Beton Indian Story: A collector’s tale of recovery and renewal

The once buried Beton Indian figure, circa 1948, with missing arm and stand, recovered from beneath an apartment building in Brooklyn. (Photo courtesy Robert Rentzer)

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my dad gave me a dime store package of the Beton Indian figures. Eventually they all met the same fate as the real Indians of the West (going to the Happy Hunting Grounds), with one exception: A one-armed Indian who was carefully laid to rest. Perhaps, sorry for his loss of a limb, I decided to put him to rest in a mausoleum of sorts. Some 55 years later, I had occasion to return to New York with my wife. Wanting to show her where I grew up, we paid a visit to my old apartment building and even dared knock on the door. Read More +

Red Rose Wade Whimsies: Stroke of marketing genius defines a tea firm and creates a thriving collectible


In 1967, Brooke Bond Foods, the parent company of Red Rose Tea, contracted with George Wade and Son Ltd., a British ceramics maker with roots dating back to 1867, to produce a line of miniatures for specially marked boxes of Red Rose Tea in certain parts of Canada. The original 32 miniatures – known as "Whimsies" – were comprised of an assortment of animals. The move was a stroke of marketing genius for Red Rose Tea and instrumental to the company’s success.
Read More +