December 21, 2010
Seasons' Greetings to all readers and followers of Down to The Cellar. Thanks to everyone who contributed this year, either with comments, or help and even those who just stopped by. Hope you have a Happy Holiday, eat well and stay warm over the festive period!
December 14, 2010
Two lovely plastic, push up Bingo cards from the Kohner Bros. Marked 1973. Apparently the dice for the game was enclosed in a sprung plastic dome, (just like the game Frustration) You popped the dome down, and the dice spun. Hence pop-o-matic!
The Kohner Bros Toy company started life in 1874 making wooden toys.They hit the big time when they obtained the rights from a Swiss inventor, Marty Meinard to the line of toys known as Push Button Toys.
December 06, 2010
Mark Boutavant’s book Around the World with Mouk (pictured above) was a real high point of last year. Boutavant's brilliantly coloured pictures seem to have captured the spirit of Richard Scarry & Otto Seibold, and in doing so created his own beautiful world. How wonderful to see all the new exciting merchandise released by Djeco.
There are some brilliant wooden pull along toys for toddlers that we saw up in town yesterday, that are featured below. Thankfully the toys are available in the UK , but Roulapic the rabbit seems to have sold out everywhere already!
If the toys arent exciting enough, it appears Mouk is set to have his own TV show. You can view the pilot, here!
December 03, 2010
A while back I posted several dolls from the one two three away series, illustrated by Ferelith Eccles Williams. Born in 1920, Ferelith was a pretty prolific illustrator, but I didnt know she taught Ian Beck!
Back in the Fifties, before The Village with Three Corners, Ferelith produced a lot of splendid work for Elizabeth Chapman's Marmaduke, a series of tales about a red car. Shown above are two copies, that turned up locally. While the covers are pretty sumptuous, what really grabbed me, were the interior spots, a few of which are shown below.
November 30, 2010
From the company that gave us the game Mastermind, come these fabulous plastic animal moulds. Invicta was established in 1946 with an RAF war gratuity of just £100.
They continue to produce plastic dinosaurs, as well as other plastic point of sale materials.
Todays post features a set of fantastic animals, that came in a various colourways. Below are some vehicles from the same range.
November 21, 2010
November 15, 2010
Marks and Spencers has had some interesting packaging recently. I picked up quite a bit of their kids confectionery for Halloween, which seemed to take its inspiration from the Fifties.
This weekend we popped into the Cardiff store and were surprised to see they had already discounted these Sasek inspired Biscuit tins. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
November 10, 2010
November 06, 2010
On a recent trip back to London, we popped up to the Market at Covent Garden. Monday was the antiques market, and was always interesting and occasionally there were some good finds. I used to go a lot when I was touting my folder around.
I was surprised that unlike so much of London, it was relatively unchanged. The stall holders were still chatty and were happy to talk about their finds and share their stories.
These pre plastic coin bags came from one of the stalls, and include some bank tags. They come from the British banks, Lloyds and The Midland, (now HSBC). Made from a heavyweight paper, with serrated edges, they come in some attractive colours. Most un-bank like!
November 01, 2010
October 28, 2010
October 22, 2010
Back in the Seventies British Rail ran football special trains, so fans could get to games. It kept the hooligans separate and meant the general public werent inconvenienced. Seems logical really, until one day they stopped them!
Todays post is a relic from that era. The A5 leaflet, advertises transport for Arsenals FA Cup game at Swindon, on January 15 1972. Tickets cost £1.25 for adults (and 75p for children).
The image features a child that I always thought would look more at home on a Knitting pattern!
October 18, 2010
These mis-registered 1960s scraps came from Pollocks Toy museum in London. A fabulous museum round the back of Goodge Street, London. The museum was fantastic, but small. Although it did have a lovely shop.
Not only did they sell these 1960s version of Victoria scraps, you could also buy their trademark facsimile toy cardboard theatres. As well as some great repro clockwork toys.
October 06, 2010
Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Postcards from Puffin. The box contains 100 postcards, featuring many childrens classic book covers. I was delighted to find two more covers by Grace Gabler.
Above you can see Jam Tomorrow, 1947 *. A counting Book 1957, & A Spelling Book, 1948. Last Christmas I posted the letter X , from her charming book "A child's alphabet", from 1945.
* The image of Jam Tomorrow is taken from Phil Baines new book, Puffin by Design.
October 05, 2010
Todays post is slightly different, in that its not an object, and it doesnt have much age to it!
I was sorting through a whole hoard of online bookmarks and rediscovered Vectorpark. Above is a screen grab from Feed the head. Its so simple and really quite beautiful! With its ephemeral noises, and bizzare goings on, theres a touch of Svankmajers Dimensions of Dialogue about it!
If you have a moment, I recommend hopping over and interacting with some of the other creations. Its a visual feast! Patrick Smith is the designer behind Vector Park and you can see more over at his blog!
Who knows perhaps this could be the start of a whole bunch of multi media posts!
October 01, 2010
This lovely Cheeseboard turned up at the local charity shop, last month. It measures 13.5" in diameter and has a metal rim, but like so many of my favourite things, it has no makers mark.
The figures are all in national costume and have a Scandanavian folk feel, but, underlying that, theres something sinister. It could be their raised hands! Are they praising the cheese? ( I like that idea!)
Whatever it is there's something a little bit Wicker man!
September 18, 2010
Heres a curious find from a car boot, this summer. As is so often the case, just as we were about to leave, this brilliant educational pack turned up on the penultimate stall.
Released by The Textile Councils, Education department, this box has all manner of samples relating to the cotton industry. Britain's Cottons- Samples of Cotton, from field to fabric is beautifully designed and details various aspects of the industry for the year 1969.
A couple of statistics from the printed sheet above, stand out. In 1969 a total of 122,029 people were employed in the textile industry, and the UK exported £53,227,000 worth of cotton and man made fibre that year. I wonder what the figures were for the UK, last year?
Above are some close ups of the sample book, along with a Cotton Boll sample. I bet The Textile council dont send boxes like this out to schools anymore?
September 17, 2010
I just couldnt resist this pull along toy from Fisher Price. Apparently made between 1966 and 1978. He has a wooden base and a plastic grill. As he goes on his way his sprung head wobbles, and the wheels makes a great "putt-putt" sound
September 10, 2010
Over the years weve picked up a small collection of Richard Scarry Puzzletown figures. They were released by Playskool, in 1976, and there were five sets in the series. The 2" figures were solid plastic, but the buildings were made of card, that all slotted together, and sat on plastic bases. Below you can see one of the buildings from Set E, Lowly Worms Rail Roadway .
September 06, 2010
Apologies for the lack of posts recently, but while we were away, we did pick up some gems. Including another lovely set of dominoes from Galt.
I do wish there was more written about all their stunning products from the sixties. Ken Garland one of the designers for Galt has some information, but I do wish there was more!
August 14, 2010
August 11, 2010
A sad wooden donkey, who is in desperate need of a restring. Hence his weird posture! Hes beautifully made & is around 12" in length. There is no makers mark, but he could be Galt or Brio. His rubbed edges hint as his history and just add to his charm.
August 04, 2010
On Monday 15 February 1971, Britain went decimal. Old money - pounds, shillings and pence was replaced by a new system that had a 100 pence in the pound. Shillings became a thing of the past!
There was much confusion at the time and a whole set of promotional items were created to launch and promote the new money. Todays post is a rather nice information wheel which converts old money into new.
August 02, 2010
July 28, 2010
Two more unknown plastic figures. They look like they could come from the Fisher Price range, but Im not sure. They both have articulated heads, tails and legs, and were made in Hong Kong.
Poor old Lassie! Looks like shes been in a rather nasty fight!
July 24, 2010
July 21, 2010
Two lovely matchboxes from Spain featuring two Spanish football teams. Made by Fosforera Espanola, they look to date from the Fifties.
If you like theses, you may be interested to know that the collecting of Matchbox labels, Phillumeny is big business. Theres even a Matchbox society!
Its been a while since Ive been to a Matchbox Society fair, but there was always lots to see, and the prices were pretty reasonable too. Ill add some more soon.
July 06, 2010
A while back I picked up this kitsch New York souvenir. Made in Japan, the beer stein sat happily in the corner of the room, until one evening, when, for whatever reason, I gave it a second look. Everyone had gone to bed and what I saw left me slightly spooked. There lurking towards the World Trade centre was this plane. Now I know the events of 9/11 may well have changed the way we see planes in urban spaces, but this porcelain depiction, seems eerily prophetic.
July 03, 2010
Perhaps one of my favourite finds ever, was this enormous 12 motto office rubber stamp, that my father in law, rescued from the bottom of a skip in Cardiff, in the late Eighties. Ive always treasured this rather special find.
All the rubber stamp messages relate to late payments in the account department. Unfortunately the rubber belt has ceased up, and the rubber stamp is now stuck on motto number 3 which says
We missed you payment for last month wont you send it now?
The Rubber stamp is made by Homs and has a catalogue number of M4.It is unlike the more usual date stampers in that is measures 7" high. The handle is wooden and the guard, is made from tin. The key once turned the rubber belt, which in turn moved the phrase on, but that no longer works.
June 28, 2010
Amongst the recent haul of badges was this "milk for stamina" badge. It was produced by The Milk Marketing Board, who came up with some of the most memorable catchphrases of the Sixties & Seventies. Slogans included "Full of natural goodness", "Is your man getting enough?", "Milk's Gotta Lotta Bottle" "Drinka pinta milka day", and "Watch out there's a Humphrey about"
Theres some nice news reel footage, below, from the 1961 British Cycling Federation Tour of Britain. The race was sponsored by The Milk Marketing Federation, and features The Milk for stamina logo. Clicking the image below will take you to the Pathe website.
you can see more milk badges, over at Alan Edwards website. He appears to collect all manner of things, but I like his milk related memorabilia best.
June 26, 2010
In doing a little bit of research for the 1970s England football scarf, I posted last week I unconvered this Eighties one, on ebay. It was too good not to purchase and for the princely sum of £3.32 this little piece of football history was mine!
While not quite in the same league as the scarf from 1974, it does amuse me. Thankfully most of the perms have been checked, although it appears a few players; Kevin Keegan, Terry McDermott, Tony Woodcock & Bryan Robson were still tinkering with the style.
The 1982 England team qualified for the World Cup in good shape, they were hard to beat and had only lost 4/32 games under the manger, Ron Greenwood. Having won all the group games, hopes were high, but sadly England went out in the next group stage even though they had never lost a game. In 1986 the tournament format was changed.
June 19, 2010
Following last nights' debacle, it was nice to find this, today in the local hospice shop for 5p. I needed something to raise my spirits after Englands, depressing 0-0 draw with Algeria in the World Cup!
Shot by Elmar Ludwig for the John Hinde studios, the postcard has a catalogue number of 2BH11. Is it possible a pink carriage really exists?
June 17, 2010
Another topical post tonight, as France crash to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Mexico in the FIFA World Cup. Back in 1998 France hosted the Tournament and won it, but tonight that must seem a distant memory.
As with all these Global events, companies are only too pleased to produce commemoratives, and back in the 1990s, Daddy, the king of paper wrapped sugar cubes produced these rather fetching sugar wrappers. I do believe that like matchbox labels, theres an army of collectors of paper wrapped Sugar cubes. These wrappers are the sort that used to be very popular at service stations and cafes.
June 15, 2010
We had a bit of a tidy up of my eldest sons room, the other day and Im embarrassed to say we found another Jill McDonald book. Jills images are everywhere at the moment with the 70th anniversary of Puffin books.
Only last week we were at The car boot and I got very excited when I spotted a woman with a brilliant, new Puffin bag. The bags are being given away when you buy three classic Puffin books. Also spotted at The Hay Festival were some brilliant mugs featuring Jills Puffin logo in several fabulous colours. The mugs were created by Art meets matter, but I cant find the cups online.
The Royal Potwasher was written by John F Waters for Methuen in 1972, and while not quite in the same league as The Pirates Tale, it is still enchanting. The story is a nice tale about following your dreams, below is a spread from the book.
June 14, 2010
June 10, 2010
With less than 24 hours to go to the start of The World Cup, it seems apt to have another football related post. Not that I really need an excuse!
Its because of this England scarf, that I picked up the Showaddywaddy one, the other day. They seem to perfectly epitomize a point in time. Printed on the most horrific 1970s nylon, it predates my favourite England kit by a couple of seasons.
The team group includes Alan Ball, Ray Clemence, Dave Watson & Colin Bell, while on the reverse, (above) I think Ive spotted Kevin Beattie and Dave Thomas ! If like me, youre excited by the prospect of the World Cup, you may be interested to know theres a fantastic online wallchart. It seems to owe a lot to those information wheels, that I posted a while back.