A COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO HARMONY KINGDOM BOX FIGURINES~2

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Debuting in the early 1990s,  Harmony Kingdom Box Figurines -- also known as  Treasure Jests --  are small sculptural containers depicting animals, people, plants and flowers, fish, and other creatures, often with great humor. They range in size from just a couple of inches square to six inches or so square. They were originally created in 1989 by Martin Perry in the Cotswolds area of Great Britain and produced there as a cottage industry, gradually enlarging the line to include works by other artists. Then Perry's company, Antiquark, contracted with the American Harmony Ball Company for boxes to hold the company's chiming Harmony Balls, which soon expanded into the Harmony Ball Company selling just the boxes to hold jewelry and other small treasures. In 1995,  Harmony Kingdom was born.

They were deliberately designed to be a limited collectible, complete with introductory dates, retirement dates, specialty editions, different versions within the same edition, mold or paint variations, and surprise pieces such as the one-of-a-kind jeweled versions that show up in the ordinary wrapping of certain very special collections. Each also contains "The Secrets Of The Kingdom": an ongoing series of storylines and artistic in-jokes that are explained on the company's website at http://www.harmonykingdom.com. For example, pieces by Peter Calvesbert always have a mouse on them somewhere, and pieces by David Lawrence always include an acorn. Under the supervision of Artistic Director Martin Perry, the whimsical and sometimes amazingly realistic animals of the  Treasure Jest series, the beautiful blooms of  Harmony Garden, and the entire  Harmony Kingdom line all display the craftsmanlike attention to detail and quirky sense of humor for which  Harmony Kingdom's artists are known.

Each prototype is hand carved, then a mold is made. The Box Figurines are poured from a special blend of crushed marble and resin that resembles ceramic, then individually painted by hand. Most of this production takes place in Wimberley Mills, in the scenic Cotswolds area of Western England, with all of the work done by local craftspeople as a traditional cottage industry, but some has been outsourced to China in recent years.

There are 26 collections listed altogether on the company website as well as 2 more collections produced by the Harmony Ball Company which are available on eBay as subcategories of the  Harmony Kingdom category. We discussed half of those collections in Part 1 of this guide in A Collector's Guide To Harmony Kingdom Box Figurines~1 and will discuss the other half here.

Limited Editions
includes a variety of Box Figurine pieces from various  Harmony Kingdom collections made in numbered Limited Editions.

Produced in China,  Lord Byron's Harmony Garden was created by Monique Baldwin and tells the ongoing story of Lord Byron the Ladybug and his floral adventures in search of a ladybug love. The exterior of each Box Figurine is a flower, while the interior contains carvings that advance the storyline. In Marigold (shown below), Lord Byron plans a Venetian rendezvous with Legs the Caterpillar, and the two talk of love, poetry, and the meaning of life in the grand Marigold Canal. Hallmarks include ©, star, HBC logo, ed.#, M, and eye.


Nature/Nurture expresses the profound emotional ties between parent and child. The touchstone theme of each  Nature/Nurture  Treasure Jest Box Figurine is a quality that all parents endeavor to pass on to their little ones. These 12 pieces were created by Martin Perry Studios in 2003 and 2004 and produced in a Fixed Edition of 2500. They are not retired, but they are hard to find.

The 12 NetsUKe are a subset of the  Treasure Jest animals that were carved by Peter Calvesbert in 1999 and 2000 and produced in editions of well under 10,000 each. Some, but not all, have been retired, one as recently as October 1, 2008.


One of the  Harmony Kingdom categories that can be found on eBay,  Picturesque is a collection of marble resin tile figurines. Like  Harmony Kingdom Box Figurines, every tile is exquisitely detailed and reveals the wit and irony for which  Harmony Kingdom has become known. Hidden secrets are encrypted into each stand-alone tile, and when viewed together an endlessly engaging story unfolds. There are three group and seven solo stories altogether, most of which were carved by Ann Richmond and made in China. Shown above is Wimberley Tales by Mark Ricketts.



Made by the Harmony Ball Company and technically not part of the  Harmony Kingdom but available on  eBay under the  Harmony Kingdom categoryPot Bellys come in three subsets: Historical Pot Bellys, Animal Pot Bellys, and People Pot Bellys. Standing approximately two inches tall, each has a hidden compartment suitable for concealing tiny treasures. People Pot Bellys include a lawyer and a nurse, and all are retired. Many of the Animal Pot Bellys are retired as well, including the Calendar Cats and Dog Days collections.. Historical Pot Bellys include Alexander Graham Bell, Agatha Christie, Al Gore, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, and many more. Shown above is the Historical Pot Belly curio cabinet.

Another  Harmony Kingdom category that can be found on  eBayRoly Polys are rotund characters carved by Adam Binder and inspired by famous folks known for their larger-than-life style. Box Figurines in this series include Mae West as a dolphin and Winston Churchill as a bulldog along with Queen Victoria; W.C. Fields; Benny Hill; Dom DeLuise; Pavarotti; Dizzie Gillespie; Marlon Brando; Jackie Gleason; Curly from The 3 Stooges; Alfred Hitchcock; Louis Armstrong; Zero Mostel; Orson Wells; Liz Taylor; Elvis Presley; Mama Cass; Bela Lugosi; Botero; Lou Costello; Fats Domino; Oliver Hardy; the drag queen Divine (shown below) -- even Fergie (the Duchess of York, not the Black-Eyed Peas vocalist), Rush Limbaugh, Rosie O'Donnell, Roseanne Barr, Ozzie Osbourne, and Monica Lewinsky (appropriately rendered as a blowfish -- LOL). Hard Body (i.e., solid and non-opening) versions of some of these Box Figurines also were produced, but in much smaller numbers -- only several hundred per edition of several thousand Box Figurines.

For Halloween, there are specialty  Roly Polys: Fang the bat; Frankie (Frankenstein); Bones the skeleton; Boris (Karloff) the mummy; and Hilda the witch along with miniature  Roly Poly Hard Bodies Lon (Chaney) the ghost and Jabba (the Hut) the eye in a Fixed Edition of 2000 and 500 respectively. Bela (Lugosi, depicted as a vampire, of course) also is appropriate for this holiday.

For Christmas, there are Nick (as in Saint Nicholas) and Rudy (the reindeer). They were produced in U.S., U.K., and Canadian versions, each wearing the proper flag on the back of the jacket. In the U.S. version, there were 7000 boxes with standard paint, 700 boxes with vivid paint, and 700 Hard Bodies. In the U.K. version, there were 1500 boxes with standard paint, 100 boxes with vivid paint, and 50 Hard Bodies. In the Canadian version, there were 500 boxes with standard paint, 50 boxes with vivid paint, and 25 Hard Bodies. This is typical of what makes  Harmony Kingdom limited collectibles so special.

Also produced especially for Christmas, Peter Calvesbert has created a Santa Claus every year since 1995. Each piece is a Timed Edition and retired after its holiday season. These usually sell out well in advance of the actual holiday. Other holiday and special occasion pieces can be sought out on  eBay or at www.harmonykingdom.com in the Custom Piece Search for everything from anniversaries, Bon Voyage, Christmas, and Easter to Father's Day, Graduation Day, Halloween, Mother's Day, and New Baby to Valentine's Day and Weddings.

Romance Annuals were carved by various HK artists and produced in the early 2000s. They depict pairs of  Treasure Jest animals in love.

Royal Watch Collector's Club pieces were produced for and exclusively available only to members of the Royal Watch Collector's Club,  Harmony Kingdom's official collectors organization.

Sidelines represents a collection of various collaborative projects and non- Box-Figurine products, including two teapots ( Crackin' Brew and Y2HK4K) made with Cardew Design Studios; a  Harmony Circus serigraph;  Harmony Kingdom Reference Guides and a video; a Paint-Your-Own Kit; HK displays; pewter pens; and silver  Treasure Jests that unscrew to reveal a miniature compartment. The Sidelines Collection also includes the Wee Beasties, tiny endangered animals less than two inches square and available only as a subset of the Zookeepers collection. Harmony Kingdom also has partnered with Longaberger to produce at least eight Box Figurines featuring the company's famous handmade baskets.

The Signature Series is a subset of five  Treasure Jest Box Figurines created by and named for various HK artists between 2003-2004. They were produced in Limited Editions of 2400 except for Perryalism by Martin Perry, which was produced in a Limited Edition of 600.

The Tapestry Collection is a group of six Treasure Jest animals created in 2004 by David Winter and named for the various fabrics that inspired their opulent and ornamental style: Chiffon the rabbit; Damask the mouse (shown above); Gabardine the pig; Sateen the cat; Saxony the frog; and Tweed the duck. Rich texture, subtle coloration, and intricate patterning combine to create a visual and tactile delight. Each piece, when opened, reveals a simple carved heart, and these creatures’ eyes glitter and glimmer with the richness that comes only from genuine black Swarovski crystals. Every Tapestry piece is a numbered Limited Edition of 1500 worldwide.

Timed Editions are  Treasure Jests made for certain seasons, including the Holiday and Millenium subsets and Romance Annuals.

Treasure Jest is the default term for Harmony Kingdom's witty, whimsical Box Figurines.

Two By Two is a unique collection of paired animal figurines created by Adam Binder and named for famous couples: Anthony & Cleopatra the rabbits; Barney & Betty (Rubble, from The Flintstones) the pigs; Bonnie & Clyde the geckos; Franklin & Eleanor (Roosevelt) the owls; Marie & Pierre the cats; Ranier & Grace the dolphins; and Samson & Delilah the lion and lamb. Each may stand alone or complement its partner perfectly. They were made in worldwide editions of 2000-3000 and retired in 2002.

Zookeepers are Limited Edition  Treasure Jests that represent zoo animals, including a Family Reunion of monkeys, Gentle Giant pandas, Ivory Tower owls, polar bears that Play Ball, and greyhound Retired Racers. Zookeepers also involved adoptive collaborations benefiting rescue and rehabilitation organizations and habitat improvements in zoos and wildlife refuges.

Two kinds of hallmarks are found on  Harmony Kingdom Box Figurines -- the carved hallmarks and the Crown Stamp -- indicating each item's authenticity and origin. Here is the official rundown on HK hallmarks as taken from the company's website @ http://www.harmonykingdom.com/news/story.asp?id=531&ex=jpg. For details, see A Collector's Guide To Harmony Kingdom Box Figurines~1.

Carved Hallmarks: The carved hallmarks are usually located on the exterior of  Harmony Kingdom Box Figurines, although sometimes they are on the lid of the Box Figurines. These include year of creation hallmarks, artist hallmarks, and edition numbers. Hallmarks do not follow any set sequence in their appearance on each figurine. The copyright symbol © has appeared on all  Harmony Kingdom pieces since 1994, and the Harmony Ball Company treble clef has appeared as a hallmark since 1997.



Crown Stamp:  Harmony Kingdom’s crown stamp appears on all pieces from mid-1995 to the present. The crown itself remains consistent, but the small icon at the top of the crown changes from year to year. Thus, the crown stamp indicates the year of production. This is sometimes different from the year of creation, as artists may finish carving their work in one year but the piece may not actually be produced until the following year or even later. The crown stamp may be found on the base of the box or on the bottom of the lid. If your Box Figurine has no crown stamp, it probably was produced sometime before July 1995.

eBay is a great secondary market for retired and/or otherwise unavailable HK pieces, but it's also a good place to find rare brand-new items, still in their original boxes with all documentation. Others have been carefully displayed, but all are suitable to be treasured by their lucky new owners. As previously stated,  Harmony Kingdom pieces are available in several  Harmony Kingdom categoriesGarden PartyJardiniaPicturesque, Pot BellysRoly Polys, and  Other. There usually are a couple of thousand HK pieces available on  eBay on any given day, but opting to have your search include Store Inventory will double or even triple your results. Just click on "Store Inventory" on the left-hand sidebar of any Search page to have those items included in your search results.

You also can search for pieces by name, production number (although not many sellers list them that way), or by keywords such as " owl" (the type of animal you're looking for) or " Santa" (the type of figure) along with " Harmony Kingdom". In fact, searching just by " Harmony Kingdom" (with or without quotes) is a great way to pull up miscategorized items that won't show up in a search of any of the  Harmony Kingdom categories. You might also do well to search by keywords  Harmony CircusHarmony Garden, or Jardinia ( Garden Party, Picturesque, Pot Belly, or Roly Poly will pull up too many non- HK items).  Miscategorized items can  be great bargains since less buyers tend to find them. Again, including Store Inventory in your search will triple your results and show you many great pieces at Buy-It-Now prices.

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