Lyons Tea Advertising Signs information and price guide
Lyons Tea enamel advertising signs were produced in the UK from the 1920s onwards and remained popular until the 1960s. They were typically rectangular in shape and usually featured the words LYONS’ TEA in some format. The signs were hung in tea rooms and other public places such as railway stations as a way of promoting the brand. Many of the signs feature a slogan such as “Always the Best”, “Over One Million Packets Sold Daily”, and “A Packet for Every Pocket”. Variations can be found in the shape, size and some were double sided so could be viewed from two ways. Most have the striking blue and orange / yellow colours of the brand.
For many people, they evoke a bygone era of British society when tea was an important part of everyday life. Today, these vintage signs are highly collectible and can fetch significant sums at auction. Being enamel and many were attached outside some signs can be worn and have enamel loss. Near mint and fine examples fetch a premium.
We take a look at some Lyons Tea Advertising Sign examples along with a realised auction Lyons Tea Advertising Signs price guide. (Click for current Lyon’s Tea signs on ebay.co.uk and ebay.com).
The examples shown give a good indication to main size and varieties of the Lyons Tea Advertising Signs produced. In general the more enamel and brighter the sign the more they will probably cost at auction.
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The Martin Brother’s pottery was established at Pomona House, Fulham, London, in 1873, moving to Southall in 1877. Of the four Martin Brothers, Walter Fraser, Edwin, Charles and Robert Wallace, it is Robert who as the chief modeler and designer of the pottery is best known today. They made very distinctive stonewares and while the Martin Brother’s are perhaps best known for producing the grotesque or ‘Wally’ bird tobacco jars, and mugs and jugs decorated with grotesque faces, this formed only a relatively small part of their production. Pictured right – An imposing large Robert Wallace Martin stoneware bird jar dated 1882 black-painted wood socle, flange inscribed R. W. Martin, Sc./Southall Pottery, 2-11-1882, base inscribed R. W. Martin/London/& Southall/1882. height 25 1/2 in. (64.8 cm.)., from the Sotheby’s Harriman Judd Collection of British Art Pottery, New York in 2001 sold for $81,250. Initially, architectural works were produced for which Charles as business manager and developer was largely responsible. The vessels, large and small, the form often inspired by vegetables, can be incised with birds amongst grasses or birds perched in branches, or aquatic life, and were inspired by 18th century illustrations, executed in Japanese style. Pictured left – A Robert Wallace Martin monumental stoneware vase circa 1880 incised with birds and palm trees, (firing cracks at foot), impressed MARTIN. height 42 in. (1.07m.)., from the Sotheby’s Harriman Judd Collection of British Art Pottery, New York in 2001 sold for $7,200. A few wealthy or farsighted individuals who saw the individually expressive and original thought that had gone into the creation of the pieces largely bought the wares produced. The final firing of the Southall kiln was in 1914 with only a small percentage of the wares being successful, as had been the case in the last few firings. Pictured left -A Martin Brothers stoneware small double-sided face jug dated 1910 inscribed Martin Bros./London & Sout hall, 5-1910. height 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm.), from the Sotheby’s Harriman Judd Collection of British Art Pottery, New York in 2001 sold for $5,700. The majority of pieces made by the Martin Brothers at Southall bear the mark RW Martin & Brothers London & Southall along with a number and date. Pieces inscribed and attributed to Robert Wallace Martin himself tend to be the most valuable. Related British Pottery Overview Martin Brothers Pottery at auction
The Festival of Britain was a national event that took place in 1951. This event was meant to celebrate the end of World War II and commemorate the reconstruction of Britain. The festival was designed by architect Hugh Casson and artist Herbert Read, and it included exhibits, performances, and food from all over the world. We look at the Festival and some of the memorabilia created for the event. The Festival of Britain was a national event that took place in 1951 It was intended to celebrate the country’s achievements and to promote a sense of hope and unity after the difficult years of World War II. The festival included a wide range of events and attractions, including art exhibitions, concerts, sports competitions, and trade fairs. More than 8 million people attended the festival, which was widely considered to be a success. In subsequent years, the festival became an important part of British culture, helping to shape the country’s identity in the post-war era. The festival was designed by architect Hugh Casson and artist Herbert Read The Festival of Britain was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was the brainchild of Labour politician Herbert Morrison, the event was seen as a way to boost morale and a ‘tonic for the nation’ in the aftermath of World War Two and to showcase the best of British art and culture. Hugh Casson, an architect and designer, was appointed as Director of Architecture for the festival. He oversaw the construction of several iconic buildings, including the Royal Festival Hall and the Skylon. Artist Herbert Read was also heavily involved in the festival, curating an exhibition of modern art that included works by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore. Together, Casson and Read helped to make The Festival of Britain a resounding success, cementing their place in history as two of the most influential figures involved in the event. A bomb site on London’s South Bank was transformed into a number of Pavillions, and buildings including the Royal Festival Hall, a miniature railway designed by Rowland Emmett and even a giant funfair. The festival celebrated the end of World War II and commemorated the reconstruction of Britain The Festival of Britain was a national event that took place in 1951, celebrating the end of World War II and commemorating the reconstruction of Britain. The festival was open to the public and featured a wide range of attractions, including an exhibition on the history of British science and technology, a Central Zone with a variety of shops and restaurants, and a South Bank site with an auditorium, gardens, and a funfair. Over 8 million people visited the festival, making it one of the most successful events in British history. The festival helped to lift the nation’s spirits after the war and served as a symbol of hope for the future. It is remembered as a major turning point in British culture, paving the way for the “Swinging Sixties” and beyond. The festival included exhibits, performances, and food from all over the world One of the most iconic features of the festival was the different pavilions that were built to showcase different aspects of British life. The Transport Pavilion showcased the latest in British engineering, while the Technology Pavilion showed off the latest advances in science and technology. There was also an Arts Pavilion, which featured exhibitions from British artists, and a Housing Pavilion, which showcased the latest in British architecture. Each pavilion was designed to be a unique and exciting experience, and visitors to the festival loved exploring all the different areas. The most popular pavilion was the Dome of Discovery, which featured an exhibition on the history of science and technology. Other popular attractions included the Royal Albert Hall, where concerts and operas were held, and the Festival Gardens, which featured food from all over the world. Importantly, it also acted as a catalyst for a new design aesthetic, launching the career of noted British designers working in the fields of textiles, furniture and graphic design. Festival of Britain memorabilia The famous symbol of The Festival of Britain was Britannia which featured bunting, union jack colours, and a compass shape. It combined national pride and the idea of a seafaring superpower with the homely feel of a village fete. It was designed by Abram Games who won a competition in 1948 to create a logo for the event. Abram Games had previously been noted as an Official War Poster Artist. The ‘Britannia’ emblem of Abram Games was common, versatile, and memorable, appearing on advertising posters and promotional materials. It was also used on a whole range of memorabilia and souvenirs created for the event ranging from pottery to glass, books, jigsaw puzzles, clocks, cufflinks, even a Dunhill Aquarium Lighter, and many other items. Other items were also created which featured re-workings of the original logo and other designers such as Ruth Pavely and Norman Makinson. Related The Festival of Britain at the V&A Articles The World War II Posters of Abram Games
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Pictured left: LAUREL, STAN AND OLIVER HARDY. Photograph Signed (“Stan Laurel” and “Oliver Hardy”), 8 by 10 inch silver print, of both men wearing bowler hats, signed at lower margin and additionally inscribed “Hello Charles!” tipped to mat with archival tape, framed. Sold for $671 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams, California, April 2011. Image Copyright Bonhams. Laurel and Hardy Autographs At the heart of every Laurel and Hardy Collection will be autographs and signed photographs. Autographs of the pair range from $150 (£100) to $450 (£300), with some signed documents going for more. Laurel and Hardy signed photographs start at $450 (£300) with sort after and exceptional images fetching significant premiums. Composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and heavy American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957) they became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. They made over 100 films together, initially two-reelers (short films) before expanding into feature length films in the 1930s. Their films include Sons of the Desert (1933), the Academy Award winning short film The Music Box (1932), Babes in Toyland (1934), and Way Out West (1937). Hardy’s catchphrase “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” is still widely recognized. Pictured left: A Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy set of shirts from “Bonnie Scotland” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1935. Both made of gray wool, collarless with four-button front closure; Laurel’s has added striped collar detail; each have Western Costume Company labels reading “Laurel 2148 15 2” and “Hardy 2150 18 2;” each have additional ‘WCC’ stamps on inside; worn by the duo as they played characters who had their same real names; both pieces altered for later use. Included are reprinted images showing the two in costume. Sold for $4,575 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams, Los Angeles, June 2010. Image Copyright Bonhams. Prior to the double act both were established actors with Laurel appearing in over 50 films and Hardy in over 250 films. Although the two comedians first worked together on the film The Lucky Dog (1921), this was a chance pairing and it was not until 1926, when both separately signed contracts with the Hal Roach film studio, that they began appearing in movie shorts together. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team the following year in the silent short film Putting Pants on Philip (1927). The pair remained with the Roach studio until 1940, then appeared in eight “B” comedies for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1941 to 1945. Pictured right:Stan Laurel’s trademark Bowler Hat, the undersized black felt bowler hat, with black grosgrain ribbon trim — worn by Stan Laurel circa 1930s – 1940s, signed and inscribed inside To Anne, Stan Laurel; accompanied by a two page autographed letter in Stan Laurel’s hand, on Laurel And Hardy Feature Productions illustrated and headed paper, 511 Pacfic Mutual Building, Los Angeles California, November 28th, 1941 to Anne, thanking her for her correspondence and Hope you recd. the photos and also the hat… Am also enclosing you a little song book of parodies that was sent to me, thought you may enjoy it and get a few laughs.; the song bookSing-A-Laff by L. Wolfe Gilbert as mentioned and an early photograph of Stan Laurel inscribed in Laurels hand To Anne From Sweet Sixteen!! — 7×4½in. (18×11.5cm.); and stamped envelope. Sold for £26,250 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Christies, London, November 23rd 2011. Image Copyright Christies. After finishing their movie commitments at the end of 1944, they concentrated on stage shows, embarking on a music hall tour of England, Ireland, and Scotland. In 1950 they made their last film, a French/Italian co-production called Atoll K, before retiring from the screen. In total they appeared together in 107 films. They starred in 40 short sound films, 32 short silent films and 23 full-length feature films, and made 12 guest or cameo appearances, including the recently discovered Galaxy of Stars promotional film (1936). Pictured left: Laurel and Hardy, Nothing But Trouble MGM, 1945, half-sheet, style B, condition B-. 22 x 28in. Sold for $568 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams Los Angeles June 2006. Image Copyright Bonhams. Image Copyright Bonhams. A common comedy routine was a tit-for-tat fight. Their silent film Big Business (1929), which includes one of these routines, was added to the Library of Congress as a national treasure in 1992. Notable Laurel traits included crying like a baby while being berated and scratching his hair when in shock. On December 1, 1954, the team made their only American television appearance, surprised by Ralph Edwards on his live NBC-TV program, This Is Your Life. Pictured right: Rare bisque headed Laurel and Hardy wind-up toys, Hertwig & Co Germany 1920’s. Well moulded bisque heads and hats with painted features, card cylinder bodies with wooden lower arms and metal feet, wearing black and white felt suits with bow ties, mechanism to body and key to rear when wound the figures move about, both 20cm (8in) tall. Sold for £3,600 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, May 2008. Image Copyright Bonhams. The works of Laurel and Hardy have been re-released in numerous theatrical reissues, television revivals, 16mm and 8mm home movies, feature-film compilations, and home video since the 1930s. They were voted the seventh greatest comedy act in a 2005 UK poll by fellow comedians. The duo’s signature tune, known variously as “The Cuckoo Song”, “Ku-Ku”, or “The Dance of the Cuckoos”, played on the opening credits of their films. The official Laurel and Hardy appreciation society is known as The Sons of the Desert, after a fraternal society in their film of the same name. Pictured left: Laurel and Hardy – A collection of character dolls modelled as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, comprising: a pair of wind-up dolls — ½in. (14cm.) high, a pair of plastic squeezie […]
We all know the Whimsies and other small ornaments produced by Wade, but during the fifties, sixties and seventies, the company also issued a huge range of unusual, often downright eccentric products, very much of their time. Pipe Rests, for example – when was the last time you saw someone smoking a pipe? Yet even in the seventies, it was a very manly occupation, especially amongst older men, whose idea of comfort was to sit by the fire, dressed in a baggy knitted cardigan, corduroy slacks and a pair of comfy slippers, pipe in hand. Wade made a series of pipe rests, each decorated with a china dog, and they continued to be made until the early1980s. Presumably, they were deemed ‘manly’ at the time, but nowadays, the pipe rests just look quaint. They are becoming harder to find as collectors begin to home in on nostalgia. Each light-green pipe rest consisted of a circular base approximately 3 inches in diameter, and the pipe fitted neatly into the hollow of the base with the stem resting in a groove. The dogs included a Cairn, Alsatian, Red Setter, Yorkshire Terrier and a Corgi. The Yorkie and Corgi seem to be more difficult to find than the other four in the set.Dogs must have been very popular then, as another range produced by Wade at the same time also featured dogs, with just one token cat. This range were little dishes known as pin-trays, and were in the shape of dog baskets, each containing a puppy. Although most of these are easy to find, there are a couple which are rarer, and collectors will probably need to pay around £20 for these if they want to complete the set. The cat, though, often turns up. In all there were eleven baskets, glazed in muted shades of brown and beige, measuring 3 x 2 inches. Puppy breeds included were the young of the dogs on the Pipe Rests, and each can be found either standing or lying. The colouration depended on the breed; honey, dark brown, red-brown or grey and brown, and the features were highlighted in brown. Each little dog was well-detailed – often, these Wade models aren’t appreciated until closely examined. The cat – a light brown tabby, 2 inches high, seems to tower over the puppies. His basket is a rich chocolate brown rather than the beige/grey of the dogs. He sits bolt upright, and sometimes has startling green eyes, though frequently they are pale. A cat also features in one of the most beautiful dishes which Wade has ever produced. This little hanging plaque/dish, first issued on the late 1950s, measures just over 3 inches across, and portrays a pointed, Siamese-type face, large blue side-glancing eyes and a benign expression. The realistically moulded fur follows the contours of the face. Wade collectors easily recognise the unmistakable, high-gloss glaze in a mix of blue and beige, which featured on so many pieces from this era. The items gleam when they are polished with a soft cloth, and are a joy. It seems fashionable to look down on fifties and sixties Wade at the moment, but some of these pieces are stunning, in both design and colouring. A companion piece to the cat face dish was the Pekinese dog dish, using the same colourway. Other dishes include an attractive angel fish and a bloater, again using this glaze, while, continuing the seaside theme, the Starfish pin tray is a pretty and easily found item. This six-armed creature has intricate details in the modelling. The striking blue/beige finish was used to great effect on many Wade items, many of which today’s collectors think of as classic pieces, and which are still very affordable. This colouring is eye-catching yet subtle. One of my favourite pieces is the neat and compact Crab Box, a particularly tactile item. Measuring just under 4 inches across, this little box is in two halves, with the crab’s shell lifting off to reveal a trinket dish beneath. The legs of the crab tuck neatly at the sides with two large pincers at the front, while the shell is beautifully moulded with spots and bumps, recreating the pitted texture of a crab. Crab Boxes sell today for around £20 – an absolute bargain for such a well-designed item! Other Wade trinket boxes include the Hedgehog Dish and the Treasure Chest, both in a honey/brown glaze. The Hedgehog’s spiny back lifts off disclosing a shallow tray beneath, while the Chest is a more conventional square box. Expect to pay £20 for the Hedgehog and £10 for the more easily obtained Treasure Chest. One of the easiest quirky items to find is the ubiquitous Viking Ship, which also utilises the blue/beige glaze. This is another Wade classic piece and seems to turn up everywhere. Consequently it is often treated with disdain, yet the modelling on this graceful ship is exceptional; it has a dragon’s head at one end, a dragon’s tail at the other, and a row of six circular shields decorating the hull, with the planking clearly marked out. There are even moulded waves. The ship measures 7 inches from prow to stern and can be also be found in deep-brown patterned with either blue or green. Originally, the Viking Ship was sold as a vase, but it is just perfect as a small ornament. First issued in 1959, it was withdrawn in 1965, and reissued during the 1970s. Vases featured prominently in Wade’s range of products, amongst them, as you might expect, several unusual ones – for instance, not many companies would have thought to issue a small posy vase bearing a figurine of a chimpanzee! The vase is shaped like a green tree trunk, with a 2 inch high dark grey chimp, in a typical scratching-under-the-arm type pose, standing to one side. In similar vein is the Koala Posy Vase which has a 1 inch beige black-nosed koala perched rather uncomfortably on a small branch.The vase itself is just an […]
Arthur Gredington was one of the leading animal modellers of the 20th Century, not only for Beswick but in the world of ceramics . He was responsible for the creation of nearly 400 models (well over 400 with pieces he collaborated on), some of which will probably be in your own or a relatives china cabinet. Arthur Noel Gredington (1903-1971) was born in 1903 and after studying at the Royal College, at the age of 32, he took a position in 1939 at Beswick as their first resident modeller. Prior to this modellers at Beswick were employed on a freelance basis. His first model was a Deer on Base (model no 696) which was produced in a natural, flambe and blue glazed editions. He was able to design any animal but his speciality was horses and dogs. The 1938 Epsom Derby winner Bois Roussell was the subject of Gredington’s first racehorse and breeders reproduction model for which Beswick were to become famous. Later racehorse models included the famous Arkle. Beswick often produced different colourways of models including Bois Roussell which as well as the original brown was also produced in grey. With variations and colourways the range of Gredington horse models available to collectors is over 200, whereas the actual number of actual designs created is around 70. Gredington’s realism and accuracy in his models made them very popular with collectors and his champion models were especially sought by the farming community. Gredington was also responsible for many comic and licensed designs. These include the Cat Orchestra and Courting Penguins in 1945, In 1948 Beswick secured the right to reproduce a range of 10 Beatrix Potter earthenware characters, the first of which was Jemima Puddle-Duck which was designed by Gredington. Other character included cartoon, storybook figures, character animals and even designs for Disney including the Seven Dwarfs. When Gredington retired in 1968 he left a legacy of creations which are still collected today. Arthur Gredingtona and Beswick related Beswick Girl on Jumping Horse No 939 Beswick Zimmy Lion Price and Value Guide
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.
Flirty Thirties – Sophistication And Elegance – Dolls in The 1930s by Sue Brewer Lights! Camera! Action! This was the decade of the movie idol. People from all walks of life filled cinemas to watch glamorous actors and actresses on the big screen, escaping everyday worries as they drifted on a sea of music and romance. Stars became household names – though, unlike today’s celebrities, managing to retain their mystique in a waft of fur, satin, diamonds and aloofness. 1930 opened with a literal high for women when Amy Johnson became the first female aviator to fly solo from England to Australia. Sadly, the year ended with a tragic aviation low when the airship R101, on its inaugural flight from England to India, crashed in France, exploding in flames with a loss of 48 lives. The early years of the decade were a combination of emotions as light-hearted young people danced the night away to jazzy music, contrasting with despair and poverty faced by millions as the Depression, following the earlier U.S. Wall Street Crash, hit home. Characterised by instability, with changes of governments, unrest amongst lower-paid workers and, amazingly, three kings in one year (1936), the Thirties were turbulent times. Germany was proving a constant threat, and a sense of unease permeated the atmosphere – this was sensed even in the fashion industry, where clothing became more simple and casual, as though preparing women for the lean times ahead. Even so, it certainly wasn`t all doom and gloom. A magnificent 1000 ft. liner, the ‘Queen Mary’, was launched in 1934; cruising was the height of fashion amongst the upper classes, and this magnificent ship with its Art Deco design, was deservedly popular. Sophisticated, elegant and stylish, just like her passengers, she summed up the very best of the decade. On her maiden cruise she arrived in New York to find the harbour filled with a welcoming armada and cheering crowds lining the shore. Millionaires, dukes, heiresses and, of course, film stars, adored the ship – this was the height of luxury and style. The rising movie culture was enthusiastically embraced, and elaborate cinemas with velvet seats and plush fittings were built at a frenzied pace. Soon it seemed that every town had its own ‘Picture Palace’ where audiences could lose themselves in a fantasy world. This was the era of Busby Berkely, a choreographer who directed amazing dance routines featuring dozens of feather-clad performers, and many films featured song and dance numbers. Glamorous stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Fred Astaire, Greta Garbo and Mae West made the cinema the place to be, while ‘The Wizard of Oz’ starring a young Judy Garland, was released in 1939, just one of the many classic movies which appeared during the decade. Two years earlier, Disney had produced his first-ever full-length cartoon, ‘Snow White’, allowing companies such as Chad Valley to make stunning commemorative dolls. Additionally, a golden-haired tot called Shirley Temple became such a cinema cult that she was created in doll-form to thrill both British and American girls alike, while sassy cartoon star, Betty Boop, was such a hit that she is still adored today. By the mid-thirties, composition had largely overtaken bisque as the best medium for doll manufacture, and while many dolls made by this method were almost as beautiful as their elegant bisque forbears, others were much more crude with slapdash face painting and basic moulding. Some of the bisque manufacturers switched to composition, while new companies evolved, keen to take advantage of the fashion for a medium which didn`t require firing in hot kilns. America had a particularly extensive doll industry at this time and amongst the classic dolls developed were Dy-Dee, Patsy and Shirley Temple. The first Shirley Temple dolls appeared in the shops in 1934, sporting a red and white spotted dress resembling the outfit the little girl wore in ‘Stand Up and Cheer’. The dolls were made by Ideal, using a kind of wood-pulp composition, and their success ensured that Shirley Temple dolls would continue to be produced for several years, wearing costumes from her various films. Additionally, extra outfits and accessories could be purchased, including a beautiful dolls pram. Composition Shirley Temple dolls were finally discontinued in 1939 as interest had waned. Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, a combination of nostalgia plus new interest in Shirley, led Ideal to release an updated range, this time using modern vinyl. Today, Shirley Temple dolls are still produced for collectors by companies such as Danbury Mint. In Britain, Cascelloid experimented making baby dolls from a material they called ‘Plastex’, which was a glue-reinforced unbreakable composition, while companies such as D. G. Todd, British National Dolls and Pedigree produced various composition dolls to a fairly basic design. These were the dolls which would later prove such comfort to children huddled in air-raid shelters, or, alternatively, be the one reminder of home to a child taken to the safety of the countryside, parted from her mother. Britain – in fact the world – was rocked in 1936 when Edward VIII, renounced his throne in order to marry American heiress Wallis Simpson. She was divorced, and so was unable to become queen. In a broadcast at the time, Edward declared that he could not carry on ‘without the help and support of the woman I love`. Instead, Edward`s brother reigned as George VI, and his delightful wife Elizabeth became universally loved, later becoming affectionately known as ‘The Queen Mum’. Before the 1939 hostilities began, the decade was an elegant age, with evening wear influenced by the slinky, sparkly gowns worn by stars such as Ginger Rogers, who whirled around the dance floors in the arms of Fred Astaire. Women embraced a feminine, curvy look, simple by daytime and stunning by night. Schiaparelli, the classic Italian designer, promoted the zip fastener which at the time had been scarcely used in fashionable clothing. At last, it was unnecessary to employ a maid to do up all those hooks […]
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!
Zookies are super, large, colourful character-type creatures are great fun to collect. During the 1950s, a number of companies began manufacturing ranges of animals, hoping that people would go on to collect several in a set. Wade introduced their exceedingly popular Whimsies – delicate, realistically-modelled porcelain miniature animals and birds – and a company called J. H. Weatherby & Sons Ltd. in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, decided to do the complete opposite, producing a series of sturdy comical animals which they called Zookies. An advertising leaflet from 1957 read, ` People who buy one, buy another and another and buy them for their friends too!` According to records, forty-four different Zookie models were designed, though it`s possible that some of the later ones never made it into production. The average height of a Zookie is four inches, but because of the nature of the modelling – they are stocky, chunky creatures – they appear much larger. Some of them seem to resemble popular Disney characters of the time, while others have comical faces and look just as though they’ve stepped from the pages of a child’s book. Most are colourful, and they all have a high gloss finish, similar to Wade products. It seems that some of the range must have been more popular than others because the tiger, rabbit, elephant, koala and sad dog are much easier to find than, for instance, the pony, pelican or tortoise. The pieces are easy to identify as the majority are marked `Weatherby, England` on the base. Sometimes the word `Hanley` is there, too. Weatherby and Sons Ltd. (who often used the name Falcon Ware), was an old-established company. Founded in Stoke-on-Trent in 1891, they began by manufacturing tableware, toilet sets and vases, later supplying china to the hotel and catering trade. It wasn`t until after the second world war that the company decided to move in to the giftware line. They produced such items as `Chuckleheads` (cups and saucers shaped like animals), `Beasties` (dinosaurs), commemorative items, dwarf figurines and tableware (including a range of small trays) often decorated with 1960s favourite images such as gonks, Butlins and daleks. A range of realistic animal ornaments were also made. The company was not connected with the Falcon Works, Longton, makers of Sylvac. Because of the bulk of the pieces, the creatures tend to look larger than they really are – the giraffe seems tall, yet is only five-and-a-half inches high. He has been modelled in a seated position, with a benevolent expression on his face, and is bright yellow with brown markings. The tiger cub is similarly coloured – he is one of the most commonly-found models, and has an open, laughing mouth. Surprisingly, the zebra also follows the orange and brown colour scheme, rejecting his usual black and white garb for a more-colourful coat. The seal, with unusual black heart-shaped eyes, is probably the longest piece at six-and-three-quarter inches – slightly longer than the sinister green crocodile, who is opening his mouth in a `welcoming grin`. Most substantial of the Zookies is the standing baby elephant, even though his actual height is only four-and-a-half inches. This large-eared creature with his raised, curled t runk, happy face and long-lashed eyes is very similar to Disney`s Dumbo. A seated elephant was also made but is much harder to find. Dogs were the most popular pets during the 1950s, which probably accounts for the variety of canine Zookies – there are seven different models, including one which is the spitting image of Disney`s Tramp, while the sad brown spaniel greatly resembles his girl-friend, Lady. Then there is a happy mutt with sticking up ears, a solemn boxer, a dignified poodle and two mournful dachshunds. Occasionally you might come across the grey and white cat with a ball of wool, but that is quite rare, as is the large blue/grey mule. Other rare Zookies include the tortoise, frog, kangaroo, rabbit holding a flower, ass and monkey. One of the most easily found is the laughing rabbit (some people call him a dog but he definitely has bunny teeth!) wearing either a red or a green jacket with one large button. There seems to be slightly more red jackets than green, but both are common. Another frequently found piece is the koala, though surprisingly he usually sells for double the price of the rabbit, possibly because he is popular with teddy bear collectors. The koala isn`t quite so characterised as the other Zookies, but is very cute and is nutmeg brown. His eyes are smaller than most of the other creatures in the range, and he has the typical, flat koala nose. Another delightful animal is the lamb, who seems to be about to leap. His white and grey fleece has been cleverly moulded to give a nubbly appearance. Usually, the lamb faces to the left but apparently it is possible to find one facing the opposite way. The horse is very spirited with braced legs, large eyes, long tail held high and ears pricked. He has a glossy chestnut coat and a black bridle. Other animals include a fat brown smiling hippo, a delightful camel with splayed legs, a skunk with a raised tail and his paws over his nose, a sideways-glancing monkey and a deer seated in a Bambi-esque pose. Birds aren`t neglected in the Zookie series. A handsome toucan, perching on a branch, has black and white plumage, a red head and long, curved, yellow beak. The two ducks are really comical, and are in complete contrast, as one is long and thin with an open beak and small feet, the other is short and fat with a closed beak and big feet. They are both bright green, the thin one having a red head. According to the Falcon Ware book, the thin duck was available in two sizes. The rather rare pelican is grey, with a yellow bib and beak. He is seated, while the dignified penguin adopts a typical upright stance. It`s strange […]
Britain is a nation of gardeners; I’ve heard that 80% of houses in Britain have private gardens, covering an area twice as large as Surrey. That’s fifteen million gardens in our green and pleasant land. Every weekend sees thousands of us making our way to garden centres, where we choose plants, bulbs, seeds and sundries to try to make our garden beautiful. Slugs, aphids and caterpillars eat most of them, but gardeners are a tolerant bunch – it’s not just the plants, it’s the general feeling of well-being and of feeling at one with nature which urges us to plunge our hands into the soil to embed yet another plant into the ground. Pictured right: Alpine Strawberry by Roy Kirkham plate Some of us build conservatories, or maybe garden shelters, so that we can use the garden as an extension of our homes even when the weather is inclement. We dot ornaments around the flower beds, nesting boxes and insect homes along the garden walls and we build ponds and fountains so birds can bathe. When we dine in the garden, we use floral plates, butterfly-decorated glasses, flowery cutlery – and all these things can be deemed collectable, whether you use vintage pieces or go for modern or retro designs. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still create a garden feel indoors by collecting items with a floral or naturalistic theme. I’ve known people who have created an indoor garden by displaying pretty flowered plates against white wall-mounted trellis and hanging a few indoor plants to enhance the effect. Another way of ‘garden collecting’ is to collect old gardening items, from tools to seed packets, and from statues to lawnmowers. The most obvious choice for garden collectables is probably the well-known ‘Botanic Garden’ range of tableware made by Portmeirion pottery. Portmeirion, though, have produced many other beautiful designs which would look stunning at an alfresco meal. Pictured right: 1980s Portmeirion British Birds One of my personal favourites is the ‘British Birds’ design, based on illustrations from the Natural History of British Birds by Edward Donovan, published in 1794. Forty birds were featured in the collection, and because the designs are in a antiquated style the pieces have a timeless quality about them, which is probably why they have remained in production for so long. This pattern was originally conceived in 1974, and sadly is not now sold in Britain, though is still available in America. I acquired my items in the 1980s when visiting the shop in Portmeirion village, but pieces do crop up at collector’s fairs. Pictured left: Portmeirion Strawberry Fair I’m also very fond of the ‘Strawberry Fair’ decoration – perfect for serving scones on a summer’s day – and the ‘Pomona’ design of varieties of fruits. There are many other Portmeirion designs with a ‘garden’ theme, amongst them the recent ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ which is based on the popular picture book by Eric Carle. Incidentally, if you are visiting North Wales, do try to visit the village of Portmeirion. The pottery isn’t made there, though there is a shop selling the current range – but the village is stunningly quirky. It’s as though a slice of a sleepy Italian village has been deposited on a beautiful stretch of Welsh coastline; it’s a restful place and one of my all-time special spots. Pictured right: Meakin Poppy Jug 1960s Many ranges of tableware from the 1960s and 70s employed the flower motif – these were the days of flower power. Think Meakin, for the delicate pink floral ‘Filigree’ design, or the more bold ‘Poppy’, while ‘Topic’, with its blue stylised flowers is classic 60s elegance. Even more stylised is the swirling 1960s ‘Spanish Garden’ from Midwinter, while their ‘Country Garden’, with its pattern of leaves and buds symmetrically curling from either side of a large blue and pink flower, is beautiful. It would be impossible to mention all the floral ranges – practically every manufacturer of tableware has included a floral design at one time – but they range from delicate chintz type patterns to vibrant, bold roses. Pictured left: 1960s Meakin Filigree & Viners Love Story Floral china is perfect for a meal in the garden on a summer’s day, and can be themed with pretty cutlery, such as the 1960s’ Viner’s ‘Love Story’ which bears a design of tiny silver daisies. Don’t forget glasses; there are plenty of beautiful designs to look out for, both vintage and modern, featuring flowers, leaves or butterflies. You could look out for a suitable vintage tablecloth, too – ‘lazy daisy’ stitch was very popular in the 1930s, 40s and 50s and will complement your garden theme. If you’re worried about risking your treasured china in the garden, then there are plenty of modern plastic pieces around – and some, such as the gorgeous retro sixties floral designs which Asda came up not so long ago, might even become future classics! As well as tablecloths, other fabric items can be used outside including cushions, throws and canopies; look out for vintage patterns, such as the large-flowered round-petalled daisy types from the 1960s and the bold flowered orange and deep green 1970s’ designs. It’s best, though, to bring them in at night as they could get damp, and also not to keep them in the sunlight for too long, in case they fade. Floral handbags and scarves, or wicker shopping baskets and hampers look good artlessly dotted around at a garden party or a get-together. They add an element of fun, and are a great way of displaying a collection of traditional or retro items. I’m a Simon Drew fan – he is an artist with a quirky sense of humour. He’s based at Dartmouth where he has a shop and gallery, and many of his designs are based on puns such as a ‘receding hare’ or ‘joined up whiting’. Some of his garden themes, including ‘Incapability Brown’ have been featured in a range of ‘bug proof’ mugs. They come […]