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 of the 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     Courtesy Linda Wulfestieg

 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!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Norah Wellings Norene Children

Norah Wellings made many Norene Children but not all have the face that you expect to see on a Norene model. I thought I would share with you some from the early 1930's that have passed though my hands and who have I think have the cheekiest expressions with rounder eyes and chin and button noses and do not seem to come a long very often.  It is interesting to note that a model number for a Norene Child Doll is based on the clothing worn and not on the moulding of the face. This means you can find some with the same clothing and model number but with different expressions. Also many of the Norene Children are found wearing National Costumes. I do not have the model numbers  for the ones I have pictured and I believe some have had variations with their clothing from the original owner but I still wanted to share them with you.

Gorgeous  Norene Girl from the 1930's she is 18 inches tall with a felt face and limbs with cotton body. She has painted eyes with separate felt ears. She is wearing a sweet two piece dress and matching pants, all in one cotton teddy underwear with felt shoes and socks.

Lovely Norene Boy. He is pictured in one of the early 1930's British Industry Stands but he is not pictured in the catalogue. Standing 18 inches tall with felt head, limbs and cotton body. He has painted eyes and mohair wig with separate felt ears. He is wearing his original silk shirt with his original velvet short dungaree outfit,cotton pants with socks and oil cloth shoes.

Another Amazing Norene Girl from the 1930's she is 18 inches tall. Head and limbs of felt with cotton body. Painted features with very dark mohair wig, separate felt ears. She wears an organdy party dress with blue ribbon trim and velvet vest. I had to show you a photo of her amazing long stockings with garters she also has a cotton all in one teddy under wear and larger bloomers with lace trim, so cute.  She also wears oil cloth shoes.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these gorgeous children.
Happy Hunting

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Norah Wellings Novelty Dolls ' Dutch Girl and Dutch Boy'

In 1935 at the British Industry Toy Fair Norah Wellings introduced her new Dutch Boy and Dutch Girl from her Novelty Dolls Range. The Girl was model K24 and the Boy K25. The catalogue photo in the first picture is the one used to advertise the Dolls. In the catalogue price guide they are just called Dutch Boy and Dutch Girl. They were made in sizes 8 1/2 inches , 13",16" and the Girl also 19 " with the Boy an inch taller at 20 inches. Their faces were painted with eyes either blue or brown looking to the side and they had painted hair and separate ears. The first dolls had felt heads with velvet bodies and their clothing was an integral part of the body with only the head jointed. Later dolls were also made with stockinette heads and smaller dolls did not always have ears.The girl had an organdy hat and apron with a felt scarf  and the boy  had a felt cap and felt scarf.

These dolls were very popular and the Dutch Boy was made right up until the last catalogue in 1958 looking just the same as he did in 1935. The Dutch Girl seems to have been discontinued in the late 1940's early 1950's. It is interesting to see all the different colour combinations, they are always so lovely and bright.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Norah Wellings Jockey and Horse

 Norah Wellings made so many wonderful and unusual dolls and animals. In this article I decided to show you a Norah Wellings Jockey model 1137 from the Novelty Doll Range and a Norah Wellings Horse model 5135  from the Novelty Animal Range. They were introduced in 1938 and sold separatley as can be seen in the catalogue photographs above.  They do not appear after the war years and are quite hard to find. The Jockey is lovely and bright and stands 9 inches tall, made of velvet including his head with felt ears and hat with some felt strips on his top, silk sash and oil cloth neck collar. His face and hair painted and only his neck jointed. He has the lovely happy smiling face. The Horse standing  7 1/2 inches tall and  9 1/2 inches long , made of wool plush with felt pads and clear glass eyes. His  bridle, reigns and saddle made of felt with metal stirrups.

I was lucky enough to find a a very rare Jockey and Horse used for the Norah Wellings window display at the 1938 British Industry Fair the Jockey is sewn onto the horse with his hands sewn to the reigns. They both have a black Norah Wellings label with gold writing the Jockey has his on the bottom of his boot and the Horse on his felt pad.

A photograph taken of the Norah Wellings Window Display at the 1938 British Industry Fair. I am sorry its not a very good photo but if you look closely it is a very comical scene.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing more of Norah Wellings wonderful products. Until next time Happy Hunting

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Norah Wellings ' Harry The Hawk'.


 One of the most sort after Norah Wellings smaller dolls is 'Harry The Hawk'. He was introduced as a mascot for the Second World War depicting a Royal Airforce Airman and for every sale made money was donated to the R.A.F Comforts Fund to help the War effort. He was available in 7 1/2 and 10 inch sizes. He appears in an American Magazine called Kimport News in their Aug -Sept 1942 edition at a cost of $2.95.  I have not seen him in any of the Norah Wellings catalogues mainly because during the war years they were not produced but he would be classed as one of the Norah Wellings Novelty Dolls and his model number was model 295.

 Although larger dolls are found up to 28 inches wearing the same outfit with mohair wigs I do know if these were made for the R.A.F Comforts Fund but they were produced at around the same time.  I just wanted to mention them but I will discuss them further in another article at a future date.

The smallest 7 1/2 inch mascot face was made of cotton or stockinette and the 10 inch one felt or stockinette and their features were painted. The uniform was made of either velvet or cotton and was an integral part of the body and he had a fake fur collar around the neck.  He also had a detachable felt helmet, goggles and felt parachute in a felt parachute bag that are often missing on the dolls. They have been found with their Norah Wellings label on the foot or under the collar at the back of the doll. Some of them also carried the original cotton label with a registered  number 837533 and rarer still the original paper label.

'Harry The Hawk' mascots are popular not only with Doll Collectors but also those collecting Militaria so prices can be quite high compared to other smaller Norah Wellings dolls, he was  only produced over the Second World War years so a very good find for the collector today.

The 'Harry The Hawk' pictured  is 10 inches tall . He has a felt face with velvet body and he has his original, goggles, parachute, helmet and original cotton registered label sewn under his collar . He has his Norah Wellings black and gold label sewn under his foot and a rare paper label. He is a lovely example and I hope you have enjoyed reading about him.
Happy Hunting.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Norah Wellings Novely Animals, 'Towser ' Rabbit and 'Towser' Duck

I had an enquiry from Beth about a dressed rabbit and duck that Norah Wellings made and promised I would write my next article about them so here they are.

Norah Wellings made Towser Rabbit model 150 and Towser Duck model K51 for her 'Novelty Animals' Range. They were made of wool plush  with glass eyes and only their heads were jointed. Towser Duck had felt feet, beak and wings. They both wore velvet dunagrees that were an integrel part of the body with the straps being attached with buttons front and back. I have seen the wool plush in  white, cream, yellow and brown shades with outfits in soft pastels such as pink blue and green and various shades of red, mustard, green,blue and bown. Towser Duck also had a ribbon bow around his neck and sometimes a bell. They were filled with soft kapok.

 Front and back view of two Towser Rabbits, they are 8 inches tall to the top of their ears. They have clear glass eyes and a cream with black writing Norah Wellings on the bottom of the wool plush foot. The buttons on the dungarees are mother of pearl.

 Towser Duck was added to the Norah Wellings catalogue in the early 1930's and he was available in sizes A 6 inches, B7 inches, C 12 inches.D 14 inches and the largest E 17 inches . He seems to have been discontinured in the 1940's and he is harder to find than Towser Rabbit.

These Towser Ducks are the smallest size 6 inches tall. This photo shows front and back view.They have googly black and white glass eyes and cream label with brown writing on the foot.Mother of pearl buttons on their dungarees.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the Norah Wellings Towser Rabbits and Ducks and if anyone has any special requests for the next article please email me and I will. do my best.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Norah Wellings 'Jollyboy' Sailor Doll

I have had quite a few enquiries recently regarding Norah Wellings Sailor Dolls so I thought this would be a good choice for this article especially as it is the Sailor Doll that is most recognized as being made by Norah Wellings. The Sailors were first introduced in 1929 and he was part of the Norah Wellings 'Novelty Doll' Range. The Sailors wore hats with the name of various Cruise Ships and Navy Ships hand written on the hat band.The very first Sailor was model 140 and he was called 'Jollyboy '. He had glass eyes, painted smiling mouth with teeth showing and bright orange curly wig and his head was made of velvet . He had a blue velvet body and this was also an integral part of his outfit and his feet were bare. On his head he wore a white cotton hat. Only his head was jointed. Sometimes the hands are sewn to the legs. In 1929 they were made in three size 12",14 and 18"inches.

  First Norah Wellings 'Jollyboy' Sailor model 140. Shown in the 1929 Catalogue

In early 1930 another 'Jollyboy' Sailor was introduced model 139. It is interesting as I would have expected the number 139 to have been made first as most of Norah Wellings dolls normally run in numerical order. However this was not the case in this instance. The 139 model had painted eyes although I have seen the earliest and largest examples of this model with glass eyes but they are hard to find. The mouth was painted smiling or with teeth showing and the hair was also painted. His body construction was similar to model 140 and he still had bare feet but he was thinner and they were made with either velvet or felt heads and only the head was jointed. It appears both models were available in the early 1930's and the sizes then went from 10 inches to 36 inches. In the 1936 catalogue only the painted hair Sailor model 139 was available and he continued to be made right until the last catalogue in 1958. Model 140 had been discontinued by 1936 but I am sure special orders would still have been available.

 Norah Wellings 'Jollyboy' Sailor Model 139, Early 1930's

Before the 2nd World War the 'Jollyboy' model 139 had some variations. The head was now made in stockinette or cotton due to lack of materials and very few felt and velvet ones were made. The faces were still painted with either a smiling mouth or with painted teeth.Many were produced without painted hair. They still had the velvet body but most were now made with black feet to represent shoes.The sizes available were 7 to 36 inches. The 8 to 9 inch size with black feet is one of the most popular sailors to be found today and there were over 100.000 of these made to cover sales at Navy week which was the first week of August every year and the crews used to sell them on the dockyard. The Sailor hats had the ship names either hand written or printed on the hat band. The Aldershot Tatoo was also another very busy time for Sailor Dolls to be sold.

 Norah Wellings 'Jollyboy' Sailor Model  139 Pre World War II with black feet to look like shoes.

 In the late 1940's through to the last Norah Wellings catalogue in 1958 it is the earlier 'Jollyboy' model with painted eyes and bare feet that is pictured. The smaller sailors with black feet are not catalogued.

 Norah Wellings 'Jollyboy' Sailor model 139 pictured in a 1950's catalogue, reverting back to bare feet

 When Norah Wellings retired and ceased production in 1959 Cunard Shipping Company asked another famous British Doll maker Peggy Nisbet if she would supply them with Sailor Dolls. Peggy Nisbet asked Norah Wellings if she would have any objection to her making the dolls. Norah was quite happy for her to do so but would not supply the pattern or techniques as her dolls were such a part of her. Peggy Nisbet Sailor Dolls are often mistaken for those of Norah Wellings to an untrained eye.  Other companies also copied the sailors  from the 1960's and a company called Empire produced many. They are often found with Sticker 'Empire ' under the collar at the back .The Sailor dolls were made well into the 1980's

 First Sailor Doll is a Peggy Nisbet next to the most popular 'Jollyboy, Sailor 139

 Norah Wellings Dolls left the factory with a cotton label and most of the Sailor Dolls have the label on their foot but some have them under the collar on their back sewn on the body out of sight, often these can be missed so make sure to look there if you can't see a label anywhere. It is because the smaller 8 to 9 inch sailor dolls were made in such vast numbers that makes them so easy to find today and at reasonable prices. There are many that just collect the Sailors and want a Doll with each ships name, they certainly have numerous to choose from and some will pay extra so they can acquire a particular ships name. Norah Wellings also made other sailor dolls that are harder to find but I will cover those in another article at a later stage.