Thursday, 19 September 2013

Nature's Gifts

Nothing is more beautiful than mother nature. These Mediterranean miracles were captured in Lucite sometime in 60s or 70s. The top is a Murex shell (Fun Fact: the snail inside was the only source of the color purple prior to modern dye manufacture - used by Romans in their royal clothing) and the bottom - a white coral from a time before we had a clue to its impending extinction.
6", 4.5"
This great picture was taken in Australia at the John Sands packing exhibition at the Sydney Town Hall between August and November 1936.

Among other things, my upcoming book, Disney's Grand Tour, pieces together the early history of the Disney offices throughout Europe, adding a tremendous amount of details to what was known until now.

However, when you look at early Robert Hartman stationary and Kay Kamen catalogs, you realize that, apart from Europe, Disney also had an "official" presence abroad in Australia since at least August 1934.

From what I was able to gather, Disney was first represented in Australasia, through the Australian company John Sands Ltd. Walter Rogan Granger was working for John Sands at the time and seems to have been the Key Account Manager for Disney as early as 1935 (and maybe even earlier).

By the end of October 1939, Walter R. Granger resigned from John Sands and became the General Manager of the newly created Walt Disney - Mickey Mouse A'sia Pty Ltd. He passed away in January 1947 and was followed as GM by his son, Walter Arthur Granger, who remained with the company at least until the 1970s.

Do we have any readers in Australia? Have you researched the early history of Disney in that country? Do you know if the John Sands company, which still exists, preserved its archives? Do you know when Walter Arthur Granger retired? (He passed away in 2008.) Any idea of what were the first products licensed by John Sands and when?

Any additional information which can be added to what I am mentioning above would be tremendously welcome.  

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Great Glass from Great Britain

Whitefriars Glass situated on Fleet Street in London (est. 1680) was a storied factory from England, existed for centuries, and at one point was called James Powell and Sons. Early on, the company was best known for making the stain glass for churches. In the 19th century they were innovators in creating scientific applications for glass such as x-ray tubes and light bulbs. This piece dates from the 1960s when the company tried to compete with the popularity of Italian and Scandinavian glass by producing mass appeal decorative items for the home. This rare vase has a kind of bark texture. The color reminds me of a tall frothy glass of root beer.
12" x 7"

Pinocchio in China

I would have loved to pick up this very unusual item on ebay if the price had not gone through the roof.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Love of Chains

In the last few years a cult following has emerged for the works of Viennese designer Carl Auböck (1900 -1957). 
A master of minimalist industrial design created in his Austrian home studio, a company kept vibrant currently by his sons. Pictured above are a coveted pair of original iconic chain link paperweights made sometime in the 50s - both brass and nickle plated shown here.
8" long
If rare vintage Disneyana fascinates you, then you do not want to miss this new site!

Do not miss this outstanding article by Todd James Pierce on the Disney History Insitute. Pure gold:

- Walt's Field Day - 1938 by Todd James Pierce