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Randell Page Scratch-Built Tea Advertising Automaton, circa 1940



Randell Page scratch-built tea advertising automaton, circa 1940 We are proud to offer a unique example of a mid-20th century scratch built English tea advertising automaton. This item is a complete one off, made using found objects including adverting labels, rope, carved wooden sections, hand painted detail and all the mechanism that animates this item. Once switched on using a (D) sized battery, the character holding the cup of tea simply swings back and forth, illustrating an upper cut to the beefy looking character who looks quite dazed. The figures are made from carved wood as is most of the boxing ring, the corner man throwing in the towel is hand painted as is all the surface of the item. A fun, humour and brilliant simple piece of folk art, scratch built, English adverting with a great history. Background: Made by Charles Randell Page for The Tea Bureau in the 1940s. Charlie was born in 1909 and worked for the Ceylon tea company as an illustrator and advertiser. He was also an inventor and produced several dioramas and automatons that featured in English museums in the mid-20th century. Charles also worked for the festival of Britain and produced a few illustrations for the comic punch, a respected illustrator in the adverting world. He was in the merchant navy as a young man were his creative passion flourished. We had the pleasure of speaking with his son Peter Randell Page who is one of the world’s leading artists. A selection of his public sculptures can be found in many urban and rural locations throughout the UK including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge and his work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery and the British Museum amongst others. Peter told us of his times as a young child, helping his father in his shed to create similar examples as the item advertised. A nostalgic walk down memory lane as we discussed this piece and other similar his father made, Peter told us that his passion for art and eventually becoming an artist was all down to his supportive father that inspired him in many ways. Dimensions in inches: H 15” x W 18” x D 4” Age: 1940 Material: wood Origin: United Kingdom.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 15 in. (38.1 cm)Width: 18 in. (45.72 cm)Depth: 4 in. (10.16 cm)
  • Style
    Folk Art (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading.
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU4304219473912

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in London, United Kingdom
Platinum Seller
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1stDibs seller since 2018
91 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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