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THE MONDAY SUPPLEMENT: FAMILY: WHY I MY...: Why I love my 50 miniature glass animals.

SAMANTHA McLAUGHLIN,AGED 10

MY MUM bought me a miniature glass sausage dog from a local antique fair when I was six and I have been collecting animals ever since.

I now have 50 in all different shapes and sizes. I love the colours and the details.

I buy them from antique fairs and car boot sales. They cost between 50p and pounds 1. I like looking round for unusual animals that I have not got.The smallest is a tiny mouse which I bought for 5p, the largest is a kangaroo which was the most expensive at pounds 2. My glass duck was made by hand in Whitby.

I think the oldest one is the bambi and the most unusual is the octopus with his orange tentacles. I really liked the family of glass fish but my favourite is the sausage dog.

I keep them wrapped up in paper in a shoebox in my bedroom. I have got a glass cabinet in my bedroom but my collection has outgrown it.

WHAT MUM THINKS

Mum Kathryn, who collects Royal Albert china and blue Wedgwood, said: "Kids' collections are usually born from TV hype about a new craze that's sweeping the nation. I have wasted a fortune building collections of Pokemon, Pogs and Crazy bones for my son, only to find them going out of fashion quicker than Beckham's latest hairstyle!

"When my daughter caught the collecting bug at the tender age of six I needed to act fast. I bought her a miniature glass animal from a local antique fair and she was hooked.

"I think it's quite an unusual collection and it doesn't take up a lot of room. A lot of the animals are from the 1950s and 1960s.

"I like going to antique fairs because I like old things, particularly as we have an old house built in 1750. "

Samantha McLaughlin, aged 10, lives in Bulkington, with mum Kathryn, aged 35, an advertising team leader, dad Steve, aged 28, a chef at the Hilton Hotel, and 14-year-old brother Ben. She attends St James Junior School, Bulkington and plays for Nuneaton Girls Football Team.

Factfile

MINIATURE GLASS ANIMALS

ANTIQUE dealer Alan Phillips, of Warwick Antiques Centre, who sells and collects glassware, gives the lowdown on Samantha's hobby.

Q. WHEN did miniature glass animals first become popular?

A. THEY really took off in the 1950s. They were more for adults as ornaments rather than children, because they are so fragile. People bought them back from Italy as tourist pieces.

In Britain you can buy them from seaside resorts - for example they make them in Blackpool.

Q. HOW much do the animals cost?

A. FROM pounds 1 to pounds 25. Italian cockerels can fetch up to pounds 25 but if it is a really special piece, it might be more.

Q. CAN you tell how old they are?

A. NO, with glass you cannot tell as it isn't marked.

Q. WHO makes the miniature glass animals?

A. THERE are so many manufacturers, the most famous being Italian glassware manufacturers Murano.

Q. WHAT kind of animals can you collect?

A. THEY make virtually every type of animal from hedgehogs to deers. The most unusual one on my stall is a monkey for pounds 12.

Q. ARE there many collectors of miniature animal glass?

A. OCCASIONALLY you will get a collector coming in, but funnily enough it's children who seem to really love them.

What do YOU love to collect?

IF YOU have an unusual, quirky or interesting collection we want to hear from you, whether you are six or 106!

It could be rare children's books, antique teddy bears, pop memorabilia or vintage clothes.

You can either

Write in and tell us about your collection at: The Monday Supplement, Features, Evening Telegraph, Coventry CV1 1FP.

email catherine.turner@mrn.co.uk or phone 024 7650 0365.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 10, 2003
Words:645
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