Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Un-Anniversary Edition DVD Released - I Made the Cut!

And there was a collective sigh of relief here in the Tulgey Wood - I didn't make an ass of myself. Thank goodness. And I only made one mistake (can you spot it?).

I wish I had had the presence of mind to smile, but I was quite frankly petrified! But all turned out well, and I have the fantastic staff at EMC West to thank for making me look good - well at least like I knew what I was talking about :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Original Alice Attraction In Progress

Courtesy of my good friend over at the Disney History Institute comes this extremely cool, and rare, behind the scenes look at the Mad Tea Party flats of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare during their construction. For a look at them in their completed state check out this post.

Lots of interesting details here, I like the Toad ride car upended in the foreground. This was probably taken backstage at Disneyland during construction, but cannot be sure.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Regal White Rabbit Sugar Bowl

The final piece of the Regal tea set is this White Rabbit sugar bowl. Odd that they did not use a different character for this piece, again I would have thought the March Hare or Dormouse would have made more sense. I think a Mad Hatter tea pot deserves a March Hare creamer and a Dormouse sugar bowl, don't you?

The White Rabbit's head is the lid for this bowl, very fitting given the Queen's favorite sentence.

It has been my experience that this piece is the rarest of the Regal tea set, not the Mad Hatter tea pot.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Regal White Rabbit Creamer

What tea set would be complete without a creamer? Here we have the White Rabbit creamer from the Regal tea set. His glasses and watch are highlighted in gold like some of the Alice shakers.

The White Rabbit makes an unexpected visit here, I would have thought the March Hare made more sense, but I guess the White Rabbit was perceived as a more popular character.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Regal King of Hearts Milk Jug

The only royalty in Regal tea set is this milk jug of the King of Hearts. As I recall this was the first piece of the tea set that I acquired.

He has an interesting design as well, with his crown acting as spout.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Regal Mad Hatter Tea Pot

Quite possibly the most sought after of all Disneyana of the 1950s is the Mad Hatter tea pot by Regal. It was for years misidentified by TOMART as a Shaw tea pot, but it is in fact a part of the Regal tea set.

The design is quite clever, with his hat as the lid, and the tea pot he holds in his right hand as the spout. The handle consists of a stack of tea cups held against his head by his left hand.

I first encountered this tea pot nearly 20 years ago, paid at the time what I thought was an outrageous price for it, but which later turned out to be quite a bargain. If you ever come across one, grab it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Regal Tweedledee and Tweedledum Salt and Pepper Shakers

Ok, so given that there are 4 variations of Alice shakers in the Regal tea set, why on Earth did they do yet another set of shakers?! Tweedledee and Tweedledum are also a true set, with either 2 or 4 holes in the back of their heads. Their names are applied to their collars in gold, and it frequently rubs off being applied over-glaze.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Regal Alice Salt and Pepper Shakers

By far the most common of the Regal tea set are these Alice shakers.

These full color Alices are a true set, having either 3 or 4 holes in the back of her head.

And what rare Alice item would be complete without a variation or two, and the Regal shakers don't disappoint: there are a total of 4 variations of the Alice shakers. Firstly the full color shakers above, arguably the most desirable and fortunately the most common (although still quite rare). Second is a white variation with gold highlights and painted face, hair, stockings and shoes - essentially only missing the coloration on the dress and base. The paint job on Alice's mouth on this example is a little odd I must say.

Third is a white variation with gold highlights only including facial features. This is the next most common variation.

Fourth and final variation is the plain white shaker. Not sure if this was just a blank or if it was sold this way, I only have the one but have seen others.

The full set does make a very nice display, kinda like Alice in progress.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Regal Alice Cookie Jar

Considered the Holy Grail of Disney cookie jars is the Regal Alice cookie Jar. This jar is a monster. standing 13 inches tall, the centerpiece of the Regal Alice in Wonderland tea set!

Her torso comes off neatly to provide access to the cookies, much better than other figural jars where the head comes off, but I guess that would have been perfect if there had been a Queen of Hearts cookie jar (why didn't they think of that?).

Regal produced a lot of stuff in its day, most notably the Little Red Riding Hood series. But the Alice series is far from small as you shall see in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wonderland Bazaar

Some of you may have noticed a new item in my sidebar, Wonderland Bazaar. I finally decided to get off my butt and start pulling out my duplicates and posting them here for sale. There are several categories, each only has one or two items in it right now, but I plan to add to them regularly. I will also add a link within individual posts if I have one available in the Bazaar. So take a peek and see if there is anything you are interested in, or hopefully can't live without!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leeds Alice Cookie Jar

Leeds made several cookie jars over the years, most famous were probably the turnaround jars from the 1940s. In the 1950s they simplified their jar design by using a standard jar with different embossed characters. This Alice jar is of that later design.

As with all (or most) Leeds cookie jars, the decoration is painted overglaze. And in this case, Alice had donned her fetching red dress which was so popular with RKO and the National Screen Services posters we saw a while back. The lid is cool, with the word Cookies embossed on it.

Now above I said that most Leeds jars were decorated overglaze. But there is a variant (I love it!) of the Alice jar that is underglaze. The white jar.

This cookie jar is so different from the much more common blue jar that it really can't be considered a true variant but a separate jar altogether, but I'm on a schedule so no separate post for you - so sue me.

The basic Alice figure embossed on the jar is the same, but the decoration is totally different (and correct), and of course underglaze. The jar itself is totally different in material composition, shape, and glaze, and the lid has some sort of candy or cake as its finial (looks more like a nipple to me, but I won't go there). And what is that mutant sombrero plant thing next to Alice supposed to be? My guess is that it is supposed to be a mushroom, perhaps upside down having been recently plucked for accelerated Alice growth, but it sure is weird looking.

The campaign book pictures yet another variation that appears to be a hybrid of the two above. I don't think it was ever produced in this style (at least I've never seen it), although I have seen that jar style on a Donald Duck cookie jar

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Leeds Alice Jumbo Planter

And finally the grand-daddy of them all, something I did not even know existed until 2001, the Alice Jumbo planter.

This was found for me by someone who attended an auction of the remaining Leeds stock almost 10 years ago. It has the remnants of some grease pencil writing on it that I've never removed, I guess I hoped I could figure out what it originally said, but seems pointless now.

This piece is unbelievably rare, it may be unique, I have never seen nor heard of another. And it is huge compared to its more common sisters.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Leeds Alice Bank

Third in the Leeds series is the bank. The bank is essentially the same Alice as on the heart planter though slightly larger.

The bank is truly rare. I imagine lots got broken when trying to get money out of them. One thing that has always intrigued me is the possible existence of a Alice figure. Leeds made a Snow White bank and a figure, it stands to reason that there could be an Alice figure, but I've never seen one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Leeds Alice Double Planter

Continuing with our Leeds series, next up is the Alice Double Planter. This is much much scarcer than the Heart Planter from yesterday. And of course, there are variation, this time in the color of the planter pockets. Most common is red,

followed by blue,

and last but not least yellow, by far the scarcest color variation of them all.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Leeds Alice Heart Planter

In my early days of collecting, filled with rampant paranoia about earthquakes in Southern California, I avoided all breakable items. Not so anymore! This was the very first vintage breakable item I ever bought.

This is the Alice Heart planter, by Leeds China Company of Chicago. There is some confusion about what role Leeds actually had. Most people think that Leeds was actually not the manufacturer but rather a distributor; production being done by many different companies including American Bisque, American Pottery and Regal China. To my knowledge there is no way to distinguish any differences between manufacturers.

There is no makers mark on the planter, but there is a bold copyright notice on the bottom.

The Alice heart planter is from later in the Leeds line, which started back in the 1940s; they did lots of pieces. Most of the salt and pepper shakers, cookie jars and planters you see with Dumbo, Mickey, Donald, and Bambi figures are by Leeds. Alice and Peter Pan were the last two films for which Leeds produced pieces, and as such they are much harder to find (the Peter Pan Treasure Chest planter is exceedingly hard to find). The heart planter is by far the most common of the Alice pieces, I'm pretty sure the reason is that it makes a damn fine Valentine's Day present.

The Alice Heart planter does have a variation (yay!), that being the same planter with gold highlights.

The gold highlight version is quite scarce, you will see perhaps hundreds of unhighlighted planters before seeing a highlighted one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Zaccagnini Mad Hatter

Fan-freakin-tastic, just off the boat from Italy comes this Zaccagnini Mad Hatter to pair with the March Hare from earlier this year!

Love the cup of tea with his pinky in the air, and he's definitely spiking it based on his crazy eyes!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Domar Red Plastic Cookie Cutter - Cheshire Cat

Last, and certainly not least, is the Cheshire Cat. This bad boy is really hard to find, and especially so on the card. As I said in the Alice post, the Cheshire Cat was not in the small find of these cutter in the 1990s, so most of the ones that are out there come from old kitchens. If you can find one, you got a pricey little piece of plastic. I have seen them sell for as much as $500 on the card.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Domar Red Plastic Cookie Cutter - Alice

I don't know about you, but when I was growing up we always made cookies at Christmas, and we always used those red plastic cookie cutters in the shapes of Santa, ornaments, reindeer, trees, angels, etc. Who knew they made those same type of cookie cutters for Disney characters?

This Alice on her original card was made by the Domar Plastic Corporation of Oklahoma City. She is one of a set of four cutters that includes the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat. These cookie cutters are pretty damn rare, although there was a small find on them in the early 1990s, but only Alice, Mad Hatter and White Rabbit were in the find.

The art on the card is pretty cool, I cleaned it up a bit with my limited Photoshop skills.

The back of the card lists all the other cookie cutters you could buy, and gave a recipe for 'life-like' cookie dough that supposedly works well for these cutters, like I'm going to use them. I once had a life scarring mishap with a set of Tom and Jerry cutters I had purchased as a gift for a friend. Word to the wise: do not put these in a dishwasher!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

German Alice im Wunderland - ein Großes Disney-Bücher

This lovely German book is a departure from the standard set of books we've seen before from overseas. Usually European publishers would simply re-publish the set of American books in the local language as we saw with the Little Golden Book, Big Golden Books, and Cozy Corner book.

This book does not follow that pattern. If fact, Germany only re-published two of the three Little Golden Books, and left the other two American books alone. This book is from the series of "Great Disney Books" or so Google Translate tells me. It was published in 1952 and was originally issued with a dust jacket as seen here. The book is fairly scarce on its own, but the dust jacket is rarely found. It took me 18 years to find a copy with a dust a jacket.

Some of the illustrations in this book are fantastic, like the two page flowers above and the caterpillar below. There are also some odd Alices in here as well...

There are some variants to this book, and you know I love variants! As I said previously it was first published in 1952, but there appear to be two variants from that year. The first is identified by the name of the publisher being hyphenated (seen here on the cover without its dust jacket)

and by the text on the copyright page.

Note that the final line is in English and says "Printed in Germany by K. G. Lohse Frankfurt am Main".

The second variant is identified by the publisher name not being hyphenated

and by the text on its copyright page.

Note that it is missing the final line and that the first line is in a different font or at least a different font weight.

While I'm sure these differences are ultimately meaningless, they bug the crap out of me. Why are these differences even present? Which one is truly the first edition? Was one printed specifically for Germany and the other printed for other German-speaking countries? Why do I even care?!

The final variant is a later printing, from 1967. It is easily identifed in several ways. First and most obvious is the spine is a yellow cloth rather than a red cloth. Second, the cover is glossy - or at least glossier - than the 1952 edition. Third, the name of the publisher has changed to Pestalozzi Verlag, which sounds vaguely Italian.

And finally, the back cover is completely different. On the 1952 edition the front and back covers are the same, but on the 1967 edition the back cover is bright red with the Walrus and the Carpenter peering down at the Oysters.

Whew. That was a lot longer post than I had originally intended... guess I'm a little too wrapped up in the details...

UPDATE: by request, some additional pages...