This is rather unusual for Boehm. There is no bottom; only lion cubs playing. Keep turning this over, and you will see a different tail, head, body. The color is lovely, and the expressions, like most Boehm creations, are very detailed.
Is this a hand cooler? If so, it is a new idea for me, since all the hand coolers I have ever seen were made of crystal.
This is in Excellent Condition. It measures 3 inches in Diameter. It is Boehm Ref. Number 230-03. The Complete Guide to the Porcelain Art of Edward Marshall Boehm, by Carol Marren, 2003 edition, lists the current price at $650.00.
The oldest of all artistic media, porcelain sculpture originated in China more than two thousand years ago. Even in today's environment of technological advancement, the Boehm Studio seeks to remain faithful to this centuries-old art by handcrafting every sculpture with painstaking precision.
Fine porcelain sculpture usually begins its life on paper, in an artist's sketch. The sculptor determines its size and structure, then crafts a rough model in clay. After what may be several iterations of modeling, the design is finalized. Moldmakers carefully cut the final model into components that can be fit back together. The direction and number of these dissections are determined by the intricacy of the model. Moldmaking is an exacting and time-consuming art and science, and it is not uncommon to devote more than a year to the molding of an important sculpture.
The Boehm Studio employs only pure porcelain, that which has been created from the purest and whitest clays and which has been ground for many hours to a rigidly controlled particle size. At this fineness, liquid porcelain is extremely smooth and almost creamy in texture.
The main master molds are constructed of hydrastone, while the working molds are made of Plaster of Paris. When the pure porcelain is poured into these working molds, water is absorbed and a thin clay lining begins to build on their inside walls. After a time, the mold is opened and the still-damp shell of clay (called "greenware") is gently removed and cleaned. Normally twelve to twenty castings can be taken from a set of working molds before they begin to wear and a new set cast from the master mold is required.
After molding, the component greenware is assembled to form the full sculpture. Porcelain liquid called "slip" is used as a bonding agent until the sculpture is fired. Because porcelain shrinks significantly during firing, supports (called "props") are put into place to hold the sculpture's heaviest parts. These props are made from porcelain slip so that they shrink at the same rate as the artwork itself. Even with these carefully designed props in place, many designs cannot be fired successfully and must be discarded.
Pieces that successfully emerge from the initial firing are polished and readied for the painter's brush. The sculpture is refired between applications of color, with each hue often requiring a precise temperature adjustment. After painting, each sculpture is carefully examined against the original prototype to ensure colors are properly annealed and accurate. If there are any discrepancies from the original, the process must begin anew.
Boehm porcelains are found in museums, palaces and homes around the world. And an art and science born twenty centuries ago continues.
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