Thursday, 25 November 2010

Black Beard and Captain Hook

Norah Wellings made some fantastic Display Models to feature in London Department Store Windows such as Harrods and Hamleys. To follow on from the Pirates it only seems right to write about and show you two large Display models, Black Beard and Captain Hook. I believe they would have been made to a special order as they do not appear in any catalogues. I have also included another smaller Novelty Doll who in my book I have described him as an Arab but now I wonder if he too is Black Beard?

This is Black Beard. He is a Norene Model standing an impressive 33 inches tall. He is portrayed as a Comical Pirate Character with his large felt pixie ears with hoop ear rings in each ear. His head is felt and he has painted features with smiling mouth showing teeth. His limbs are also felt with his fingers all separate and he has a cotton body. He has a black mohair wig with black mustache and beard. He wears a velvet top with silk inserts with a vinyl sash, velvet pants and child size long boots. What a character he is.

Captain Hook. He is a Norene Model and stands 33 inches tall. He has a felt face with painted features, felt limbs, fully jointed and a cotton body. He has a black mohair wig, mustache and beard. One hand is holding a cutlass and the other ends in a metal hook. He wears fabulous felt coat and knickerbockers with jersey socks and child size shoes. Very Handsome fellow.

This character is a bit of a mystery. In my book I have described him as an Arab. He does not appear in any catalgue but I do have a picture of a similar doll at the 1935 British Industry Fair. Looking closely at the photo he is standing with all the Novelty Pirates, he is the only one of this model shown. I am now wondering if he is Black Beard or another famous Pirate but of course he is still a mystery until it can be proved. I have included him here for you to see and would love to hear your opinions. He stands 18 inches tall with a wonderful felt character face, black mohair beard and black mohair wig in a bun over each ear. His arms and legs are velvet and are not jointed. He wears a very elaborate all original art silk outfit with amazing felt shoes and a scarf around his head with matching sash where he stores his large wooden cutlass. He is quite amazing.

The three models above are very rare and I wonder if anyone reading this article has any other rare dolls they would like to share. I would love to hear from you please email any photo's to

Good Luck with your search for Norah Wellings Pirates.

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