WAFL Collectables

Budgets, Cards, Badges and Jumpers. Anything and everything WAFL.

c1955 Wembley Ware Footballer by HL Brisbane & Wunderlich

These football figurines were made by HL Brisbane & Wunderlich factory in Subiaco, which was open from 1946-1961, sometime between 1947 and 1955. They are one of a group of kitch figurines which made up their “Wembley Ware” line and were hand-painted in the colours of the eight WAFL clubs.
The major problem with these today is the price tag. I would love to have all eight of them in my collection, but they come up so rarely that it would be almost impossible to find them all. And when they do come up for sale, you had better be prepared to bid against the hoardes who have taken to collecting to Wembley Ware in recent years.
Over the years, I have seen one of these for each of the eight WAFL clubs, and one other for Wembley Amateur Football Club. But the days of turning one up at a garage sale are well and truly over.




Claremont

East Fremantle

East Perth

Perth

South Fremantle

Subiaco

Swan Districts

West Perth


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1956 Darbyshire Urchin by Paul Rigby (Rigby's Urchins)

These little figures were made in Perth in 1956 by the Darbyshire Pottery, which was under the directorship of artist Jean Darbyshire. But they were based on the street urchin that appeared in the background of many of the cartoons drawn by Daily News cartoonist Paul Rigby before he left for London, via Sydney, in 1969.
About 10,000 of these China urchins were made by Darbyshire and were then painted to order in football club colours.
Today, you can find them painted in the colours of WAFL clubs and many Sunday League and other amateur clubs. But they are hard to find and highly sought-after beause they appeal to collectors of both WAFL memorabilia and Darbyshire.
Of particular note is that the now-defunct department store Boans placed an order for urchins to be painted with the jumpers of the eight WAFL clubs. Strangely, the Swan Districts version sold by Boans had horizontal black-and-white stripes, so some collectors are chasing both the Boans version of the Swans urchin and another with vertical stripes. The Boans version of the Claremont urchin featured the Tiger's blue jumper with a gold v, but I have also seen urchins with Claremont's later "gold sash" jumper.




Claremont

East Fremantle

East Perth

Perth

South Fremantle

Subiaco

Swan Districts (horizontal stripes)
Swan Districts (vertical stripes)

West Perth

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c1950s Diana Ware WAFL Decanter and Goblets

This earthenware decanter and set of matching goblets was made by Sydney-based potters Diana sometime between 1947 and 1966, most likely in the mid-1950s.
Standing about 24cm tall, it features a footballer in a marking pose on one side and the imprints of a football’s laces on the other. 
The footballer is wearing a West Perth long-sleeved jumper, while the six small goblets also have rings of red-and-blue. The only other ones I have been able to find are a South Fremantle/South Melbourne version, which is in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, and a Swan Districts/Collingwood version.

Claremont

East Fremantle

East Perth

Perth

South Fremantle

Subiaco

Swan Districts

West Perth

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c1965-1967 WAFL Bobblehead Dolls (Nodders or Wobblers)

Invented in Europe in the 1800s, the bobblehead, also known as a nodder or a wobbler, was popularised by US Major League Baseball in the early 1960s when tens of thousands of cherubic-faced dolls were produced and painted with different uniforms for sale in different cities. It wasn’t long before the Japanese manufacturers realised they could turn out dolls for any sport in any country. Australian football was an obvious target. Some collectors claim the Australian football dolls were made in the 1950s, however, they are very similar to the baseball dolls produced in 1962. More importantly, their jumpers tell us they weren't made until at least 1964 because the Claremont version depicts the jumper the club first wore in 1964 and the East Perth version is wearing the jumper the Royals first wore in 1965. Meanwhile, the Subiaco bobblehead features a jumper the Maroons last wore in 1967. So that effectively narrows the date of production to the period 1965-1967. The Australian football versions, which stand about 15cm tall, were either manufactured or imported by a company called Grizelle and occasionally a bobblehead turns up with a Grizelle sticker still on it. They were also made for VFL and SANFL clubs, along with the Brisbane and Sydney rugby league clubs. They are all tough to find today. This is because they were fitted with a magnet, so that they could stand on the metal dashboard of the cars of the day. Potholes and speed humps spelled the end for many of these dolls.



Claremont

East Fremantle
East Perth

Perth

South Fremantle

Subiaco

Swan Districts

West Perth

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