Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hummel "wanna-be"


I bought a couple of these cute Christmas figurines at the flea market a couple weeks ago, and I just got them out in the shop today. That made me think of the history of these Hummel wanna-bees as I fondly call them.
Many dealers incorrectly tag them as mid century to rival Hummels when German imports were banned during the war; however, the company behind the figurines, Arnart imported porcelain art.
Erich Stauffer designed fake versions of Hummels and Kalk figurines for Arnart from 1953 to 1970 under the brands Arnart Imports, 5th Avenue, ArMark, Royal Carlton, Royal Chintz, and Royal Crown.
Some researchers speculate that Erich did not even exist, but that he was a fictitious character. Erich Stauffer, a traditional German name, may have been invented to make it seem as though the Arnart imports were from Germany. The paper labels that indicate Made in Japan are not often found on the figurines. But, this could explain why it is so hard to find out information about Erich Stauffer, the designer.

When we occupied Japan, we allowed many of these import companies to gain a major share of the import market which is no different than the Chinese imports of today except I daresay the quantity and quality of some of those imports pales in comparison to the mid century Japanese imports.

And, that brings me to a key point for the beginning of December and the spirit of giving. Can you imagine how many of these figurines were given as gifts to Grandmothers and Mothers in the 1950s and 60s? I remember going with my father the day or two before Christmas to buy some gifts for my Mom. We headed to the local 5 & 10 (now known as the Dollar Stores), and I usually went for some figurine or rhinestone jewelry. I still gravitate towards those displays in the department stores! So, as the season of gifting begins, remember...


Cheerful givers do not count the cost of what they give.Their hearts are set on pleasing and cheering the person to whom the gift is given.
Julian of Norwich

4 comments:

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

Oh my gosh, you are so right about the cheerful giver...That gave me goosebumps to read your last paragraph.
Love about the shopping for figurines...it sure does stir up the memories that sometimes get clogged up in cobwebs.
And as always...couldn't live without your informative blogs, always enlightening.
Hope your getting ready to celebrate the holidays with school almost over.
I have a few good books to purchase and snuggle up with. It's snowy and very cold here.

gail said...

Hi Susan,,, How are you this week? Its been busy, but that goes with the season around here. lol. I enjoyed your post on Hummel wannabes. Boy do I remeber the 5 and dimes. I loved those places. Especially the penny candy there. lol
Thanks for the memories :) Have a great week! Any snow yet?
(()) gail

Anonymous said...

Susan,
Oh how I wish you were here when there were three great five and dimes in Wildwood. Woolworth's, G.C. Murphy Co., and my all time favorite, J.J. Newberry. They had the coolest displays and the creaky wooden floors were so neat. Sadly, all of them are long gone, but I have good memories of many Saturday mornings with a whole dollar to spend in those stores!!!

Anonymous said...

" Paper Whites". My neighbor Sandra, just two.doors away, gave me a wonderful gift the other day. It sits on my window sill, Gods nature at work His faith to instill.....It's green shoots reaching for the light, trying to burst forth with all of it's might. Paper white blooms a crown to it's head, a promise of spring that much can be said. Whiffs of perfume carried gently on the air, makes you want to clip one and wear it in your hair. So the gift she has given has metamorphed you see, it will linger in my mind as a sweet memory. By Cassandra Dickson