There are some
stoppers in my collection I treasure more than others for a variety of
reasons. Others are just odd. Here are some that fall into one, or
both, of those categories.
This is one of my oldest stoppers. He's fully jointed with multiple
beads, has a tiny metal cane, and in his left hand he's carrying his worldly
goods tied up in a handkerchief. He looks like Fred Mertz running
away from home. There are actually 5 different styles of this stopper,
each with different items in hand.
When I first started collecting stoppers I found this little ugly, and
my friends and I made fun of it. In fact, what we said was, "This
one was made by someone who flunked carving school." But I
liked him, anyway. Several times I almost got rid of him, or traded
him, or gave him away, but for some unknown reason I kept him. Maybe
it was his little metal buttons.
In 1995, when I got copies of the old ANRI trade catalogs, I found pictures
of a group of stoppers that were produced in the early 20's.....this
guy and all his look-alike brothers. No explanation of why they
were so odd looking, or different than all the others, just presented
in the catalog with the rest. I'm glad I kept him. But, he's
This little stopper fits into a chair that has legs carved into it.
He was one of the first ones I got that had a holder, or stand. I
love his face, his big blue eyes, and his little glasses. His wife
(they were a matched set) still lives in New Jersey.
Later I found this old gnome resting atop a mushroom. What makes
him even more strange is that he's a "Head In Head" stopper, like those
featured on the Weirdoes page.
The pair on the left is from the early 1920's and has real fabric collars.
The one to the right has a frayed fabric tie. Their necks are jointed
by means of a bead-on-bead system that ANRI only used for a decade or two.
The bead makes it possible to turn or tip their heads in all directions.
Some collectors call these, and other ANRI items with bead/necks, 'nodders.'
The second stopper is just plain goofy with a head perched on top of a
David Copperfield, Joe the Fat Boy, Mr. Pickwick, Mr. Pecksniff, Artful Dodger,
Mr. Dick, Sarah (Mrs.) Gamp, Job Trotter, Capt. Cuttle, Mr. Micawber, Sam Weller, Trotty Veck.
Still need Dolly Varden!!
Another group of "Prized Possessions." Here are all but one of the Charles
Dickens characters ANRI produced as bottle stoppers, and also as figurines.
The names are painted on the wooden collar at the bottom of the stoppers,
or sometimes, across their backs, or on the hat.
I also have most of the ANRI Dickens
figurines in the 3", 6" and 9-10" sizes. If you have a Dickens
character stopper or figurine to sell or trade, please let me know.