4th of July Collectibles from Our Worthopedia
Fourth of July greeting cards and ephemera started to appear at the turn of last century. This vintage 4th of July postcard sold for $18.49 in May 2018.
There’s nothing more American than the Fourth of July, the holiday marking our country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Although the significance of July 4th has been celebrated in various ways since 1777, it was not until 1870 that Congress made the day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. Fast forward to 1938, Congress changed the day’s status to a paid federal holiday.
Fourth of July greeting cards and ephemera started to appear at the turn of last century, with many examples featuring Uncle Sam, dramatic flags, and happy children dressed in red, white, and blue outfits. More recently, companies started to offer Fourth of July themed items in addition to their standard product lines over the summer months. These seasonal initiatives appear to piggyback on the successes they experienced producing and selling specialty items for Easter, Christmas, and Halloween. In honor of our national birthday, let’s take a look at some Fourth of July collectibles from a series of “all American” brands!
Vogue Doll Company
Chances are that if you were a girl growing up in the 1950’s through early 1970’s, you had – or wanted – a Ginny doll from the Vogue Doll Company. This delightful, fully jointed 8″ doll officially debuted in 1951 and was named after the company owner’s daughter, Virginia. The Vogue Doll Company has changed hands many times over the years, but is still in business today. Over time, Ginny has been produced in almost every themed outfit imaginable, including this “Ginny Fourth of July” version. This mint in box example below wears a dress with a white bodice and a flag bunting style skirt, red patent leather shoes, white socks, and a red ribbon. She carries a flag. She sold for $29.00 in May 2018.
The Longaberger Company
The Longaberger Company was an Ohio based direct marketing company known for its beautiful baskets and other home and lifestyle products. Longaberger’s company headquarters were located in a building constructed to look like one of the company’s most iconic designs, a market basket with handles. Although the company ceased operations in 2018, its products are still in demand, especially rarer pieces like this red, white, and blue firecracker lidded basket pictured below from 2013. In May, 2018, one of these 9-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ limited editions sold for $75.00.
Although Longaberger ceased operations in 2018, its products are still in demand. This basket sold for $75 in 2018.
The Walt Disney Company
No one throws a party like Disney, so it should be no surprise that their entire family of theme parks erupts into a patriotic celebration on our nation’s birthday. Red, white, and blue themed performances, concerts, special guests, and surprises fill the day from start to finish. The Magic Kingdom culminates its festivities with a “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks show. Disney is known for its line of high quality enameled pins produced as souvenirs for events such as this. A good example is this set pictured below of four limited edition 4th of July celebration pins from 2001. The quartet includes Mickey Mouse as a founding father signing the Declaration of Independence, Donald Duck as a founding father lighting a rocket, Minnie Mouse in colonial garb holding a lighted candle, and Goofy as Paul Revere with a lantern. They sold as a lot in May, 2018 for $49.99.
Wee Forest Folk
Wee Forest Folk is a Massachusetts based, family owned and run company that has been making tiny, whimsical animal sculptures for almost half a century. The company was started by Annette Petersen in her home, as a way to make ends meet. These tiny treasures – mostly dressed mice and rabbits – are painted by hand and measure in the 1-1/2″ – 2-1/2″ tall range. In May 2018, the example of the company’s Mousey’s Pride Fourth of July Special shown below, in mint condition with all original packaging, sold for $109.
Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was launched in 1950 and today remains an internationally recognized and beloved reflection of American culture and humor. At the strip’s peak in the mid- to late 1960s, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of around 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages. Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and their gang of merry mischief makers have been featured in TV specials, books, theatre productions, games, and on countless licensed collectibles over time. This contemporary fine china parade pictured below by Lenox features Lucy as Lady Liberty, Charlie Brown as Abe Lincoln, and Snoopy and Woodstock sharing the role of Uncle Sam. This 8-5/8″ long figurine sold for $78.88 in May 2018.
Nothing says “lovin’ from the oven” more than the jolly Pillsbury Doughboy. This merry mascot debuted in 1965 and was designed to promote the company’s line of canned dough products. According to Pillsbury, within three years of his debut in 1965 in a crescent roll commercial, the Doughboy had an 87% recognition factor among consumers. He remains one of the world’s most beloved logos today. Pillsbury’s line of novelty food products is quite impressive. But nothing holds a candle to their red, white, and blue Funfetti Stars and Stripes cake mix and frosting offerings, especially around Independence Day! Here below we have a large Pillsbury Fourth of July Banner featuring the Doughboy and a tempting wedge of a patriotic Funfetti cake. It sold for $39 in 2015.
Rebekah Kaufman is a Worthologist who specializes in vintage Steiff and other European plush collectibles. You can follow her blog, which focuses on vintage Steiff finds, Steiff antiquing and travel adventures, international Steiff happenings, and the legacy and history of the Steiff company at http://mysteifflife.blogspot.com. Sign up for her Steiff newsletter by contacting her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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