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Children's books and things
|Sunbonnet Girls Cup and Saucer (photo courtesy of dollsandlace.com)
Children's books, especially from the Victorian
era, are charming collectibles. Colorful lithographic illustrations that
delighted little boys in long curls and girls in long stockings, with
lots of ribbons and lace, have lost none of their appeal.
Some collectors limit themselves to one subject, others may be interested
in only the illustrations. First editions are always more valuable than
later issues, and condition and rarity are important factors to consider
before making purchases.
Nearly any item made for adult furnishings has been reduced to child-size
furniture, dishes, sporting goods, even some tools. All are very
collectible and highly sought after.
During the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth centuries, miniature
china dinnerware sets were made both in China and England. They were not
intended primarily as children's playthings, however, but instead were
made to furnish miniature rooms and cabinets that provided a popular diversion
for the adults of the period. By the nineteenth century, the emphasis
had shifted and most of the small-scale dinnerware and tea sets were made
for children's play.
Late in the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century, toy-pressed
glass dishes were available, many in the same pattern as full-scale dinnerware.
Today, these toy dishes often bring prices in the same range as those
for the grownups.
It is difficult to find complete sets of such dish sets as most were played
with by children and as a result were damaged, broken or lost. It's a
reality that enhances the price structure of what is available.
As always the condition and rarity determines the price. But beware
of reproductions always buy from a reputable dealer.
If you have a question concerning an antique
or collectible, or know of a show or auction we should help publicize,
write J & J, 4465 Lonedell Rd., St. Louis, MO 63010.
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