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SS/jl set 12-9

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — The Annapolis, Md.-based auction firm Theriault’s has announced its premiere auction weekend of 2003, scheduled for January 3-5, in Newport Beach. This year’s schedule features four auctions of antique and vintage dolls as well as an auction of antique toy stoves.

The single-owner toy stove collection is the property of the estate of Irene Blatnik of Freeport, Ill., who assembled the collection over a 40-year period. A loyal member of the Antique Stove Association, Blatnik was avid in her pursuit of rare models, persistent in her search for precise information about their history, and generous in sharing her collection with others.

The Blatnik collection features most prominently in American toy stoves, but there is a notable selection from France and Germany, including a number of stoves by the German firms of Maerklin and Bing, along with their brass and copper utensils, tinplate kitchens from Germany and cast-iron stoves from French foundries including Godin.

Although toy manufacturers such as J&E Stevens and Kenton Toy made many of the American stoves, the manufacturers of people-sized stoves also produced toy stoves. These were not salesman’s samples, but were designed to encourage young girls to work alongside Mom in the kitchen; some toy stoves, in fact, were identical in every aspect to their full-sized models. One manufacturer, Quick Meal Ranges, even suggested that a young girl be positioned in the store window, baking biscuits on her toy stove, as a sure means of attracting customers.

There is the stove that features a woman’s head with flowing hair alongside horse heads with flowing manes, and another stove with a design of a Japanese woman with parasol. Other stoves have die-cast symbols that seem appropriate for their names: the cow on the nameplate of The Jersey Cow stove or the buck head for Buck’s Jr stove.

There are 170 stoves featured including ten American miniature patent models of mid-Nineteenth Century stoves along with their original patent tags, a collection of antique stove catalogs and toy cookware along with useful parts such as lid lifters.

Absentee and telephone bids are welcomed. To order the $49 catalog, or for information, 800-638-0422.



CONSTANCE – 1 CUT – SS/jl set 12-9

DEERFIELD, MASS. — Memorial Hall Museum will offer a limited edition photogravure of “Constance” by Frances E. and Mary S. Allen. Using the Allen sisters’ original glass plate negative, master printer Jon Goodman of Florence, Mass., etched the image onto a copper plate then printed a hand-pulled photogravure.

“There has been considerable interest in the Allen sisters photographs and after careful thought, the museum selected one of the most evocative of the Allen sisters’ images available,” explains Curator Suzanne Flynt, who produced an exhibition and book, both titled “Frances and Mary Allen: Pictorial Photographers 1885-1920,” earlier this year.

Between 1885 and 1920, the Allen sisters of Deerfield created idealized photographs of country scenes, figure and child studies, and landscapes of New England, Quebec, California and Great Britain. Frances Allen (1854-1941) and Mary Allen (1858-1941) started working as photographers after progressive deafness necessitated that they reassess their chosen vocation of teaching. Working within social and aesthetic reforms of the Arts and Crafts Movement, they found Old Deerfield’s Eighteenth Century houses and furnishings offered an ideal environment for their colonial re-creations, and their family and neighbors further accommodated them by donning period clothes to complete the pictures.

Model Constance Charnley (1880-1914) loved the quiet country life in Deerfield, where she first visited when a student at Smith College. In 1897, Frances and Mary Allen exhibited a print of her, titled “Constance,” in the Royal Photographic Society’s 42nd Annual Exhibition in London. The masterful use of light on the figure and window in “Constance,” and the extraordinary range of tones, was a dramatic departure from the Allens’ previous work. Only 14 Americans, including the Allen sisters, Frances Benjamin Johnston, and Alfred Stieglitz, were among the more than 180 photographers included in the exhibition.

An edition of 200 numbered hand-pulled prints of “Constance” will be printed on 100 percent rag mould made paper. The image is 121/2 by 71/2 inches the sheet size is 15 by 20. The photogravure is available for $300 (plus tax) from Memorial Hall Museum, 8 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA 01342 or at The Mezzanine Gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For information, 413-774-4466 or mhm@deerfield-ma.org.

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