Through the mid-Eighties, limited-edition collectibles had been promoting quick and furiously in reward outlets throughout the nation, together with a plethora of collectible figurines starting from Precious Moments to Lladro. I knew individuals who had been loopy about each, however I simply didn’t get it—till I found Kitty Cucumber.
After all, I had a cat named Ashley on the time, so the attraction to cute kitty collectible figurines made sense. My ex-husband additionally inspired my assortment by gifting me Kitty Cucumbers for Christmas and different events. And I have to admit that I later hunted down among the harder-to-find gadgets I needed for my assortment when web procuring turned a factor. It’s a set I’ve held onto for many years, and I nonetheless show these little cuties in the course of the vacation season.
For those who’re not conversant in Kitty Cucumber, I’ll fill you in on among the historical past surrounding these little collectibles. Inspecting the values for an array of Kitty Cumber porcelain collectible figurines will assist you understand what to look at for, whether or not you’re looking for a present, beginning a set, or thrift looking for resale.
The Origin of Kitty Cucumber Collectible figurines
It began with a sequence of story booklets chronicling the life and antics of Kitty Cucumber written by Jim Lillemoe, who owned B. Shackman & Co. in New York. The unique firm was based within the late 1800s and bought novelties via a storefront. By the point Lillemoe took over B. Shackman, the enterprise’s focus had shifted to numerous paper items. Along with the story booklets, the corporate marketed many paper dolls and different paper gadgets that includes Kitty Cucumber in the course of the mid-Eighties.
The Kitty Cucumber character was delivered to life via collectible collectible figurines created within the Eighties, together with the chums she frolicked with, additionally impressed by Lillemoe’s booklets. These characters had been bought via the early ’90s. They had been produced by an organization known as Schmid, which made quite a lot of collectible bisque porcelain collectible figurines that includes characters from Disney and Beatrix Potter. Schmid remained in enterprise via 1995, whereas B. Shackman operated via the late 2010s.
Schmid made Kitty Cucumber collectible figurines for only some years, however there are dozens of kinds to gather. All of them coincide with the adventures of the lovable kittens derived from the creativeness of the Lillemoe household. Among the many different cat characters made as a part of the sequence are Albert, Ellie, Ginger, Muffin, Priscilla, and Baby Pickles.
A number of the booklet illustrations depicting Kitty Cucumber had been finished by artists Alyse Newman and Gary Halsey. Nonetheless, these most intently resembling a lot of the collectible figurines bought had been sketched by Mary Lillemoe, Jim Lillemoe’s spouse. The identify Kitty Cucumber is claimed to have originated from a beloved doll belonging to their daughter.
The Worth of Kitty Cucumber Collectible figurines
Collectors all in favour of these collectible figurines discover that many can be found for very cheap costs. They vary from mini-figures bought as thimbles to single cat collectible figurines measuring a couple of inches tall. Many are wearing interval costumes reflecting Victorian occasions, holiday garb, or inform a narrative like Cinderella. These single gadgets often promote within the $10–15 vary for each, though extra uncommon examples can deliver $5–20 extra.
Schmid made many small figurine ornaments with wires and strings hooked up to the tops. These usually have Christmas themes, however not all the time. From cats dressed like Easter bunnies to kitties doing Irish jigs, you will discover quite a lot of themes. One even reveals Kitty Cucumber soaking in a bubble bath. Most of those match the identical worth vary as standalone figures, with just some exceptions for rarities.
When retaining an eye fixed out for Kitty Cucumber gadgets that deliver greater costs, music bins depicting vacation scenes may be among the most precious. For example, the Thimble Collection music box doubling as a show for eight thimbles can promote within the $45–80 vary. These with Kitty Cucumber dressed as a witch for Halloween usually promote within the $30–50 vary however typically greater. A number of the Christmas music bins deliver $20–30, though one can discover a number of for much less.
Marks and Copycats
Every genuine Kitty Cucumber figurine, decoration, or music field is marked on the bottom with the producer’s identify and the date it was marketed. Some restricted editions are additionally numbered to point out what number of of that fashion had been produced.
As a result of a number of firms made related collectible figurines throughout the identical interval, all the time search for the identify on the underside earlier than deeming one to be an genuine Kitty Cucumber design. A few of these others are good sufficient, however they simply don’t fairly ship the cuteness issue of genuine Kitty Cucumber designs.
Pamela Siegel is a contract author and writer who has been educating collectors for greater than 20 years. Along with three books on matters regarding antiques and collectibles, she ceaselessly shares her experience via on-line writing and articles for print-based publications. Pamela can also be the co-founder of Costume Jewellery Collectors Int’l (CJCI) and the proprietor of Stylish Antiques by Pamela.
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