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.
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.