Marilyn's email from 6th July 2004 with later revisions:
When asked at the 15th Anniversary in 2005 how unique Hazle Ceramics were Eric Knowles replied, “I’ve never seen any others. I mean that’s what caught my eye.”
This is obviously good, but does make them difficult to compare on price with much else. The closest items seem to be Royal Crown Derby's ceramic 3D Miniature Houses - which do have a certain charm. Described as "hand decorated" this apparently means that the decals (transfers) are applied by hand! About 4 inches high and three-dimensional, they should really be compared with Hazle's similar sized 3D ranges. But Miniature Houses actually cost far more than Hazle flatbacks...
From Marilyn on 31st August 2009:
Have just discovered that RCD's miniature houses were discontinued in 2008 - apart from the Church, with an RRP of £255, an Organic Harvest Store commissioned by Govier's of Sidmouth for Prince Charles' 60th birthday at £135 and Mulberry Hall Store for this shop in York at £345. So I have put new images and updated the prices below. Within the same time scale Hazle prices have hardly changed.
|Church @ £255||Mulberry Hall @ £345|
|Hazle Flatbacks||Miniature Houses|
|Hand painted||Decal decorated|
|Finely modelled detail||Little modelled detail|
|Myriad of colours||Same colour palette|
|Diverse painters' styles||One stylised format|
|Based on real buildings||All generic buildings except one|
|Many models & themes||Few models with one theme each|
|Short-run specials||Standard pieces only|
|RCD All decal Miniature Houses||£135 - £345|
|HCL Hand-painted miniature 3D ranges||£24.95 - £29.95|
|HCL Hand-painted 3D Pastille Burners||£49.50|
|HCL Hand-painted Open Edition Flatbacks||£42.50 - £52|
|HCL Hand-painted Limited Editions||£69.50 - £94.50|
Founded in 1750, presumably Royal Crown Derby can charge that much because they are a household name with a long-established presence in gift and china shops.
From Marilyn on 4th November 2005:
Several members saw some Annie Rowe flatbacks on eBay described as "like Hazle Ceramics". Stephen says they were from a UK company called Western House Gifts who had them made in the Far East. Although not direct forgeries, the stylistic similarities (size, scale and themes) suggest that Hazle’s designs were adapted with cruder modelling and painting. I didn't save those photos but this Annie Rowe teapot from eBay gives some idea.
From Yorkshire Karen:
I did look at these ceramics, mainly in shock that they could be described as “like Hazle Ceramics”! The detail is non existent and the quality even looks awful on the small photographs. It helps me to realize what wonderful quality Hazles are - as if I didn’t already know! I suppose it makes our collections look even better value or does that just sound like an excuse to extend them?!
When I first saw these I thought, "What a cheek - how dare they purport to be like Hazles - they are nothing like at all!" Then I thought that any genuine Hazle collector or enthusiast would probably scoff first and laugh next. The only slight downside could be that a potential new or novice collector might compare, but then again once a Hazle is seen and touched there is no comparison.
While speaking on uniqueness in 2005, Eric referred to Lilliput Lane and David Winter Cottages as fantasy pieces for little gnomes to inhabit! When asked about the resin used to make them he said, “What can I say? It's an amazing medium for portraying detail.” But he went on to add that, in common with the material used for die-cast toy cars, resin may fracture over time casting doubts on the long-term investment value.
Resin is poured into a rubbery mould to set without baking. With several firings in the kiln and much loss of work, Hazle Ceramics cannot compete on price. But this traditional, laborious process contributes to their longevity.
|Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppes
Photos are roughly to scale
|Lilliput Lane (resin) RRP £45||Hazle Ceramics £50|
At £45 the Lilliput Lane above is more expensive than some of the others because it has a hinged front, enabling you to look inside the shop which is unusual.
Both pieces were on display in Harvey Weston at the Signing in November 2005. On seeing the Lilliput version Hazle exclaimed, "They've made it into a cottage!" and thought the added cottagey features weren't authentic to the real building. To compare properly the Hazle photo should be at an angle - as the modelling is less visible here.
Note from Marilyn in 2009:
The Lilliput Pork Pie Shop is now sold on the Secondary Market for £60. Hazle's is still current and available at the same price of £50 as in 2006.
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2 June, 2021
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