Tag: Royal Wedding

William & Kate retro kitsch competition

Well, we couldn’t let the Royal Wedding go by without indulging in at least a little bit of nonsense and so what better than a competition to win a “dress-up dolly” kit featuring the happy couple and a selection of outfits for every occasion!

paper dolls from 1919The first paper dolls were recorded in Europe during the mid-18th century. The arms and legs were jointed so you could move them around and they were called pantins meaning dancing puppet or marionette. Paper dolls were available initially to entertain adults and were fashionable throughout high society. They were drawn or painted with fashions for each doll, often representing famous people – like film actress Norma Talmadge from 1919.

I remember similar child-orientated play-sets from the 1960’s and 70’s. By this time, paper dolls were an affordable toy option. They don’t quite compete with the modern computer version (“SIMS”) but my sisters and I would be very contented little girls snipping out our doll and refining our eye-hand co-ordination whilst dressing our cardboard dolly.

Remember those halcyon days or introduce this old fashioned toy to your own children (something to do whilst waiting for Kate to arrive at Westminster Abbey?) We’ll send a free copy of the Royal Wedding dress-up dolly book to our favourite comment between now and Retro Sunday on the 17th April in Weymouth. Alternatively you can buy the kit from Ladybird Booksjust click the link to go to their website.

Comparing this version to the 1919 one – I have to confess that our standards of paper doll publishing have severely slipped!!

dress up william and kate


Royal Crown Derby in Dorset

painting Royal Crown DerbyWhat an inspiring morning at Box of Porcelain in Dorchester. Robert and his team invited Royal Crown Derby along to provide demonstrations of hand painting and a sneak preview at the Royal Wedding Commemorative china together with pieces from the Titanic Commemorative ware for next year’s 100th anniversary.

Robert’s fine porcelain shop is always a treasure trove of delights but Saturday’s event was exceptional. I arrived early to snap some photos of Natalie Cornwall-Wilson hand-painting the beautiful Ken Eastman designs (a skill that’s taken her 20 years to perfect) and to find out about the new Titanic range which is an exact copy of the tableware that Royal Crown Derby provided on the ship itself.

Its rather wonderful that this 260 year old company is still producing some of the finest porcelain in England today and has faithfully replicated every detail including the original information pamphlet to commemorate the Titanic anniversary next year. Whilst it is expensive, the Titanic design is perfect for Christmas day so if you’re thinking of pushing the boat out (!) then get in touch with Robert to place an order email rlunn@boxofporcelain.com or ring The Box of Porcelain on 01305 267110

the Titanic porcelain range original brochure printed for the Titanic

As for the Royal Wedding memorabilia – if you’re going to buy anything to celebrate then you may as well make it something that holds its value — and the gold and blue intertwined designs of C & W for Catherine and William are truly lovely. As you can see – its a good job I arrived early – this was a very popular event – and a great source of vintage inspiration

crown derby royal wedding plateA full shop at a Box of Porcelain