Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Eileen Soper nursery china - part two

A few more pieces from my collection. Designed by Eileen Soper for the Playtime series and made by Paragon.


Paragon China began as the Star China Co., owned by Herbert Aynsley and Hugh Irving. The name Paragon was adopted as a trade mark in around 1900 and the company formally became known as Paragon China Ltd. in 1919. The name was selected deliberately to allude to excellence and quality of product.


Paragon was fortunate enough to receive continued royal patronage, initially from the Duchess of York in 1926 and again from Queen Mary in 1933, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1938 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The Eileen Soper illustration in the background is from The runaway kitten by Enid Blyton 



The company manufactured bone china wares and during the inter-war period established a reputation for producing high-quality tea and table wares. Nursery and toy wares were also a speciality having been part of the Star China product line since 1904. 


I love the rose and thistle design on the handle of this mug, but I'm not sure how robust it would have been in the hands of a child! 
The Eileen Soper illustration in the background is from Jolly little jumbo by Enid Blyton



The design on the left is from a nursery plate and the illustration on the right is from 
Polly Piglet written by Enid Blyton and illustrated by Eileen Soper



Eileen Soper included her signature on all her nursery pieces


Dogs featured in lots of the designs, but the little mouse is more unusual.

Previous Eileen Soper post here

Thanks for looking, Barbara.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Newly catalogued




Since returning from Australia, I've been busy buying and cataloguing lots of new stock. This is a small selection of the catalogued items and a sneak peak at some awaiting cataloguing. 

In the photo - A flower fairies treasury, The wind in the willows, Brer rabbit, The magic faraway tree, to find a golden pony, Princess Dimple & Ann and Elizabeth at the Zoo, Five Have Plenty of Fun, Timmy and Roger, Miaow! Curious George, The Beano and Dandy annuals both from 1955, The Joan Walsh Anglund Story Book, Treasury of fairy Tales, Fun in the frozen north, Red is never a mouse and Pantaloni. Further details below. 


A Flower Fairies Treasury by Cicely MaryBarker; a beautiful treasury containing a collection of the best-loved Flower Fairy illustrations. The watercolour illustrations are reproduced from the recently reoriginated printing plates so that their delicacy and detail can be seen to the finest advantage. This copy of A Flower Fairies Treasury is now sold, thank you for your interest. 

The wind in the willows by Kenneth Grahame published by Methuen in 1967. Enid Blyton's Brer Rabbit published by Purnell and The magic faraway tree illustrated by Rene Cloke.
The wind in the willows, Brer Rabbit and The magic faraway tree are now sold, thank you for your interest.

To find a golden pony by Amanda Gavin published by J. M. Dent & Sons in 1965.Jo Garrett is five when her mother dies. Her dad sends her away from his Suffolk farm to live with her aunty in Sussex. Her aunt refuses to let Jo ride even though her cousins have ponies, but once she returns to the farm, Jo decides to own a pony of her own. Scarce. Princess Dimple by Mabel Marlowe and Marian Allen published in 1930. Five have plenty of fun by Enid Blyton published by Brockhampton in 1967.  The fourteenth adventure for the Famous Five plus an American girl called Berta and Jo the gypsy girl. Berta is in hiding from Kidnappers, and the Famous Five are the only ones who can help. To find a golden pony by Amanda Gavin and Five have plenty of fun are now sold, thank you for your interest.  

Timmy and Roger by Rosalind Vallance published in 1953 by George G Harrop. Eight stories about Timmy Turnpenny and his friend Roger. Miaow! a life the flap book by Allan Ahlberg published by Walker Books in 2002. If you like cats and teddies, if you like penguins too, if you love big surprises, then here's the book for you! Curious George by H. A. Rey a reprint published in 1993 In which Curious George is taken from the jungle by the man in the yellow hat....  Miaow! and Curious George are now sold, thank you for your interest.

The Beano Book 1955 and The Dandy Book both published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Illustrations by Dudley D Watkins and others. Lots of favourite comic strips and stories including Biffo the bear, Hungry Horace, Wee Davie, Nobby the enchanted bobby, Old Ma Murphy, Charlie Chutney, Keyhole Kate, Roger the dodger, Pansy Potter, Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat, Black Bob, Wily Smiley, Plum MacDuff, Julius Sneezer, Dennis the menace and many others. Both annuals are a little worn with rubbing to cover edges. One has a previous owner’s name the other is clean. Scarce early annuals. The Beano and Dandy annuals shown here are now sold. 
Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Fairy Tales. Thirteen stories including Tom Thumb, the frog prince, Goldilocks, Rapunzel, the Pied Piper and Snow White. Lovely copy. Colour illustrations throughout by Hilda Boswell. Adventure in the frozen north unusual Ladybird book published in 1961. Picture strip story about the thrilling adventures of Johnny, Bill, Brenda and their friends! Red is never a mouse by E. Clifford published in 1962. Do you know what Red is? Red is a rose, a brick wall, or an awning... Red's a fire engine ... a fire in a house ...but red is never, no never, a mouse! Wonderful picture book with colourful rhymes. Pantaloni by Bettina published in 1959 by the Oxford University press. The story of a little boy searching the Italian countryside for his lost dog. The perfect mix of adventure and comfort for a young child with a realistic Italian setting.
Hilda Boswell's treasury of fairy tales, Red is never a mouse and Pantaloni are now sold, thank you for your interest.

The picture above is new stock waiting to be catalogued. This includes a pop-up Red Riding Hood, several Alice in Wonderland books, pony books, an unusual book about the three bears and other interesting things! 

I hope you've enjoyed this quick look at some of our new stock.


Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Eileen Soper at play

If you've followed this blog for a while, you will know I collect a myriad of things, including nursery china. A few weeks ago, I featured some Chloe Preston mugs from the Peek-a-Boo series and promised to show you some other pieces from my collection.  The following are from the Playtime series by Eileen Soper.



Eileen Soper is well known as a book illustrator but perhaps not so well known as a designer of nursery ware.


I love this pretty design


A golden crown is for a king. a queen must have one too. A pretty ribbon for my hair, a daisy-chain for you.

Dancing daisies pink and white, are a little girl's delight. Velvet bees who love them too, suck their honey in the dew.


Spotted in a charity shop window priced at just £9 this is my most inexpensive purchase to date. It has a small hairline crack hence the bargain price. 

From the cheapest to the most expensive. This battered box may not look very exciting… 



but when you read the label and the backstamp you will probably understand why I'm so fond of it.


I don’t know who the gift was intended for (I purchased it from eBay), but I would guess it was a member of the royal household or an estate worker.


Paragon backstamp with A Christmas gift from H. M. The Queen December 1938.

I will be featuring more Eilen Soper nurseryware next week.

If you missed the Chloe Preston post you can see it here

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Book of the week: Little Homespun Songs and verses signed and inscribed by the author Beatrice Hubbell-Plummer

Little Homespun Songs and Verses signed and inscribed by the author Beatrice Hubbell-Plummer with illustrations by Mary Lafetra Russell published by Frederick A Stokes, 1st edition, 1920. Large hardback book with 204 pages and numerous colour plates.

Beautiful moon, way up in the sky, drop us beam ladders as you pass by,
So we can climb to moon-land bright, where wee folk ne'er say good night, sleep tight.

Wake, wake, my dears, the sun is up, and open wide your eyes; And listen to the birdies say "it's morn' be glad 'a rise, it's morn' be glad 'a rise!"

Pan, Pan, happy fellow, Prince of Youth all dressed in yellow!
"Did you come from distant plains to pipe for us your glad refrain?"
My! Your notes we love to hear, they fill our hearts with love and cheer;
And your stories from the skies bring to us a sweet surprise!
That your joy we all may share, bless you Pan! This is our prayer!

Soft misty veils the rain had spun and the sun had painted every one.
As the clouds scurried off and waved good-by the wind whispered softly:
"A sash for the sky!"

Little homespun songs and verses by Beatrice Hubbell-Plummer 

Signed and inscribed by the author;

To Mr. & Mrs. Thompson, my dear friends Beatrice Hubbell Plummer Nov 17, 1922.  

Book now sold, thank you for your interest.

I adore the sweet illustrations in this book but what do you think of them?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

What I did on my holidays – then and now.


Then;

As a child I loathed going back to school after the summer holidays, mostly because of the dreaded school essay. Every year was the same – write 500 words entitled what I did on my holidays. In those days, I wanted to write just one-word – “nothing!” My dad was a farm worker and as anyone connected with farming knows August and September are some of the busiest times. Dad would be out at first light and still working long after it got dark. Mum didn't drive and so leaving the farm was out of the question. Looking back I realise what a privileged time it was. I climbed trees, rode on tractors and combined harvesters, played in the hay barns, fed the calves, collected the eggs, built dens, lit camp fires and all the other things a child living on a farm in the 1950s, and 60s did. 

A good book and a shady spot!

I was eleven when this photograph was taken. I can't remember what the book was, but it was probably something by Enid Blyton.

Now;

This year’s summer holiday came in December – and what a summer holiday! I don’t know where to begin!   Christmas in the sunshine, fireworks and live music at New Year, Zoe and Lilly’s christening, days spent at the beach, a trip into the hills, a trip to the Zoo, swimming, playing – we did it all! But best of all we did it with our son, his wife and their two amazing children, and we did it in AustraliaI don’t want to bore you with family snaps – but honestly – how can I resist?

Have you every seen two such beautiful little girls? Lilly Grace and Zoe Rose all dressed up for the christening

What a lovely start to Christmas – a banner just for us!

Nanny and Zoe decorating the tree

Christmas Morning

Celebrating New Year's Eve with fireworks and a concert in Elder Park

Fun in the sun

The outside of this building may not look very exciting, but once inside you find it filled with everything from books, toys, antiques and jewellery to lighting and dolls. I was lucky enough to visit and discover one or two interesting books, including a lovely copy of to find a golden pony by Amanda Gavin (very scarce and the first copy I've seen in more than 20 years) a nice Famous Five by Enid Blyton, a Pookie book by Ivy Wallace and a dust jacketed copy of Party frock by Noel Streatfeild. No trip is complete without buying at least a few books!

So that's what I did on my holiday - what about you?


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