Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Fabulous Rare Norah Wellings 18th Century English Gentleman.

I am so grateful to My Dear Friend  Mark Rochester for sharing these photographs of his Wonderful and Very Rare Norah Wellings Gentry Man .  It is so nice that Mark has allowed me to share him with you and write about a Norah Wellings Doll  that I have not seen come onto the market before or advertised in any of the Norah Wellings catalogues.


Norah Wellings Rare 18th Century English Gentleman standing with a fabulous Old English Nightdress Case Model model 997.

Photograph of Norah Wellings taken at the British Industry Fair in 1935. She is holding the 'Old English' Nightdress Case and the Rare Gentry Man that Mark has in his photograph.



It was in the 1980's that  I first saw this Fabulous Gentleman .  I saw him in a book showing a  photograph of Norah Wellings at her stand at The British Industry Fair in 1935 ( as seen here).  All the information in books written at that time and later described him and his partner as models of George and Martha Washington. You can see why as the resemblance is close to other dolls of the famous American President and his First Lady. The  books and publications were also of American Origin,. I also thought that was who they were. It was not until I started my research on Norah Wellings for my book that I finally found out who they were made  to represent. I wanted to include the photograph in my book so I needed  to check where it originally came from and after many months finally my persistence paid off.
The photograph was featured in the March 1935 Toy Trader and an article accompanying it  describes the two dolls as being modeled on 18th Century English Gentry. Mystery solved,  however I believe not many of these dolls were made , certainly not like the other dolls pictured with them in this photograph.


I still think although not in any catalogues he would have been classed as one of Norah Wellings Norene Dolls. He stands 24 inches tall and has  a felt head with painted features. He does not have any ears as his silk embroidery hair is scooped back to produce his wonderful period hair style of the time. He has a cotton body with felt limbs, fully jointed and his two middle fingers are joined together. Wearing a lovely authentic period desgn felt coat and long felt vest, lace ruffle around his neck and cuffs. His britches are of art silk and he has fine knitted socks with felt shoes.


 Close up of his unusual molded face and the fabulous hair style of this fascinating Norah Wellings Gentry Man.
They are truly a magnificent couple together, I wonder if any collectors reading this have any other Rare Norah Wellings to share. I would love to hear from you, please email me at norahwellingsjournal@gmail.com

A Big Thank You Once Again Mark for sharing him and your lovely 'Old English' Nightdress case.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Norah Wellings Paintings and Soccer Player

Oh dear what can I say this was meant to be my Happy New Year article!! Here we are at the beginning of February. I hope you all enjoyed the Festive Season it seems so far away now especially with Easter Eggs now in the shops.  I do hope that 2014 will be A Good Year for all of you and sorry for the delay.

 I thought I would show what Norah Wellings items I bought during last year but then  I couldn't remember buying anything. I knew that couldn't possibly be true and as we have just moved I hadn't unpacked everything until a few weeks ago and low and behold I unpacked two wonderful paintings by Norah Wellings. I believe the roses is an earlier work judging from her signature and the pot of flowers painted in her retirement.  There is a similar painting in my book using the same table in the later painting. I am thrilled to bits with them especailly as I enjoyed seeing Norah Wellings garden which was very special to her in retirement and her roses were a favourite , I hope you enjoy seeing them.




The other purchase  is a cute little soccer player only 6 1/2 inches tall from the Norah Wellings Novelty Range model 1167 he first appeared in an unmarked catalogue that looks to be 1939/40. I was told by the former Manager  that the first ones were sold wearing Wolverhampton colours. Other colour outfits were made later. These do not appear in any of the 1950 catalogues.



I am amazed I got through last year with only these Norah Wellings purchases, I wonder what this year will bring!

Happy Hunting

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Norah Wellings Handkerchief Satchets

Norah Wellings Nightdress Cases were very popular in the 1930's  and Norah Wellings also made Handkerchief Satchets a smaller version of the Nightdress Case in some of the models but not all.

The Handkerchief Satchet was listed as being 9 1/2 inches tall  and they were nearly a duplicate copy and  model number of the Nightdress Case it was to represent but with AA after each number.  Some of the outfits vary slightly due to the smaller size so they are not always as elaborate. The earlier Handkerchief Satchets had felt or velveteen heads that would swivel. most of the eyes were painted but I have seen the Mexican and Negress with glass eyes. They wore elaborate outfits mostly representing different National Costume made of Silk, Taffeta, Velvet and Felt. Some wore hats and others had mohair, wool or silk for hair. Their skirts formed the Satchet where you could open the skirt and store your Handkerchiefs and would fasten at the side with press studs to keep the item in place. The Norah Wellings label was either sewn on the foot on  the skirt or even on the back of the body.
The range in 1936 is listed below.

Model  Number    Name  
980 AA                  Negress
981 AA                  Dutch
982 AA                  Eastern Lady
984 AA                  Mexican
985 AA                  Spanish
986 AA                  Italian
996 AA                  Old English
997 AA                  Old English

 It is interesting to note that although  there are 9 different Handkerchief Sachets listed in the 1936 catalogue there were 18 Nightdress Cases in the same catalogue so only half have been made to represent the Nightdress Cases.





Old English, Model 996AA

                                                                Old English Model 997AA


                                                                 
Dutch Model 981AA ( my thanks to Mickie of Yesterdays Toys for allowing me to use this photograph )


 In 1939/40 two other models were introduced 6026 AA  Old English ( child face model ) and 6027 AA Dutch (  child face model).

 By late 1940's all the Handkerchief Satchets from the 1936 catalogue had been discontinued and others had taken their place. I am afraid the later catalogue only mentions the model  numbers not the countries they are to represent  so I have put a question mark next to those I have not been able to identify. Fortunately some have come to me in the past with paper labels and the country stamped on the back of the label. The later Handkerchief Satchets have been found with Felt, Stockinette and sometimes Cotton Heads and arms, all have painted features.

Model Number    Name
6027AA                 Dutch
6045AA                 Mexican
6047AA                 Old English
6048AA                 Italian
6049AA                 Old English ?
6050 AA                Spanish ?



                                                                     Italian Model 6048AA


                                                                     Mexican Model 6045AA


                                          

                                        
                                              Pages From a 1950's Norah Wellings Catalogue


It does not matter how much Norah Wellings research material I have or how many catalogues there are always models that appear that are not listed or variations that I have not seen before. I do know that I have seen a Teddy Bear and a Trikko the Monkey Handkerchief  Satchets but as yet I do not have a photo of one. I do have photo's of the nightdress cases and you can see them in my earlier articles on nightdress cases on the 30th January 2012 ( listed on the right hand side of page under 'More Articles on Norah Wellings Products' , press on 2012 ). If anyone can help with any other photo's of Handkerchief Satchets or if I come across others I will add them to this article as I get them.

The last photo shows the difference in size of the nightdress case and the Handkerchief Satchet but both models I have not seen in a catalogue. They both belonged to Isobel Nicholls, Norah Wellings niece so they may have been special variations of the 'Old English' model from the late 1940 early 1950's.


I do hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have any different  photographs of Handkerchief Satchets you have come across and are willing to share so I can add them here then please email me at norahwellingsjournal@gmail.com

Happy Hunting




Sunday, 29 December 2013

Norah Wellings 'Babimine' and 'Babymine' Dolls

I have had a couple of emails asking  for information on Norah Wellings 'Babimine' Dolls and Handkerchief Satchets. I will end the year with articles on both of these wonderful Norah Wellings creations.






The  Norah Wellings'Babimine' Baby Dolls were first introduced  in 1927.  They were showcased at the British Industry Toy Fair in 1927 where Norah Wellings first exhibited after leaving Chad Valley and  forming the company with her brother Leonard Wellings 'The Victoria Toy Works' , they also featured in the first catlogue in 1927.

Norah Wellings used her Niece Mabel Wellings ( Leonards older daughter) and a Relative Linda Wallet as a model for these dolls.


The early 'Babimine' Dolls  had  glass eyes . The dolls heads were made of velveteen  that could swivel and the hair was painted . The bodies were also made of velveteen but were not jointed and were stuffed with kapok. The most popular model 107 was slightly different wearing a lambswool all in one outfit that was an integral part of the body with matching hat and muff. Other models were  101 who came wearing a full knitted outfit and model 106 a Woolen Frock but this bay 106 was not made after 1930. All three models came in sizes 11, 14, 18  and 25 inches.




Model 101 and 107 continued in the Norah Wellings range until early 1930.  In 1934 model 101 had been discontinued  and a model looking very similar to model 107 was introduced with the integral body made of mohair and the head made of felt, this was model K90 . Both model 107 and K90 were still being made in the 1936 catalogue. Some of the dolls by this time had painted eyes rather than  glass. In 1938 only the 'Babimine' K90 is shown in the catalogue and still available in 4 sizes but the 25 inch doll was now shown as 26 inches.



I have a catalogue undated but bought out around 1939/1940 where none of the 'Babimine' dolls above are shown, however a series of fours sets of dolls called 'Babymine' ( y used instead of the i in baby) are shown. These Baby Dolls have been found with  felt  and stockinette heads with painted eyes and hair. I have seen the bodies made in  velveteen,stockinette and cotton, unfortunately no sizes are shown.  I have copied all the photo's from the catalogue so you can see the wonderful sets and what they comprise of. They are not shown in later catalogues that I have.




Norah Wellings did make other Baby Dolls. I have discussed in a previous article the Jolly Toddler Babies. There were also 'Norene' Baby Dolls , 'Biddy' and 'Babsie' and 'Dimples', but I will leave those articles  for another day as they can get quite confusing!

Hope you have enjoyed this article and Happy Hunting!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Norah Wellings Clown Dolls

Norah Wellings made two different versions of the Clown Doll they were both from the Novelty Range and just called 'Clown'.





The first Clown was introduced in the early 1930's model 213. He was available in  two sizes 16 and 19 1/2 inches . The doll had a moulded character face  slighlty winking eye similar to other characters that Norah Wellings made. I have seen the head made in both velvet and felt and the face painted in Clown Style with painted hair and separate ears and a jointed head. Sometimes the face is painted white. Only the head is jointed and  the Clown Suit is a velvet all in one suit with pom poms down the front and organdy and felt ruffle around the neck. He also has felt shoes and felt hat with art silk pom pom decoration.

I had a very interesting photo  from Daniel Agnew showing  model 213 with the head made of oil cloth and I wonder if this material was used to see what worked best for this model so it may well be one of the earliest made. A big Thank you to Daniel for letting me show the photo's in this article.


The next Clown made was produced just after model 213 and  is model 204, very strange that the higher model number was the first to be made but I have checked my records and this seems to be the case but I will keep checking to see if I can find out why but at this stage a mystery.  The head is made in the same way and same painting as model 213 but the Clown outfit is an integrel part of the body in velvet. This model came in more sizes 10 1/2 inches, 14 inches, 16 1/2 inches and 19 inches. He appears in the 1936 catalogue but not from the 1938 catlalogue onwards.


None of the clowns are shown in  early photographs I have taken from he Norah Wellings Stands at the British Industry Fairs.  Both these models are hard to find today and very interesting to add to your collection especially as they are earlier dolls only produced for 7 years.

Happy Hunting




Monday, 23 September 2013

Norah Wellings, 'Norene', Model 825


 A big thank you to Claire Blackwell for sending me this photograph of her wonderful large Norah Wellings 33inch Norene Child model 825. Due to her email I decided to write about this particular model.




 This doll is from the 'Norene' range and was first seen in the early 1930 catalogue but does not appear after 1940.  Norah Wellings only had the model number written on the Norene Range and although many are dressed in National Costume there is no reference to what country or who they represent . This wonderful child ( I say child because it could be a boy or girl ).  I always thought it was a Huntsman / woman.  The outfit  worn is very authentic to what a  Fox Hunter would wear especially for the date he was made when Hunting was very popular. However with todays Fox Hunting being so controversial I think many would prefer this model to be called a Rider. As I have mentioned nothing is written in the Norah Wellings Catalogue or price list for a description of the true title.




Model 825 was made in quite a few sizes, 12 1/2 ", 15 1/2", 19", 22" and 30 inches.  The boy pictured is 33inches and I would suggest he was more likely made as a store model or a special order.  The head and limbs were made of felt and the body cotton , all fully jointed. The face was painted with dark mohair wig and separate applied ears. The outfit consists of  felt cream breeches , felt vest and  jacket with cream cravat around the neck and a felt top hat. The knee high boots were made of oil cloth and a whip in one hand.

 I have only seen this model with the dark hair and the same colour outfit so if anyone had anything different please email me as  I would love to add to my research and adjust here in this article.

 I hope you have enjoyed reading about this wonderful character. Please email if you have any others you would like to share.

Until Next Time,
Happy Hunting.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Largest Norah Wellings 'Norene' Dolls


 Gorgeous Largest Size 'Norene' Girl  40 Inches tall dressed as Spanish Lady Model 3110FF.

 Photograph from the 1936 Norah Wellings Display at the British Industry Fair showing the largest two 'Norene' Dolls. Girl model 3110FF, 41 inches and Boy Model 3111FF a massive 44 inches.


 Photograph from the 1936 Norah Wellings Catalogue showing 'Norene' Model 3110.

  Photograph from the 1936 Norah Wellings Catalogue showing 'Norene' Model 3111.

Today I thought I would share some photo's of the largest Norah Wellings 'Norene' Dolls made. According to the Norah Wellings price list in 1936 there were only two models of 'Norene' Dolls made in the largest sizes. They were the beautiful girl shown here, model 3110FF standing 41 inches tall in Spanish Outfit and her Male Companion model 3111FF who was 44 inches. They would have been made for shop displays and I have shown a photograph from the 1936 British Industry Fair with these large models on display. How magnificent they would have looked. In 1936 they sold for £7 and 7 shillings each ! The next size down from them were 30 inches tall selling at 50 shillings each.

The largest dolls were made in the  same way as the smaller ones with felt head, arms and legs with cotton body, fully jointed. They had painted features and mohair wigs. The outfits, especially the girls was beautifully made in felt and organdy. I am very grateful to Linda Wulfestieg for allowing me to use the photograph of the large girl.

I am not sure if any other 'Norene' Models were made in the largest size  but Norah Wellings would have made some on Special Commission. I have seen characters such as Peter Pan, Snow White, Witch, Captain Hook and Peter Pan, all 33inches inches tall. If anyone knows of any other 'Norene' larger models of 33 inches and over and would like to share the information or photo's please email me so I can include in my blog.
Until Next Time
Happy Hunting!