American : Sagebrush Junction.

In the late 1970’s / early 1980’s James Hart began a working/business  relationship with an American businessman based in California. Initially he bought and imported standard Mudlen End cottages.  A trading company was created named ‘Admedia-Mudlen’ which marketed products under the name of “Mudlen Originals”.  He created clever marketing ideas such as display stands  and also gave the cottages other typical English style names.

Display Stands.
Display Stands.

 

He also  saw a market for a range of iconic Western style buildings.   Mr. Hart was invited to  California to  train staff and start up production. The  set was  marketed as “Sagebrush Junction” under the  brand name “Mudlen Originals”.

package4

This is the first set of 6. They were very well marketed as can be seen above.

Below are photos of my own set. The hotel does not have the  name stamp on it, I have applied a label to it !

(Mouse over the images to display their titles.)

I am unsure why # S-4 is the only building without an ‘identity’. I would have thought a bank would have been a good choice for a model as perhaps that is one building that is very synonymous with the “wild west”, more than perhaps a barber’s shop. But this of course is just my opinion.  (Actually, if you compare the S-4 model and the actual bank in the Country Cottage collection (# 42 ) there is a striking resemblance !!)

David Purcell has just resolved the above issue for me, as he has on his web site  pictures of his own collection and there is indeed a stamp on the side of model S-4 which does say “BANK”.  Taking into account the following remarks about the stamps this makes sense.

Below is another marketing photo showing the second 6 models of the series.  The SM,SX and SP prefixes are more than likely  part of the marketing strategy for the series.

Sagebrush Junction
Below are photos of my own models. Again, some without stamps, labels applied.

NEEDED :   S-8  SAGEBRUSH JUNCTION ‘APOTHECARY’ ,   (pharmacy or drugstore).

NEEDED :  S-11  SAGEBRUSH JUNCTION CHURCH HOUSE.

Some of these models were retrieved from the workshop at Mudlen End, probably made there as trial or test pieces. This is why they are unstamped, as the stamps would have been in the U.S.A. at the point of production.

‘Mudlen Originals’ also produced a range of other items, including fridge magnets and wall hangers in the forms  of teddy bears, cats, birds, houses etc. They appear occasionally on ebay. The following are examples of such pieces.

1 (1)

1 (3)

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “American : Sagebrush Junction.”

  1. Hi Ben!

    I have seen S1 to S6 advertised twice now in the US and as a result have managed to assemble a full set. All of them are fully marked, although some of the backstamp markings are indistinct. I have now added photos of the full group on a Sagebrush Junction page on my web site for comparison.

    All six models carry name stamps on the sides as shown in one of the main pictures, as well as the model number as part of the backstamp.

    As for the examples from the S7 to S12 series that you have, I have never seen any others, although I much appreciated the chance to see these when we met up earlier this summer! Having looked for Sagebrush models on many occasions over recent years but having only ever seen S1 – S6, it does make me wonder whether this second series were ever actually made for sale? A pity if they were not, because they are such fantastic models.

    The main photo of the set on the page also shows a Mudlen Originals pottery sign that I was also lucky enough to acquire some time ago.

    I have also added a page showing two of the numbered series that were marketed by Mudlen Originals. Both appear to be Mudlen Studio models that have then had sticker labels applied on the underside by Mudlen Originals. I assume these are therefore likely to be early examples that were made in the UK and exported for sale by Mudlen Originals, before they started making their own models. WDYT?

    Warmest regards,
    David

    1. Hi Ben,

      I had meant to include a link to the page with examples of the Mudlen Original numbered series too, and this time I do so with the full link as I tried to be clever last time and add the link as html tags, which didn’t seem to work!

      http://www.redbellows.co.uk/MudlenEnd/MudlenOriginals/NumberedSeries.htm

      I would be interested in your thoughts about the labeling applied to these models. Do you think the letter code (A and B on my examples) could relate to sets they were sold in perhaps?

      Regards,
      David

      1. Hi David.
        I believe the labels read MO for Mudlen Origonals, 12A or 12B for 12 cottage sets A or B and then the individual number for the cottage and the name given to that cottage. The wooden shelving I have seen seems to have little name plates on the front, possibly with the name or number of the cottage, really compelling the collector to obtain the whole set. Once again, the marketing was very well done.

    2. Hi David.
      The photos on your site are great, the sign is lovely.I’m still in the process of checking out the sales of all the models in the sets.There was certainly marketing done to promote sales of all the sets.
      The man responsible for the partnership was primarily a graphic designer,with an artistic flair.
      The marketing he devised was very good,including POS displays and wooden shelves,it was all done very well.
      The actual Mudlen End cottages with stickers on the base were part of a few sets given quaint English names,and the numbering system seems to be a bit complex.

  2. Hi Ben

    I have just added a page with photos of the four Mudlen Original models produced for the Henry Ford Museum of buildings in the Greenfield Village (US).

    http://www.redbellows.co.uk/MudlenEnd/MudlenOriginals/HenryFordMuseum.htm

    It looks like these were likely produced in the early 1980s, but are examples of pottery produced by Mudlen Originals under their own marketing initiaitive, once your father had educated them in the art of producing good quality items. Quality wise they seem to be on a par with Mudlen End models, so they were obviously very well taught!

    Regards,
    David

  3. I worked for Mudlen Originals as a painter of the many items they produced in the 1980’s in Temecula California. Magnets and trivets were the main things I did. Wasn’t till now that I Googled Mudlen and found out all the info you have posted.

    Thanks for all your research. I only have some of the western magnets and 1 trivet of a Mission. I will take photos of my items.

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