This example is a reproduction string holder made of a very dense molded plastic not yet available in the 1940's, though the item seems to be marked with the year date of '1941.', The surface is somewhat rough to the touch because the original from which this copy's mold was taken was made of a composition material. Inside the back of the copied piece the original maker's mark is still partially visible. Because some of the original maker's mark did not transfer well when a mold was made of it, however, the marking in back appears to read, "© 1941 adine Wendi Made In U.S.A.". But the mark on an authentic item would be complete: "© 1941 Nadine Wenden Made in U.S.A."
Nadine Wenden was a California artist and illustrator. Several composition novelty items made in the early 1940's can be found on the collectibles market today copyrighted with her mark. They bear her name because they were her original comic designs. Nadine Wenden's Mammy or Black Cook string holder was only made in a composition material, never of plastic.
Plastic copies like the one shown in this listing began to appear on the collectibles market in the late 1990's. Mark Chervenka, retired editor of the Antique Collector & Reproduction News, stated in his December 1999 issue a plastic copy of Wenden's string holder could be purchased new from the exclusive sellers of the product for $32.
Included in our listing is a picture of an original Nadine Wenden string holder like the the one that was copied to make this item. It is easy to see the differences in decoration when the new item is placed side by side with an old original. Other than the differences in color and application of the decoration, note also the different way in which the old item was made to hang on the wall. A metal loop is at the top of the cook's head. The new plastic copy has a hole on back for invisible mounting on a nail or picture hook in a modern home.
Measures approximately 6 and 3/4 inches tall and 4 inches wide.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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