Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The "Ladies" Come Out From Hiding

Years ago I was so pleased when I could display my Royal Doulton collection on the mantle in the bedroom -- The "ladies" danced across the mantle interspersed by my "little ladies".    The little ladies are no longer at Linderhof for three years ago they were a birthday gift to Daughter Sarah.    It was a gift no made lightly for I loved those little ladies but sometimes things are meant to be passed on.

And then I decided that I should "change up" the mantle and so different things have resided on the master bedroom mantle top.    One thing, however, is constant -- the clock.   It was a wedding present to my parents in 1942 and my mother gave it to me so that "she could see my enjoyment" of the clock for she knew how much it meant to me.

Ladies of Linderhof on the Master Bedroom Mantle

But the ladies have returned.    Replacing some Staffordshire spaniels and candlesticks, the ladies once again frolic atop the mantle.

Royal Doultons (especially the ladies) were a big collectible back in the 50's and 60's but their popularity has waned in recent years and you often find them in antique malls for much less than they were 5 or 6 years ago.

Our love of Royal Doulton figurines dates back to childhood.    Sadly, it wasn't a real Royal Doulton that inspired this love.    But rather a plaster of paris "look alike" that was sold in dimestores to be painted at home.
A 1950s Craft Project

My mother painted The Balloon Man when I was a small child.    He graced tabletops in my childhood home.   His companion piece, The Old Balloon Seller, was painted by my mother's landlady and friend, Mrs. Boland.    So I grew up with both.  

On our first trip to England there was one thing that I wanted and wanted badly . . . and that was a real Old Balloon Seller.

A memento of our first trip to England

She did come home with me and was the start of my Royal Doulton collection.    She was the only one I purchased for the rest were gifts from either Husband Jim or Daughter Sarah.

Daughter Sarah on her first trip to England also came home with a Royal Doulton figurine -- a little girl and a dog.    For a 12 year old that was an adventuresome purchase (for it wasn't a toy after all).    For all of those "special" dates (birthdays, graduations, wedding) we gift her with a Royal Doulton.    And, one year I gave her my little maidens to add to her collection.

I like the mantle with the ladies and the fact that instead of being tucked away in a bookcase, they're where all can see!     They make me smile -- for they not only adorn the mantle but they are also memories!

The Balloon Man was one of the treasures I wanted when we lost mother and so he came home to Linderhof to join the real "Old Balloon Seller".     They seem happy to share a shelf in the bookcase.   One real -- one faux -- but both full of memories!

It's Monday and I'm sharing my new mantle with Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Met Monday.


Pondside said...

I too have a collections of 'ladies' small and not-so-small. Mine live in the china cabinet, as our mantel is just too rustic for such elegant ladies!

LauraC said...

Any possibility of seeing Sarah's collection? and Pondside, yours too?

lindaraxa said...

Just precious!

Antiques And Teacups said...

How fun to have your collection on show! The Balloon man by your father is so special. No wonder you wanted the Balloon Lady...and they are a bit pricey!

Bernideen said...

They look darling!

Mimi said...

OH I LOVE those!!!
I use to collect JOSEF originals and my friend collected the larger more expensive has escaped my brain what they were...might be daulton's but not sure.......I still have some of them....the International Collection I I keep those and allow my 4 year old grand to ask what Country and so they are good teaching tools too!!!!

Michelle said...

Hi Martha!
Just caught up on about 9-10 of your posts and I'm going to go make some coffee and read them all again! Want to sit down and read them slower and savor...the past two weeks have been crazy busy...haven't even looked at a single blog! Our summer is packed...when does school start again...LOL! So fun to catch up with you!

On Crooked Creek said...

Lovely ladies @ Linderhof!!! Collections tell much about a person...their appreciation for fine things.I love that your Mother made the Balloon Man!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

My mother collected Royal Doulton figurine and I inherited hers, and they have been added to. Some are on the mantle in the living room, and some in a china cabinet. Alas, my daughters do not like "china people" (Usually we have the same taste, but not in this)and I wonder what will happen to them. But for now, they make me very happy and I cherish them.

And I can always hope they change their minds.

Rowan said...

I love the Royal Doulton ladies, they are all so elegant - I love that clock too. It's so nice to besurrounded by things that have happy memories attached to them.