Friday, April 9, 2010

For the Miniature Theatre Enthusiast ... and ...

From the famous British company Pollock's Toy Museum and Toy Shop

If you click on each image, you'll get a larger and more clear image.
The history begins in 1856 in Hoxton, an area of London bordered by the wealth of the City and the poverty of the East End. This is where Benjamin Pollock was born. At this time the toy theatre trade was flourishing in Covent Garden's Theatreland. By the time Benjamin Pollock had married Eliza Redington and inherited her father's Theatrical Print Warehouse, the toy theatre trade had been overshadowed by new fangled novelties such as magic lanterns, gramophones and the wireless.

However Mr Pollock, in his dark and dusty shop in Hoxton, carried on supplying theatrical sheets costing a penny plain and twopence coloured. His customers were local children aspiring to the stage or city gents nostalgic for their childhood as well as actors of the larger stage such as Charlie Chaplin. Pollock, although not the most innovative producer of Juvenile Drama, was the most amiable and diligent.
When Robert Louis Stevenson went to visit Webb, a rival of Pollock, he found him disagreeable and after an argument went down the road to Pollock's shop and was so delighted with him he immortalised him in an essay 'If you love art, folly or the bright eyes of children, speed to Pollock's'.
After his death in 1937 the business was kept going by various parties but was revitalised in the 1960s when Marguerite Fawdry tried to purchase some character slides for her son's toy theatre. She ended up buying the whole stock of slides and printing plates and subsequently opened her museum in London's Fitzrovia which still exists. It was to delight further generations of children as well as the actors, art students, collectors of toys and those who just like to be reminded of the inventive novelties of childhood.

Peter Baldwin was one of the many people who visited the museum and could not keep away. In 1980 Mrs Fawdry opened a second small shop on the first floor of the newly renovated Covent Garden market. Peter Baldwin became manager and took over the business in 1988 with his brother Christopher. And so the Baldwin brothers continued the tradition in its native home. Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop continues to appeal to the wide range of young and old that it has always done. So please do come and visit our shop if you are ever in London, where we have as well as our theatres, lots more traditional toys for pocket money spenders to those wishing to spend their money on more expensive frivolities which will bring much happiness!
This history was taken from the "about us" link on the Pollack Toy Theatre Shop website.

I have only been fortunate enough to visit the museum and shop once - about twelve years ago. But, I do hope to return someday. I have such fond memories of enchanted hours looking - and touching! - these marvelous enchantments!

I hope you'll make a point of visiting Pollock's if you are in London!

Sometimes, the clothes say it all...

Hmmm. Think this was the first "Make Love Not War" poster? ...

Enchanted Revelries has a new blog sponsor! A hearty welcome to We will be having a special giveaway contest next week for some fabulous custom printing through U Printing!

I've been so busy this week, I've started talking to myself. I know that I've been a bad blogger ... only one post all week! Sorry. I simply MUST get all the final details done for my little exhibit next Sunday. It's absurd. It's a one day only exhibit for our Cherry Blossom Festival here - but I am spending as much time getting the work and the displays ready as if it were a two month exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum. Argh! If they were showing better movies on Turner this week, I wouldn't be resorting to talking to myself! At least I occasionally make a clever remark back to myself.
Now, go make something beautiful!
♥´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan

27 comments:

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

Oh... my... gosh...!!! I have been there! And I didn't know it was such a fabulous place... I was overwhelmed at the time, as it was my very first trip across the pond. We spent quite a bit of time at Covent Garden admiring all the shops. Next time we go (fingers crossed it will be before I turn grey-haired!), I will have to take a closer look!

Elaine A said...

Tristan -

If I ever get to the UK, I will be stopping at the museum. My husband will probably have to drag me out! By the way, you do know that talking to one's self is a sign of GENIUS, don't you?
Have a great weekend!

Elaine Allen

Berlin Deluxxe said...

How fab is this! I collect Ed Gorey books and novelties, I even have his tarot deck! I have been wanting to purchase the Dracula mini theatre for a while now, thanks for refreshing my memory on what else I need to add to my hoarding palace. haha
Have a fun weekend!

Marilyn said...

Well...You know me with miniatures!! This was a delightful post.
I find myself talking to myself a lot lately....I do it in times of stress & there has been a lot of that for the last 6 months!! LOL!!
Our last 8 windows arrived today & that is what will be going on at our house this weekend!! I am so excited even though I can't help too much. Oh well, I will be a manager!!
Have a Wonderful Weekend!!
Love,
Marilyn

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Pollock's is a favorite of mine, too. Best of luck with the show. You sound like me...always going above and beyond the call of duty. Perfectionists? I think so.

Catherine

Ann said...

what a lovely and informative post! I would love to visit the museum someday..how fun.
talking to yourself...this is a good thing. My Mother,the most marvelous woman i have ever known, used to talk to herself all the time..in fact, she would argue back and forth with herself! she was so smart,loving,creative,caring....talking to yourself is the mark of a great mind!!

peggy gatto said...

Wonderful history lesson!!!
And, I think the last picture looks like a relative of
"Kramer"!!!

yoborobo said...

That was fascinating! I love anything miniature, and would love to see them in person. And is there something wrong with talking to yourself? At least you don't have to explain yourself to you. :) Happy weekend - Pam

jaz@octoberfarm said...

omg...that one pic looks like brokeback mountain in military gear!

Shell said...

These miniature theaters are beautiful. It makes my actor's heart all a flutter.
Whenever I get to London, I must go to Pollock's.
You can surely use my Kairos post in your blog. I am honored that you even want to.
Have a fab weekend, Tristan.

Meri Wiley said...

Hi Tristan,

Out of all the times I've been to London, not once did I go to Coventry Garden, or know about that shop......I shall have to rectify that on the next adventure. There is an adorable doll and toy museum in Edinburgh Scotland. It's on the Royal Mile, and you should check it out if ever you get there. There's also a wonderful miniature shop in York, that's absolutely packed with goodies, and out on the wharf, or main dock in Oban there's a wonderful miniature museum right there on the dock. So many things to see out there.....I love the UK!!!!

Hugs,
Meri

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I have just laughed myself to paradise with your last photo, and the previous presentation on those magnificent paper theatres just is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!! That is something that I need to see one day when I go to London. Oh Tristan, once a thespian, always a thespian, n'est-ce pas? OH! That paper castle on my post...do you know that I just found that with NO INFORMATION as to its origins? My cousin also inquired about it. Isn't it divine?

Thank you for your great kindness, humor and wonderful gift to make the world a beautiful place. Love to you and yours, Anita

Kaerie Faerie said...

Wow, Wow, Wow I'm drooling over these theaters, making a theater seems to be my latest obsession and now you have made it worse, LOL
I guess you know what I'll be trying to make this weekend
Have a good one
thanks for sharing
your fairy friend
Karey

Sea Witch said...

Simply amazing these lovely little theaters. I can't decide which I like best, but Dracula's does seem to call me for its off beat theme.

Love the spooning soldiers...pre don't ask...don't tell. Have a spectacular weekend...I'm gonna try and stay pollen free. Sea witch

Terri said...

Oh Tristan, this is my thing. Paper theaters! I drool over these and would love to just make it myself. I once had a paper model kit for Monet's garden, it took me forever to make it, there were many tiny details. But I loved every minute of it.
Next time I am in London I will make sure I visit this shop. Thank you so much for posting about it.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

What a delightful post! I love paper theaters.. Thank you for sharing.
Warm regards,
Penny

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I love that Edward Gorey "Dracula" theater! I could see that one sitting in my house!
I never had any idea there were som many of the small things....I remember printing the one, but assumed it was just a one-of novelty. What an interesting history!

XXOO!!
Anne

Claudia said...

I am always enchanted by miniature theaters. Thanks so much for telling us about this wonderful place - I'm going to their website right away.

xo
Claudia

friedaquilter said...

I'll most definitely make a point of visiting, Tristan, whenever I find myself in London next! It sounds wonderful.
And good luck with the exhibition. Hope you sell lots!!

Sue said...

Oh gosh, years ago my hubby was in England and visited Pollock's. He brought me home several goodies from the Museum gift shop and one was a minature theatre kit. I had forgotten all about that! Will have to see in what 'safe' place I put it.

Isn't it funny how one's tastes change? At the time, I thought it was cool but now find these minature theatres enchanting. Must.go.find.it.

Hugs,

Sue

Sandy Michelle said...

Those mini toy theatres are pretty cool! Congrats on being Dollybelle's Sir March :)

Sandy xox

The Joy of Nesting said...

Evening Kiddo!!

Thanks ever so much for the wonderful field trip!!!

Your show will be beautiful!!! I do understand the need to have it perfect no matter how small a show is. It still reflects who we are and our passion for our art.

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Beadwright said...

Hi Tristian, this is a great post. Very interesting. As always.
Have a nice weekend
Nicole/Beadwright

Createology said...

Such a wealth of knowledge you are and I love the fact that you share so generously with all of us. Your exhibit will be marvelous. Happy creating...

theoldboathouse said...

Very interesting, cheers Katherine

julietk said...

I feel Lucky and not so lucky to be a Londoner today Lucky because the shop is so very near to me and unlucky because your giveaway is for US only. Just popped in to see whats new :-)

Maggi said...

Goodness, those little theaters are darling! I hope to get to this museum one day!