Monday, 31 May 2010

"Our Toy Zoo" illustrated by G.F. Christie, featuring amazing Steiff toys.

I think this dates from circa 1910 and has some amazing toys illustrated amongst it's pages. I have illustrated all twenty-four here, but I still can't manage to get them into order. I love this book it is for sale on my website, so if you like it, click onto the link at the top right.

Here is Tige the dog.
A wonderful early jointed monkey.
I can't find this hippo, but it obviously a toy, would be great if you found a Steiff one!!
Both these cats were made by Steiff, the Halloween one in the front, but the long necked one is very rare.

You can recognise these jointed donkeys by Steiff and also Missis from the Katzenjammer Kids.

Missis and Captain from the Katzenjammer Kids.
Tige the Dog from Buster Brown.
Here is a lovely Steiff Teddy Bear.

Jointed Teddy Elephant.

Look who is in the front Steiff's Man from Mars or Humpty Dumpty.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Very rare Suffragette tea set

I know this is not really related to the subjects in my blog, but I thought this was so wonderful I just had to share it. As you can see it's a tea set for one made in the form of rather ugly women. When I first saw this I knew exactly what it was; although in the auction I bought it from it was described as an Alice in Wonderland tea set and another person viewing said it was Queen Victoria. You can see it has nothing to do with Alice and Queen Victoria was really well respected, that I doubt she would be depicted so. It was the colours that told me what it was.
The Suffragettes, during their fight for the right to vote, adopted the secret colours of green (G), white (W) and violet (V). Give Women Votes. Often worn in the form of jewellery or worn as clothes, it was a code so you could see who else believed in your principles.
I believe the flower motif around the rims might have some meaning, but I haven't been able to find details of that. The set is made from bisque, an unglazed porcelain, although the insides are glazed. Probably German and dating from the very early 1900s.
There were a number of souvenirs made representing these women and mainly they were very much in the derogative style. Showing the women as ugly and mad!
The campaign reached it's peak during 1912, if you want to read more about it click here. It was the work and effort that women did during the first world war that resulted in a percentage of them being given the vote in 1918. It wasn't until 1928 that they were finally given the same voting rights as men!
Have you ever seen this set before? I can not find it listed anywhere, I would love to find other examples so I could find out what it is worth. I think I will live with it for a while until I find out.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Alice in Wonderland Panorama with Movable Pictures

Here is a wonderful book/panorama, printed by Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd. No.8594. The art work is by A.L. Bowley, this dates from the 1920s. The story is condensed into a verse which takes up three sides.

One of the sides with the verse on has an envelope for putting all the loose pieces in.
As you can see each page has three or four separate card figures or vignettes which are then slotted in to correspond with the verse.

Here is the cover. I think the illustrations are lovely on this, a little softer than Tenniel's.
It is a little damaged, but still a very good example of a rare item, I am going to be putting on my website for sale in the near future. I will let you know how well it sells.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The original Golliwog.

This is the actual Golly that belonged to Florence K Upton; now in the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, part of the V & A.

It was given to her as a toy in her childhood; an American made doll based on a travelling minstrel; these were often blacked up musicians. Often and strangely, blacked up black musicians. They were big hits of their day, a tradition which carried on into the 1960s, with The Black and White Minstrel Show.

Florence and her mother Bertha, who wrote the stories to Florence's illustrations, published their first book "The Adventures of two Dutch Dolls" (also shown in the photo above) in 1895.

They soon became a great success Golliwog becoming the star and hero in the following twelve books.

These three characters were original sold in a charity auction at Christie's to supply ambulances for the 1st World War; they were bought and presented to the Prime Minister at the time and lived for a very long time at Chequers, the country house of the PM. It was Margaret Thatcher who thought they might offend visiting dignitaries and sent them to Bethnal Green. Which is great as we can all enjoy them.

I think these are my favourite items at the museum. It is well worth a visit, have a look at their website to Museum of Childhood

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Norah Wellings catalogue

Here is a very interest Norah Wellings catalogue, dating from the 1930s. It is a fairly large format, almost A3.

I haven't managed to get the pages in order here, I also only took one photo of the doll pages, there were a lot more. I was most interested in the soft toy and Teddy Bear items.

Look how much these look like Steiff pom-pom animals.

Norah Wellings made few bears, here is one of them, dressed in a suit. Later on you will see one which is made as a pyjama case. This is about all you see in bears. I am sure you all recognise the distinct animals with velvet trousers; these turn up fairly often.

I think this elephant or mammoth looks rather nice, not sure I have seen him before.

The monkeys are rather scary sometimes. I recently sold a very large display version, which I will blog about later. He had the most amazing intense eyes. My nieces and nephews were very scared!

These two pages are pyjama and handkerchief case, monkeys, what looks like a donkey and the bear is below.

The two long legged birds either side of the duck are interesting. I have one which has turned wood bead legs; I believe these were for hanging in a babies cot or pram.

Some dollies, I wish I had photographed the other pages now. Don't you think they look very like Lenci dolls?
This is the cover, made of fairly thick card.

I hope you liked looking through this. Sorry it's been a while since my last post. My laptop died and his has taken a while to get up and running with my new MacBook. It's all a bit strange..

More later... Daniel

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh

The other week I spent a wonderful few hours going around this museum, it is on the Royal Mile which runs from Edinburgh Castle, to Holyrood Palace (the Queen's official residence, when she is in Scotland). The museum is towards the Palace end and the best thing is that it is free to enter. There are a number of floors showing all sorts of dolls, dolls' houses, rocking horses, games, toys and Teddy Bears. Here are a few highlights to tempt you in. I will include a few more over the next few days.

This young ladies is one of the stars of the doll room, she is a Bru, she appears to be all original with bisque forearms.

I was fairly taken with this cabinet, it had some great characters. I love these three old men in the center, they are British politicians, very topical for the run up the election. There is Lloyd George and two others, which I need to look up. I didn't make a note of them rather stupidly, if you recognise them, let me know.

There is a very good selection of Teddy Bears, here are a few including Steiffs, but my favourite in this photograph is the Bing Teddy Bear with a red tinplate clockwork ball, he dates from around 1910 and follows the ball around the room when wound up.

Here is the view of the outside of the museum.

Opening time for this Edinburgh museum are:

Monday through to Saturday 10am until 6pm, that's from June to September,
and 10am until 5pm October until May.
Sundays 2pm until 5pm (only during the Edinburgh Festival).