still collected today is Cornishware, especially the blue and white striped variety. Originally made by T. G. Green, many look-a-likes appeared when other companies began copying the design after seeing how popular it had become. Fresh and summery, it is said that it gained its name after being described by a West Country salesman as reminding him of ‘blue Cornish skies and white-crested waves’. The blue and white ware was first introduced in the 1920s, and it became an immediate hit. Older or rare pieces are snapped up by today’s collectors. The company was actually based in Staffordshire, and the T. G. Green brand name is still used. In the 1950s, when British pottery design was becoming more ambitious, many designs were produced to coincide with, or were influenced by, the Festival of Britain. Often they had ‘futuristic’ designs based on atoms, or featured exotic scenes, ballet dancers or even items of furniture, such as the iconic ‘Homemaker’ range by Enid Seeley for Ridgway Poteries, which was sold exclusively through Woolworths. Pictured: 1970s Boscastle Salt Pig Another fad was to have different coloured cups and saucers (most people used cups and saucers back then, rather than mugs). By the 1960s, Midwinter, Portmeirion, Meakin and others were filling the shops with their attractive, dynamic designs. Some were stunning, and of course are the ideal kitchen collectable, as they can be regularly used, although it is best not to put them in the dishwasher, as the pattern might fade. I have a soft spot for those ceramics made by the smaller studios, which often you never hear of unless you happen to see a ‘pottery’ sign as you pass by some narrow country lane. You can often find attractive mugs, jugs and pots which look perfect in a kitchen. In the 1960s and 70s I collected various pieces of ‘kitchen’ pottery, mainly from the West Country. One of my favourites is a painted, unglazed ‘salt pig’ from Boscastle Pottery with a delicate tree design, the shape of which resembles the pots used in kitchens centuries ago. The design technique is known as Mochaware and is created by applying ‘mocha tea’, a mix of oxides, to the wet slip. Sometimes tobacco or coffee are used instead. This results in a staining in the formation of a fern-like pattern, and no two are identical. Another absolute favourite of mine is Tintagel ware, especially the soft pink and green ‘eye’ versions, which I think are just beautiful, and the swirly deep green dragon designs.. Fruit bowls, jam pots, jugs, vases, egg cups and cheese dishes – Tintagel pottery was established in 1948, and is still made in the mystical Cornish village, where rumour has it that King Arthur once roamed. There are also those distinctive cheese dishes and other items with hand drawn characters by Toni Raymond. Toni Raymond ware first appeared in the 1950s, and in the 1960s they acquired Babbacombe Pottery. Also collectable are Szeiler animal face dripping pots, Sylvac face pots and the later attractive line […]
Collecting Annie Dolls – When the Annie musical first hit London, in 1978, following on from the Broadway production a year before, it was a smash-hit. It gave numerous young girls a chance to shine, amongst them a very youthful Catherine Zeta Jones, who played the lead role in a Swansea production, aged just ten. Little Orphan Annie made her debut in a cartoon strip in the Chicago Tribune in 1924, brainchild of artist Harold Gray. The story of the twelve-year-old girl surviving by her wits as she made her way in the world proved enormously popular. In 1927, according to the cartoon, Annie was living with a kind lady called Mrs. Pewter, who decided the little girl needed a new frock. She made her a red dress, with a white collar and cuffs – and the Annie image was born! Today, the carroty curls and red, white-trimmed dress, are instantly recognisable to people on both sides of the Atlantic, thanks to the musical, and, even more so, the movie. The London show, at the Victoria Palace theatre, starred Sheila Hancock and Stratford Johns, with Andrea McArdle playing Annie, and ran for 1,485 performances. It was a resounding success, and was soon followed by a movie version, which today graces not only our television screens but is often still shown at cinemas, too. Most of us know the story of the orphan girl who was adopted by the benevolent millionaire Daddy Warbucks, but cruelly tricked by scheming Miss Hannigan into believing that her parents were still alive. Songs such as ‘I think I`m gonna like it here`, ‘You`re never fully dressed without a smile’, ‘It`s a hard knock life’ and, of course, ‘Tomorrow’ led to a happily ever after finale – and spawned loads of memorabilia, including dolls. Annie was very much an all-American icon; she lifted spirits during the dark days of the depression, and has always had a special place in the hearts of the American people. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the dolls are American, some dating from the musical and movie days, others more recent, and a few which were made in the 1930s and 40s. When the musical first came out, manufacturers were quick to realise the marketing potential, but it was the release of the movie in 1982 which really triggered the mass interest. At the time toyshops featured colourful displays of the scarlet-dressed Annie, though, certainly in Britain, most of the dolls were of the cloth doll type. It might be just as well to clear up a popular misconception here – Annie is not the same character as Raggedy Ann. Raggedy Ann was a doll dreamt up by American writer Johnny Gruelle in 1915 to amuse his sick daughter. The doll was a pinafore-wearing rag doll with a triangular nose and red hair. By contrast, Annie (or Little Orphan Annie) was a fictional child whose character became world-famous through the medium of cartoons, musical theatre and cinema. Many of the Annie dolls are easy to find, though often you will need to purchase from America as the more unusual types were not sold in Britain. Those that are easy to find over here include a selection of cloth dolls. One of the most appealing was made by Knickerbocker in the early 1980s. She stood 16 inches tall, and her gingery hair was sewn in tight wool curls. A tiny furry Sandy, the dog which she adopted in the film, was tucked inside a pocket in her red dress. The company also made a smaller, 6 inch, Annie doll, but she was not so well detailed, as well as several larger sizes. Applause was another company who made Annie cloth dolls, including some with reinforced, stiff faces. The interesting thing about the Applause dolls was the way that the company tried to capture the blank-eyed expression of the original cartoon character by giving the dolls printed eyes which appeared to be gazing upwards. These dolls were similarly dressed to the Knickerbocker girls, but their curls were looser and softer. Applause Annies were made in various sizes, including some small clip-on types. Expect to pay around £15 for a cloth Annie doll depending on condition. Also available in Britain was a delightful small vinyl Annie doll, made by Knickerbocker. This doll stood just six inches high and was sold in the ubiquitous red Annie dress. A ‘gold’ locket was included in the box with the doll, large enough for a child to wear. In the show, the locket was a vital piece of evidence in the search for Annie’s parents. The outfits issued at the time for this little doll included a pale yellow floral dress, a cream two piece, a blue coat, a pink floral nightdress and a blue play-suit, with accompanying hats and shoes. Other characters were issued in the same series, but were much harder to find in the UK, and today you would probably need to try ebay if you want to add them to your collection. Punjab, an Indian doll, looked handsome in his white cotton suit and turban with a bright red and black striped sash tied around his waist. Daddy Warbucks wore a black satin evening suit with a white shirt, black bow tie and red cummerbund. Knickerbocker managed to achieve some great characterisation in these small playdolls, capturing Daddy Warbuck`s expression – and his bald head – very well. Scary, intoxicated Miss Hannigan was also included in the set, dressed in a mauve two-piece patterned with small multi-coloured shapes, while little Molly, Annie’s friend at the orphanage, wore a green pinafore over a floral long-sleeved blouse. Molly had a delightful smile and her brown hair was cut into a short bob with a fringe. Knickerbocker produced several accessories to go with these dolls, amongst them a super blue 1929 Model Duesenberg Limousine, complete with chauffeur. It measured 15 inches long, and there was room in the back seats for two Annie dolls. The company also made […]
The leaving of visiting cards was a prevalent feature of Victorian society and life. Visiting cards were an essential accessory to any proper Regency or Victorian lady or gentleman and served not just as a letter of introduction or aide memoire, but as an indicator of social class and good manners. In those days a card case was as essential an article of personal equipment as was the cigarette case was in the 1950s and 1960s. Few upper and middle class men and women were without one a card case, and they were designed and manufactured in all manner of materials and styles. Pictured: A Victorian Silver Card Case – Mark Of Nathaniel Mills, Birmingham, 1845 Cover decorated in high relief with the Scott Memorial, reverse chased with foliate scrolls around a cartouche inscribed Mary E. Farnsworth 3½ in. long (8.8 cm.). Sold for £813 at Christies, London, Dec 2013. Image Copyright Christies. Silver card cases were manufactured in great variety, usually elaborately engraved or embossed, the highly decorative treatment of initials or monogram often a distinctive feature. Highly collected are those of architectural views, collectively known as “castle tops”. Card cases for gentelemen tended to be smaller than those of ladies. Occasionally one comes across a tiny silver case no larger than a lady’s visiting-card, with side chains and a ring attached. It was made for suspending to that one-time fashionable adjunct of a Victorian lady’s outfit, a silver chatelaine. As with vinaigrettes Birmingham was a key area for the manufacture of silver card cases with noted makers including Joseph Willmore, Taylor & Perry, one of the leading designers Nathaniel Mills. Victorian card cases were also made tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl and many show their daintiness and superior workmanship to the immense charm and interest inherent in many things Victorian. The middle of the 18th century ushered in a fashion, borrowed from the Continent, for cartes de visite adorned with a picture or engraving, perhaps portraying a classical or mythological figure, or depicting views of different towns or famous monuments; perhaps displaying a simple floral motif, swag or festoons. As time went on the standard of design and workmanship deteriorated. The vogue for this sort of card declined, giving place to the plain Victorian visiting card bearing merely name, or name and address in a variety of styles of printing or engraving, a type still surviving in what cards are used at the present day. It is a moot point whether Beau Brummell or the Royal Family set the fashion for this unadorned variety. Simple and austere as the cards were, the art of using them was ordered by a rigid and complicated code of etiquette which it believed the socially ambitious to master, or else suffer the humiliation of rebuff or disregard. The earliest card cases were made with a pull-off top in contradistinction to the hinged lid of later varieties, including the deeper, more roomy type with a two-hinged lid, and interior of concertina-like folds of stiff paper, silk or satin, forming several compartments for the cards. Perhaps the most strikingly attractive line, and one turned out in great numbers, was the case made of mother-of-pearl or nacre, small diamond or rectangular shaped pieces of which were fitted together, completely covering an underlying structure of thin wood. The nacre was used in a variety of ways— sometimes alone, its decorative value in its high irridescent gloss; sometimes in two shades—light and dark—making a wonderfully arresting contrast; sometimes combined with tortoiseshell; sometimes with silver introduced as corner or side embellishment, or centrally as an escutcheon for initials. Cases of tortoiseshell were legion—light, dark, plain, fluted, banded with ivory, silver or pewter; some bore a celluloid monogram in high relief, in colour to tone. Perhaps the most interesting class in this material were cases with designs of mother-of-pearl inlay, often in conjunction with gilt wire. Among this type were many of superior workmanship, and exceptionally charming design. A case with a dark tortoiseshell background would feature an all-over grape-vine pattern in which tiny bunches of grapes and vine leaves were in inlay of contrasting light pearl, stems and tendrils of twisted gilt wire. The result was most decorative and attractive. Ivory cases were a strong durable line, their styles mostly severely plain, intricately carved, or with a design delineated in tiny gold points in the manner of pique work. Synchronous with the popular demand for card cases was the great 19th century innovation of papier-mache. Many cases of this, then novel, material were made, their decoration in character with that of other papier-mache objects of the period-gaily painted landscapes and flower motifs, exotic birds, playing fountains, etc., or in the true Victorian tradition, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, usually enhanced with skilful gilding. In Victorian times travellers abroad would often bring home as souvenirs card cases of work peculiar to the countries visited; of metal filigree, for instance, from the Canary Isles, the patterns in wire tracery similar to those of the well-known Tenerife lacework ; of sandalwood from India; of elaborately carved ivory and tortoiseshell from China and Japan; specimens from Persia in beautifully carved cedarwood enriched with fine native mosaic-work. From time to time cases of other materials crop up, e.g., those showing the work of the accomplished fingers of the Victorian needle-woman, in beadwork, petit point, Berlin woolwork and other embroideries fashionable at the time. For several decades following the obsolescence of the fashion, card cases seemed to fail in any serious appeal as collectors’ pieces. No longer serving a utilitarian purpose and with many specimens of fragile construction, they tended to be regarded somewhat as unwanted bygones— a drug on the market, so to speak. Nowadays, in their distinctive Victorian charm, their great variety, and speaking as they do of an elegant facet of more leisurely days of last century, far from being allowed ignominiously to disappear from the artistic scene, they have caught the attention of the connoisseur to become a most fascinating collector’s item in Victoriana.
During the gloom of The Great Depression, Clarice Cliff went off trend and created several bright and colourful Art Deco wall masks including Chahar, Flora and Marlene. Decorative ceramic masks had become fashionable in the 1920s and companies such as Goldscheider had had great success with them (for more see Collecting Goldscheider Wall Masks) and Clarice was to add her style to the genre. Each wall mask was based on a stylised female face and headdress. We take a look these three mask, showing some of the painting variations and some auction results giving a price guide. Chahar was created towards the end of the 1920s and was inspired by the style of the Egyptian revival (we have seen some descriptions of Chahar as Oriental style). It is one of the rarer Clarice Cliff wall masks being made until about 1933. Chahar features mainly red, yellow and green colours. Flora, as the name might suggest features a lady wearing a garland of flowers as a headdress. Flora was produced until around 1936. There is much more variation in the Flora colours ranging from orange and greens to orange and blacks to purple and greens. Flora was produced in two sizes, the smaller measuring approximately 17cm high, with the larger measuring approximately 37cm high. The larger Flora having much more details and is much rarer. Flora Small Version showing some colour variations Flora Large Version showing some colour variations Marlene was supposedly modelled on the famous actress of the time Marlene Dietrich. The mask features an ornate headdress with large earrings. She was the last to be design and similar to Flora she was produced until the late 1930s. Related Collecting Goldscheider Wall Masks Clarice Cliff Bizarre Grotesque Masks by Ron Birks
Originally released in 1973 this highly competitive, strategy card and dice driven board game can be found as a newer version almost fifty years on. However, there is still a market for the first edition. Set during the real-life eponymous daring escape from Colditz prison, one player takes the role of a German security officer, and the other players will play the Allied prisoners looking to escape. Fascinatingly, the game was inspired and co-created by Major P.R. Reid who was one of the few British soldiers to successfully escape from Colditz Prison during the Second World War. Although used, original 1973 copies of the game printed by Gibson Games of London can still sell for around £40 and is considered highly collectible. A newer version was produced by Osprey Games for those interested in playing this classic game and sells new for around the same price as the original. So you could always sell your old copy and invest in the shiny reprinted version. Otherwise, those who are nostalgic for this classic game can easily pick one up on the secondhand market. Action Man Escape from Colditz This set is very collectable and if you are able to find a set in perfect condition and complete it will sell for over £500 / $700. Even empty boxes in very good condition can sell for £80 / $110. The Action Man Escape from Colditz Set was released in 1974 was part of a range built upon the success of the BBC TV Colditz series and the popularity of Action Man at the time. The Escape from Colditz box set included the uniforms of the Escape Officer and a German Sentry – basically a paired down German Stormtrooper, along with detailed Colditz accessories, including a self- assembly German cardboard sentry box with barrier, and forged escape papers. The set was also released in a 40th Anniversary Edition. This set has a secondary market estimate of £150-£250 / $225-$375 Escape from Colditz board game feature by Rob Edmonds.
In the late 19th Century, a group of women in Boston came together to form what was to become the Saturday Evening Girls Club (S.E.G.). It would run as a group until 1969 and started as reading group for young immigrant women in Boston’s North End. The group met at the North Bennet Street Industrial School (NBSIS) , in Boston’s North End. At the time the area was economically and socially deprived. Financed by philanthropist Helen Storrow (1872-1932) and run by librarian Edith Guerrier (1870-1958) and her partner, artist Edith Brown (1872-1932), the club had the purpose of providing social and educational opportunities for women, and it soon became a popular gathering place for members of the local arts and crafts community. The club would later acquire a kiln and open a pottery which would on its move to the Old North Church, Boston would be named The Paul Revere Pottery, a name that has become synonymous with the American Arts and Craft movement. Edith Guerrier a librarian and writer worked at the North End nursery and she was tasked with maintaining the school’s reading room, officially known as “Station W” of the Boston Public Library. She began a series of reading groups, one of which became very popular with the young women at the school, forming the foundation of what in 1901 became the Saturday Evening Girls’ Club. The club covered subjects ranging from music, literature, economics, job opportunities, and art. Through activities and group discussions, the S.E.G. provided social and intellectual stimulation for the young women, exposing them to an array of experience across religious, language, and ethnic divides. In 1906, Guerrier and Brown visited Europe and were inspired by the folk work of peasant artisans and the designs of the Arts and Crafts movement. They had the idea to create a pottery to produce American peasant ware that would be created and sold by the Saturday Evening Girls Club to gain extra income for the girls. We spoke of making marmalade, or fruitcake, of hemming napkins and dishtowels, and finally we spoke of pottery, of the charming peasant ware of Italy, of Holland, of Germany, and now of Switzerland. Since our club girls were almost all of peasant stock, why not start an art pottery and produce American peasant ware? The group bought a kiln 1906 and in 1907 a small pottery was opened. The endeavour was successful, but was not fully supported by the North Bennet Street Industrial School. In 1908 funded by Helen Storrow the pottery moved to a new location when she bought a four-story brick building in Boston’s North End, located on Hull Street. The Library Club House, or Hull House as it was often called, was very near to the Old North Church. The iconic Old North Church church, was where Paul Revere had hung his lantern and inspired the name of the pottery to become the Paul Revere Pottery. The pottery was more than an arts and crafts project designed to keep young women off the streets; it provided them with decent jobs. Working conditions at the pottery were better than the women could have expected elsewhere: they worked an eight-hour day and received a fair wage, daily hot lunches, and a yearly paid vacation. The pottery flourished for several decades, garnering national and international recognition through features in magazines, journals, and newsletters. The pottery created was mainly utilitarian ware intended for everyday use and vases. The simple design subjects included farm animals, simple landscapes, houses and scenes from American folk art. More unusual designs included witches on broomsticks and windmills. Banded painting decoration was typical of the pottery and a few pieces featured all over decoration. The pottery used lots of soft and pastel colours and the finishes were a porous matte or a soft gloss. Paul Revere Pottery continued to flourish for several decades, garnering national and international recognition through features in magazines, journals, and newsletters. At the height of its popularity in the 1910s, the pottery’s wares were sold in most major cities throughout the United States. It finally closed in 1942. The sophisticated simplicity and colours of the pottery have made in popular among collectors. As pieces were designed for use many are found damaged making. Pieces with full decoration have more value and pieces using the Cuerda seca technique are always superior. Cuerda seca a Spanish term meaning “dry cord.” It refers to a painting technique used on ceramic pottery, in which lines are delineated using a dampened rope or cord dipped in paint. The design is then painted over with one or more colors, usually using a brush. One of the most notable painters collected from the pottery is that of Sara Galner (1894-1982). Her designs and paintings on pottery have become very desirable and she holds some of the record for some of the highest prices paid at auction. She also went on to manage a Paul Revere Pottery shop in Washington, D.C. The story of The Saturday Evening Girls Club and The Paul Revere Pottery is definitely a fascinating one. Please look at the related links below for further background on the pottery and the women who made it happen. Related The Saturday Evening Girls Make Pottery History feature on New England Historical Society Sara Galner, the Saturday Evening Girls, and the Paul Revere Pottery Selections from the Bloom Collection at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston Ceramics from the Paul Revere Pottery at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston A story in clay: Sara Galner and the Saturday Evening Girls from National Museum of American History
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 […]
When considering the talented designers of the Doulton Lambeth factory, there is one woman whose impressive works cannot go unmentioned. Hannah Barlow was not only one of the most innovative and skilled designers of this famed factory but also a pioneer in her own right due to the fact that she was the ever first female artist to be employed by the South London based Doulton Lambeth Studio. Pictured right: A pair of Hannah Barlow stoneware deer and stag vases impressed marks — 38cm. high. Sold for £2,820 at Christies, London, August 2000. Born into a family of nine children in 1851, Hannah lived in Bishop’s Stortford with her Bank Manager father, Benjamin and his wife. At an early age Hannah already had a talent for drawing and would take walks in the surrounding countryside to sketch the plant and animal life that resided there. This interest in nature was something which would stay with Hannah throughout her life and became the subject matter that was so prolific in all of her future works. Realising her talent for art, in 1868 Hannah enrolled in the Lambeth School of Art to progress this skill. It was a few years later in 1871, that, along with other fellow students, Hannah began to work for the local Doulton Lambeth pottery which had recently diversified from producing industrial ceramics to more elaborate art pottery and decorative wares. Great artists such as George Tinworth, Frank Butler and Hannah Barlow would skilfully decorate the salt-glazed brown stoneware vessels that Doulton were now creating and were allowed to choose the type of decoration themselves and what shape of vessel to apply this design to. Although Hannah was to be the first female designer employed by Doulton she was not the only talented artist in her family to join the British factory. Both her brother Arthur and sister Florence also possessed an artistic flare and attended the Lambeth School of Art, before joining their sister, and furthering their careers by working alongside her for the Doulton pottery. The two sisters, Hannah and Florence, both shared a love of nature, so it was agreed early on in their working careers, that Hannah would concentrate on designs inspired by animals whilst her sister indulged her passion for flowers and produce floral designs. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – A Pair of Salt-glazed Vases, circa 1895 each vase incised with three bulls and two horses grazing within a rugged country landscape 28.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist’s monogram. Sold for £1,062 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Both were extremely talented artists and their work was very realistic. Each would initially sketch a design then using the technique of Sgraffito (incising) they would apply the design into the wet clay of a vessel before it was fired. Every piece that was produced by the artists at the Doulton studio was hand-decorated, thus ensuring that each item was unique in design, technique and decoration. Hannah excelled at creating illustrations of animals with some of her favourite subjects being British farm animals such as sheep, horses and pigs. Many examples of her work have sold for respectable prices at salerooms all over the world; her works of art are highly sought after by collectors. Recently a shallow bowl dating to 1883 sold at Bonhams Saleroom for £2,300. Artistically incised with pigs and hens this piece is synonymous with Hannah Barlow and as such, commands a price that is expected for this female designer’s work. Another example, also sold at Bonhams. were an outstanding pair of early vases dating to 1873. These twin handled vessels were incised with six Trojan Style horses which showed them cantering and galloping across fields. An unusual example, this vase sold for a staggering hammer price of £4,800. Pictured right: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – An Early Salt-Glaze Jug with Horse, 1874 incised with a horse portrait and stylised leaf decoration 25.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist monogram Sold for £325 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Aside from the more common domestic farm animals, Hannah was inspired by many different living creatures. Her work was often embellished with countryside inhabitants such as rabbits and foxes, but she also liked to draw and incise more exotic animal motifs such as lions and kangaroos. This Australian inhabitant first appeared in 1878 on a tea service and proved popular so Hannah continued to apply this motif to all sorts of other various shaped vessels. It is said that Hannah was possibly inspired to sketch and decorate pieces with kangaroos because of the preparations for the Sydney International Exhibition which took place in 1879. Wherever Hannah gained her inspiration, her skill became evident when she would expertly sketch a scene that almost came alive when applied to the various vases, dishes and jardinières that she worked on. Hannah’s talent for drawing, combined with her skilled eye for design ensured that each piece created was not only a stunning ceramic work of art but also a living window into the animal kingdom. Her work was worthy of a place on the wall in an art gallery. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow (Fl.1871-1913) & Florence Barlow (Fl.1873-1909) Pair Of Vases, Circa 1890 stoneware, hand decorated, incised with rabbits, and pâte-sur-pâte painted birds, impressed Doulton Lambeth, incised artist’s monograms, numbers 443 & 742, assistants marks 7¾ in. (19.7 cm.) high. Sold for £4,375 at Christies, London, September 2009. Hannah was prolific in her work during the forty years that she was employed by the British Doulton Studio, and was responsible for creating some of the most innovative and finest designs in stoneware. An accomplished artist, not only is she remembered as one of the most celebrated designers of the 19th Century but also as a pioneering female ceramicist whose work will hopefully continue to command the prices that are so deserving. Fact File Doulton & Co was founded in 1815. In 1871 Henry Doulton set up the Lambeth Studio in South London Hannah Barlow indulged her passion for animals by […]