Only 20 of this exquisite and understated lidded piece were made in this Glazed and Decorated rendition. (There were many more in the bisque undecorated pieces). The Boehm factory only produced these from 1954 to 1960, and the 20 of this decorated glazed model were quickly finished and sold out.
While the Complete Guide To The Original Porcelain Art of Edward Marshall Boehm, by Carol Marren, published in 2003, listed its price as $325.00, it's rarity demands a higher price nowadays on the rare occasions you may see one. I purchased this in 2003, and have not seen another one since. I have spoken to dealers who estimate that if one were available today it would probably get about $650.00 to $850.00.
This is in Very Good to Excellent Condition. No losses, cracks or chips.
Covered it is 7 inches tall. It is a tad over 5 inches across at the mouth.
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.
A Boehm&tm; porcelain sculpture 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&tm; 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.
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