Lefton bluebirds, there’s something undeniably captivating about their allure. With their delicate features and cheerful expressions, these charming little creatures have soared into the hearts of collectors worldwide. In this blog, we’ll explore bluebirds by manufacturers Norcrest, Napco Lefton, and Topline Imports, the origins of these delightful figurines, discover how they became a beloved symbol of happiness and hope, and share the best tips and price guide for collectors.
NOTE: You can read about my collections here at Antique Trader Magazine
Norcrest bluebirds and Topline Imports bluebirds are often confused with Lefton bluebirds because they were also produced during the same era and have similar designs. Norcrest bluebirds were produced by the Norcrest China Company, which was founded in Japan in 1953. Norcrest bluebirds are typically marked with a “Norcrest” stamp and are known for their bright colors and playful designs.
Topline Imports bluebirds were produced by the Topline Imports Company, which was founded in Japan in the 1950s. Topline Imports bluebirds are known for their simple, elegant design and often feature a matte finish.
One reason why collectors confuse these three types of bluebirds is that they were all produced during the same era and share similar design features. Additionally, many of these bluebirds were not marked with identifying information, making it difficult to determine their origin.
However, there are some key differences between these three types of bluebirds that can help collectors identify them. For example, Lefton bluebirds are typically marked with a “Lefton” stamp, while Norcrest bluebirds are marked with a “Norcrest” stamp. Topline Imports bluebirds are often marked with a paper label or foil sticker that reads “Topline Imports.”
The most recognizable vintage bluebird manufacturer is Lefton. Lefton bluebirds are high quality and beautiful. George Zolton Lefton who was a Hungarian sportswear designer founded the Lefton Company.
The Lefton China Company was started in 1939 in Chicago, Illinois and produced so many items from dinnerware sets to Christmas decorations and everything in between. It’s the items from about 1945 -1960 that are very collectible today and range in many themes from bluebirds to cats, poodles, to rose patterned dinnerware and giftware and figurines and more.
Lefton also contracted with companies to produce these items like dinnerware and giftware in Japan so it is not uncommon to find collectibles today with the Geo Z Lefton stamp and foil label that says Made in Japan. Today, the Made in Japan label is highly desirable by collectors.
Other vintage bluebird manufactures include Norcrest, ESD, Relpo, Artmark, Ucagco, Napco, and PY, and then there are ones that are not marked but usually made in the same time period of the 1950s-1960s in Japan.
You can find these cuties as teapots, bowls, figurines, teabag holders, wall plaques, eggcups, cookie jars, coin banks, planters, sugar jars, jam jars, creamers, and more.
As with any collectibles, price varies on condition, demand and scarcity. Today these are a very sought after collectible so be prepared to pay top dollar. A pair of Lefton Bluebird Salt and Pepper shakers can go between $125-$200, a Lefton bluebird butter dish can fetch $250-$275, Bluebird wall plaques complete set can easily go for $275-$325 depending on scarcity and condition. Ebay and Etsy are still the best places to buy these cuties as the selection tends to be vast because of sellers from around the world. It is not often you will find Bluebirds at antique shops or flea markets but if you do then snap them up!!
Tips for Collecting Vintage Bluebirds:
- Damage usually occurs to the bird’s beaks so look for chips, and paint ware.
- Damage usually occurs to the inside rims, undersides, and lids of teapots and sugar/jam jars.
- Wings can also be dinged so check for damage.
- Figurines usually contain damage to the bird necks (cracks) and tails, as well as if the figurines are birds on branches look for dings, chips, and fleabites to the branch, leaves, and flowers (make sure all the petals are intact)
- Look items over to ensure dings/fleabites have not been painted over and that rhinestones are intact if your bird is embellished like some of the Norcrest bluebird shakers and Lefton bluebird coin banks
Many of you ask if I still sell collectibles and I do, you can find some rare bluebirds listed for sale in my Etsy store – Etsy Crazy4Me
A big thank you to my sweet husband Gary for a fun photoshoot
Bluebird T-Shirts for the collector at Crazy4MeStyle
We also have vintage Bluebirds for sale here “Bluebirds” so you can add rare and hard to find pieces to your collection.
Bluebird T-Shirts for the collector can be found at