Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Featured: Carved Akita Cedar Wood Japan Family of Toads

Featured Item!  Japan Akita Cedar 3 Frogs Toads

I have a family of 3 carved wooden toads. The wood is Akita Cedar, lightweight and striped. They have little drill holes for nostrils and the two babies have acrylic yellow eyes. The moms eyes are gold metallic paint. The mom does have a glued front toe, but you can't see the repair line with all the woodgrain.

Impressed on the bottom is "Japan". Mama measures 2-1/2" tall x 3-3/4" wide, and the 2 small ones measure 1-1/4" tall x 2" wide.


Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Those Wonderful Wacky Figurines from Japan

We've all seen them. Tiny little porcelain figurines marked on the bottom "Japan". During wartime, Japan exported these figurines by the millions.  For a while, the U.S. forced the Japanese to mark these figurines "occupied".  Many of these figures are now very collectible and depending on the manufacturer, can be worth hundreds of dollars.  And some unfortunately, are not so wanted. 

Most were whimsical and cute in nature. But some were downright wacky in design and color choice. 
Many figures had human-like features like eyebrows, mustaches, eyelashes, and big smiles.

It made no difference if they painted eyes red, or ears a different color than their bodies. Figurines were also made to wear glasses, smoke pipes, read the newspaper, and sit on the toilet!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cloisonne and Enameled Metals

The history of Cloisonne dates back to 1800 BC, in Egypt. During the 13th century BC, the ancient greeks made this art as well. Chinese fired-enamelware dates back as far as the Yuan Dynasty from 1271 and was popularized during China's XuanDe period 1426 to 1435.

Foo Dog, China's Quinlong period (1736-1795) AND Cat box, Japan's Meiji period (1890 to1910)

Cloisonné is the technique of creating designs on bronze, copper, and brass. Small, raised metal dividers are soldered onto the main object making many sections. These are known as cloisons, French for partitions. Liquid "glass paste" is painted within the divided areas, the same way stained glass is made. The enamel shrinks from firing in the oven, so the process is repeated several times to fill in the gaps. The finished object is then polished completely revealing the metal dividers.

Antique cloisonne is a collectors piece and very expensive.  Todays cloisonne can be found in pendants, bowls, and home decor items.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Swarovski Releases 2009 Christmas Kris Bear

Swarovski has released their 2009 Kris Bear just in time for the holiday. Just over 1" tall, he's holding 4 stars, 2 red, and 2 gold. He has black crystal eyes and nose. He's also engraved "2009" on his leg.

The designer is Elisabeth Adamer. Model number is 1006048. Price: $95.00.  Swarovski.com

Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Enesco Company Expands in 2009

The decorative collectibles company, Enesco, has had a banner year in 2009.  Look at these companies they either acquired or partnered with just this year.  Here's their breakdown according to their Press Releases

10.23.09   Enesco partners with The Trail of Painted Ponies

04.24.09   Enesco Acquires Department 56 from Lenox

04.21.09   Enesco Agrees to Acquire Charming Tails Brand

01.05.09   Enesco signs licensing agreement with My Souls Window brand

01.01.09   N.C. Cameron Changes Name to Enesco Canada

The following are the brands that Enesco owns a license to

Heartwood Creek® by Jim Shore, Department 56®, Pooh & Friends®, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer®, Boyds Bears®, Our Name is Mud®, Lilliput Lane™Gund®, Walt Disney Classics Collections®, Disney Traditions™, Bob Olszewski’s Gallery of Light™, Thomas Kinkade®, Border Fine Arts™, Charming Tails®Foundations®, Disney®, Circle of Love®, Cherished Teddies®, Country Artists®,
Bilston & Battersea Enamels®,  and internationally:   Willow Tree® and Precious Moments®.

Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lenox Annual 2009 Christmas Bird

Lenox Annual 2009 Christmas Chickadee

New for the 2009 Holiday Season is this porcelain, hand-painted limited edition chickadee. Model number # 789971A. It's only available in a limited quantity. Comes with certificate of authenticity, with the Lenox Hallmark marked underneath the base. Height is 3-3/4" tall.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Featured: Lefton Thinking Frog Planter

Featured Item!

Lefton "Thinking Frog" Planter

I have a beautiful Lefton China Planter called the "Thinking Frog". He's resting by a tree stump. High gloss shine. Lefton red foil sticker on bottom and what looks like the numbers "1180" and made in Japan.

No cracks or chips. Measures 4" tall x 4-1/2" wide x 4" deep.


Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Featured: Beswick Gray Tabby Cat, Green Eyes Figurine

Featured Item!


Beswick England Cat

This is a Beswick England cat figurine. Has a high gloss shine. Is backstamped  on the bottom  "Beswick England". 

No cracks or breaks. Measures 4" tall.

Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Monday, September 14, 2009

Worlds Smallest Figurines, Willard Wigan

Willard Wigan began fiddling in the sand making little houses for ants at a young age. He had dyslexia and learning difficulties and could escape an unforgiving world by making his own "little" world.

He went on to create figures made out of thread, dust, and tiny particles found in nature.  His paintbrush is made of an insect's antennea.  He's used spiderwebs and tiny pieces of thread in his work.  His work is so small that it can only be seen with a microscope. He usually displays his figures on the head of pin or in the eye on a needle as seen below in the "Owl" and "Elephant".  His contemporary display "cabinet" consists of a globe with a magnifyer lens and light attached which looks down upon the tiny figurine.

Willard works during the wee hours of the night. Before he sits down to work, he induces himself into a deep meditative state to reduce heavy breathing and hand tremors.  Any vibrations caused by traffic or natural ocurrances disrupt his concentration and steadiness. His figurines are on exhibition and only a limited amount are available to the public. One figurine takes 3 months to complete. Famous collectors such as Prince Charles and Elton John are fortunate enough to own one which can cost upwards of $40,000.

USA Exhibition Dates
Online Store & Williard's Book

Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Monday, September 7, 2009

Featured: Home Interiors, Tiny Tails

Home Interiors "Tiny Tales"

Two adorable field mice sharing berries. Handpainted ceramic in a matte finish. Manufacturer's item #1443. Measures 4-1/4" tall x 4-1/2" wide. Made in China. Perfect condition with no nicks.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Herend, A Grand Spectacle

Herend USA has a facinating history. It was founded in 1826 in Hungary as an earthenware producer. In 1851, Queen Victoria ordered a large set of Herend dinnerware and Herend was on it's way as being a known as a "royalty" company.

The folk figurine line was introduced in 1850. The signature black fishnet design was introduced in 1858 when an artist painted "fish scales" on a rooster to serve as feathers. Rust fishnet followed in 1870. When the popularity of Herend figurines rose in the 1950's, other colors were added to the line such as blue, green, raspberry, butterscotch, and chocolate.

Starting in 1957, Robert Grimm of Martin Herend Imports, Inc. was the sole importer of Herend products to the US. Today, Grimm's daughter and granddaughter are the proprietors to distribute Herend to over 400 authorized dealers in the U.S.

Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy