Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Collection of Vintage Fairy Tale Treasures By Marissa Meyer

Today is the day! Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is released today. (Here's an ebook link if you prefer that.) This book is burning up the internet with buzz and talk and I agree that it is a fun book that made Cinderella interesting even to me. (When you do what I do on a daily basis, Cinderella can get stale at times, I admit.) I've enjoyed many of Marissa's guest posts around the online book world the past few weeks--she's had some clever ways of giving us variety as well as emphasizing that this book has something for all sorts of genre readers, from romance to science fiction--and she didn't want to leave out SurLaLune. Instead of another post about her interpretation of Cinderella, Marissa decided to share, well, never mind, I'll let her tell you herself. Here's Marissa's guest post:

A Collection of Vintage Fairy Tale Treasures
By Marissa Meyer

When Heidi offered me a chance to write a guest post for SurLaLune, a blog that I’ve been a long-time fan of, it occurred to me that I should probably talk about my debut novel—Cinder, a futuristic retelling of Cinderella. But I’ve been talking an awful lot about my book lately, and instead I thought this would be a great opportunity to write about something entirely different, that I hope SurLaLune readers will enjoy: a virtual show & tell of my vintage fairy tale collection.

Although people have been giving me old copies of The Brothers Grimm fairy tales since I was a kid, my collection of old fairy tale things only started about two years ago when I was at an antique show with my then-boyfriend (now husband). I came across this set of tiles with fairy tale illustrations:

Tiles: Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Pied Piper, & Cinderella

I fell in love with them immediately, and have been looking for fairy-tale inspired pieces ever since. Luckily, my husband loves antique stores and estate sales as much as I do (his weakness being early-twentieth-century baseball memorabilia), so I have lots of chances to go on the hunt.

Some of my favorite pieces include this Cinderella cookie jar:

This xylophone that includes both fairy tale characters and other storybook favorites (Cedric/Little Lord Fauntleroy, Snow White, Pinocchio, Hansel, Gretel, the Swan Prince, Cinderella, Tyl Tyl, Mityl, Red Hood, Alice, & Nils):

And this Snow White lunch pail which has an adorable board game on the back:

Generally, I try to stay away from Disney items because they’re so common the collection would no doubt take over my entire house, although some Disney knock-offs are too cute to say no to. I also refuse to look on eBay, as that would take all the fun out of the treasure hunt. I estimate most of my findings to be from the 30s and 40s, though I’m by no means an expert.

Red Riding Hood tin tea set

Greeting Cards—the set includes both fairy tale favorites, such as Goldilocks and Snow White, and also nursery rhymes, such as Little Miss Muffet. Interestingly, Jack and Jill make an appearance, but both are illustrated as girls.
Snow White vase/figurine, a recent wedding gift, along with my camera-hogging cat

A block puzzle that makes up six different illustrations

One peculiar trend that keeps popping up is the case of the blonde Snow White, as opposed to the well-known “hair as black as ebony” trait. See the xylophone above, along with this Snow White embroidered pillowcase:

And also this German-made piggybank (which has Red Riding Hood on the other side).

I also have 13 plates from the 1970s, each representing a different tale (well, two of them are Rumpelstiltskin), but I think this post has gotten picture-heavy enough. Perhaps Heidi will be kind enough to invite me back to share them with the publication of Book #2. :) (Yes, please do! says Heidi.)

If you think you’d like to start a collection of fairy tale treasures of your own, the only advice I can give is patience and diligence. Just like with any collection that involves old things, I might go months and months without finding anything, and then I’ll stumble onto three great new pieces at a single antique fair. You just never know when something new will catch your eye.

If anyone has any questions about the pieces I have, I can try my best to answer them! Thanks for having me on the blog, Heidi, and letting me share with your readers.

Marissa Meyer debut novel, Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles, comes out on January 3. You can follow her on Twitter (@marissa_meyer) or become a fan on Facebook (facebook.com/lunarchronicles and facebook.com/marissameyerauthor).

Back to Heidi: Thanks, Marissa! This was a fun post and perfect for SurLaLune. You know us well here!


  1. Great guest post! What great treasures!! Some looked somewhat familiar. Maybe I had one of the lunch boxes. I thought the cat was stuffed it's so perfectly posed! I can't wait to read my copy of Cinder!!


  2. Does anyone know anything about that xylophone? I have one just like it and have been trying to find out who made it, when it was made, and how much it is worth. Mine is not in the best condition (missing both ends, the sticks, and is a bit scratched up) and if it isn't worth much I was going to use the keys as decorations. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.