Shelley Potteries, situated in Staffordshire, was earlier known as Wileman & Co. which had also traded as The Foley Potteries. The first Shelley to join the company was Joseph Ball Shelley in 1862 and in 1896 his son Percy Shelley became the sole proprietor, after which it remained a Shelley family business until 1966 when it was taken over by Allied English Potteries. Its china and earthenware products were many and varied although the major output was table ware. In the late Victorian period the Art Nouveau style pottery and Intarsio ranges designed by art director Frederick Alfred Rhead were extremely popular but Shelley is probably best known for its fine bone china “Art Deco” ware of the inter-war years and post-war fashionable tea ware…
Special announcement! Sarah Holtom aka Sarah Fougere has just opened her show at the Black&Yellow Gallery at 602 E Hastings Street in Vancouver, and she begins her series of 50 Portraits in 15 days, which has already nearly sold out! Also in the show are a dozen lovely landscapes of Vancouver, including this one from the seawall at Stanley Park. And what better image to feature on the weekend of Stanley Park’s 125th Birthday! Happy Birthday to everyone, and congrats, Sarah!
#SARAHFOUGERE #black&yellowgallery #6 #oilfromlife (at Stanley Park)
The Sun Princess by North Vancouver artist Keith Campbell. This painting was commissioned in 1994 by the father of the current proprietor of the Peg General Store on Commercial Drive. The Peg shopkeeper reminisced how his father used to live at International Plaza in North Vancouver with a great view of the Lions Gate Bridge. When he moved up to Lynn Valley, he missed seeing the ships coming in and out of the Burrard Inlet, so he commissioned this painting! I cannot find any biographical information about Keith Campbell, but perhaps this is him? Any additional comments would be appreciated!
This is a particularly nostalgic view, depicting the ship known as the Sun Princess circa 1974-1988. Originally built as the Spirit of London wikipedia tells us it was an Italian built cruise ship put into service in 1972. More lore from wikipedia:
The ship appeared in the 1975 Columbo episode “Troubled Waters”, guest starring Robert Vaughn, as well as in Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). She was also featured in at least one episode of The Love Boat involving a competition between Captain Stubing of the Pacific Princess and the captain of the Sun Princess.
The current ship named the Sun Princess also built in Italy had her maiden voyage on December 2, 1995. Thanks to the Peg General Store for this great nautical gem! ps: the painting is available for sale!
Two sets of Gordon Kit Thorne prints for sale on ebay. These two prints showing the two Lions are my favourites, one showing a determined hiker headed up the north Shore Mountains, the other depicting a more sedated view from Stanley Park. It seems to me his work has the ability to border kitsch, folk, and fine art all at once. Makes me wonder if he should have been a cartoonist instead.
Lions Gateway to Vancouver, a vintage advertising decal from CKLG, on ebay.
Cinderella Stamps from Vancouver’s Jubilee celebrations in 1936. These images came via Ron Lafreniere in Montreal, who has compiled a remarkable reference book dedicated to Canadian Cinderellas (stamp collector’s term for make-believe stamps). His book launched in May 2012 and it looks to be an amazing resource. You can learn more via his website, including the book’s index, galleries of sample pages, and a free checklist of all the Canadian Cinderellas he knows of. His book is available in Vancouver at All Nations Stamp & Coin, a great resource for collectibles on Dunbar.
Higher resolution stamp images updated to be more philatelically correct!
Sculpted souvenir plate of Vancouver, undated, signed “S:C” just above the BC. Initially carved in wood, this item is made from faux wood known as “Syroco”, a term applied to a molded material resembling carved wood. This process was invented and first implemented by the Syracuse Ornamental Company. Via Syracuse University:
Founded in Syracuse, New York in 1890 by immigrant Adolph Holstein, the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) specialized in decorative wood carving, especially for the local residential market. Products included fireplace mantelpieces and other types of interior decoration popular in late Victorian homes. To meet increasing market demand and sales opportunities Holstein developed a material looked and felt like wood but that which could be shaped, allowing multiple pieces to be produced through a molding process. The new product, which combined wood pulp brought from the Adirondacks with flour as a binder and other materials to give it strength, was extruded and then cut to fit compression molds, which had were made from original carvings in real wood…
In 1965 the company was bought by Rexall Drug and Chemical Company (which soon changed its name to Dart Industries). Dart owned Tupperware, from which Syroco gained more knowledge of injection molding. Syroco was purchased by the Syratech Corporation of Boston in 1986 which expanded its patio furniture production. In 1995 Syratech sold Syroco to Marley PLC of Sevenoaks, England, and in 2004 Syroco was purchased by Vassallo Industries of Puerto Rico which closed the plant in 2007…
In addition to showing the Bloedel Conservatory, the Gastown Clock, a Kwakiutl Totem Pole, Lions Gate Bridge, and a BC Ferry, it also features the Royal Hudson steam locomotive. From wikipedia:
The locomotive was restored by Robert E. Swanson’s Railway Appliance Research Ltd. team and the staff of the CPR Drake Street roundhouse shops beginning on 25 November 1973 and then operated by the British Columbia Department of Travel Industry with the cooperation of the British Columbia Railway. The BCR commenced a Royal Hudson excursion service between North Vancouver and Squamish on 20 June 1974. By the end of the 1974 tourist season, 47,295 passengers had been carried and the excursion was deemed successful. It was the only regularly scheduled steam excursion over mainline trackage in North America. The excursion operated between May and October, from Wednesday through Saturday. It also traveled North America in the late 1970s as a promotion for BC tourism. It quickly became one of British Columbia’s main tourist attractions and an icon of Canadian steam power.
The buildings in the city skyline probably give us the best clues when this souvenir plate was created. The three tallest buildings appear to be depicting the Royal Bank Tower (1973), the TD Tower (1972), and the Scotia Tower (1977). By lining up the Hotel Vancouver with the towers and zooming out in Google Earth, it would appear this view was taken from one of the higher floors in the Frank Stanzl Building (1974) on Broadway, a brutalist building designed by Vladimir Plavsic. As an aside, Lindsay Brown’s post on the Stanzl Building is highly recommended.
After all this, I still can’t be certain when this thing was made, but it was probably some time post-1977; possibly even post-1986 if the S:C stands for Syratech Corporation. Who knew you could learn all this from an old souvenir!
Perhaps my favourite school yearbook ever, the 1940-41 Lord Selkirk Annual, artfully decorated with woodcuts throughout. Inside, this woodcut of the pacific coast by Jean Ortlieb was achieved when she was just age 14. Thanks again to Neil Whaley for sharing this with me!
Admiral Hotel Mural, from Background / Vancouver - An Artist’s View of the City, October 30, 1972, originally seen in an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1974, recently posted to michaeldecourcy.com. From his bio:
Michael de Courcy, born 1944, in Montreal, Quebec, studied at École des Beaux Arts, Montreal and the Vancouver School of Art. Over the past 45 years he has maintained a studio in Vancouver, British Columbia and exhibited internationally. he has lectured and given workshops at many cultural institutions including the school of the Art Institute of Chicago, York University, the University of British Columbia and Emily Carr College of Art and Design.
The Admiral Hotel is located at 4125 Hastings Street in Burnaby. I’ve been meaning to investigate this in person on the off chance that some part of this mosaic has survived. If anyone has any more photos, I’d love to see them!
Mural on the side of 1666 Comox Street, dated 2005. I’m not sure if there were any more clues who authored this mural; presumably it was done by students at the Roberts Education Centre. Feel free to comment if you know.
Speaking of 2005, the City of Vancouver’s new website did not carry over the old RestArt mural photo galleries from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006?, and 2007 that were once online. You’ll have to visit Archive.org for that, or see this essay by Pontus K. W. Agren from 2011 on the program.
The Port of Vancouver, a painting by North Vancouver artist Ken Foster for the cover of BC Motorist Magazine, September / October 1963. This is not the same Ken Foster you may have encountered on the streets of Vancouver today. Unfortunately, I haven’t found much more info about the Ken Foster of the 1960s, so I will have to keep digging.
Yet another souvenir plate. This one is made especially for the Hudson’s Bay Company by Johnson Brothers of England, which joined the Wedgwood Group in 1968. I particularly like how this multilayered image succeeds as a collage decades before the Photoshop era. This would also be a fun plate to use for red beets and mashed potatoes. Currently for sale on ebay.
More souvenir decals from the web. Two of these sold on ebay recently, although we have already seen one here before. The Vancouver Mountie decal is currently listed on ebay, and it looks like it’s signed. The name in the bottom right hand corner spells Tekao. Still, my all-time favourite decal is this one of Chinatown.