The original owners of these fine pieces are my Mother's parents originally from
William Thomas (originally Titmas) married Violet (Valerie) Rodgers in England in 1938. As a business man, William and his Wife survived living in England's township of Leister during WWII by owning a carpet and flooring business. In 1953 they took their two young daughters, Valerie Jean and Michelle Diane to America to start a new life.
After 23 years of Marriage and 9 years in America, they continued their professional career as International Ballroom Dancers as the world renowned team of Thomas and Rodgers. In the late 1960's they opened up a dance studio in Santa Monica, California where they continued to teach as well as give exhibitions in many countries throughout the world, and have received some of the highest awards that their profession has to offer.
Will Thomas - M.I.D.M.A (honors), M.B.A.T.D. (Honors), M.D.K.A. (England), M.B.D.T.A. (USA)
Valerie Rodgers - A.B.A.T.D. (England), M.D.K.A.S.(England), M.A.T.D.Sc. (USA),M.B.D.T.A. (USA)
The many Champions they trained include the National Champions, USA; National Champions, Canada; Sweetheart Ball National Champions; Dancing Cavalcade Champions. In addition they are acclaimed throughout the world as the couple who introduced the International Style in America, and their Fabulous "Quickstep" swept the country in the 1950's and 60's. They are said to be the only couple ever to receive a standing ovation in New York, from Dance Directors and Teachers assembled at a National Ballroom Teacher's Convention. Having appeared and taught on the Red Rowe Television show, Station KTLA, Channel 5 in the USA, many of their pupils were regular dancers on the Lawrence Welk Show, including the ever so popular Bobby. Other pupils competed in world events including the World Championships in Germany and the Star Championships in London.
After they retired and sold their studio, they continued on as Members and Directors of the Piccadilly Dance Club. As Directors, club membership rose to it's height in the 1970's and 80's as Ballroom Dancing took on a renewed interest with the over 40 crowd. Added to their many achievements include planning and managing many trips abroad for the club's membership for the next 20 years of service to the club.
The collection above is one of their prized possessions that as a child, I looked forward to "Tea" at Grandma's. However, the collection took it's biggest hit when the 9.0 Northridge, CA. earthquake destroyed most of the San Fernando Valley's homes in January, 1994.
Since my Mother's death on January 6, 2003 (Valerie Jean), the remainder of my Grandmother's estate has been divided among my siblings and Aunt (Michelle Diane). These are the final disbursements that need to be settled. Offers for auction are welcomed. Keeping the sets together is among the foremost when receiving bids.
www.ReplacementsInc.com gives values for the more popular Imari (2451) Collection. However, the more rare pieces have yet to be valued. Speculation is that it will depend on the collector's desire for the items that will ultimately give true value to the collection.
You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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