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East Liverpool, Ohio was a community where pottery and glass manufacturers abounded, including Knowles, Cameo, Harker, Homer Laughlin and many others. One name that stands out from the bunch among vintage pottery collectors however is The Hall China Company.
When Mikey first opened his office in Arlington, whatever for no one really knows, he really wanted to make an impression so he rented a nice place. However, being as cheap as he is he cajoled his flea market buddies until they practically gave him some antiques and collectibles to decorate his office. So the first day in the office, a man came walking in and Mikey wanted to make himself look busy. He picked up the phone and pretended to have a big deal working. He threw some huge numbers around and made some commitments. After about five minutes he hangs up the phone and asks the visitor if he could help him. The man says, “Yeah, I’ve come to activate your phone lines.”
In England this past week, people paid thousands of dollars for memorabilia and ephemera belonging to long time royal servant William Tallon. Mr. Tallon had been serving the royal family for about 51 years as such got more than acquainted with them. In turn, they gave him many photos, paintings, letters and Christmas cards. Among these was a letter from the late Queen Mother to Mr. Tallon asking him to pack Dubonnet and gin with her belongings “in case it is needed.” Mr. Tallon passed away in November at the age of 72 but his worldly possession brought in more almost $1 million at the auction.
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On January 9, 1935 an important birth happened in Germany. It is the date on which the very popular and wildly collectible Hummel Figurines were born. In actuality, this was the day that Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel signed the contract with Goebel Porzellan that allowed them to transform her drawings into the lovable figurines that we are most familiar with. The contract also gave Goebel exclusivity in the manufacturer of the figurines that bore the M.I. Hummel name.
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel was born Berta Hummel in the rural town of Massing in Bavaria in Germany. As a child she already had the attributes that make a great artist, she was curious, observant and she was creative. Her surroundings provided her plenty of backdrops and characters for her drawings and by the age of 6 she impressed not only her classmates, but the nuns at the catholic school she attended. At the age of 12, she entered the Institute of English Sisters, Marienhoehe to begin her formal art training. She later studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich, Germany. She began painting pictures of children which then would be made into postcards, which is how she came to the attention of Goebel.
In 1903 Robert Hall opened a The Hall China Company and it was later run and operated by his son Robert Taggart Hall who went back to the basics and began manufacturing using the single fire process that had been used centuries before by the Chinese. The single fire process was preferable to Hall because it allowed the glaze to adhere and melt into the body of the pottery. This in turn produced pottery that was not only strong, but it also did not craze and more importantly, it was lead free.
Another important achievement for this company was the fact that they were able to produce beautiful pottery with luminous and bright colors. This is especially evident in the collectible teapots and pitchers that they produce. One collectible that has been produced for about 60 years, from the 1920’s to the 1980’s, was their very popular Jewel Tea line. This came about when The Jewel Tea Company gave Hall teapots away as promotional gifts. The program was later expanded by both companies to include many other dinnerware items.
The town of Liverpool, Ohio, has seen many of the old pottery, china and glass companies come and go, but one has been constant since 1903 and that has been The Hall China Company. Over 100 years later they are still producing top of the line products and collectors are still clamoring to pick up pieces for their collections.
The Virginia Highlands Festival runs this year from July 26 - August 10, 2008 in the town of Abingdon, in the foothills of the Appalachians, just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Festival, which began in 1948, has grown over the years and today is one of the top 100 tourist events in North America. The Virginia Highlands Festival is renowned for its entertainment, juried art, photo and crafts competitions and its massive antiques market.
The antiques market is the centerpiece of the festival for many of the people in attendance. It is 45,000 square feet of hard to find items including country furniture, collectibles, folk art, jewelry, books and primitives as well as silver, quilts, paintings, rugs, porcelain and pottery. This is one of those markets where if you don’t find what you are looking for, you are not going to find it elsewhere. The market is open from 10 am to 6 pm.
There was a report recently on Fox out of Orlando, Florida that said a man burglarized a home and held a yard sale. Seems the owners had inherited the property hadn’t been there in about a month. When they did finally go there they found that the home had been robbed and their all their things including their antiques were gone. However, the story doesn’t end there.
They called the police who took their report and left. The owners then take a walk through they neighborhood and lo’ and behold they find one of their dressers sitting on a lawn. After further investigation, neighbors reported one of the people in that dwelling had had a yard sale that weekend. The police arrested Brian Gardiner and recovered most of the stolen items in his apartment.
Another guy, this time in Minneapolis couldn’t decide who to vote for in the upcoming Presidential Elections, so he places his vote up for auction on eBay. Max P. Sanders whose seller name on eBay is zepdrummer612 told investigators that it was a joke. However, the county prosecutors were not laughing when they arrested and charged him with a felony under an 1893 Minnesota law that forbids the sale of a vote.
And in Rochester, New York, two 19th century hand embroidered samplers were stolen from the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter house. The samplers, which had been donated by Clara Ide, were stolen in the middle to late June. These samplers are framed and one is dated 1822 while the other is dated 1839. Although they have not been appraised, it is estimated that these samplers are worth several thousands of dollars and the authorities are asking antiques dealers, collectors and auction houses to be on the lookout for these.
Mattel Toys is celebrating 40 years of its popular die cast car, Hot Wheels this year. To commemorate the event, Mattel has planned many events this year showing off life sized models of the die cast cars they have produced over the years. Mattel started producing Hot Wheel cars in 1968 and the first model was custom Volkswagen. At auction today, that car would not bring in close to what the record is. The record for toy car and yes it was a Hot Wheels car, albeit one with diamonds was over $140,000. Talk about bling, this car had 2700 blue, black and white diamonds covering the 18 karat white gold frame.
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel was a brilliant artist and the mother of one of the world’s most loved collectibles. Unfortunately, Sister Maria died of TB at the young age of 37, in 1946. However, her art lives on not only through the Hummel figurines by Goebel, but the drawings and paintings that she left behind. The Convent of Siessen, who Sister Maria was associated with, created an artistic board after her death to look out for her legacy.