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!