It's certainly been my week to find intriguing vintage animals--both figurines and toys. Between two garage sales and one thrift shop, I've made a decent haul. Most of them I know little about, so if you can help with more information on any of these, please do leave a comment.
I'll start with one of the easier ones, a Fenton glass bear.
This is what I believe is referred to as "opalescent" glass. It's prettier than my photo shows, being glossy and iridescent. The design is hand painted, and the artist has signed the piece as well.
I don't understand why there are two different Fenton labels, but there they are, plus the original price tag: $19.50. This is at least twenty years old--wish I knew the approximate manufacture date, and what this is worth now. It's in perfect shape! I got it for a veritable song, as is happily so often the case when a man is in charge of selling off the wife's goods and chattels! (My husband loves it for the same reason when the wife is the one in charge of selling her husband's tools and building supplies!)
At the same sale, I found this fascinating penguin. At least, I think it's a penguin. Or maybe an awk?
Whatever type bird it is, this figurine seems pretty old. There are no markings to identify it and I haven't found a thing even remotely similar in my internet searches. It's in fine shape--no cracks, no chips. The black-on-white floral pattern fascinates me. I hope someone reading this can tell me more about it.
My next junking coup also came at a garage sale. In a squatty, short hinged-lid glass canister, someone had made a ghastly little farm scene with dried moss and Fimo clay--a truly dreadful horror which I presume had been presented to some poor soul as a gift, the owner of which was now anxious to palm off on someone else. It was priced at 50 cents. It was so hideous, you're probably wondering why I bothered with it. Well, let me show you just what sort of little farm animals were posed inside this glass atrocity:
These are vintage lead farm animals. Yes, I said lead. Obviously these are not toys you want your kids playing with nowadays, but before the dangers of lead exposure were well understood, these kinds of figures were quite common. I'm still attempting to research these; my guess is they date to the turn of the century (oops, I can't use that term anymore without explaining which century I mean, can it?) Ahem...my guess is they date to maybe about 1900 to the 1930's. Again, if any of you reading this can help with more information, that would be wonderful!
My next find was a bag full of plastic horses and farm animals from a thrift shop. Labeled "Roy Rogers toys", the price was marked at $24.99. Never in my wildest dreams would I willingly have paid that much, but on the day I was there, a special sale was on for 75% off, and I figured $6-$7 was worth the risk.
This is just a sample of what I found inside; there are duplicates of many of these horses. There are distinct styles, but from what I can see on eBay, most are indeed from Roy Rogers toy sets by Marx, and made in the 1950's. It'll take some more investigating to figure out which sets they come from.
The bag also contained some intriguing terra-cotta and white colored farm animals on bases. There is no manufacturing information on any of them, but I don't think they belong with the Roy Rogers stuff. They seem older, and the style is different. Take a look:
This pig is my personal favorite! There are probably about 15 or so of these little toys.
Last, but by no means least, is one most amazing toy ram who somehow got in with these other toys, though it's obviously not part of any of these collections. It is made of a lightweight material--I'm not sure what. I'd say celluloid, but then again, it almost feels like a spun cotton or papier-mache composition. It's also marked--but what the markings mean, I haven't a guess. Please, someone, look at this toy sheep and give me some information about him:
It's plain he's very old; I wonder if it's a German-made toy? He might even have come from a nativity set.
Well, that's it for this round. Thanks for reading!
Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...
Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.
--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse