Manic Light | people, places, stories

13 iunie, 2011

Rare Toys

In our days, the kids are playing computer games or they are watching TV. The girls have Barbies and the boys have plastic monsters. But let’s see how children played and with which toys they played from early history. From the earliest very primitive home-made toys, to exquisitely dressed dolls and toy soldiers representing wars across the world.

A very rare and important late 17th/early 18th century wooden English doll with carved head and delicately painted features including three beauty spots, with nailed-on fair hair held by an elaborate banding on the back of the head with a metal clasp, the jointed and painted wooden body in original clothes comprising a white cotton shift, yellow and wool petticoat, spotted brown open robe and underskirt, with pink silk damask fichu above a mid-blue silk boned corset and with wine velvet mittens and shallow-crowned broad-brimmed straw hat with blue ribbons, with wine knitted silk stockings and rose knitted garters and suede shoes.This doll has passed by family descent to the present owner. In the early 18th Century the Wedgeborough family, from whom the doll came, were in partnership with the Hope family as timber merchants doing business in Amsterdam. This doll is believed to have been brought back from Amsterdam at that time.Only 23 dolls of this type are known; this doll is described as Figure 2 in the article by Bunny Campione which was published in ‘Dolls, The Collector’s Magazine’ June/July 1992 issue, and also ‘Puppenmagazine’ December 1992.

A fine Jumeau Carrier-Belleuse Triste child doll with large fixed blue glass eyes, shaded lids, pierced applied ears, softly painted brows with brush strokes at the tip, open-closed mouth with white line between the lips, long fair hair wig and jointed composition body, 1880s, impressed 15 and stamped in blue on body ‘Jumeau Medaille d’Or Paris’.In 1879 the French Emperor’s sculptor, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse was commissioned by Jumeau to fashion an epicene head, to be used as that of either boy or girl. Carrier-Belleuse is reputed to have used a portrait of King Henry of Navarra at age four as model and the design became known as Jumeau Triste.This doll belonged to one of two sisters, Evelyn and Saphia Oakey who lived in France as children. Their father was the inventor of Emery cloth and started a firm called English Abrasives in Wellington Mills which was south of Waterloo station, which existed until approximately 20 years ago.

A Roullet et Decamps ballet dancer automaton with Jumeau bisque head, original costume, on velvet-covered base with going-barrel movement playing one air and causing the figure to pirouette in a circle while looking from side to side, alternately bending at the waist and balancing with her left leg, late 19th century.

A rare Vichy automaton of a pumpkin eater with papier-mâché head, in original brocaded silk waistcoat with high collar, figured black silk back and mother-of-pearl buttons, apron, chef's hat, breeches and striped wool stockings, on circular base with going-barrel movement playing two airs, late 19th century. One of the rarest figures produced by Vichy, the Pumpkin Eater displays a darker humour than usual in French automata of this period. The figure waves his left arm and lowers his head to watch the pumpkin, the central section of which opens three times to reveal a mouse. On the third occasion he attempts to kill the mouse by plunging the knife into the pumpkin while his hat rises simultaneously. The pumpkin closes and the sequence begin again.

Pat and Nora Teddy Bears - 'Pat', a rare black Steiff teddy bear, circa 1910; and 'Nora', a Strunz teddy bear with pale blonde short mohair and white wool skirt, knitted white jumper, underwear and boots with a silk parasol, 1908;

A Jeu des Montagnes de la Terre, France, (Game of Mountains of the Earth), maker’s mark E.G., a paper-covered globe in the centre with two sailing and two steam/sailing ships going around. Famous mountains mentioned include Everest, Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc, late 19th century.

A rare and fine French pull-along toy of Punchinello riding the moon, when pulled the turning wheels cause Punch to move his head and the moon wiggle his tongue.Punchinello, Pulcinella, often called Punch in English, Polichinelle in French, is a classical character that originated in the ‘commedia dell'arte’ of the 17th century and became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. His main characteristic, from which he acquired his name, is his extremely long nose, which resembles a beak.

A Masudaya (Japan) tinplate Non-Stop ‘Lavender’ Robot, battery-operated, lithographed tinplate with box lid, late 1950s, early 1960s.One of the famous ‘Gang of Five’; five Masudaya robots of the same shape, with different designs: Non-Stop, Target, Radicon, Sonic and the rarest Machine Man.

A fine Schuco (Germany) clockwork Charlie Chaplin, tinplate, part flock coated and felt clothes, in original box with illustrated lid, 1930s.

A German wooden boxed folding schoolroom for the Spanish market with seven desks, clock, calendar, alphabet, blackboard, maps of the Canaries and Balearics, picture of Saint Luis Gonzaga and a telephone, the six pupils and teacher of painted composition, one child modeled kneeling and weeping into her pinafore, early 20th century.

A Märklin tinplate and china Bathroom with bath, sink, shower, mirror and towel rail, concealed water tank in back wall, allowing water to run from taps and shower, painted floor to represent tiles, 1920/30s.

German Elastolin WW2 Propaganda toys – a composition Adolf Hitler saluting with podium, a wooden SA Heim head quarters building, twenty three Hitler youth band including mounted and flag bearer, late 1930s.

An 'Al Jolson' working model coin-operated automaton, with three black articulated papier-mâché figures in original costumes, two playing guitars and the central figure singing, the electric motor with record player and speed control causing the three figures to rock from side to side, the guitar players to move their eyes and strum, the singer to move his arms and lower lip, in glazed oak case with draped fabric interior, painted topflash, speaker and a removeable matching base with cast iron lion's paw feet.American Al Johnson (May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was a Russian born singer who used to black-up in the American minstrel style. He was one of the most famous entertainers in the 1920s-30s and was the star of the first full-length talking movie “The Jazz Singer”; his most famous hit songs were “Swanee” (1919) and “My Mammy” (1927).

The collection belongs to Sofia Fundation Greece.

07 iunie, 2010

Circus Maximus

Pope Benedict 16th visited Cyprus on Friday 4th of June 2010 for a three day visit.
Political or religious visit, in a country with a majority of orthodox Christians, Pope was not welcomed by few bishops, priests and most Greek Cypriots.

Pope got a Cyprus stamp, website, special flight and a 500,000 euro bulletproof car.

On the other hand, almost 25.000 Catholics and Maronite (Eastern Rites Catholic) from the entire world came to support and see Pope Benedict

Franz came from Austria. I told him that Rome is closer than Cyprus, but for him the distance is not a problem. He went on Australia, on 2008 to see the Pope.

Pope Benedict’s T-shirts, caps, key holders and badges were sold to every fan.

After Great Divine Liturgy, people attended to the mass, were dancing and singing, and made photos to remember this event. Heeeeeyy, Papaaaaaa! or Be-ne-dic-to, Be-ne-dic-to! was said instead of “smile”

10 aprilie, 2010

My eyes, your world

“My eyes, your world” was a photographic project based on qualities and senses of 6 persons which have vision disabilities.
A creative activity which had as purpose a visual exercise of the blind persons, to determine the connection between the subject which is photographed and how they imagine it, the socialization and self discovery.
All the pictures were made by the participants.

Eleni , 28 years old – “If I could see, maybe I’ll be disappointed”

Italian teacher, she likes swimming, reading and traveling. She visited Russia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. “In every country I was it smells different. Smelling gives me memories: England smells as humidity. The poverty smells like onion".

She recognized all the money. About Romanian money she said: “It looks like money but they are strange. Are they fake?”

"I feel open, free, calmness and clean at the seaside. I like the sound of the children in the water and the smell" said Eleni.

The blouse - Eleni through that might be white or blue!

Nikos, 26 years old – “My eyes does not exist”

“I’m fat” said Nikos laughing. “Nothing is special. Not bad looking or good looking”.

He likes music and playing accordion. He also has as a very developed sense of hearing and smelling.

"It looks like a head; it’s soft, made from leader. I think is black. It has to be darker.

Darker color is not beauty. Green or white is more beautiful" said Nikos.

"I like the mountains more than the sea. I like sitting outside and listen how the birds are singing.

I like the smell of the sea but I don’t like to swim. I’m afraid".

Nikos studied in England. He said that the smell is different, the weather is cold and the beaches have stones, not sand.

Stella, 34 years old

I asked her what this object might be. She touched it and she said: “Panagia mou!” And then she did the cross sign. For me was amazing!

Maria, 30 years old

Maria had many piano and violin concerts in Greece, Finland, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Poland, and Romania (Braila). The reason she dislike Romania is because people don’t speak English.

She has her own piano at home and she loves classic music! So, I tested Maria’s hearing sense.

She recognized very easily Beethoven – The fifth symphony, the Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise, Strauss – The blue Danube, Chopin – Nocturne, Verdi – Traviata, Ceaikovski – Swan Lake.

Regarding Ballade for Violin and Orchestra by Ciprian Porumbescu, she said: “I think is a Napolitano Canzonetta or maybe a violin concert”

Marina, 31 years old - "
I want people to treat me like a normal person"

She knew how to read the watch.

She recognized all the ingredients. Only, she through that the milled pepper might be wheat flour.

She recognized all the materials types: the cotton, the jeans, the leader, the wool, the velvet, the lace.
She touched the silk and she said that is something artificial.

Toni, 25 years old - “Happiness for me is nothing”

She has her own violin and loves to dance.

She through that: cocoa is powder chocolate, coconut is sugar, rise is nuts, salt is sugar, pepper is jasmine, Daphne leaves are olive leaves, cinnamon sticks are biscuits.

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