Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Heirlooms


When I read about the Heirloom Party being hosted by Marie @ Emma Calls Me Mama,  I immediately thought of the four Josef Original figurines my paternal grandmother passed down to me many years ago.


When I was a little girl, my grandmother always had these figurines displayed on top of her old cabinet-style television set.  (Anybody remember those?)   I very vividly remember admiring their delicate beauty  with my hands tightly clasped behind my back.  Since I was a very compliant child, I didn’t dare touch them for fear one might break.  
After I grew up and got married, my grandmother gifted me with these four figurines and I have displayed them proudly ever since. 
My grandmother passed away 3 years ago at the ripe old age of 99 and unfortunately, I never thought to ask her how/where she acquired these figurines, or how old they were.  Based on my childhood memories of them, I estimated they were from the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. 
I recently did some research on Josef Originals and found the creator, Muriel Joseph, of Arcadia, California, created figurines between 1945 and 1985.   The most collectible pieces are those that were  signed, have a high gloss finish, black eyes, they are usually marked on the bottom with incising "Josef Originals" or black pallet type stamp, and a "C" in a circle on under glazed bottoms. 
From the Josef Original labels on my figurines, it does appear they were probably manufactured in the very early 1960’s.  Mine also have the markings and characteristics of the “most collectible pieces.”  These figurines have far more sentimental value to me than monetary value, but I still wondered what they might go for on the secondary market, particularly since I know these types of figurines sometimes turn up at places like the thrift stores.
During my research, I found this one is called "The Courtship" from the 8" “Romance” series.   She is holding a huge bouquet of pink roses and reading the card from her beau.  One on-line site I found described this figurine  as *Very Hard to Find* and valued it at $140.00.  Earlier this month, I saw one that sold for $57.00 on eBay.  (The “blemish” on her nose and under her eye is really just the result of my lousy photography skills.)



This one is called “The Engagement” and is from the 8” “Romance” series too.  She is holding her left hand up looking lovingly at her new engagement ring.  At the same on-line site, it was also valued at $140  and described as *Very Hard to Find* 
As a child, I was completely mesmerized by the “diamond” on her finger and she was always my favorite figurine because of that sparkly “diamond”!


This little lady is checking the time on the watch pinned to her bodice.  I have not been able to find any information about her but earlier this month,  a figurine like this one sold on eBay for  $44.00.IMG_0213


This figurine is carrying  a basket over her arm and she is checking her shopping list.  I have not been able to find any info on her and have not seen her listed on eBay, as of yet.


If  you are interested in more information on the history of Josef Original figurines, you can read a little about them  here.
My grandmother also had an extensive collection of milk glass and, over the years, she gave me quite a few pieces.   I know all of these pieces pre-date 1972, the year I was married.

IMG_0225 (C)

IMG_0223 (C)

IMG_0227 (CR&E)


Last, but certainly not least, is the 40+ year old crystal chandelier that I inherited when my mother passed away 4 1/2 years ago.  Within the first couple of weeks of starting my blog, I wrote about how this chandelier was the catalyst behind my decision to decorate my home in cottage style.  If you missed that post and would like to read more about this chandelier, you can find it here.

IMG_0420 (6)

I really appreciate you stopping by to see my treasured family heirlooms.  If you have time, I urge you to visit Marie and the other bloggers who are sharing their favorite heirlooms and the interesting stories or history behind them.


Gayle said...

Hi Shari,
What a nice blog today.
The figurines are so pretty and
that chandelier is gorgeous!
Isn't it funny how many details we can remember from our childhood.
What nice memories you have.

Sares said...

I always love pretty little figurines like yours when I was little too. Now you have your own to admire! But you get the pleasure of dusting them. Love the milk glass too!

Sares @ Loveleigh Treasures

Jennifer Dawn said...

I love the milk glass vase and the crystal chandelier! Beautiful!

Claudia said...

Shari, those figurines are beautiful! I have heard about this line through other bloggers, but don't know if I've ever seen one in person.

The chandelier - OMG, gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

those figurines are ever so delightful..i love the expressions on their sweet little faces :)

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

good morning sweet friend! Oh these little figurines are just adorable. I can see why you love them so much. I love little girl figurines too. Also like the pretty milk glass pieces Happy Friday!


Mary said...

Hi Shari! Thanks so much for stopping by today and leaving a comment, even though you've seen this before...ALL of it before! LOL!!! I actually wrote the process in the blog, but deleted it because it was soooooo long! I can never tell you how I appreciated your help during the entire mess, and I was so grateful that you were there for me! I've been following you all along, but don't always leave a comment, because you get so many, and because I know you're still very busy with the crown moulding, which I can't wait to see! Now, those figurines...and the chandlier...they are gorgeous in themselves, no doubt, but for me, the fact that they belonged to your grandmother and mother is their greatest beauty. I buy things of heirloom quality, like china, and hand make quilts because I want to leave something that my grandchildren will treasure some day. That's so important. Your daughter will know that someday, too! God bless you, Shari!

Marie said...

Hello Shari - thank you for joining the party! Those figurines are absolutely beautiful. I've never seen any quite like that. So detailed. I love how they are all looking down at something. My fave is the engagement. That ring is precious. And how neat that you've been able to find some background information through your research! I love your Gramma's milk glass collection - especially the short round piece right in the middle. So neat. And those candle stick holders - I have a little plate that has the scalloped edges, but I've never seen that design in anything but plates! Oh my, the chandelier is gorgeous. Wow! I heart chandeliers and this one takes the cake!


Rue said...

Holy smokes Shari! I was born and raised in Arcadia, CA.... can you believe it? I've actually seen those figurines before, but had no idea I was "related" to them ;)

Your grandmother and mom had beautiful taste!


Jennifer Froh said...

Everything is soo pretty.. I LOVE those figurines.. precious! That chandelier is to die for!!!
Thank you for sharing!!!

Marina Capano said...

Hi! Nice to meet you!
Cute treasure!!
I love them!
you´re invited to my post party!


Anonymous said...

Hi Shari,
Thanks for sharing your family heirlooms with us. You speak so tenderly about all the pieces and it is because of this sentimental value that they become true heirlooms. TFS! Sheila

Kelee Katillac said...

So sweet--love the figurines--someone in my family has some too! Thanks for the great info and lovely story!

Stop by--would love to meet you!

Frugal Fine Living said...

Your ladies are so sweet! The milk glass is so pretty, especially that vase. (My mother collects milk glass.)

I can see why that chandelier was the inspiration for your home decor ... it's gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your treasures.


Caleen said...

What lovely little figurines. How sweet to have those in your home. The milk glass is so pretty. What a great collection. The chandelier is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely weekend.

Kim said...

I am enjoying seeing everyone's heirlooms and the stories that go along with them. I love your Joseph Originals figurines. I have 2 birthday girls that I picked up at a thrift store. I was going to give the 7 birthday girl to my niece when she turned 7 but I couldn't bear to part with it. She will be 19 in a few weeks. And I love your chandelier.

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

Your stuff is beautiful! I just love the dolls! And your glass pieces remind me of some stuff that my parents have. The chandelier is pretty too.

Cindy said...

Shari, what an interesting post! The dolls are beautiful but the milk glass is my favorite. I have several pieces that I have collected from thrift stores and such. I adore your chandelier, I want one like it! Hugs ~cindy s~