Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Extra Info on the Pirate Heads

Here is some extra information on the pirate heads from the Winter 2004-2005 Disney Magazine:

New Orleans was one of Walt Disney’s favorite vacation spots. He loved exploring the area’s antique shops, where he occasionally purchased props for his films and TV shows. The city’s rich history- it was once the headquarters of the infamous French pirate Jean Laffite – was Walt’s inspiration for New Orleans Square, the first section added to Disneyland since opening day.

In the square, which opened in July 1966, narrow streets meander around ironwork-clad buildings, each containing treasures that might have been found in New Orleans in the eighteenth century. During the square’s early years, there was an outdoor café, a jewelry shop, an antique shop, and a store offering ladies’ hats.

In 1967, a spectacular new attraction made its debut in the square: Pirates of the Caribbean, which was packed with realistic Audio-Animatronics figures. Walt had approved all of the figures and introduced many of them in his TV show, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Unfortunately, he didn’t live to see the attraction open to the public.

The opening of Pirates of the Caribbean brought new merchandise into the park: eye patches, plastic swords, and Jolly Rogers. Guest could find “pieces of eight” among the antiques and reproductions in the One-of-a-Kind shop, which stood where Le Bat En Rouge is now.

Some of my favorite pieces from the era are three pirate condiment containers.  These three-inch-tall ceramic heads are hand painted depictions of characters found in the attraction. The original New Orleans Square logo is stamped on the bottom. Of the three, the Auctioneer with his dark-blue hat is the most recognizable to guests. Avid Pirates fans will recognize the other two, which are stylized versions of characters from the jail scene (one has an added eye patch).

(Inset) Shiver me timbers: These condiment jars, sold at Disneyland in 1967, make an attractive addition to any landlubber’s dining table. They’re difficult to find today; a set could fetch $300.

Thanks to my reader sb-illustrations and the Phil Sears site for the lead! Now, I just need the Auctioneer to complete my collection!

8 comments:

sb-illustrations said...

Happy to be of service!

Major Pepperidge said...

If these things can fetch around $100 individually, I'll bet a complete set in good condition (original Disneyland price stickers too) could go for a lot more than $300.

Neat that you found a mention of them in that magazine!

Tinker Bell said...

Yeah, I would imagine so!
I'm interested in going through my back issues of that magazine to see what else of mine they have covered.

sb-illustrations said...

It is interesting to go through the old Disney News / Magazine & realize that you have a particular item tucked away. Then, find the secondary market value......which leads to considering the purchase of a safe! My thoughts, when I found out what my original POTC attraction poster could go for!

Vicky Burnell said...

Hi i have a set of 3, a lid missing and some flakey paint work on another.. i will post a photo later. Good to find something out about my carboot find oh arrrrww x

Vicky Burnell said...

Hi i have a set of 3, a lid missing and some flakey paint work on another.. i will post a photo later. Good to find something out about my carboot find oh arrrrww x

Vicky Burnell said...

Did you get an auctioneer? I have one didnt know what it was till i saw your blog thanks ... i have the other two but they arent in as good condition.x

Tinker Bell said...

Hi, Vicky!

No, I have not located an Auctioneer in good condition yet, but I have my eye out. :) And you are so very welcome!