Over the years I've been very successful in finding model sheets of many of the characters from the film, including some very odd ones indeed. And as one might expect, there were several of Alice herself. But for the past 32 years one of the Alice sheets has eluded me, but no longer! Sheet 250-7 is finally in the collection!
Monday, August 30, 2021
Thursday, August 12, 2021
This is truly spectacular. This is a copy of the Sunday News, the Sunday supplement of the New York Daily News from September 9, 1951. That in and of itself is not that spectacular, even though it does have a very nice cover featuring Anne Francis of Forbidden Planet and Honey West fame.
No, the spectacular part is on the very next page, the inside front cover to be exact, which sports - in glorious full-color rotogravure - an amazing photo of Kathryn Beaumont speaking animatedly to her Wonderland friends in doll form. I do find it amusing that whoever wrote the caption got the two rabbits mixed up.
These dolls have appeared before in several black and white photos, and while it is never clear what exactly they are, it now seems UN-likely that they are Lars of Italy (thanks to the keen eye of uber collector Mel Birkrant). They could be custom made just for the studio or even by the studio, but regardless, this is just an amazing image. And a rare full color image from the time.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Yes, that's right, the world premiere was 2 days before the US premiere. Walt was doing a big push in the UK what with having so many productions active over there using up money in limbo. So a great excuse for a big 'do across the pond. But that doesn't mean interesting things didn't happen back here in the US. Here are two items that are favorites in the collection, both have been posted before, but I think they deserve another day in the spotlight. First up is a press preview ticket for the film, a full month before the premiere!
Next is a studio preview ticket, for 2 weeks before the premiere. Again, the only reason this survived is they didn't go! Which I find hard to believe. Wouldn't you go to a preview of the most hotly anticipated film from the studio in ages if you could?
Monday, July 26, 2021
I would be very remiss indeed if I let today go by without a post, it's not everyday one turns 70 after all! Today we have a copy of the UK Photoplay magazine from August 1951, with a cover of Esther Williams looking quite fetching. But the real gold is inside.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Monday, March 22, 2021
Monday, March 15, 2021
I just completed the first draft of one of the most difficult sections in the ceramics chapter, that for Zaccagnini. Not counting the years it has taken me to acquire all the various information and references, I've spent hours just to create 2000 words. Gotta pick up speed...
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
This is my first pass at the section on this manufacturer in my in-progress book. As I (hopefully) unearth more information on this company and figures, this section will expand. Or not. Who knows?
Falcon Ware by J.H. Weatherby and Sons (UK)
Falcon Ware was a company located in the English town of Stoke-on-Trent, home to Weetman and approximately all the other pottery companies in the UK. This company had a long and storied history, dating all the way back to 1891 under the parent name of J.H Weatherby and Sons, Ltd., and closing permanently in April, 2000 after 109 years of continuous operation as a family run business. Sadly the buildings themselves no longer exist.
|Image courtesy thepotteries.org|
Falcon Ware takes its name from the name of the pottery works itself, which was an existing, though disused, pottery works when purchased by Weatherby in 1891. The majority of its output in the first half century were traditional table ware, but in the 1950s they began to make nursery items, and novelty animal figures. Enter Walt Disney.
In 1958 Weatherby planned a series of at least seven figures based on Disney's Alice in Wonderland. On February 2-6 of 1959 they exhibited at the Blackpool Gifts and Fancy Goods Fair at the Imperial Hotel. By this the range had been reduced to six figures consisting of Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Walrus, the Queen of Hearts, and the Cheshire Cat. The figures and their appearance at Blackpool was advertised in at least one periodical in the UK (Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review, February 1959), and price sheets from Weatherby are known to exist.
|Advert from Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review, February 1959|
Sadly the deal seems to not have been completed or perhaps canceled, and most of the range never produced. But, there does exist an archive photo from the Weatherby family that I have reproduced below. I have been unable to contact either the author or the Weatherby family, and the publisher is no longer in business.
|Image courtesy of Susan Jean Verbeek, The Falcon Ware Story, (Pottery Publications, 1996)|
This was the first Weatherby Falcon Ware figure I acquired. While I had no idea what it was, and it was not sold as Disney, it just looked right. The design and style of him just screams Disney, and bears more than a passing resemblance to the Weetman figure. Not surprising given that the two factories were less than four miles apart.
The Queen of Hearts
This figure of the Queen of Hearts is what led to my discovery of the history of the Weatherby Falcon Ware. The auction listing actually referenced the Verbeek book in the description, and I was able to get a copy of the book even before the auction closed. The look of this figure marks it as clearly Disney. I am not aware of any other incarnation of the Queen that has the same color scheme and design as in the Disney version. All this figure is missing is the black stripes in the front of her dress!
Monday, February 15, 2021
Alice in Wonderland has had a love affair with Christmas throughout the years. Most fans know that Disney's first TV show was One Hour in Wonderland on Christmas Day in 1950, and the film (edited) was broadcast on the second episode of the Disneyland TV show in 1954. But did you know it was on TV a second time on Christmas Day? In 1959 on Walt Disney Presents (the next incarnation of the Disneyland TV show), Alice in Wonderland was again broadcast. And for whatever reason, promotional adverts were created for stores that sold the various Alice records. This is one such poster, about the size of a lobby card, advertising the show itself on Christmas, and the records for sale in the shop.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Friday, February 12, 2021
So, thirty years later, was it worth the wait? Probably not. But I am glad to have it.
Monday, January 25, 2021
Yeah baby! One of the final holy grail items for the collection is now safely ensconced in the Tulgey Wood: a key MATCHING cel and master background! Woohoo! Great scene of Alice running through the Tulgey Wood following the Mome Rath path, just before she encounters the Brush Dog. What a treat. A great beginning to a new era.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
It's finally 2021, and given EVERYTHING that has been going on in the world, and especially here in the US, the blog has suffered even more than usual. The past five years have been busy for me, what with starting my own business, a couple of exhibitions, and numerous other crises seemingly at every corner.
But, hope springs eternal, and with the new year fresh upon us, I too remain hopeful and plan to be more active here on the blog.
With that, I thought I'd share one of the more terrifying things that happened in 2020, just to give you an idea on what's going on here in the Tulgey Wood. Not quite one year ago, Jan 14th to be precise, we had a pipe burst under our foundation, and the bottom floor of our house flooded. Which coincidentally is where the collection is housed. Fortunately my wife was actually in the room when it happened, and was able to get the water shut off before it rose too much, but it was pretty scary. More so for me as I was out of town on business and just had frantic phone calls to decipher what was going on.
|Flood waters in the lower level, filled with what will be forever known as 'Flood Mud'|
|This room needed a more aggressive 'flood cut', this is where the collection is housed. As you can see, both this and the previous room are empty...|
|... and stored in every room of the house, starting with the kitchen...|
|Main room today. Nearly completely put back in place, the bins you see in the front are to go in the barrister bookcases in the back left and back right of the photo. Then we'll be done in this room.|