This example is a reproduction made by a modern factory that is currently using old original molds and new molds that were cast from old, original pieces. Brand new pieces that closely mimic the style of original old designs are also being made. Confusing new versions of old bisque figurines have been flooding into the market for some time now. Many may have an incised "Germany" mark and numbers on them, similar to the way old originals were marked.
The piece illustrated is a modern copy of a bisque Bathing Beauty figurine originally made by Weiss, Kühnert, and Company, a manufacturer in (East) Germany that made this type of item up until the beginning of World War II. It is a common fallacy to believe that if an item is marked just 'Germany' that means it had to have been produced prior to World War II, because afterward the designations 'East' or 'West' would have preceded the country name. But regardless of on which side of the old Berlin Wall a factory once stood, after October 3, 1990 German manufacturers were able to drop compass designations and mark their items with just, 'Germany' again.
What tell-tale signs can one look for if a 'Germany' stamp no longer always helps differentiate old products from new?
1. The surface of this item "wrong." Although you cannot actually touch it, look closely at the images provided as they show a surface that looks rough and rather sandy. Old pieces in this shape were typically made in glazed china. Which means a glossy surface that will feel silky smooth to the touch. But even pieces originally made in bisque would not be rough like this one. Old German-made bisque will almost always feel very smooth. Many new bisque figurines like this one can actually feel gritty if you run a finger tip over the surface.
2. Look into the eyes of our listed piece and you can see that not only are they not precisely painted, but the paint color is a rather electric shade of blue. These features are not characteristic of originals.
3. The bathing suits on originals of this particular figurine were all one solid color, not one color trimmed with a darker colored edge.
4. On the underside of this reproduction piece, too, the white bisque should be uniform, but there is an odd area that is slightly gray in appearance. A modern company, the 'German Doll Co.', acquired Weiss, Kühnert, and Company original molds and at the end of the 20th century began to reproduce new items from many of them. These they marked with their own blue stylized clown trademark, to help collectors identify new pieces. If you examine the scraped grayish area on the bottom of this piece carefully enough, your eye will soon be able to pick out where the modern blue ink stamped mark of that company had been applied. A ghost of its image remains.
Though new Bathing Beauties can seem at first glance seem to be old, careful examination will always reveal features indicative of modern mass production methods.
Measures 6 inches long by 2 inches high.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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