Saturday, 6 October 2012

Chloe Preston and the Peek-a-Boos

Chloe Preston was a British author-illustrator born in 1887. She illustrated stories by May Byron and Tom Preston (her brother) notably those featuring the 'Peek-a-Boos’ and the little wooden ‘Chunkies'. She also designed numerous postcards for Valentines and Raphael Tuck, soft toys for Farnells and nursery designs for Paragon China

I don’t have any Chloe Preston books in my collection, but I do have a few postcards and some nursery China.

The first two cards are from the Peek-a-Boo gardeners series c1920s

The Peek-a-Boos with Peek-a-Pup are going to plant some seeds. But first, of course, they dig and rake and pull up all the weeds.

This Peek-a-Boo brings out his broom to have a tidy up - he sweeps the rubbish all away. Likewise the Peek-a-Pup.
I love this one;

Improperly dressed at Lords (cricket ground). Published by A.R. & Co in 1927

The following are two nursery mugs from the Paragon Peek-a-Boo series marked to the base Paragon China, England.  Chloe Preston designed these around 1918-1919 just after the end of the First World War.

The outline of the design is transfer printed and then hand painted in enamels as is all the other Paragon children’s china from this period. I've been collecting Paragon pieces for a number of years, but these are the only two I've found designed by Chloe Preston. I have several designed by Eileen Soper and will feature those in a future post.

A case for Blighty and the recruiting officer.

 I'm sure these must come up for sale on eBay now and again, but I haven’t seen any for ages.

Do you remember the Peek-a-Boos?  


  1. Michelle Yardley6 October 2012 at 13:04

    Barbara, I've never heard of the Peek-a-Boos, I'll just plead ignorance coming from Oz.
    I love the nursery mugs. Eileen Soper! Looking forward to that post.

  2. I don't know the Peek-a-Boos but these are so sweet and I love the colors. I will also be looking forward to future posts, also and think these mugs are just great. I would have been very happy drinking my hot cocoa out of them as a child.

  3. Canvirries zimik6 October 2012 at 19:47

    hi..thx 4 visitin us : )! cute pictures and so adorable the mugs! keep in touch! following now!

  4. omg, how you find the cutest books. Look at these illustrations. They're darling and unique. I love that puppy.

  5. I don't remember the Peek-a-Boo's but the illustrations do look somewhat familiar.

  6. I also didn't think that I knew these at all - but something about the postcard at Lords is very familiar. Isn't it amazing how strict dress codes were in the olden days. I kept thinking that watching Downton Abbey a couple of weeks ago when some of the men were not 'properly dressed for dinner' (at home!) and the acerbic comments were flying!

    These are very cute and so typically 1920's

  7. I didn't think I had ever heard of this artist- but the lords postcard looks very familiar to me. I think the postcards and mugs are cute. I love to look at vintage items- it is always interesting to see what was popular in eras fast. I imagine these items get bought up fast!

  8. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 07:35

    Hi Michelle, I don’t think you’re alone in that. She is very well-known in the UK but not so much in the rest of the world. The Eileen Soper nursery things are lovely I will get some photo’s and put them up soon.

  9. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 07:42

    Hi Alex, the hot cocoa sounds good but would it be OK if I have hot chocolate with lashings of cream on top in the other mug?

  10. I haven't heard of the Peek-a-Boos, but my God(s), they seem such a delight. Peek-a-Boos and Peek-a-Pup ~ the names are so funny & creative! I love the 'Improperly Dressed' postcard best, too.

  11. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 17:42

    Thanks for your comment, and for following. I'm glad you liked the post.

  12. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 17:45

    Hello Donna, It would be a lot easier to call them novelty books, but it might make it harder for people to find them. I think I will have to do some categorisation just a question of finding the time. I remember the 3-D glasses too. They were a lot of fun when we were kids.

  13. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 17:47

    I’ve got a soft spot for dogs, and anything pretty – as you can probably tell! It’s nice to know you enjoy them too.

  14. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 17:50

    Hello Nikki-ann, I think they look a lot like the chubby children Mabel Lucie Attwell used to draw. Maybe that’s what they remind you of?

  15. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 18:00

    Hi Sharon, I love Downton Abbey! I thought all the men looked fantastic in that scene, improperly dressed or not. Highclere Castle (where it’s filmed) is beautiful. Our friend’s daughter got married there. It was Christmas time, and I've never forgotten the enormous Christmas tree and the wonderful evergreen decorations on the fireplaces. Nicola (the bride) looked like a fairytale princess in a beautiful dress and cape.

  16. Cousin John (Percy)7 October 2012 at 18:07

    Hi Barbara (Cuz, = cousin) Peek a Boo, but why only two? Please do your best to show us the rest.........

  17. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 19:26

    Hi Stephanie, I think your right about them getting bought up fast. I love visiting antique’s fairs and markets, and I always keep an eye out for any vintage nursery china but it is getting harder to find.

  18. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 19:32

    Ah, but you have now Claudine. You always have things that are new to me on your blog, so I'm delighted to have found something new for you!

  19. barbaraannefisher7 October 2012 at 20:00

    Hello Cousin John (aka Percy), more postcards to follow soon. I wish I was good at rhyming like you, and then I could find something to go with Boo!

  20. these are so cute! :D

  21. barbaraannefisher11 October 2012 at 02:46

    I think so too! : )

  22. I have a very ancient book by Chloe Preston about the peek-a-boos. Although the Lids are in a bad state, the plates inside are lovely andf in good condition. I would like someone who would really appreciate these delightful to have them.

  23. barbaraannefisher7 February 2013 at 07:37

    Hello Evelyn, I love Chloe Preston (as you can probably tell) and would enjoy taking care of your book. It may be that the shipping (if you are outside the UK) will be too expensive to make it worthwhile sending, but if you like to contact me on we can certainly talk about it. Thanks so much, Barbara.

  24. I have a large original Chloe Preston painting on my wall and looking for a specialist - do you know of any? Thanks!

    1. Hello Louise, I think your best bet would be to contact a fine art auctioneer. I don’t know where you live so I can’t give you a name, but an online search should come up with something. Best wishes Barbara


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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