The term Victoriana covers a vast and interesting group of generally low-priced, mass produced wares, typical of the period. Pictured left: A pair of mid 19th C Victorian Staffordshire spill vases. Image Copyright Bonhams. Such wares as Staffordshire chimney ornaments and printed pot lids can still be found at a relatively low price and have a certain unpretentious charm, lacking in the costly porcelains of the period. A wide range of Staffordshire earthenware figures was produced throughout the Victorian era. These figures were manufactured by means of simple plaster of Paris moulds, the original design being kept as simple as possible to facilitate the rapid and cheap production of these pieces. All Staffordshire figures of this type were made in a white earthenware body, with the exception of some rare early models occasionally produced in porcelain. It is an exception to find a marked specimen. During recent years many collections have been formed and research carried out on the many named historical portrait figures in this category. The named portraits cover almost every field, from Queen Victoria down to notorious murderers and included a long series of War heroes and politicians. Many of these can naturally be dated to within a few years. While these historical figures have a special interest, they also have a drawback in that they are being keenly sought after and tend to be correspondingly expensive. Pictured right: A pair of mid 19th C Victorian Staffordshire cottages and covers. Sold at Bonhams for £348, Knowle 2010. Image Copyright Bonhams. Vast scope still exists for the collection of the untitled purely Victorian sentimental figures and groups which prove so decorative, even in the most modern decorative schemes. Charming animals, cottages and castles (often watch stands) were also produced and can still be acquired at a modest price. Although these wares are generally attributed to the lesser Staffordshire potters, many examples were produced in other regions some of the Scottish manufacturers issued many models, including typical Scottish fishergirls. Of the Staffordshire manufacturers, Messrs. Sampson Smith were undoubtedly the foremost producers of these cheap decorative wares. Pictured left: A pair of mid 19th C Victorian Staffordshire spaniel chimney dogs. Sold for at Bonhams for £96, Knowle, 2007. Image Copyright Bonhams. Other types of Staffordshire earthenware include the wellknown dogs made in various patterns. These ” Staffordshire dogs” were made over a long period, the chief manufacturers being Messrs. Sampson Smith of Longton and William Machin of Hanley some late examples being produced by John Sadler of Burslem. In the late 1840’s various patents were taken out by Felix Pratt (and others) for the rapid manufacture and improved method of decorating pot lids, etc., and multi-coloured underglaze printing was introduced successfully for the first time on a commercial scale. The process called for a series of different copper plates each transferring one particular colour on to the transfer paper until the complete picture was built up. This method naturally depended on accurate registration or positioning of each successive copper plate. The Pratt coloured prints quickly became popular, a range of objects decorated in this manner was included in the 1851 Exhibition. Perhaps the best known examples are the ” Pot” Lids, to be found decorated with a vast number of different patterns. Dessert sets, vases, teasets, tankards, etc., were also produced and decorated by this method and offer interesting scope to collectors seeking colourful and reasonably priced wares. Specimens are to be found bearing the signature of Jesse Austin (b. 1806 d. 1879) who was Pratt’s chief engraver for over 30 years and who worked on this specialised type of multi-coloured printing. Pictured right: Mid 19th C Victorian Staffordshire recumbent cats. Sold at Bonhams for £312, Edinburgh 2013. Image Copyright Bonhams. Jesse Austin had earlier been apprenticed at the Davenport Works. He joined Messrs. F. & R. Pratt & Co. at Longton circa 1845. For a brief period he joined Messrs. Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. after a misunderstanding with Pratts, but soon rejoined them and continued to engrave for F. & R. Pratt until his death in 1879. Apart from original compositions by Austin, many celebrated paintings from both English and Continental sources were reproduced on Pratts earthenware. Other manufacturers made use of this process, noticeably Brown-Westhead, Moore, T. J. & J. Mayer and G. L. Ashworth. The heading” Victoriana “permits the writer to digress and mention some of the other interesting aspects of Victorian ceramics. Parian figures and groups can often be found bearing inscriptions relating to ” Art Unions.” The most important of these was the ” Art Union of London ” founded in 1836. In return for an annual subscription each member was entitled Parian bust of the Prince of Wales, issued by the Crystal Palace Art Union, Circa 1864. to participate in an annual draw the top prizes being works of art (chiefly paintings from Royal Academy Exhibitions) valued at some hundreds of pounds. Other prizes of low value designed by the foremost designers were awarded on a large scale. Pictured left: A Collection of Pratt Ware Pot Lids and Other Victorian Pot Lids. Image Copyright Bonhams. The Art Union movement gained in popularity and was legalised by Act of Parliament in 1846 having previously contravened the laws relating to Lotteries. Various smaller Art Unions were formed, notably the Crystal Palace Art Union. Prince Albert gave the Unions every encouragement. “feeling assured that these institutions will exercise a most beneficial influence on the Arts.” This was indeed the case; the Art Union of London was instrumental in popularising the new parian body, the reproductions of famous sculptured figures and groups in this body being especially suited to the requirements of the Art Union as the copies were cheap and easy to reproduce in quantity. Many special works were commissioned by the Art Unions who, at the peak of their popularity, had vast sums of money at their disposal. Their ceramic interests were not limited to parian wares, prizes in ” Majolica” and the normal pottery and porcelain bodies were commissioned and […]
Rachel Bishop holds the distinction of being only the fourth head of the Moorcroft design department over a period that extends almost 100 years, ever since William Moorcroft set up his own pottery after departing from the Burslem firm of James Macintyre and Company in 1913. Rachel can to a certain extent thank her late grandmother for the position she now holds as it was she who, in early 1992, brought to her attention the vacancies advertised by Moorcroft for people ‘who could paint and draw’. Her employment with the pottery was not immediate as her initial interview with the then co-owner Hugh Edwards, although impressive, was primarily for the position of painter and not designer. Rachel was rejected but both parties agreed to keep in contact. Hugh well remembers this first meeting and how he was keen for the then fellow owner Richard Dennis to cast his expert eye over her portfolio. It was obvious to both of them that they were dealing with a modern day disciple of William Morris that combined an undeniable creative talent with a maturity well beyond her 22 years. At that time the design leader was Richard’s wife Sally Tuffin, who as one half of ‘Foale and Tuffin’ had already established herself as one of the UK’s most important fashion designers during the ‘Swinging Sixties’. However in December 1992 both Richard and Sally parted company with Moorcroft and decided to concentrate their efforts into their Dennis China Works. Hugh Edwards and wife Maureen now found themselves with the unexpected problem of being without a resident designer with a company that was at last showing real signs of growth. It should be remembered that seven years earlier Hugh and Richard, together with their respective partners, had rescued the then failing company from certain closure, albeit at the eleventh hour. Hugh was however mindful of his meeting with Rachel and arranged for yet another meeting, the outcome of which was that Rachel Bishop was appointed as the company’s senior designer, a position she retains to the present day. In 1997 the company celebrated the centenary of William Moorcroft’s appointment as designer for James Macintyre and Company, and the then present day design team had expanded to include eight members headed by Rachel. Today this same design team has been rationalised to four with further design work regularly being offered by several of the company’s painters and tubeliners. Within three years of arriving at the Sandbach Road works and the launch of her Tigris range, Moorcroft’s turnover had doubled and the new head of design was recognised as the primary impetus for this welcome growth. I was made aware of this new talent in 1993 after contacting Hugh Edwards to supply a Moorcroft pot to be featured with other examples of contemporary design on a TV programme with which I was involved being made by Anglia TV in Norwich. I can still remember opening the huge cardboard box on the studio set and unwrapping the most wonderful vase labelled ‘Oberon’. The floral composition was in total harmony with the chosen form and decorated with colourful glazes that hinted at Tiffany stained glass – I was in short beguiled by the jewel-like qualities of this remarkable vase and needed to own it. I now do! I was quick to contact Hugh in an attempt to glean as much information as possible regarding Miss Bishop in order to wax lyrical about this exciting new discovery. Eighteen years later and Rachel’s contribution to W.Moorcroft PLC continues, albeit for the past year health problems have prevented her working. Her style is often instantly recognisable by her devoted collectors with its inspiration frequently rooted in the design ethos preached by her mentor – William Moorcroft. Her portfolio today encompasses an extensive range of subject matter that depends way beyond her fascination with stylised and exotic flora. Her 2008 New Forest Collection consisted of fifteen individual designs, each then representing a year since her arrival at Moorcroft and illustrated well her ability to offer a wide variety of designs in subject choice and her instinctive use of colour to great effect. Her decision to accept the challenge of creating fifteen designs around this central theme was quite calculated, or to put it into her own words; ‘Every design in this collection is named after places scattered throughout the New Forest. In my mind’s eye I can see them all as if yesterday was today. I grew up in this historic and beautiful area and happily for me my mother and father still live there. Over the years the New Forest has provided me with a continual stream of inspiration. Throughout my childhood I would go out walking and literally absorb both images and emotions wherever I went. Sometimes those images evolved into a design and, perhaps more rarely, others were destined to emerge years later to challenge me for a second time.’ The collection is indeed a journey into a region populated by wild peacocks, colourful butterflies, bountiful rhododendrons and gently flowing rivers. And yet my personal favourite is a black and white study of sinuous fish set against turbulent waters. Titled ‘Ober Water’, the playful fish are set in habitat that begins as a gravel stream that wends its way to the Lymington River. There again, fish and frogs do feature regularly on the few Moorcroft pots in my own collection and I realise that it is only a matter of time and excess income before either the vase or the matching plaque end up with yours truly. Her best seller, launched in 2006, however, features everyone’s favourite insect amongst delicate blue flora adapted on to a range of shapes. ‘Fly away home’, as the title suggests, sees the introduction of numerous Ladybirds amongst exotic agapanthus flowers whilst set against bold reserves of creamy white that helps provide a relatively contemporary overall effect. In 2011 Rachel has once again adopted the mantle of William Moorcroft and introduced ‘Florian Flame’, a […]
No porcelain has been more misunderstood than that made at the New Hall factory at Shelton. It is by no means scarce, but very obvious specimens of it (on the present knowledge of its characteristics) are still sometimes ” identified ” as Lowestoft, Torksey, Wirksworth, ” cottage Bristol,” or conveniently as one of the several porcelains whose existence in notable quantities is open to doubt. Alternatively, such a porce lain as that which was made by Miles Mason, when unmarked, is often called ” New Hall,” with some excuse so far as the later ” bone paste ” of the latter factory is concerned. Just as Liverpool was once the repository, as it were, of doubtful mid eighteenth century pieces, so is New Hall, all too often, of similarly puzzling ones of the early nineteenth. Pictured right: An English Porcelain Lavendar Ground Part Tea And Coffee Service, Iron-Red Painted Mark For New Hall, First Half 19th Century. Sold for $1,375 at Christies, New York, April 2014. Image Copyright Christies. The beginnings of true New Hall porcelain were prompted by the early nineteenth century policy of the Staffordshire industry of supplying to working folk the kind of ware which had formerly been made only for the wealthy and the middle classes. The Potteries had always concentrated on the making of fine earthenware, the only eighteenth century porcelain maker of note being Littler of Longton Hall. So when Champion’s patent for making hard paste ” was apparently purchased in 1781 by a company of five Staffordshire potters, something quite new was set afoot. Available evidence seems to show that production was first at Tunstall, but that a year later, owing to dispute between the partners, a move was made to the Shelton works of Hollins, War burton, & Co. The next important date is about 1801, when John Daniel joined the company. It was soon after then that the making of ” bone china,” the standard ware of the Potteries, began. It is impossible to set hard and fast dates for a sudden change over from the old Bristol paste to the new (both 1810 and 1812 have been suggested) and it is more reasonable, and probably more accurate, to suppose that both were made side by side until about 1815, after which year the bone paste only was used until the closure between 1825 and about 1830. Certainly there is reference in an 1812 catalogue to ” real china.” Picture left: An English Porcelain Assembled Transfer-Printed And Enriched Part Tea Service In The ‘Lady In The Window Pattern’, New Hall, Pattern No. 425, Circa 1820. Sold for $500 at Christies, New York, January 2009. Image Copyright Christies. How can this ” real china ” be identified? Despite the fact that Champion’s patent had been bought the New Hall ware made under it is not of such good quality as fine Bristol, being more like the ” export ” Chinese as typified by “Chinese Lowestoft.” There is a similar greyness in the New Hall paste, though less pronounced, and it is seldom disfigured by the ” pits ” and firecracks that so often detract from the Oriental. Whereas the thin Chinese glaze is commonly minutely pitted, that of the English factory is uniformly thin and clear, though often ” bubbled ” inside the foot rim. Apart from the body, consideration of the decoration is usually sufficient to suggest Chinese or New Hall provenance. That upon the former, though inferior to that upon the ware intended for home use, is nevertheless marked by fine, detailed brushwork, whereas the English decoration consists for the most part of simplified, conventional, almost careless patterns. Much Chinese ” export ” ware, in deference to Western preference, carries decoration in which details are picked out in gold, but this was sparingly used at New Hall, being reserved for compara tively few patterns. Finally, much New Hall ” hard paste ” porcelain can be identified by the presence of a mark, a painted pattern number in black, brown, orange, pink, or green, sometimes pre ceded by a script capital N or the letters ” No.” Naturally enough, at first at any rate, many Bristol shapes and patterns were retained; but as time went on, in keeping with quantity produc tion, a limited range of both was decided upon, notably as regards the tea wares which appar ently comprised al most the whole output. Let us first consider the tea pots, of which four shapes are well known. (1) Vertical sides to a lobed, diamondshaped section, earshaped handle, eightsided spout, convex lid with inverted pear shaped knob pierced with a steamhole, and fit ting snugly inside a projecting, upright rim. (2) Waisted, elliptical section, ordi nary ovalsectioned spout, convex lid with flattened top, solid knob, and wide flange projecting beyond the rim, and with a steamhole at one end. (3) Vertical sides to a plain oval section, same spout as No. 2, and the same lid fitting flush inside the rim, but with the steamhole in front, midway be tween knob and rim. (4) Boatshaped body, rim flar ing high and wide and blending into the upper handle terminal, with the same lid as Nos. 2 and 3. It was the usual practice to provide each teapot with a stand, shaped to fit the section. The cream jugs correspond in shape to the pots, but two additional shapes are known. One is very common indeed, and was one of the inherited Bristol models, shaped like a helmet, and not to be confused with a similar Lowestoft form, and the other is shaped like an inverted truncated cone with a waisted neck, wide flaring lip, and thick, solid base. It should be noted that the jugs belonging to the lobed teapots often have downward tapering, instead of vertical sides. Pictured right: A New Hall Large Bowl, Circa 1790, The interior painted with trailing iron-red peony and pink chrysanthemum beneath a pendant berry border and gilt line rim, the exterior with four flower-sprays and scattered […]
The 2018 World Cup Russia begins on Thursday 14 June when Russia face Saudia Arabia. We take a look at some of the official and unofficial merchandise, collectables and memorabilia available to collect and buy. The official mascot for the Russia World Cup is Zabivaka™ which means “the one who scores” in Russian. Zabivaka™ is a wolf and was chosen as the mascot by a vote in which over one million Russians took part. He certainly is a lovable character and he features significantly in the Russia World Cup merchandise and Russia World Cup collectables. Russia World Cup Collectables and World Cup Merchandise at The Official FIFA Store There are three versions of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Plush Mascot Zabivaka™ – 45cm, 35cm and 25cm. A series of 11 very colourful posters featuring the host cities: Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Saint Petersburg, Sohi, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd and Kazan. Our favourite is the Kazan poster – a selection of others are shown below. Two pin collection sets featuring the host cities and groups look great. You can view all these at the Official FFA site at https://www.fifa.com. Coins There are a number of coin collections being produced including official international commemorative coins produced by British Numismatic Treasury including 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ England Commemorative coin, 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Mascot Colour 25 Ruble Coin – colored and plain, 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ 25 Ruble Official Emblem Coin, 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Trophy 25 Ruble Coin, and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ LAOLA Wave-Shaped 3oz Silver Coin Bar. For more details visit bnt.org.uk. Winning Moves FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Monopoly Ravensburger Adidas Fifa World Cup Puzzleball Russia 2018 World Cup Panini Stickers Football stickers form part of every recent World Cup and no collector should be without the album and at least a few packets. The official Panini 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ sticker collection features stickers dedicated to the 32 qualified federations with 18 players per team. There is a section dedicated to the FIFA World Cup™ football Legends collects the FWC Multiple Winners of past editions and shows the History makers all gathered to recall past success and unique scores. There are also holographic exclusive stickers dedicated to FIFA official marks, Federation badges and Legends imagery as well as stadia and venue images. There are scores of official licensees covering the whole world covering nearly every aspect of apparel, homewares, accessories, gifts etc. However, some of the companies that created exclusives for the Brazil 2014 World Cup such as Swarovski and Robert Harrop for example have not created products for Russia 2018. World Cup Related World Cup Willie and the 1966 World Cup World Cup Collectables 2014
Imagine sitting down to enjoy a nice drink and whilst taking a sip you look down you are faced with a small frog in your mug. A nice surprise or maybe not! This was the idea behind the Frog Mug which were first produced around 1750 but became very popular during the first quarter of the 19th Century. One theory of how the frog mug came to be made was that a potter who had nearly completed some mugs, had left them to cool overnight. On his return he found a frog sitting at the bottom of one of them. He was so surprised and amused he decided to make a mug with a frog inside based on the idea. They proved so popular the frog mug was created. Most frog mugs feature a frog on the side or on the bottom, and occasionally on the rim. Some frogs have open mouth so when the drink was poured it would also go through the frog’s mouth. There are some examples of larger vessels having multiple frogs and even lizards as well. The earliest frog mugs date to around 1750 and are largely associated with the Sunderland potteries including Brunton & Company (afterwards Moore & C0) who were noted with early examples. One of the most noted potteries for the production of the frog mug was Dixon and Co. Although Sunderland and the north-east were the leading area for the frog mugs, they were also made in the Stafford potteries and the Leeds potteries. The frog mugs created in Sunderland pimarily feature the famous Sunderland lustreware with its pink lustre decorated with black transfer prints often with mottos, phrases and sayings. More popular designs include portrayals of the Wearmouth bridge, Ironbridge and the Crimea. As many of these mugs were used by sailors many had a strong nautical theme and featured sailing ships, the Sailor’s Farewell and the Sailor’s Return. The majority of antique frog mugs made in Sunderland can be bought from around £60 to £200. The main factors affecting price are rarer transfers & motifs and condition. The price of other examples is variable, with great variations in price – from £40 to £1,000. Example pieces and prices have been given in this feature. The frog mug is a quirky, attractive item with great historic interest, and collections can still be created for a modest investment.
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He died aged 42 on August 16, 1977 but during his short life and since his death he has become one of the most well known cultural icons of modern times.
Tiny Tears Dolls – The Most Popular Vinyl Doll – Launched in a blaze of publicity in 1965, amazingly Tiny Tears dolls are still sold today – and the earliest ones are becoming exceedingly collectable. At the time, Palitoy was one of Britain’s largest toy manufacturers, and their revolutionary doll went on to win the ‘Toy of the Year’ award no less than three times. But what made this vinyl doll any different to the hundreds of others on the market at the time? Well, not only she could she shed ‘real’ tears and wet her nappy, additionally her limbs were attached with unique rotational joints, causing her to fall naturally into a floppy, babylike position when she was held. The very first, 1965, Tiny Tears doll was 16″ high with fine pale blonde hair and blue sleeping eyes. The back of her neck was marked ‘Made in England 16D’. She had delicate features, a small, pursed mouth, wore a turquoise or pink gingham romper and came with a bib, bottle and a dummy. This doll proved so popular that a year later Palitoy produced a smaller version, Teeny Tiny Tears, just 12″ high. Shortly after, Palitoy became part of the American company, General Mills Inc., who decided to keep the Palitoy name. Sometimes today collectors come across a baby doll similar to Tiny Tears but with a smiling face. This is Baby Flopsy, issued around the same time and advertised as being able to wear Teeny Tiny Tears outfits. She was sold wearing just a nappy. Five years after the initial launch, Tiny Tears was given a complete revamp which made her appear older; her delicate face was more rounded, her eyes were larger, her mouth wider and her hair was thicker. This is the face which most people remember, and it was to stay the same for the next fifteen years. She was marked ‘Palitoy’ on the back of the neck. One of her most popular outfits was a white nylon dress with blue and pink smocking on the yoke, and she was sold in this from 1973 to 1980, at a recommended retail price of œ7.99. Tiny Tears dolls came with guarantees and gift certificates, as well as instructions on how to feed the doll and make her cry. The tear mechanism was activated by ‘feeding’ the doll with water, quickly inserting a dummy to prevent the water trickling out of the mouth, and then squeezing her tummy hard. She would wet her nappy at the same time, probably due to shock! To mark the next decade, Tiny Tears was given a pretty cotton dress with a floral design in either pink or blue, and, at first, matching pants and bonnet, though soon a nappy was substituted for the pants while the bonnet was discarded.The eye-catching box read ‘She’s as cute and cuddly as a real baby. Just like a real baby she cries real tiny tears.’ The decade also heralded a new addition, the little Teeny Weeny Tiny Tears, just 9″ tall, who is now extremely popular with collectors and quite hard to find. A Tiny Tears logo was introduced, shaped like a yellow ‘sun-ray’, to decorate clothing and accessories, and in 1982, the floral outfit was updated to a white cotton dress trimmed with blue gingham. Three years later one of the prettiest versions of Tiny Tears appeared. Her ash-blonde hair was very thick and curly, her face was slimmer, and she wore a distinctive all-in-one jump-suit consisting of pink and blue spotted trousers over a white and blue striped top, with the words ‘Tiny Tears’ embroidered in blue on the trouser bib. Although the boxes of these dolls were labelled ‘Palitoy’, the actual doll bore no mark. It was around this time that General Mills withdrew from the toy scene and for a while, it seemed that Tiny Tears would disappear too. However, you can’t keep a popular doll down, and soon she was back, now produced by Tonka Toys, who introduced a brunette version as well as the standard blonde. It was Tonka who were responsible for one of the more unusual innovations when, in 1988, they gave Tiny Tears ‘flirty’ eyes, which moved from side to side. At the same time, they revamped her body, giving her realistically-curled fingers. This roving-eye doll is very collectable, but be careful, because the delicate eye mechanism is often damaged. When Tiny Tears celebrated her 25th birthday in 1990 (sold in a special anniversary presentation box) she was given a complete makeover, and reverted to the original delicate features. Tonka introduced two new dolls to the range. Timmy Tears, still a favourite today, and advertised as Tiny Tears’ twin brother, had dark hair, a saucy face, and wore a white and navy dungaree suit. He had the same crying and wetting abilities as his twin. The other addition was big sister Katie, who was a triumph, and one of the prettiest dolls on the market at the time. She was dainty, with a sweet face and, at 17″ tall, an inch taller than her siblings. Her outfit consisted of a white-spotted cerise or navy dress, and though she wasn’t a crying doll, she could do something even more clever – she could grow her hair! Around her neck hung a large plastic locket containing a pull cord, which enabled the hair to be wound in or out from her head, and an additional hairpiece was included in her box. Katie was soon discontinued, and is today one of the most sought-after of the Tiny Tears collection. During this period, the who-owned-whom became complicated. A spokes-person, writing in 1998 on behalf of Playmates Toys, a more recent owner of Tiny Tears, states that General Mills was bought out by Tonka and ‘eventually Kenner Parker. The company stayed Kenner Parker up until about 5 years ago (1992), when it was bought out by Hasbro, however the company still remained with the name Kenner Parker, which became a part of […]
It is not surprising that so many collectors find vinaigrettes a fascinating subject. These small boxes, used for holding a sponge soaked in sweet-smelling vinegar, were made in an endless variety of shapes and decoration. Their inner grilles were delicately pierced for the escape of the scent in charming and often unexpected patterns. Vinaigrettes were made in great numbers from about 1780 to 1890 and since most of them arc of silver or semi-precious stones, they are not costly and are within the reach of the most modest collector. The real ancestor of the vinaigrette is the pomander. These were used in England as early as the fourteenth century as containers for aromatic vinegars and spices to sweeten the air and as an antidote to infection. The derivation of the word is from the French “poimne d’ambre” meaning apple (or ball) of amber. (Amber or ambergris is a waxy substance with a pleasant odour). Pictured: A late 17th/early 18th century silver filigree pomander. Spherical form, with all-over filigree scroll work, central ribbed band and hinging in half, each end applied with small circular finial-like detail, diameter 2.5cm. Estimate £500-£600. Image Copyright Bonhams. In the sixteenth century compounds of scents were used instead of simple balls of ambergris or musk. These two were included, but were mixed with other costly oils possessing antiseptic qualities, such as camphor, sandalwood or myrrh, the whole being mixed to a paste with rose water. A very odd ingredient quoted in many recipes is “garden mold” which was used to keep the mixture moist and firm. This compound was called “pomander”; it was only later that the term came to be used for the vessel which contained it. There are many quotations in wills and inventories to show this development in meaning. An entry in the Privy Purse expenses of Henry VII for the year 1492 mentions a “box with pomandre”, while a similar entry for the Princess Mary, his grand-daughter, for the year 1542 includes a “pomander of gold”. The earliest type were based on the “muske ball” and were spherical in shape, hinged in the centre and pierced for the escape of the scent. Queen Elizabeth I wore pomanders among her other magnificent jewels when sitting for several portraits. In one of these (in the National Portrait Gallery) she is seen as a mature woman between forty and fifty. She wears a looped necklace of pearls and a jewelled girdle from which hangs a pomander, set in the middle with a gem surrounded by scroll work and with a small pearl drop from the base. It may be that this is the same pomander mentioned in the list of new year’s gifts to the Queen in 1577 when she was forty-five. The entry reads “A juell of golde being a pomander on each side a poynted dyamonde with a smale pearl pendant”. This short sentence describes the essential features of’ the early pomanders — they were small, lavish, their use was a social grace and their value such that they were a fit present for the Queen. From 1580 dry perfumes were carried in powder form. They were kept in containers divided into six or eight compartments and the different scents were mixed or used individually as desired. The most common form was apple or pear shaped with six segments folding into a central column, each segment having a sliding lid with name of a perfume engraved on it, usually lavender, musk, rose, rue, citron and civet. Several examples exist in the shape of a book which opens, the two halves being divided into sections. Other types vary from a flower with opening petals to a skull hinged at the cranium and divided into six compartments. There are enough of these extant to show that it must have been a fairly common form. It may seem odd that such a gruesome model as a death’s head was used for an ornament in daily use and it is generally supposed that it was an association with the horrors of the plague. Another reason is suggested by a silver pomander dated 1682 made in the form of an apple bearing the impress of teeth or teeth marks. This is hinged and inside is a small skull, itself hinged to contain the scents. The outer case is engraved with the in-scription “from man came woman — from woman sin — from sin death”. The image of an apple to the seventeenth century mind immediately recalled the temptation of Adam and the fall of man from grace to sin. The skull represents death, the inevitable result of’ sin. Many pomanders had a compartment in the base for a sponge soaked in aromatic vinegar and when their use began to decline in the last quarter of the seventeenth century this section developed into a separate container called a sponge box. There are many early recipes for aromatic vinegar and its therapeutic properties were recognised by doctors who normally carried a stick with a sponge box set in the head as a precaution against infection. Most vinaigrettes range in size from 1″ to 4″ long and were carried in the hand or tucked into a glove. As many as eighty per cent of vinaigrettes were made in Birmingham and that of these more than half were made by a limited number of specialised makers, the most important being Samuel Pemberton, Joseph Taylor, Matthew Linwood, Joseph Willmore and Nathaniel Mills. Any large collection shows great variety both in the outer case and inner grille. Apart from geometric shapes, books, bags, watches and even fish were quite common. There is, however, a broad development of style. As would be expected those made from 1780 to 1800 correspond with the neo-classical style then fashionable. From 1830 they were made with very heavily embossed scenes on the cover, usually of castles or large public buildings but these “castle” vinaigrettes are uncommon and expensive. The grille is as significant to the collector as the outer case. The earliest were simple drilled holes but as early as 1800 delicate […]
The Fulper Pottery Company was founded in Flemington, New Jersey in 1899 by Charles Fulper and his sons. However, the pottery had existed since 1815 when the first pottery was created by Samuel Hill. The pottery initially produced a wide variety of utilitarian ware, and drain tiles and storage crocks and jars from Flemington’s red earthenware clay. In 1847 Dutchman Abraham Fulper, an employee since the 1820s became Hill’s partner. He later took over the company. It was not until the early 1900s when William Hill Fulper II (1870-1953) started to experiment with colored glazes and the company started to create some of the art pottery it is famed for. Fulper is credited with inventing the dry-body slip glaze, which was used to create colorful designs on his pottery. He also developed a method of using electric kilns to fire his glazes, which resulted in brighter and more consistent colors. Fulper Pottery’s Vasekraft line was inspired by the work of German potter John Martin Strangl. The line includes a wide variety of vases, bowls, and other vessels, all with Strangl’s signature clean lines and simple forms. The company is especially known for the Fulper lamps-with glazed pottery shades inset with colored glass-were truly innovative forms. The firm’s most spectacular and innovative accomplishments are the table lamps made with glazed pottery bases and shades, which were inset with pieces of colored opalescent glass. These were produced from about 1910-1915 and are very rare, especially in perfect order. William Hill Fulper II was also an excellent advertiser and marketeer and Fulper’s Vasekraft products were sold throughout the United States in the most prestigious department stores and gift shops. Fulper’s pottery was exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where it received a gold medal. His work is also included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. During its first twenty-five years, Fulper Pottery was particularly known for its flambé glazes, which were heavily influenced by Chinese and Japanese ceramic traditions. These glazes, which resulted in vibrant and often unexpected colors, helped to establish Fulper Pottery’s reputation for innovative and high-quality art pottery. After World War I, Fulper Pottery began to shift away from its Germanic roots and move towards more Oriental-inspired forms. The company’s designers began to experiment with new shapes and glazes, inspired by the Art Deco movement that was sweeping Europe at the time. The Vasekraft name was changed to Fulper Pottery Artware. These new pieces were softer and more graceful than the functional stoneware that Fulper had been producing up until that point, and they proved to be very popular with the public. In the 1920s, Fulper Pottery was one of the leading producers of Art Deco ceramics in the United States. The company’s designers created a wide range of vases, lamps, and other objects that were both beautiful and stylish. Fulper’s pieces were featured in some of the most prestigious design magazines of the day, and they were popular with both collectors and everyday consumers. In 1925, Charles Fulper died, and his sons took over the operation of the pottery. Under their leadership, Fulper Pottery continued to experiment with new glazes and firing techniques. They also began to produce a line of dinnerware, which was very popular during the Depression-era. The Great Depression hit Fulper Pottery hard, as it did many other businesses. The company was forced to lay off a large number of employees and cut back on production. However, Fulper’s designers continued to experiment with new ideas, and the company managed to survive the difficult economic times. William Hill Fulper II died suddenly in 1928. The company continued to be run with Martin Stangl as President. In 1935, Fulper Pottery Artware production was ceased at the small remaining Flemington location, and that building was utilized solely as a retail showroom for the company’s ceramic products. After 1935, the company continued to be Fulper Pottery, but produced only Stangl Pottery brand dinnerware and artware. Related Fulper Pottery at Auction American Pottery at WCN
Freaked Out!!!!! Speed Freaks! I am the first to admit that I know next to nothing about cars and to be honest, was not really interesting in learning anything about them either – but that was until I met Terry Ross, an enthusiast on the subject, it didn’t take him long to convert and introduce me to the fascinating world of Speed Freaks! Terry has a passion for cars, for thirteen years he wrote for a motoring magazine on the subject and owns an amazing display of small models cars that he has built from scratch. Each of these models could take up to 2 years to complete and one in particular – the “Dragster” has won him a real car when it was entered into a competition. “I am a class 1 petrol head and wanted to do a MA in car design when I left school, but I was introduced to the world of advertising and ended up owning my own agency.” Terry worked as a Creative Director and Art Director for many years but his passion for cars was always at the forefront of his social life. He came up with the idea of Speed Freaks around 5 years ago; using his artistic background he began to sculpt three-dimensional abstract cars. Terry makes sure that each model is based on an existing car; however, there is a slight twist to the design being that they are really miniature caricatures rather than straightforward replica models. For the first year Terry concentrated on creating private commissions. He produced very limited production runs of the Ferrari 355, McLaren M8D and Valentino Rossi on the motorbike that won him the 2001 500cc MotoGP season (Valentino himself is the proud owner of the last in the production run). Each of these exclusive limited editions retailed at £995 as they were exceptional pieces, made to order. Terry’s first small car piece was the classic Ford Anglia based on the 1200 Super, then the Cortina joined the family, shortly followed by an Escort and a Capri. Demand was high as everyone who owned a car wanted one of Terry’s Speed Freaks especially as he also offered a custom made service allowing purchasers to order exact replica’s of their own cars. By this point Terry no longer owned the Advertising Agency and realised that he had discovered a whole new lifestyle but he would have to look down the lines of mass production to meet with the demand and make a living out of the hobby that he was so passionate about. A friend introduced Terry to Country Artists just 2 years ago, the company loved his models and snapped him up immediately, the rest – as they say – is history! Country Artists launched 12 of Terry’s original Speed Freak Cars at the NEC Spring Fair in January 2004 – they were greatly received by retailers ensuring that the same year Terry’s Speed Freaks were awarded “Gift of the Year” – which is a major achievement for someone so new to the market. Country Artists are now exclusively responsible for getting Terry’s innovative designs into the market place. A great deal of work goes into the production of Speed Freaks with Terry working on each of the master models from his home in London. A master can take up to four weeks to complete from beginning to end. Once the master has been sculpted it is placed into the oven to bake at 100 degrees for ½ hour. The car is then sanded and blocked down to smooth (this is the principal when preparing to paint a real car). Terry then uses real car spray paints to ensure he gets the exact colour that the car should be. Once Terry is completely satisfied that he cannot improve on his master Speed Freak, it is then sent to Country Artists who start the process of reproducing the retailed amounts in resin, issuing them with boxes and certificates before going on sale. These little cars are both original and wacky. Each one has so much character that even if you are not a Speed Freak yourself, but have a good eye for the unusual, you just have to own one. Terry’s passion for the subject really comes out in his art and you know that he has created each one with love and affection, making them even more desirable to own. Speed Freaks Cars and Speed Freak Collectables are a fun product, so different to anything else on the giftware collectables market. The vibrant colours of the cars, the abstract design and the workmanship that goes into making each piece could only have been created by someone like Terry who lives cars. He takes pride in his work by paying attention to every detail; including painting the windscreens to reflect a fantastic sun set. Collectors are always on the look out for something new and innovative; and I think that these models are just what collectors are looking for. Speed Freaks Cars and Speed Freaks Figurines have all the credentials that make them a hot collectable – high quality, unusual in design, great fun, and most of all – affordable. I have never really classed myself as being a Speed Freak but after spending the morning with Terry and peering into his world I am most definitely converted.