Archive for November, 2009

Lefton Angel Devil Figurine Collectibles

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Lefton angel devil figurine collectibles

Lefton figurines have been around since 1941 when George Zoltan Lefton, a Hungarian immigrant, opened his company. The company still exists today, but I am personally fondest of its 1950s pieces.

Lefton’s retro mod pixieware would be the toast of a 50s kitchen. His striped Christmas elves adorn my mantle every year. And then there are the very collectible Lefton angels and devils.

In the series the devil is up to all kinds of mischevious deeds. In one figurine he is trying to sneak a kiss with the angel. In another piece that I have on Ebay, the little angel has knocked the devil on his rear and is glaring at him with her fist extended.

While they are from the 1950s, the Lefton angel and devil remind me of 1930s Campbell Soup kids. They are rounded all over and have rosy cheeks, red lips, and huge, round eyes with eyelashes.

The Lefton angel figurine wears a white dress with puffy sleeves and little wings. She has gold metallic trim on the lace bottom of her dress, her halo, and the creases of her dress. The devil wears a red romper suite with blonde locks poking out underneath and little golden horns.

My piece has the Lefton crown insignia on the bottom, which is a common Lefton mark.

Lefton china mark

You will also see the Lefton devil figurine doing a solo act –  tennis, bowling and playing several musical instruments. Less commonly seen are devils that don’t have the golden locks peecking out.

While the Lefton collectibles angel and devil figurines are hardly scarce, they aren’t completely common either. At any one time you will find a few of each figurine on Ebay.

If these little 50s childlike figurines appeal, be sure to watch out for cracks and crazing. They also seem to be susceptible to paint wear.

Prevention is the best medicine when cleaning them so as to avoid damaging the finish. Putting figurines in an enclosed cabinet and dusting them regularly works for me. I try to avoid touching them without gloves. The oils on your hands get on a figurine and help dust stick.

I use a squeeze bulb to blow off dust, the kind that is used for cleaning a digital camera sensor. That way I am not grinding dirt into the surface of the paint while cleaning.

I have heard many people say they use a gentle soap but I don’t do that. The most I have ever used was a lightly water-dampened soft cloth on a piece that was so incredibly dirty that it was a loss in its current condition.

It cleaned up with gentle persistance but there is no guarantee that what was safe on that figurine will be fine on another. Stick with the dusting and happy collecting!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009
Here’s hoping you and yours are having a wonderful holiday!

Thanksgiving is so important because it makes us stop and think about all the things for which we are thankful. I know I am so very grateful for my absolutely terrific family, friends, and customers who have all been so supportive as I begin my small business.

A special shout out to Greg, Emma, Jonathon, Sue, Chip, September, Brendan, Katka and Matt for helping me get lift off.

Can’t forget to mention good health, the pets that make me laugh, and the chance to have fun everyday.

Now back back to the kitchen. We are cleaning up after a lovely big meal all cooked in vintage cookware. More on that later.

Union Products Blow Mold Decorations – History and Care

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Union Featherstone Blow Mold Turkey

I have a blow mold lawn ornament made by Union Products on Ebay right now, From the 1950s until a few years ago, the company was a leader in the brightly colored decorations that are a fun, guilty pleasure for many.

Prior to 1956, Union Products created two dimensional lawn ornaments. In seeking to expand its business, the company hired Don Featherstone, a graduate of the Worcester Art Museum’s art school, to sculpt their new 3-D line.

Featherstone’s first effort was a duck, created in the image of a real bird named Charlie.  His second effort became an American classic.

Featherstone’s pink flamingo was embraced by America’s mid century housewives looking to bring happy homeware to interiors and exteriors of their homes. When the Miami Vice TV show came out in the 1980s flamingos roared back to popularity. That said, flamingo diehards never did stop buying them. The Featherstone flamingo reamained in production until Union Products closed its doors in 2006.

From a foundation built on a flamingo, Featherstone created approximately 750 other whimsical characters. Almost as well known as the flamingo are his light up holiday decorations including Santas, elves and turkeys.

As with many of his creations my Ebay turkey is signed by Don Featherstone. He began the practice when knockoff flamingos began flooding the market. The turkey is one of Featherstone’s later creations from the 1994.

Today, Union Products blow molds are highly collectible as are blow molds from other companies.

With Christmas just around the corner I thought you’d enjoy some other plastic fantastic blow mold eye candy. The beauties below come courtesy of my friend’s mom, Barbara, who has over 50 in her collection.

While blow molds are robust lawn ornaments, the paint is a well known weak spot. It rubs off the plastic if you look sidewise at it. Storing one piece against another can cause a paint rub as can cleaning or age. Barbara suggests cleaning gently wiith a water moistened paper towel, but only if you must.

She also built a storage space where her blow molds can stand upright without touching. Her other trick is to keep them in their original boxes whenever possible.

If you can’t box them or create a special storage space, remember that scratches and paint rubs are the norm. Blow molds can be repainted if they are in really bad shape. Barbara spray painted some of her oldest pieces that had bleached white with age.

Happy blow molding everyone!

Blown Mold Choir Blow Mold Christmas Decoration