I purchased a box of toys from a guy and found these inside. They immediately caught my eye. The box is a thin wood wrapped in old Hallmark Paper with a glass front. They both are completely handmade, hand painted and handcrafted. The back has a cardboard spinning wheel filled with sand when you rotate the box right twice the Leotard Man will spin & perform tricks. On each back on a sticker has Yootha Rose handwritten. After doing what research I can I found she was a stage designer, artist and toy maker for the Royal Family. From what I read her toys was NOT mass produced. I have not found anything on these particular toys. The boxes are 10” x 7.5” x 3.5” Any additional information as well as value would be greatly appreciated.
The gentleman I purchased it from bought from a high end auction house. They were in the bottom of a box full of old vintage toys.
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These are quite charming and you've a good eye to spot these. The market for sand shadowbox toys is pretty soft (most sell below $100) but these are better than most and likely to bring a better price, possibly as much as $500 though the rarity of these may push an auction price higher.
I've only found a couple of works of hers having sold at auction, none of which are very recent, with the links here:
Based on the photos and information provided, and subject to examination, this is:
A pair of rare hand-made papered sand shadowbox puppet acrobat boxes
Attributed to Yootha Rose, English, mid 20th Century
Two small theatrical shadowboxes, each with papered covers, each featuring an acrobat on a wire with the written instructions "Leotard / Turn Over Twice / To The Right", with a wheel mechanism on the back to make the acrobat flip. Hand-printed labels to each marked "Yootha Rose."
each 10 inches high, 7 1/2 inches wide, 3 1/2 inches deep
CONDITION: both appear to be in good condition
PROVENANCE: acquired at auction
$300-500 each or $700-1,000 for the pair*
*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary.
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