Friday, March 27, 2009

Hallmark Little Gallery Pewter Plates

Hallmark's Little Gallery line was introduced in the early 1970s and was discontinued in early 1984. A large line this article will focus on the Pewter Plates produced as part of the Hallmark Little Gallery line.

The most well known of the pewter plate collections is the Mary Hamilton Christmas series. The 1977, first plate in the series was actually designed by Robert Haas, with all others designed by Mary Hamilton. The 1977, first in series, was the first highly sough-after item in the Little Galleries line. Only 17,500 were produced and many managers, representatives and store owners wanted the piece for themselves making the item difficult for the consumer to find.

The six-inch Christmas plates were produced in New England and were cast of the finest pewter, with 92% tin for the highest possible luster. The plates started with limited edition sizes of 17,500 in 1977 and 1978, but was increased to 27,500 from 1979 through 1987. The pewter plates were listed at a retail price of $39 in the first year; with increases in the retail price each year until reaching a plateau of $60 in 1980.

In addition to the Mary Hamilton Christmas series, the Little Galleries line also offered a set of Special Days plates. This series started in 1979 and ended in 1984 AFTER the Little Gallery line had been discontinued. The 1984 Special Days plate is the most difficult of the series to find as it was produced in a much smaller quantity and was not offered to dealers until after the Little Gallery line had been discontinued.
Another pewter plate series that were popular were the Jane Walsh Anglund four seasons plates. The Little Gallery pewter plates offered an elegant line of pewter with the intricate detail that can only be achieved with pewter. The talented artists featured in the Little Gallery lines had a large following making the Little Gallery pewter line extremely popular among collectors.

Hooked on Ornaments currently has its largest in stock inventory of Hallmark Little Gallery Pewter plates. Click here to see the Hallmark Little Gallery pewter plates. Place your order today and save 20% off all in stock Little Gallery Pewter plates. Use coupon code PEWTER during checkout to save 20% off Little Gallery Pewter. Offer expires April 30, 2009 or while supplies last.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Little Window Shoppers REPAINT
During the Christmas holidays I fielded quite a few emails and phone calls regarding the repainted or colorway version of the Little Window Shoppers signing piece. At the time we had no information on the item, but we've done some investigating and we've been able to find out a little more about this elusive and mysterious item.


(Original 2008 Little Window Shoppers - Signing Piece)

The original studio edition ornament was available at 20 in store signing events held in 2008 and featured work from 18 of the Hallmark Studio artists. The piece is a beautiful complement to the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Club Christmas Windows series. The piece is crafted in a larger scale than the ornaments, but is quite striking when all of the pieces are displayed together.


The original 2008 Little Window Shoppers signing piece (shown left) and the repaint/colorway version (shown right).

Quite unexpectedly a repainted or colorway version of the piece began appearing in December of 2008. The repaint featured a number of differences from the original and no one seemed to know where these colorway versions were coming from or how to obtain one. We have been unable to get confirmation from Hallmark, but it appears that the colorway version was given as a gift to independent store owners. Our information leads us to believe that store owners received only one of the repainted versions regardless of the number of stores owned. This makes the item quite scarce and difficult to find.

The mysterious Window Shoppers repaint is currently quite a prize on the Hallmark secondary market. A number of collectors that I spoke with were quite lucky to have found one simply sitting on the shelf in their local Hallmark store, what an exciting find for any Hallmark collector!

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PS. I do apologize for our absence on the blog recently. Due to blogger technical difficulties we were unable to post last week.

(If you have questions or topics you'd like to see discussed here on the Hooked on Hallmark Ornaments blog we'd love to hear your suggestions! Email me at rhonda@hookedonhallmark.com )