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Mischievous should be plural for feline

Mischievous should be plural for feline

Mischievous should be plural for feline

Thanks once again to my wonderful guest blogger, Eiffion, owner of https://www.collectibulldogs.comfor his light hearted blog about Noddy and Bonnie who really fit Eiffion’s blog title of Mischievous should be plural for feline.

Eiffion is a dedicated collector of all sorts of things related to English Bulldogs, and also has an English Bulldog blog at collectibulldogs.comHis World class collection of Bulldog ephemera is museum listed and has even made its way into a display in Brighton Museum, UK. Quite a feat!

 Eiffion isn’t just a lover of bulldogs, he is also pretty fond of felines too! Read the following blog to find out more.

The goodbye that never was

Hi there readers of Mullard Antiques blog articles, it’s me, Eiffion, the bulldog fella. I wrote a blog for you guys n gals a while back and I’m guest posting again. So, Hi! How are you all?

I thought I’d make a change from bulldogs and talk about cats instead. Two cats in particular and both close to myself and my family but alas one is not here anymore, as the header suggests we lost one cat a few summers ago and never knew what happened to him. He just disappeared.

Noddy (our first cat) was a brazen yet chilled out cat that loved nothing better than to either sunbathe out on the window sill winding up the pigeons or on a hot day he would be outside in the middle of the pavement licking where cats lick and not scared of any dog that walked past.

What’s that? Can’t you see I’m busy!

We had this friend of ours for years, he was our first kitten as a family and the day he went missing I remember myself crying because my little girl was so upset. I put up a reward and defied the council twice by putting up bill boards outside the home but it wasn’t to be. We looked everywhere. In a city that never sleeps anything could of happened to Noddy and, even though I want my daughter to experience the responsibility of owning an animal, I feel something was taken from her in the sense she felt loss but unlike past pets couldn’t properly say goodbye.

The fact I’m a doggie fella is neither here nor there when it came to Noddy, he was one in a million. I mean what cat comes for walks, often miles, just to be with the dog. People used to stop and take pictures the vision was so cute. We have heard stories of cats reappearing months sometimes years after going missing but I have, and had, the sinking feeling that we may never see Noddy again nor ever have another cat like him.

Noddy: a very handsome cat

I’d like to dedicate this article to Noddy if I may and wish him all the meows in the world whether this one or where cats go after. Get ready here comes trouble. So if Noddy had of gone by say mis – responsibility through the vets I wouldn’t have allowed my daughter the luxury of a second cat, and some may think that sounds a bit harsh, but as parents you must know when we agree to our kids having pets whom takes on most of the chores… hmmm.

Our daughter was anxious that the same thing would happen again if she was to get another cat and ironically about 6 months later a kitten popped up on Facebook and was classed as a house cat. I read this up and realised it is frowned upon but we hadn’t made the cat that way and it seemed ideal to have this kitten as a pet. We went to get the kitten from a ladies home and the kitten meowed from its old home right till we got to ours and as soon as we were in she went quiet.

Folks meet Bonnie the most aggravating The most mischievous The most aghhhh ball of cuteness in the feline world.

Bonnie, the ball of cuteness!

BONNIE NO!

Now, what can I do next to make them shout at me…..

We all live in our homes day-to-day, most have routines and, I swear, all you hear from my 15 year old whom just normally answers anything with a grunt or ‘I don’t know’ is constantly telling off the cat. I will use cat now as Bonnie is a couple of years old now and I swear she’s got a dreamies addiction (I think all cats have, Eiffion! You ought to see ours when the dreamies appear. I would love to know what is in them to make them so addictive!)

I do not know where to start with her naughtiness, let’s start with just yesterday. I’m insomniac so needed some rest. No one else was here so Bonnie decided to get a whole cupboards worth of clean washing out whilst I was asleep.

Speaking of asleep this next one even made me giggle at first. She must have started with my wife first as it was her that noticed cat fur on her lips and sometimes in her mouth, I came home late one night from evening with the lads and I caught Bonnie in the act, she was sitting on my wife’s chest with one paw trying to open her mouth. We thought, weird cat!

Hands, hands, hands, it’s all about the hands. Bonnie is such a spoilt cat she’s craving attention and in her mind when you’re in bed and she cannot find your hands she goes looking for them. Funny how she thinks they maybe down the throats! Lol! I now play peek a hand with her so she knows where our hands go.

 

Who needs a scratch post when expensive leather will do? I will be the first to admit I am careful with my income. My only extravagance is my daughter and, at the age of 15, has a better, more grown up, bedroom than is needed. Unlucky for me, my daughter has expensive taste! The crowning glory of her new bedroom was a bed even more luxurious than ours!!!

My wife took me in the other day and OMG Bonnie has taken upon herself NOT to use the posts provided but the beautiful suede coloured leather that covers my daughters bed. I do not feel angry towards Bonnie, she spends a few hours a day on her own or with me, if the dog’s not around, whilst my daughter attends her education, so I understand the craving of attention. This would be easily accomplished if only Bonnie would let somebody pick her up, that way she can be made a fuss of, played with and hopefully knacker her out but, ever since we got her she’s hated a pick up and this, somehow, was how she was raised before we got her.

Not long now…

So there’s the spoilt little fur ball from selective eating to constant attention seeking but she really takes the biscuit when she decides to re arrange our home. So far, this naughty nature is confined to our daughter’s bedroom and the linen from our room. You see it on You Tube all the time where cats sit there and out of the blue knock of an object for no reason other than to annoy you: lol.

What? Me! I didn’t do anything….

Bonnie takes this to a whole new level in my daughters room, as stated “Bonnie, no” isn’t just day time but can be all hours of the night! She starts with the smaller drawers batting what she can out and onto the floor before playing football getting bored and on to emptying her larger drawers.

I do not want to jinx myself but with a cat like Bonnie, and a world class ultra expensive collection, it’s only time before she gives me the same treatment and God forbid should one or any of my expensive breakables hit the floor I think I would cry…

Touch wood, as we say in the UK, and hopefully that day never arises.

Lastly and until next time. Well that’s my definition of trouble all packed up in a ball of cuteness and I still giggle when I see Bonnie’s tail going along the other side of the coffee table. Don’t know why, it’s just funny!

If I’m invited back (course you will be Eiffion!) I’ll tell you all about Wiggles, our bulldog, and the antics she gets up to just to have as lazy a life as possible.

Stay safe and be kind to one another folks and to any collectors keep up with your passions collecting is great.

Her hair is soft and her Meow is ever so sweet

From under your legs to preening your sheet

Lucky with living thanks to those sure feet

The cuteness of felines we have is like a treat.

Bonnie looks so cute and sweet you wouldn’t believe she gets up to all these antics unless you are a fellow cat owner!

If you love Eiffion’s blog, then please read his other guest blogs by clicking on the links at the top of this blog or the following links:-

http://mullardantiques.co.uk/collectibulldogs-more-than-just-a-passion-for-collecting

http://mullardantiques.co.uk/excited-about-exhibiting-museum-bound

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What do the Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana & Thomas Goodfellow have in common?

Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana & Thomas Goodfellow

What do the Babcock Brothers of Evansville, Indiana and Thomas Goodfellow, a Staffordshire potter, have in common?

Whilst in the process of sorting through a box of pottery, belonging to my 87-year old Mum-in-Law, I came across a pair of shell-like cream antique dishes with the following back mark.

Imported by Babcock Brothers, Evansville, IA.

 

We knew they had been in our family for at least 60 years but no-one knew where the dishes originated. We were pretty sure they were 19th Century (Victorian) and they had a the look of the Staffordshire pottery: ‘Adams Jasperware.’

Cobalt Blue Adams Tunstall Jasper ware
Cobalt Blue Adams Tunstall Jasper ware

 

After a trawl on the internet I thought that the back mark referred to the Babcock Brothers from Evansville, Indiana. Were they made in the UK for the US market. Why were they in the UK?

I wasn’t sure what to search for next and thought I would throw the question over to my good U.S friends in the Google+ Vintage and Antiques Community.  I was not to be disappointed with +Pam WhimsicalVintage coming back with the following information:

There is no Evansville Iowa and that state abbreviation was never changed…however, state abbreviations used to be (prior to 1963) more than 2 letters. There is a Babcock Bros who moved to Evansville Indiana from Utica NY in the mid 1800’s. They were wholesalers of among other things, “Queensware”. Is it possible that the letter isn’t an A but an N, or it may be possible that it was mis-abbreviated. I pulled this from the History of Evansville and Vanderburgh County by Joseph Elliot.

Which was closely followed by more information on Henry Babcock kindly provided by +Ann Kennedy.

Interesting indeed! Undeterred, I left it a couple of days before I went back on to the internet and, after quite a few fruitless searches, eventually found the following reference book:-

Queensware Direct from the Potteries
U.S. Importers of Staffordshire Ceramics in Antebellum America 1820–1860
Studies in Archaeological Material Culture No. 1
 By
John A. Walthall

Guess what! There was my back mark, and the UK manufacturer, whom exported using the Babcock Brothers, was a Staffordshire Potter called Thomas Goodfellow.

Up to 1812, Goodfellow had actually leased a pottery in Burslem, Staffordshire, with then partner William Rhead, from Wedgwood, prior to moving to the Phoenix Pottery, Tunstall, Staffordshire. No wonder the dishes appeared similar to Jasperware!

After Rhead’s death, Thomas Goodfellow formed a partnership with William Bathwell (Rhead’s brother-in-law) in 1817, known as ‘Bathwell and Goodfellow.’ They were particularly well known for their blue and white pottery.

Bothwell and Goodfellow Blue and White Pottery

 

The company then passed to Thomas Goodfellow’s son, of the same name. Babcock Brothers imported  Thomas Goodfellow’s II (1802-1858) pottery between 1850 and 1862!

Fantastic, we had traced them!

In answer to the question:

‘What do the Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana & Thomas Goodfellow have in common?’

These lovely blue and white shell dishes were made in Staffordshire at the Phoenix Pottery, Tunstall, by Bathwell & Goodfellow for import by the Babcock Brothers of Evansville, Indiana, for the U.S market.

 

Bathwell and Goodfellow Queensware Blue and White dishes. U.S Importer Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana.

But one question remained unanswered.

How did the dishes destined for the U.S end up back in the UK? Did they ever leave the UK?

There was a reference in the Staffordshire Advertiser, in 1864, to the sale of one-hundred and seventy-eight crates of earthenware bound for the U.S. made by Thomas Goodfellow. These crates had been lying at Runcorn, England for four years since the death of Thomas Goodfellow.

Staffordshire Advertiser 2 Jan 1864

TO BE SOLD, by order of the Court of Chancery, 178 CRATES and CRATES of EARTHENWARE, suitable for the American Markets, manufactured by the late Thomas Goodfellow, Tunstall, and now lying at Runcorn.—To treat for the same, apply to James Vernon, Burslem.

We will never know for sure but since these dishes have turned up, one hundred and sixty years later, less than 10 miles from Runcorn, UK….

A coincidence?

What do you think?

A big Thank You to everyone in the V&A community for their comments and help with this detective story.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone!

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you all!

I can’t believe that a year has almost been and gone. Doesn’t time fly?

Here at Mullard Antiques & Collectibles we are in the process of restocking our website with more vintage items ready for the New Year. We hope you will continue to visit us and read our blogs in 2017.

Look out for our new coupon scheme which will, periodically, give you extra discounts.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers and blog readers for their business and support this year. It has been much appreciated.

All the best for 2017!

Karen

pp. The Mullard Antiques & Collectibles team

 

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Collectibulldogs: More than just a passion for collecting!

Collectibulldogs: More than just a passion for collecting!

Collectibulldogs: More than just a passion for collecting!

Another heartfelt guest blog from Eiffion Ashdown, as he explains to us why Collectibulldogs is more than just a passion for collecting.

Thank you Eiffion. I know all our readers out there are keen to know what you have to say, so over to you!

HI TO ALL MULLARD READERS

Hi there to all of Mullard Antiques, (Karen’s) readers, I hope you’re all safe and well and let me just say what an honour it is to guest blog for Mullard Antiques! Guest blogging gives each other’s blog archives a bit of diversity and something different to read once in a while.

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I’m going to tell you about myself and the best passion I’ve ever had (excluding becoming a dad of course!). I will not bore you with the details on how I got to where I am but, if you do want to know my back story, you can read it on my about page at collectibulldogs. ‘Dang’ I just gave it away! Oh well, start as you mean to go on: I collect bulldogs. Not real bulldogs ( I have been asked)?  I collect anything and everything English bulldog related, and in the past seven years or so I’ve created a bulldog collection that looks like it took sixty years to collect.

MY COLLECTION

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I’m not sure where to start here. I’m not being brash but I have obtained and curated so many pieces now my own home resembles an Olde style English antique shop. All I need is a few clocks and a door bell and I have a ready made shop! I will try and describe the collection best I can but forgive me if I forget anything.

kl14iy-n-jpg-largeMy best cabinet displays my top investable pieces I have quite a few Doulton, some Royal Copenhagen bulldog figurines, there’s Crown Devon and, my pride and joy that I call the beast… The beast is a German 1928 porcelain bulldog and in my field he is as close to perfection in detail as you would find in any of today’s pieces and the artists skills in getting this piece right must of taken awhile but as you can see the bulldog itself is just exquisite.

I have another cabinet that holds all my English pieces and I have a smaller cabinet for all the German pieces and the reason for separate cabinets is not only for reference but these countries made so many it’s easier just to have them together like they are.

The other two main cabinets house all my metals and bronzes, and the other has a mish mash of antique pieces, including bulldog head inkwells from the 1860s (wooden treen pieces). I’m sorry but it doesn’t stop there!

I have four more cabinets where I store my miscellaneous pieces, and I’m in the middle of sorting out a cute curio with silver and glass bulldog pieces which I think will look great when done. So that’s the cabinets explained which leaves my silver collection, postcard collection, art collection, books, prints, club pieces and the list goes on….

 

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My favourite pieces from all this has to be the pieces my daughter makes at school for me. She’s a little older now, so more socially inept, and spends most of her time with her friends but (in my about section) she appreciates why I’m doing this for her.

LIGHTBULB IDEA

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Apart from the collection, which I didn’t take seriously till a few years ago now, I would never of thought I would be the first in my field. Not only to put my collection online for all to see but also come up with what I think is a catchy name. I do apologise to folks for its length but it’s not a name that could be forgotten easy, and when you’re a show and tell site and not selling you need a good name to catch the eye of possible viewers.

The website just celebrated its first year online and also recently made over 50k viewers. We made the local news a little while back and a new form of the website is being created, which I hope brings in more viewers and showcases my collection even better.

Collectibulldogs is growing in popularity and I’ve unwittingly become an online influence with my self promoting my blogs and knowledge, and of course the people that are following me on social media. I hope that in the next coming year I can improve on my positive agenda and hope my venture continues to do well.

ANTIQUES ARE GREAT

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I love my new life in the antiques and bulldog world. I just wished I had started a lot longer ago now but, hey, I finally found my calling and enjoying every little achievement, affirmation, and the kindness of so many that have either found the spark again to collect or for those that have started a new collection from the inspiration behind collectibulldogs.

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Not every piece I own is an antique but that’s what makes my collection so diverse and I’m hoping at least a few readers jump over and have a muse. I’m also available for any assistance to all collectors. I help research and even liquidate collections for ex collectors or those wishing to cash in on their pieces and my knowledge is varied but as like everybody else, I’m not a know it all, and sometimes I still get things wrong but I try my best and the collection speaks volumes as it wouldn’t be on my shelves if I had no knowledge to its background and price etc.

WHERE NEXT FOR US?

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When we took the collection online there was a buzz and folks started asking for prices on my pieces and I did think about taking the collection down the retail route but then I wondered how I would restock on pieces so rare even I took awhile to find them. It was not till collectibulldogs lent a piece to the Brighton Toy Museum that it hit me!!!

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The museum route is a much better way of not only preserving my pieces but an even better legacy to pass on and now I dream of opening a bulldog museum and gallery all of my very own and, if in time, the first in the UK. Pipe dreams aside, there is talk of an exhibition in my local museum. It will take a while to get installed but it’s an honour and a step in the right direction for us and, as my website will suggest, I’m just the caretaker here. The collection belongs to my lucky daughter and her future.

Click on this link to read Effion’s other blog about Collectibulldogs at the Brighton Museum.

I’M OFF NOW FOLKS

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Just before I go can I say there’s more to collectibulldogs than meets the eye we are to there to inspire as well as to help. I’ve had my fair share of hardships and know that being kind and selfless is the way to be, and by the correspondence we get its starting to happen so if you see one of my posts anywhere on social media give it a little like or share and do your bit to help me to help others.

Thank you again to Karen (my pleasure Eiffion!) for letting me into your lives and giving you a little insight into my adventure so far… If your mind is now intrigued, and you wish to see what I’ve been talking about, please may I invite you to check out collectibulldogs.com, it really is a one of a kind and made solely by myself.

Until next time folks, enjoy life and happy collecting……

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Collecticats- A love of Cats and Antiques

Collecticats- A love of Cats and Antiques

Collecticats- A love of Cats and Antiques

Eiffion from Collectibulldogs.com asked if I would write a guest blog for him, and considering his passion for Man’s best friend ‘the Dog’, in particular Bulldogs, I thought I just had to write about the Dogs’ nemesis, namely Cats!

In homage to ‘Collectibulldogs,’ I have called this blog Collecticats- A love of Cats and Antiques

The Ancient Egyptian Goddess ‘Bastet’

Bastet
The ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess ‘Bastet’

Cats have been a long time favourite of ‘Man,’ dating back over several millennia, but never were they so venerated as they were by the ancient Egyptians. In fact, in the third millennium BC, they were worshipped as the deity ‘Bastet.’ She was the Goddess of warfare and represented as a lioness warrior. Cats were revered, not only due to their ability to control vermin in the grain stores, but for their nurturing and protection of children.  Over the ensuing centuries the goddess transformed, eventually reaching the zenith of popular culture in ~1000-700BC as a major protector, and represented in imagery as a cat. The cat was also domesticated and often ate at the same table, and from the same plate (Yuk!), as the family!

Cats were greatly mourned on death, and were often mummified and buried in sanctified plots with supplies of mummified mice to feed them in the afterlife: considering the size of cats and mice, this must have been a fairly skilled job and pretty gross!

 

Mummified Cat
Mummified Cat

 

The penalty for killing a cat was death however, that didn’t stop some unscrupulous Ancient Egyptian business men, and possibly women, from breeding cats to maturity, battering them to death, and then trading in their mummified remains as offerings to Isis and Osiris!

Ancient Egyptian tomb painting with cats
Ancient Egyptian tomb painting with cats

Which leads me on to a wonderful story about mummified cats from the late 19th Century…

In 1888, an Egyptian farmer from Beni Hassan (about a hundred miles from Cairo) was digging in the desert and came across thousands of mummified cats, and some treasure too; including a life size bronze sarcophagus with a cat in (Osiris). He had hit upon a seam of ancient divine offerings to the deities. There were so many cats that, in a spark of entrepreneurial spirit in keeping with his illustrious ancient ancestors, the farmer and the villagers started to sell the cats as nitrogen fertiliser, with some making it as far as Liverpool, UK, via Alexandria!

On arrival at Liverpool they were sold at auction for £3, 13 s. 9d a ton and ground up and spread over English fields! Legend has it that the auctioneer used a Beni-Hasan cat skull as his auction hammer!

A Liverpool Newspaper Article

Here is an extract from a contemporary newspaper article:-

On Monday, at the saleroom of Msssrs. Gordon and Co., Rumford-street, Liverpool, a consignment of about nine tons of fragments of embalmed cats from the Beni-Hassan pit were offered for sale by Mr. J. Gordon. Owing to the announcement that had been made respecting the great antiquity of the mummy cats, which had been recently discovered in Egypt; a large number of merchants and brokers crowded the saleroom. There was very little amusement, the company being too much in the buying mood to allow time to be wasted. The auctioneers first disposed of the bones, which were eventually purchased By Messrs. Leventon and Co. at £5 17s. 6d. per ton. Messrs. Leventon, it will be remembered, are the holders of the first cargo that was imported from the same place.

 

Several of these mummified cats at least had a more illustrious end and made it to the World Museum in Liverpooland as souvenirs in cat lovers’ homes around the area!

Another story has it that the linen bandages, used to wrap the cat mummies, were turned in to linen-based paper  and, allegedly, used during the American Civil War (1861-65) : not sure if I believe this as the dates don’t quite add up…

Mediaeval Europe

Unfortunately, history hasn’t always been kind to the cat. In Mediaeval times, Pope Gregory IX (Papacy from 1227-1241) issued a church document ‘Vox in Rama’ that condemned the black cat as an incarnation of Satan.

Witches & black cats
Mediaeval Witches & black cats

People keeping cats as pets were suspected of being witches and burned at the stake along with their feline friends! Folklore had it that cats, particularly black cats, were witches familiars and could metamorphosise as a witch or other evil creatures. This almost led to domestic cats being wiped out in Europe.  A hundred years later, seeing the cat as a devil started to slowly change with the advent of the Black Death (Bubonic plague) in Europe. Spread by an almost uncontrolled rat population, cats started to revive in numbers as they were seen as, perhaps, a necessary evil!

By the 1800’s the cat was firmly back as a domestic pet, and several breeds started to appear. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that my favourite breed of cat appeared, namely the Devon Rex. I’ll perhaps mention more about the ‘pixie-like’ Rex, with curly fur, in a follow-up blog but our Devon Rex, Var, is more like a dog; he walks on a lead and retrieves objects: that’s him in the main image!

Cat Antiques and Collectibles

The Human’s love of cats through the ages has ensured that there is a plethora of Cat related antiques, artwork, and collectibles available. Appearing from the Ancient Egyptian times in the form of statues, to drawings and paintings by renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Renoir, and Dürer. They have been reproduced in a diverse range of objects from books to boxes, figurines, doorstops, home furnishings, jewellery, fabrics, and fabricated in porcelain, pottery, metal, glass, marble, stone, crystal, candle wax, soap, food, and other less savoury substances…. (earwax being one!).

Hermann Cat
Hermann Cat

My personal collection of cat collectibles is not quite in the same league as Ave’s Bulldog collection but….. I’m the ‘proud’ (if slightly embarrassed) owner of a cat draught excluder called ‘Mitzi’, several cat shopping and handbags (purses), and numerous china and crystal cat figurines, as well as a Hermann Teddy bear/ cat! I know, I need to get out more…

 

'Mitzi' Cat Draught Excluder
‘Mitzi’ Cat Draught Excluder

Fabryka Porcelany AS Ćmielów

The reproduction porcelain figurines I’m especially fond of are by a Polish company called AS Ćmielów Porcelain Manufacturer.

My personal collection of Ćmielów cats
My personal collection of Ćmielów cats

The company was founded in 1804 but it was in the late 1950’s-60’s that they produced their iconic Monochrome cat figurines, (amongst others), designed by the IWP Institute in Warsaw and influenced by the work of Picasso and Henry Moore.  Folklore has it that the original factory burnt down. In 2000, the current owners recovered the original moulds and restored production. Much to my delight!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my review of Collecticats- A love of Cats and Antiques collectibles through the ages as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Thank you to Eiffion for the invitation to write a guest blog!

We do have a few cat collectibles on our website if you’re interested: mullardantiques.co.uk.  

Just click on the links below the images to take you to the relevant page.

 

Cat jigsaw
Past Times Cat Jigsaw

 

Royal Doulton cat
Royal Doulton Cat

 

Nao Cat by Lladro
Nao Cat by Lladro

 

1960's Kitsch Pussy Cat Ornament
Kitsch Pussy Cat