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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Handsome Heroes

Ron Embleton  - The Magic Apples

I was waylaid slightly in putting together the last of my royalty inspired posts that complete the trio with Wonderful Weddings and Perfect Princesses.  As this week's entry coincides with President Obama's visit to Ireland perhaps it is opportune however, that today's post is a collection of handsome heroes.

This post gives me an opportunity to include the illustration shown above. It is my favourite Ron Embleton painting from a story called 'The Magic Apples'. It appeared on the cover of Once Upon a Time issue #110 (20 March 1971). Illustrations from this story are very popular and this is the only one that I have not seen online. The full set of the rest can be found at the Look and Learn site. (They hold the copyright to all these works.)

Once again all the illustrations that follow have been taken from issues of Once Upon a Time published between 1969 and 1972. From all around the world this is my selection of Handsome Heroes in these enchanting children's stories:

Ron Embleton - The Secret of the Trolls

H. Gonzales - Yashi and the Magic Carpet

H. Gonales - A Sprig of Rosemary

Sinbad the Sailor
Rose White and Rose Red

Brave Running Deer

Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp

Silia the Dancing Girl

Jesus Blasco - Gulliver's Travels
Jesus Blasco combined different artistic techniques to produce a wonderfully varied effect.  I love the atmosphere he has created in the illustration below.

Jesus Blasco - The Enchanted Lion
The Magic Feather
 Personally I find the prince below slightly creepy but I've included him because he is such a great example of what was considered the epitome of good looks during that era. He belongs to the same story as the first princess I included in the Perfect Princesses post.

The Frog Prince
Ron Embleton - Beauty and the Beast

President Obama visits Dublin

I've loved the excitement of the last two weeks.  A lot of people seem to think they are being cool and sophisticated by feigning disinterest in both visits. I've reached the age where I just find that petty and small minded and I've thoroughly enjoyed the sense of anticipation and spectacle that they brought.

The presidential couple only spent 1 day in Ireland but it was certainly not a low key visit, culminating in an open air speech at College Green where President Obama wowed the crowds by closing the address in Irish with his campaign slogan 'Is féidir linn' – 'Yes we can'.  I confess to watching the speech in the comfort of my home on TV, but I did take the following photos during the day:  

Dame Street prepares to welcome the President
  Stars and Stripes flew alongside the Irish tricolour everywhere. Below are photos taken in Suffolk Street, Dawson Street and Duke Street:

By sheer chance I happened to be close to the Government Buildings in Merrion Street as the presidential cavalcade left at lunchtime. The photos I took were not great but I did as least get to experience the excitement as they drove past.

Government Buildings in Merrion Street

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saalfield Double Wedding No. 4432 / 1964

This has been an eventful week. Last Saturday was Eurovision. I voted for Denmark, my son voted for Sweden and we were all cheering for Jedward, only to have a song from Azerbaijan win the contest that none of us can remember!  Then the Queen and Prince Philip made an historic visit to Ireland, spending much of their time in Dublin and next week President Obama is making a fleeting visit to our shores as well.  Exciting times.
I decided that this was an auspicious enough occasion to include what I consider the jewel in my paper doll collection crown in today's post - Saalfield's Double Wedding. When I started collecting the paper dolls I had loved as a child just over a year ago there were two books I was especially keen to find - Whitman's Ballet Paper Dolls #1962 from 1964 (posted 5 March 2011) and Saalfield's Double Wedding. Unlike other sets where I still have battered covers and an assortment of dolls and outfits, in the case of the Double Wedding I had nothing - just a tantalising memory.  All I could remember was that I adored this set that produced two completely different wedding parties in different colour schemes, with dolls and clothes printed on both sides of the card.

The montage I've put together above gives some idea of the effect. The cover mentions 8 punch out figures making 16 dolls, but this is not correct. Counting the flower girl there are 9 figures or 18 dolls making two impressive wedding groups. The only aspect that is fairly strange is that there are not many wedding outfits and the bride's attendants look more like wedding guests. Even the flower girls are clothed for the wedding in their 'undressed' state.

Not even knowing what make of dolls I was trying to track down I searched everywhere.  I found the book included below, printed by Artcraft in 1971 that was intriguingly close to what I thought I remembered but a few elements were not right.  I had no recollection of the cover at all, the date was too late for me to have played with it as a child and most importantly the dolls were not double sided:

I realised, however, that it was based on the book I was looking for.  I recognised the Maid of Honour's dress as being the alternate version of the bride's gown. It was also obvious that many of the outfits show both sides of the double version with the mirror image reversed.  Copies of this book do come up for sale from time to time. There are also a couple of good quality reproductions available but they have cut back on two of the dolls (resulting in a book of 8 pages) which is a pity. 

I soon realised this was another instance of Saalfield recycling dolls to produce multiple books. Although I don't own the set shown below there appears to be yet another version called 'Wedding Day' printed in 1968. It is almost identical to the Artcraft book with only small differences in the way the dolls are presented:

What confirmed both these books are based on the Double Wedding is this single page that I won in an Ebay auction last year. It is too big to scan so I have photographed it instead. It appears to be a proof of the original set. It shows two figures only - Shirley/Carol, Bridesmaid No.1 and Jerry/Jim, Best Man. Written in pencil on one corner is 4432 - at the time I did not realise the significance of this being the issue number of the set.  The following two images are the alternate sides of this single page:

Finally a couple of weeks ago I had the extreme good fortune of purchasing a copy of the book I had been seeking for so long from Kassy Ferguson who sells paper dolls through eBay. Original paper doll books she has on auction can be found at: .  Kassy inherited an impressive collection of paper dolls from her mother Audrey Sepponen (1921-2006) who is well known to fellow collectors in the USA.  Kassy was wonderful and posted a copy of the Double Wedding to me as soon as she confirmed it was the book I was looking for.

The book is fairly fragile and I'm trying not to handle it too much as the dolls will pop out of their punch out slots very easily. As a result I have only scanned some of the pages - the front and back covers as well as the dolls and outfits I wanted to print to put together the montage:

Nancy the Bride and Debbie the Flower Girl

Susan the Bride and Cathy the Flower Girl
Peggy the Maid of Honour

Phyllis the Maid of Honour

Alan, Usher No 2

Steven, Usher No 2
If I have an overwhelming response to this post  (as I had with My Fair Lady posted 9 January 2011) I will try to scan more of the pages if I can do so without damaging them.

Queen's Visit

The Union Jack and Irish Tricolour flying together for the first time in the Republic at Dublin Castle prior to the State Dinner held there on Wednesday night. I'm not sure if anyone outside Ireland would be aware of how truly historic this sight was - the first visit of a British monarch to Ireland since independence.  

Motor bikes of the Garda Traffic Corps, the traffic unit of an Garda Síochána based at Dublin Castle preparing to leave prior to escorting the Queen and Prince Philip during their visit.

The world's press camped out inside this marquee on Wednesday, making their broadcasts during the day from there. I wasn't able to see the queen as all the main activity occured in the main courtyard on the other side of the State Apartments where the flags are flying (and she only arrived at the castle at 7.30pm by which time I was already at home.)  The marquee has been left in situ as I think it is also being used for President Obama's visit tomorrow. 

The dinner was held in St Patick's Hall.  It is a beautiful room - the official tour of the castle (which is well worth seeing if anyone is on holiday in Dublin) ends there and unlike most tours photographs are allowed (unless that has changed since I was there a few years ago).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Fair Lady Paper Doll Additional Pages

Click here to see the doll and her outfits (posted 9 January 2011)

I chose to post this paper doll in one of my first blog entries as my original set is complete, in good condition, and I have never seen it anywhere else.  At the time I did not include the additional pages of the book.  To date this paper doll has been the most popular posting on my blog and for this reason I have decided to add the rest of the pages as today's entry.

Last week I received a comment asking whether the set had a wardrobe. It does, but the one that was provided is (in my opinion) not very attractive.  It is just a simple folder included inside the back cover.  The design is very typical of the 60's and does not compliment the doll who depicts the early 20th century.

Besides the doll and her clothes the book contains the story of Covent Garden.  I think it was supposed to double as a colouring book.  Although I was still an avid paper doll collector, by the time I was given this book I had passed the age of wanting to colour it in which is probably a good thing as it has remained in its original condition.

All the additional pages follow with the wardrobe included at the end. The front and back covers of the book are identical.  It was published in C.B.S Limited.      



This is the 'wardrobe' inside the back cover of the book. 

Dublin Castle

Next week the Queen is visiting Ireland.  She will be attending a state dinner at Dublin Castle on Wednesday evening and during the past few days I have been watching the preparations being made from my office window.  I took these photos earlier this week before much of this area was closed to the public for security reasons. 
The Chapel at Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle with part of the State Apartments

Dublin Castle 'Gardens'
Coach House Dublin Castle

My office is the building in the background of this photo. As I am on the second floor facing this lawned courtyard (and my desk is right in front of a floor to ceiling window) I have a beautiful view of the castle. The buildings in the previous pictures are behind where I was standing here.

And just to finish on a splash of colour, some flowers photographed at St Stephen's Green. 


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