Old Friends

This page has been set up to post pictures of old animals with, where available, their dates of birth. The purpose of the page is to help owners identify the age of their animal particularly when purchased second hand. As you will see, the shapes have changed somewhat over the years!

The oldest piece we have a picture of is of a pig dated 1931. One of “Old Bill’s” originals!

Pig circa 1931

The pig is Harvard University’s mascot and was very popular with visiting Americans.

The elephant was the first new animal to be produced by Dimitri Omersa for Liberty’s. Ellie shown below is a much loved family elephant purchased in the early 60’. The back of her ear is embossed with “LIBERTY OF LONDON”. See Old Friends circa 1965  for a close up of the markings.

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The donkey followed on from the elephant, a picture of which can be seen on the Old Friends circa 1965 page. Mr Omersa entered the donkey in a crafts exhibition in Sacremento, California in 1963 and won a gold medal!

The donkey was closely followed by the rhinoceros which became best seller in the range. Today the hippo heads the top spot closely followed by the rhino!

The American market became increasingly interested in the product and requests for bulls and bears, symbolizing the stock market, were made. Abercrombie and Fitch stocked the animals for many years (60’s-80’s) whilst it was a successful department store.

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Abercrombie and Fitch catalog 1963

Below is a picture taken by American Vogue in the 60’s of Edie Sedgewick, muse of Andy Warhol, standing on the back of our “superking” rhino. The scene was recently re created in the film “Factory Girl” starring Sienna Miller.

ediesedgewick

In 1974, a “golden” lion was commissioned by an Arabian Prince. It was available in this colour until the mid 1980’s. Today the lion is available in our trademark mahogany brown only.

Golden Lion circa 1974

Mrs Omersa designed the Staffordshire dog in 1976.

Staffordshire Dog circa 1974