By David Chown
Janet and Gene Myszkowski moved down to their beautiful home in Palm Coast, Florida almost three years ago. Lapped by the Atlantic Ocean it is a great place to live. They share their home with two beautiful Japanese Bob Tail cats Bobtail and Meekay.
Jan and Gene are both from New York State, Jan originally from Malone near the Canadian border while Gene hales from Little Falls. Gene was quick to tell me that the Red Rose Tea packaging plant is in the town, so there is a sort of link with Wade there.
As the name would suggest, the Myszkowski’s came to the United States in 1915 from Poland, that was Gene’s grandparents. It was at the time when Poland was divided up between Russia, Prussia and Austria. They were from the Russian bit!
Gene has a number of hobbies to keep him busy including classic cars, gardening and Remington Rifles, the latter of which he is something of an expert having written a number of books on the subject.
But it was Jan’s Wade collection we had come to see and wow, what a collection she has!
The Faust Lang’s and Jessie van Hallen’s are tastefully displayed throughout their comfortable home with all the other Wade curios. The majority of her collection I have never seen before and that includes her set of three pandas, which she said had taken her quite a while to bring together. She said they were probably among her favourites.
Jan showed me a fascinating black Jessie van Hallen cat. It was an early version of the one reproduced by Wade for the 2000 Collectors Meet and earlier, after Jessie’s death, by Dilford Pottery. Jan’s version is earlier than either of those and had a separate tail winding round it. The later Dilford Pottery and Wade versions had the tail set in the main body of the figure to make casting easier.
Jan also has the 12” high Jessie van Hallen Madonna and Child, a truly beautiful piece which Wade copied recently as a Whimsie. To see just this piece was well worth a visit. To see the whole collection wasworth the trip from England.
Jan’s latest piece is also a Jessie van Hallen, the dancing figure of Joy. She said that she had been searching for it for some time and was now pleased to display it with all her other Ladies. It’s certainly a fine piece.
We had a great day with Janet and Gene who made us very welcome. Thanks to you both for sharing, if for a short while, your fantastic Wade collection.
2017 Betty Boop Catalogue
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