Monday, 29 March 2021

Norah Wellings Rabbits

 Wishing You All A Very Happy and Safe Easter.

 Easter is nearly upon us so I thought this article should be about Norah Wellings Bunny Rabbits.
If anyone has any to share please email me a photograph as I would love to add them to this article. 

                                          ' Towser' Rabbit

One of the first rabbits to be produced was 'Towser' model 150, he appears in the first Norah Wellings catalogue of 1927 and was made right through to the last catalogue in 1958. He was first called 'Towsers'  and only made in three sizes but at the height of Norah Wellings production his name changed to 'Towser' and was part of The Novelty Animal Range and made in 7 sizes  ranging from 7 inches to 36 inches in height. He remained the same design throughout his years, made of wool plush and velveteen with glass eyes and only his head was jointed . His velvet dungerees were an integral part of his body. He came in lots of different colourways.

'Towsers' 150. Image taken from the first 1927 Norah Wellings catalogue

'Towser' Rabbits 7 1/2 inches tall to the top of their ears.

  'Towser' Rabbits, 8 inches tall to the top of their ears. This pair came in the hamper style  basket.behind them. I have seen other Norah Wellings in Baskets. The baskets are not in the catalogues I have but could be original. Photo Courtesy of Sue Henry

 'Towser ' Rabbit larger size 16 inches not including his ears. Photo  Courtesy of Sue Henry

'So-Soft' Rabbit

The 'So - Soft Rabbit  model 410 only appears in the  1929 and early 1930 catalogue and is not seen in any catalogues after  1933 . He would have been designed for babies as he had long wool plush mohair filled lightly with kapok , not jointed. This made him very floppy and cuddly. He was made in 6 sizes 10 to 20 inches.  The catalogue does not mention what colours he was made in .Today he would not have passsed the health and safety checks as he has glass eyes and a metal bell on his chest !

'So- Soft' Rabbit Model 410. Image taken from the 1929 Catalogue

A very floppy So- Soft Rabbit . She is 11 inches tall not including her ears and lovely pink and white wool plush. Original blue ribbon and  metal loop where her bell would have been attached.

Rabbit -Sitting 

Rabbit - Sitting'  was the name given to this rabbit in the 1929 Catalogue and he is model 650 . When first introduced the catlogue states  he was available in, Beaver, Coloured Plushes and  Lambs Wool. It also states available in Coloured Velveteen. He came in 5 sizes 6 to 12 inches long. In the 1931 catalogue he is only available in Long Wool Plush and in 6 sizes adding a smaller 5 inches long rabbit. By 1936 he has been discontinued   I am hoping someone may have one of these Rabbits . to share with a label.

'Rabbit- Sitting', Model 650 Image from the 1931 catalogue

Dressed Rabbit

I do not know the name of this particular Rabbit so I am calling him Dressed Rabbit, however his model number is 561. He appears in the Novelty Animal Range in 1933 but had been discontinued by 1936. This is one of my favourite Rabbits and wonder why he wasn't made for more years.  There are no sizes mentioned in the calaogue . They are made of wool plush and velvet. The head, hands and feet are wool plush, jointed heads and glass eyes. The velvet body is an integral part of his outfit and he has a separate waistcoat that is sewn on. 

Dressed Rabbit Model 561 . Image from the 1933 Catalogue

A Pair of Dressed Rabbits model 561, The white one is 10 inches tall and the brown one 11 inches tall, not including their ears. They have wonderful lounge outfits with floppy arms and legs so they can display well.

Mascot Rabbit

  The 'Macot' Rabbit model 164 was introduced to the Novelty Animal Range in 1933. He was  6 inches  in length  and made of mohair plush, he was still available in 1936  but not inn the catalogues after 1938.

'Mascot' Rabbit, Image  from the 1933 Catalogue

'Woolly' Rabbit

'Woolly' Rabbit model 323. He first appears in the 1933 catlogue and is disontinued by 1938. Made of Wool and Felt in various colours.Size is not mentioned in the catalogue.

'Woolly' Rabbit, Image from the 1933 Catalogue

Rabbit Nightdress Case

Rabbit Nightdress Case, Model 970. First appeared in the 1933 catalogue .They are 17 inches tall. It is interesting they are not mentioned in any further catalogues that I have.  I do however have a photograph from the 1952  British Industry Fair with a Rabbit Nightdress Case on the Norah Wellings Stand. This shows they were still made through the years. It appears rather than using the Rabbit in later catalogues  other animals were introduced. Perhaps the Rabbit was not as popular or so popular he didn't need advertising. The head, hands and feet were made of wool plush and the body and skirt where the nightdress is kept in various materials, velvet, cotton, felt to name a few. Some had pompoms on the front of the body. and ruffles around the neck. The eyes were usually clear glass.
Rabbit Nightdrescase Model 6053, This is a later model around  1950's.. She was made of acrylic plush with embroidered eyes

Rabbit Nightdress Case Image from the 1933 Catalogue

Two Wonderful Rabbit Nightdress Cases Earlier Models 970.. They are 17 inches tall. Photo Courtesy of Sue Henry

Wonderful Norah Wellings Later Rabbit Nightdress Case Model 6053 with Orignal Box.Made of Acrylic Plush and Notice her Embroidered Eyes. Gorgeous Print Cotton Dress..My Thanks to Sue Henry for the Wonderful Photographs .

Photograph from the 1952 British Industry Fair showing a Rabbit Nightdress Case and in the back ground it looks like a smaller Handerchief Case. Sorry the photo isn't very good. 

'Bunty', Rabbit

 Another favourite of mine is 'Bunty' Rabbit model K60. He has such attitude! He first appeared in the 1936 catalogue under the 'Novelty Animal' Range. He does not appear in the catalogue after 1940. 
He was made of velveten and wool plush and came in 5 sizes 7 to 25 inches not including his ears.  
His head is jointed and he has glass eyes. His outfit is an integral part of his body and stands with his hands on his hips.

'Bunty', model K60 Image from the 1933 catalogue.

'Bunty' Rabbit, hands on hips and this one has a cheeky smile !

Novelty Rabbit, Model 4120

Novelty Rabbit model 4120 is in both the 1950 and the last catalogue 1958. No name is given or the fabics he is made of but from the catalogue photo he looks to be made of plush with velvet outfit an intergral part of his body and cotton gingham ruffle around his neck.

Novelty Rabbit, Model 4120 Image from the 1950 Catalogue

Novelty Rabbit , Model 5165

Novelty Rabbit Model 5165 is in the 1950 catalogue and the last catalogue 1958. I am afraid no name,  sizes or the materials used are given, he wears a felt vest. He is possibly made from synthetic plush as I know it was used at this time. and had embroidered eyes. The same model number was also used in both catalogues for a Mascot Rabbit a smaller size without a vest.

Novelty Rabbit Model 5165. Image from the 1950 Catalogue. He has embroidered eyes and original felt jacket

Mascot Rabbit, Model 5165. Image from the 1950 Catalogue

This is a later 1950's Rabbit made of Acrylic Plush with embroidered eyes. Similar in look to the   Earlier Bunny model 164 but not in any catalogues I have.

This gorgeous bunny is quite amazing,
He is washable but if you read his instructions it tells you how to take his fur off and wash separately . I have not seen this before so is quite a revelation and what a good idea !. Bunny is 8 inches tall and made from plush. He is one of Norah Wellings later designs from the 1950's he looks like model 5165. Thank you so much to Lesley for allowing me to use the photo's from the ebay listing under the ebay name tivolityke.

Another later 1950's Bunny Rabbit , standing 16 inches tall with safety eyes. Made of acrylic plush with cotton dungeress. Norah Wellings also had a Teddy Bear made and dressed the same way and the tag on the Teddy Read ' Norah Wellings  'Washable Safety Eye Toys'. They are not in any catalogues I have. Photo Courtesy of Julie Corley

I hope you enjoyed finding out more about the Rabbits Norah Wellings made. Once again I would love to hear from you if you have any more Rabbits I can add to this article.  Norah Wellings was well known for making Special Orders, I wonder if there is a special Bunny out there?  Although some models were discontinued in the catalogues there is aways a chance a few were bought back for some of the Fairs Norah Wellings . I do hope I hear from you with any Bunny Rabbit Finds. Thank You

Happy Hunting

No comments:

Post a Comment