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Alice in Wonderland Antique Wood Figures circa 1940

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    Posted 5 months ago

    CanCollect
    (37 items)

    This is a stunning set of wooden characters from Alice in Wonderland. Each character is hand made and painted, and feature articulated joints held by tiny pins so that arms/legs/heads can be posed differently. These were made by Ila Fifield (American 1911-1995) of Calais Vermont about 1940. They are detailed in a book called "The Dolls of Yesterday" by Eleanor St. George 1953
    I would love to find any other additional information on these figures, and their maker if anyone has anything further to add. These are similar to ones made in England in the 1920s by Talfourd Toys, and there is little information about those figures as well, except for maybe some auction results. Fifield's hand made toys command quite handsome auction results due to their quality, workmanship, and rarity.

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    Comments

    1. keramikos keramikos, 5 months ago
      CanCollect, Cool.

      Ila Fifield:

      *snip*

      Ila Ellen Fifield
      Birth 18 May 1911
      Elmore, Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
      Death 6 Aug 1995 (aged 84)
      Calais, Washington County, Vermont, USA
      Burial
      Robinson Cemetery
      Calais, Washington County, Vermont, USA
      Memorial ID 136446564 · View Source

      *snip*

      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/136446564/ila-ellen-fifield

      I was able to cobble together a few scraps of information about Fifield from two Google Book snippets from the 1948 edition of "The Dolls of Yesterday":

      *snip*

      Page 26

      home, learning the joys of self-expression and of useful work through the encouragement and guidance of a passing stranger, was the prototype of thirty-five-year-old Ila Fifield of East Calais, Vt. (Vermonters pronounce it "Calas"), who makes those fascinating plywood figures of the Alice in Wonderland characters. Crippled by polio when a young child, Ila came under the supervision of Mrs. Eugene C. Rhodes, director of occupational therapy of the Vermont Department of Health, in 1925. A friend, returning from Europe, had given Mrs. Rhodes a set of English figures of the Alice characters—crude, cheap stencilled affairs. Ila was set to work copying these, but her native artistic-

      *snip*

      Sorry about the sentence fragments. That was as much as I was able to get from Google Books. Perhaps you could borrow a hard copy of the book through your local library (I also see copies on Amazon, etc. for sale):

      https://www.worldcat.org/title/dolls-of-yesterday/oclc/1355548/editions?referer=di&editionsView=true
    2. Vynil33rpm Vynil33rpm, 5 months ago
      Verry KooL ,,they speak to me ,as a ,talking Rabbit would
      A Pooka
    3. Newfld Newfld, 5 months ago
      Really wonderful Alice in Wonderland pieces, great post
    4. CanCollect CanCollect, 5 months ago
      keramikos: Thank you for the additional info, I appreciate it, and yes I have actually ordered that book hoping there is some helpful information to continue my search.

      Appreciate all of everyone's positive comments!
    5. keramikos keramikos, 5 months ago
      CanCollect, You're welcome.

      Yeah, while a lot of books are theoretically available through one's local library/library loan system, sometimes if they're also available for purchase for a few bucks on line...what the heck. :-)

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