Copper jelly moulds are among the most attractive and popular of all kitchenalia. The humble copper jelly mould came in a variety of shapes and sizes and became more and more elaborate over time. The moulds that were part of the batterie de cuisine of the larger houses sometimes bore the name of the house or their owners initials. Moulds were made of copper and tinned on the interior and were used for the wide range of world recipes developing in the Victorian era including many jellies such as Constantia jelly and desserts such as Dutch Flummery and sponge puddings. Copper jelly moulds shapes varied from simple round forms, fluted forms, castellated forms, vertical asparagus forms, and animal shapes. The Alexandra Star shaped mould was named after Queen Alexandra Queen to King Edward VII. Some were created in tiers making larger moulds and some have central hollows to allow the creation of ring desserts. Copper Jelly Mould Price Guide / Value Guide Famous names in the creation of copper moulds include Benham and Froud, Copeland and Henry Loveridge. Fine copper jelly moulds remain collectables and prices vary depending on quality, maker, size and condition.
Considered as one of the greatest fashion designers of the 20th Century, Yves Saint Laurent, sadly passed away from a brain tumour in June of 2008. The last of the traditional Parisian courtiers he was not only a celebrated fashion designer but also an artist whose legacy will live on through the luxurious garments that he created. Born as Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint-Laurent on 1st August 1936 in Oran, Algeria. Yves father worked as an insurance broker and his mother was fanatical about clothes which rubbed off on her young son Yves who would spend much of his youth flicking through the pages of glossy fashion magazines such as Vogue. At the age of 17 Yves travelled to Paris in order to pursue his passion for fashion. Studying at the L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris, just three months into his course Yves was snapped up in 1953 after a 15 minute interview with Christian Dior. Initially Yves worked as Dior’s assistant but when Dior suddenly died of a heart attack in 1957 Yves became Chief Designer of the House of Dior at the tender age of 21. His first collection ‘Trapeze’ was revolutionary, attracting International recognition. A believer that elegance and style were the key ingredients to couture, this line sported the Trapeze dress which had narrow cut shoulders and wide swinging skirt. A welcome change to the face of couture as for years women were restricted to wearing tight fitting clothes and girdles. This inspirational collection catapulted Yves Saint Laurent into overnight stardom. Throughout his career Yves star had risen and fallen depending on his collection at the time. In 1960 Yves designed The ‘Beat Look’ for Dior, but this collection was to attract negative responses as the pale zombie faces of the models, adorned with leather suits and coats, high pullovers and knitted caps were too controversial for the fashion press. He was instantly replaced as chief designer and asked to leave the fashion house of Dior Shortly after Yves was drafted into the military service, an experience that shattered the designer as he often suffered with severe bouts of depression. Within a year he was medically discharged due to a nervous breakdown. This illness was to forever mark his career. At an early age he had been bullied because of his homosexuality and because of this he constantly suffered with both physical and mental illness through much of his life. His romantic and business partner Pierre Berge is once quoted as saying that “Saint Laurent was born with a nervous breakdown.” However, this illness was not to keep Yves from returning to his love of fashion and in 1962 he presented the first collection under his own name. This collection consisted of a double-breasted blazer with gold buttons, which was worn with white Shantung silk pants. It took 80 dressmakers and tailors working day and night in three workshops to produce however, the hard work paid off as this collection once again brought Yves Saint-Laurent’s name back into the fashion domain. In 1963 he was heavily influenced by the ‘Op Art’ movement and produced a line of clothes with this particular look and in 1965 he created the iconic ‘Mondrian’ dress. Based on a painting by Piet Mondrian this particular dress is brightly coloured against thick black lines, a signature design of Yves Saint Laurents it has become the Holy Grail for fashion collectors. By 1966 Yves collections were such a success that he opened his first Rive Gauche boutique for ready-to-wear fashions. It was during this period that he also designed the ‘Pop Art’ dress and in the boutique could be found rails of clothes inspired by the Pop Artists of the day. The ‘See Through’ looks were another inspired range at this time and again showed how revolutionary and ahead of his time Yves was with his creations. Yves also loved to use ethnic inspired designs in his garments, which is evident in his 1967 Spring/Summer “African,” “Safari” and “Carmen.” This was an example of how Yves excelled at keeping his finger on pulse by producing exciting modernist pieces combined with traditional refined French couture. Another example of his expert visionary was the famous “Smoking Jacket” Tuxedo for women. Once again, turning fashion on its head and proving that women can look just as elegant and sophisticated in a suit otherwise worn by men. In 1971 Yves posed nude for an advertisement of his new YSL aftershave and in 1977 he launched the female ‘Opium’ perfume. A provocative advertising campaign with the model Jerry Hall it encapsulated a sex, drugs and Rock-n-’Roll lifestyle. Today this is one of the most successful scents on the market and even the bottle has become collectable in its own right. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1983 held a retrospective of his work, which was to be a great honour as this was the first ever exhibition to be held at the museum for a living designer. Dubbed ‘The Pied Piper of Fashion” Yves Saint Laurent had broken the mould, not only for the diversity of his collections but also for making high fashion accessible. Yves stunning creations also ensured that he was awarded with the Legion d’Honneur in 1985 after shows being held at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and in Beijing. Hailed a National Treasure one of the most sensational events that Yves Saint Laurent showed at was the 1998 World Cup Final. As France became excited about their final match against Brazil Yves led 300 models onto the pitch to take centre-stage for an on field retrospective of his work. In 2002 Yves, aged 65 announced that he was retiring from fashion – a sad end of an era for those in the fashion industry. He had already sold the rights to his label to the Gucci group three years earlier and felt that it was an appropriate time to retire because in his opinion fashion was […]
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
Whitefriars Glassworks, an institution in British glass making survived over 300 years before the last of the burning furnaces was put out in 1980. Although this glass is no longer in production pieces by designers such as Geoffrey Baxter have become one of the most sought after collectables in Studio Glass today and prices are going through the roof! The original home of Whitefriars glass was near Temple in London, it is because of this site that the glassworks was given its name. There originally stood an ancient monastry where the monks were dressed in white habits and were known as the “White Friars”. This glassworks has changed hands several times since being established in 1680. During its long history and before James Powell bought the works, the owners were a family called Holmes who successfully ran Whitefriars for over fifty years. It was in 1834 when James Powell, a famous wine merchant purchased the works and changed the name to “James Powell & Sons”. The original name of Whitefriars was not reverted back until 1963. In 1873 Harry Powell, grandson to James joined the works and by 1875 became Manager. Harry was responsible for some of the most innovative designs of the Arts and Crafts period and carried the works right through the First World War until his death in 1922. In 1923 the original works which stood in the heart of the City of London on the site of the monastry was moved to a new site in Wealdstone. A long tradition was that the furnaces should remain burning at all times, so when the site was moved a lit brazier was carried to the new site and used to ignite the very first furnace there. There are many designers which made Whitefriars Glass such an institution in the world of glass blowing including Harry Powell and James Hogan but today’s collectors seem to favour the designs of Geoffrey Baxter and his pieces are reaching huge prices on the secondary market at the moment. Geoffrey Baxter born 1922 was employed at the works as assistant designer in 1954. Working under the instruction of William Wilson, then Managing Director, he was the first permanent employee to be employed outside of the Powell family. Baxter graduated from the Royal College of Arts Industrial Glassware and was without doubt going to drive the company forward. The post war Britain realised that Sweden along with Finland and Denmark were pushing the glass making forward with the studio glass movement. This encouraged Baxter to take his influence from Scandinavian designs and combine them with his own contemporary ideas. He was responsible for creating the cased glass, this was coloured glass encased with clear crystal glass. The colours were rich ruby red, blue and green, produced in 1955. This was the start of the new modern trends from Baxter. He successfully created a balance between the traditional look and his bolder modern designs which in turn put Whitefriars Glass and British glass making back on the map. In 1964 William Wilson and Harry Dyer launched the “Knobbly Range” at the Blackpool Fair. These were free blown pieces of glass that were heavier and thicker than any other pieces produced before with a lumpy finish to the outside. Baxter was involved with producing the colours for the range, there were two choices either solid coloured cased glass or streaky colours in brown or green. The “Knobbly Range” was in production right through until 1972. Baxter went on to drive the company forward and give it a completely new lease of life, probably his most famous and definitely collectable ran ge is the “Textured Range” launched in 1967. It is no secret that Baxter produced the moulds for his new innovative design at home in his garage. Using natural materials such as tree bark he lined the moulds so that when the glass was blown into them it created a textured feel to the outside resembling the bark of a tree. He drew his inspiration from other natural and man-made materials. Once his moulds were created he used the factory to produce trials that he left on Wilson’s desk for him to see the minute he arrived back in the office from a holiday. Wilson was over the moon with the new range and it was given his blessing to go into production. Baxter used coiled wire to create other effects and then Baxter’s favourite vases was made by using irregular slabs of glass and building them together to make blocks on top of each other. This is the highly collectable “Cube Vase” or more commonly known today as the “Drunken Bricklayer”. Recently watching secondary market prices on internet auctions and at collectable fairs I have seen a rare 8” Aubergine colour Drunken Bricklayer sell from £600 up to as much as £1200. If you are starting a collection of Whitefriars then I highly recommend the “Bark Vases”, I bought my tangerine coloured vase for £40. They also come in various colours such as Kingfisher blue, Ruby and Pewter to name but a few. There are many variations on the “textured range” which include “Banjo”, ”Sunburst” and clear glass designs such as “Glacier” and “Everest”. Most of these designs were made during the 1960’s so have a real retro feel to them which again is extremely popular amongst collectors at the moment. As with anything popular other companies began to make cheaper copies of this range and so in the mid 70’s only the Bark vases and some of the Glacier pieces were being made. Peter Wheeler who was only at Whitefriars for a very short time designed with Baxter the “Peacock Studio Range” in 1969. This was a fantastic design using a combination of colours, Peter was also responsible for the gold and orange vases which formed part of the “striped Studio Range”. Whitefriars are also well known for their millifiore paperweights. Extremely difficult to make as all hand made and crafted Whitefriars became […]
Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Collectables With the sixth Star Wars ‘Revenge of the Sith’ film opening shortly – the merchandise and associated premiums have been finding their way into shops, cereal packets and elsewhere for months. The first Star Wars film ‘A New Hope’ in 1977 was the first film to really tie in with merchandise and and many of the toys and related products from then are now worth considerable sums such as the first series of Kenner figures produced from 1977-1979 included a Jawa with plastic cape which can now fetch around $1,000 if in mint condition. It will be interesting to see if any of the new action figures, toys, comics etc will be as collectable. Pictured right is a StarWarsShop.com shared exclusive Original Double-Sided Episode III Theatrical Movie Poster Hasbro are releasing a number of action figures and toys including limited editions through certain outlets. Target will offer an exclusive Star Wars: Episode III Collector’s Case 5 pack and Toys R Us have an exclusive Anakin Skywalker Starfighter. Pictured left is the Episode III Unleashed Figures 3-Pack, Assortment 1 featuring Anakin Skywalker figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi figure and General Grievous figure. Available to all are a number of action figures that come individually and in various assortments, sets and packages. Often the Limited Editions, exclusives and less popular characters have the most potential to increase in value. Pictured right is the Episode III Deluxe Figure Assortment 1 featuring 2 Anakin Skywalker with Darth Vader tunic and armor figures, 2 Obi-Wan Kenobi with Super Battle Droid figures and 2 Emperor Palpatine changes to Darth Sidious figures. Collectors Cards, Trading Cards and Pins are always popular. The Revenge of the Sith Hobby collectors card set comprises 90 gold foil-stamped. There are a number of special chase cards randomly inserted: etched foil cards, morph lenticular cards, and a number of one-of-a-kind artist sketch cards (insertion ratio of the sketch cards are 1/36 packs). Pictured left Revenge of the Sith Hobby Collectors Cards. Pins and pin trading has become popular over the last few years especially with the growth in Disney Pin Trading. A number of pins have been produced including a number of exclusives such as the Celebration III exclusive StarWarsShop.com pin depicting the famous “Vader in Flames” banner art for the Star Wars event held in Indianapolis. Pictured right Vader in Flames exclusive StarWarsShop.com pin. Disney are pro ducing a incredible collection of Star Wars pins created for their annual Star Wars weekends. These are being released at the Tatooine Traders in the Disney-MGM Studios theme park. Star Wars Weekends 2005 will take place at the Disney-MGM Studios from May 20 through June 12, 2005. Pictured left Star Wars Weekdns Logo Pin features the logo for Star Wars Weekends 2005. Mickey Mouse is putting the finishing touches on Darth Vader’s helmet. Mickey Mouse’s hand is a pin-on-pin. Randy Noble from Disney Design Group designed the logo for this year’s celebration. Premiums normally produce some interesting toys and collectibles and for Revenge of the Sith, Burger King has the promotion. The offering varies from country to country – there are six exclusive toys in the UK (include Darth Vader™, droids R2D2™ and C3PO™, Chewbacca™, the Millennium Falcon and, of course, Yoda™!), and over 30 in the US. The US toys come in several ranges including Pull Backs, Wind Ups, Water Squirters, Plush, Image Viewers and Limited Edition 2 in 1 Darth Vader toy. Pictured above right: the UK Burger King Star Wars toys There should be enough variety to cater for even the most ardent collector and with expectations that this film is the best of the latest trilogy there appears to be more interest. I’m just off to get my Lightsabre. May the Collecting be With You!
Sun Records, located at 706 Union Ave., was a record label based in Memphis, Tennessee starting operations on March 27 1952. Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley (whose recording contract was sold by Sun Records to RCA Victor Records for $35,000 in 1956 to relieve financial difficulties they were going through), Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash their first recording contracts and helping to launch their careers. Pictured right: Sun Studio Memphis – image used under the Creative Commons 3.0 license. Before those days Sun Records had mainly been noted for recording African-American artists, as Phillips loved Rhythm and Blues and wanted to get black music recorded for a white audience. It was Sun record producer and engineer, Jack Clement, who discovered and recorded Jerry Lee Lewis, while owner Sam Phillips was away on a trip to Florida. The original Sun Records logo was designed by John Gale Parker, Jr., a resident of Memphis and high school classmate of Phillips. Pictured left: Elvis Presley ‘That’s All Right’ record on the Sun label. The music of many Sun Records musicians helped lay part of the foundation of late 20th century popular music and rock and roll, plus it influenced many younger musicians, particularly the Beatles. In 2001, Paul McCartney appeared on a tribute compilation album titled Good Rockin’ Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records. In 1969, Mercury Records label producer Shelby Singleton; noted for producing the Ray Stevens’ hit “Ahab The Arab” in 1962, and later Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 hit single “Harper Valley PTA” on his Nashville based Plantation Records label; purchased the Sun label from Phillips. Singleton merged his operations into Sun International Corporation, which re-released and re-packaged compilations of Sun’s early artists in the early 1970s. It would later introduce rockabilly tribute singer Jimmy Ellis in 1980 as Orion taking on the persona of Elvis Presley. Pictured: Jerry Lewis Great Balls of Fire Sun Label. The company remains in business today as Sun Entertainment Corporation, which currently licenses its brand and classic hit recordings (many of which have appeared in CD boxed sets and other compilations) to independent reissue labels. Sun Entertainment also includes SSS International Records, Plantation Records, Amazon Records, Red Bird Records, Blue Cat Records among other labels the company acquired over the years. Its website sells collectible items as well as compact discs bearing the original 1950s Sun logo. Sun Label: Record Collecting Guide Text: Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. Related Elvis Presley Memorabilia Rock and Pop Collecting Overview
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.
Mork and Mindy was an American television programme that aired on ABC from 1978 to 1982. The show was created by Garry Marshall, who also created other successful sitcoms such as Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. The show starred Robin Williams as Mork, an extraterrestrial from the planet Ork who is sent to Earth to observe human behaviour. Mork arrives on Earth in a egg-shaped spacecraft and is found by Mindy McConnell (played by Pam Dawber), a young woman who takes him in and helps him adjust to life on Earth. In this feature we take a look at some of the Mork and Mindy collectibles, Mork and Mindy merchandise and Mork and Mindy toys that have appeared over the years. We also look at some auction results and some guide prices. The show was popular for its innovative use of humour and Williams’ improvisational style of acting. It was also groundbreaking in its depiction of interracial relationships and its positive portrayal of an extraterrestrial character. The show has been credited with helping to change the way Americans view aliens and has had a lasting impact on popular culture. In recent years, the show has been recognised for its influence on modern comedy and television. Mork, first appeared in the series Happy Days in 1978 in the episode My Favorite Orkan. In the episode Richie believes he saw a flying saucer and later Mork arrives at the Cunningham house. Mork interviews Richie to see if he suitable to be taken as a specimen to Planet Ork. Richie initially agrees and as the episode evolves all regular Happy Days character are involved and Mork and the Fonz have a battle. Mork would later return to Happy Days in the sixth series in the episode Mork Returns. The character of Mork was so popular with viewers that he was given his own spin-off series, Mork & Mindy. The show ran for four seasons from 1978 to 1982 and became one of the most popular sitcoms of the time. How the Mork Character Appeared in Happy Days Producer Garry Marshall watched Star Wars with his son, who asked him for a Happy Days episode with an alien in it. The cast considered the original script unusable, and production proved so difficult that the intended actor for the alien, John Byner, abruptly quit. Marshall asked the cast if they could help quickly find a replacement; Al Molinaro suggested fellow acting student Robin Williams. After Williams impressed Marshall with his quirky sense of humor at the audition by sitting on his head when told to take a seat, Williams was quickly hired. The cast was astounded on set at Williams effortlessly improvising the whole Mork persona on the spot and thus creating a highly amusing character that transcended the poor script. So encouraged in the face of such talent, the cast and crew invited everyone around the studio to see Williams perform with the typical description of him being “He’s a genius!” This included the series’ writers who came on set to take notes of Williams’ gags and the word-of-mouth of this new performer’s outstanding talent drew TV network executives to see it for themselves. The executives were so impressed at Williams’s performance that a contract for Williams to star in his own series, Mork and Mindy, was prepared and signed just four days later. Mork and Mindy Mattel Toys and Merchandise As with many TV and film tie-ins Mattel introduced a number of Mork and Mindy toys in their World of Mork and Mindy range including: Mork with Talking Spacepack; Mork Talking Ragdoll; Mork from Ork Doll and Egg Ship; Mindy action figure; and Ork Egg Containing Ork Goo and Ork Creature. The Robin Williams as Mork with Talking Spacepack featured Mork upside down in the box and a Spacepack with a pullstring that said 8 Mork catchphrases including “NA-NO, NA-NO” and “Shazbot”. Mork Calling Ork Mork would frequently end episodes with a telepathic report to his Orkan boss, Orson. Mork was often baffled by Earth’s customs and ways. Other Mork and Mindy Collectibles, Merchandise and Toys Related Happy Days and The Fonz Collectibles
On my travels around collector’s fairs I have recently been drawn to a range of unusual looking costume jewellery. So distinctive in design it keeps leaping out at me and I cannot walk past without studying its intricate patterns and styles. So intrigued was I that after some investigation and research I found myself being sucked into the vibrant colourful world of renowned French costume jewellery designer – Lea Stein. Lea was born in Paris, France in 1931 and although very little is known of her early years it is believed that a lot of her childhood was spent in a concentration camp during WW2. Lea married Fernand Steinberger in the 1950s but it was not until the 1960s that she embarked in her own business of making creative innovative designs in costume jewellery. Fernand had discovered the process of laminating celluloid; using many paper-thin celluloid acetate sheets he created a multi-layered effect, finishing the process off with a top layer of material such as lace or even straw. Once the layered sheets had been blended they were then baked to harden and various shapes could be hand carved. The master piece could take up to as long as 6 months to perfect and then when totally satisfied it was used as a template to produce the jewellery (or component to use its official term), these components then transformed into the fantastic sculpture designs that today is so recognisable as Lea Stein. From the 60s right through to the 80s Lea produced pins, earrings, necklaces, bangles and even other objects of desire such as picture frames and mirrors. Amongst some of her earlier work are unusual buttons that again vary in design and were bought by French Couture fashion houses, but even rarer are the serigraphy pins, which were typically art deco in style, and were commonly images of ladies or girls framed like miniature paintings. Lea’s patterns and designs vary from the amusing caricature to the classic geometric deco style. Lea’s great passion for Art Deco shines through in her work with pins such as “Flapper” and one of my favourites the “Deco Cat” which I have seen sell recently for as much as £90.00. The stretch bracelets, bangles and necklaces also have a distinct deco influence with the geometric squares and colours such as green, which were typically used in jewellery during the 1920s and 1930s. One of the more common designs and the one that Lea is most famous for, is the “Fox” pin; these come in all types of colours and patterns and are easily recognisable with their looped tail and outstretched paws. This particular design can be found in layered pattern, pearlized, snakeskin and even glitter. Costing as little as £30 to £35 upwards you could easily just concentrate on collecting the foxes, as there are so many pattern variations. In the 1970’s Lea Stein bought the licence to a French Children’s Television show called “L’ile aux Enfants” – this translated into English means “Isle of Children”. She reproduced the characters onto pins, which were only made during 1975. All the characters were from the programme and include “Casimir”, “Tiffins” and the really loveable “Calimero” who is a little black bird with an eggshell sitting on his head. These are extremely hard to come by and do not come up for sale very often, but if you do find one expect to pay £70 to £100. In the early eighties the company fell into financial trouble and had to cease trading. However, this was not the end of Lea Stein, after a break of 9 years she began making earrings out of the fox head pins and cat faces left over from the factory. She hasn’t stopped there either, now from her home in France Lea is still producing and coming up with new ideas, thus keeping up with the demand from collectors. Prices for Lea Stein vary from as little as £25 upwards, depending on whom and where you buy, but it is actually the more modern pieces that fetch higher prices as less quantities are being made compared to when Lea had a factory and was able to produce on a much higher scale. The more recent designs very rarely appear on the secondary market as collectors snap them up instantly. It is not just the distinctive patterns that make Lea Stein so recognisable, the “V” shaped clasp is the trademark and is signed “Lea Stein Paris” on the back although some earlier 1960s pieces do not have the signature. This clasp creates some confusion about distinguishing the vintage pieces from the more modern but I am reliably informed the only way to tell the age is by the designs themselves. There is discussion that the clasp gives away the age of a piece by whether it has been secured by being melted into the back of the pin or whether it has been riveted. This allegedly is not true, the type of design determines how the clasp is fastened and does not identify the age of the item. Another way to distinguish between earlier and later pieces are the back of the pins themselves, some of the lying down and upright cats have nasty white backing which generally means that they are later pieces. Early vintage designs to look out for are the “Tennis Lady” or “Diver” as she is also known, this particular pin was made between 1968 and 1980 and can cost around £65 – £70. “Rolls Royce”, “French Sailor”, “Saxophone” and even rock legend “Elvis” are also highly desirable to collectors, again made in the same time bracket and costing around the same price on the secondary market. One of the more modern pieces to look out for is the front facing panther. There are only a few on the open market as Fernand and Lea recalled it due to the fact that they were not entirely happy with the finished product. Other modern designs are the bears […]
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 […]