Thursday, September 23, 2010

Florence Ceramics Figurines

Today's post is contributed by Amy Kagey who is a regular contributor on the eBay Seller's Facebook group. Amy is always finding the most amazing stuff!

The Florence Ceramics Company made beautiful collectible figurines that can still be found at garage sales and estate sales. It was founded by Florence Ward in Pasadena, Ca. in 1939 and it continued into the '60's. Florence began creating the figurines at home as a hobby to help herself cope with the loss of her son. She displayed them in her garage and soon began getting orders from high-end department stores and jewelry stores. She moved her business then into a large factory.

Florence Ceramics figurines are primarily Victorian ladies and gentlemen, as well as some children and famous historical figures. Some identifying features of Florence figurines are merry, usually brown eyes with brown painted lashes, gold trim and extended arms with articulated fingers. Many of her figurines are decorated with lots of lace that was dipped in slip and fired. The intricate details of the fingers and lace leave these collectibles very prone to damage. Almost all of these figurines have their names hand-written in cursive on the bottoms and most have a Florence Ceramics circle-shaped stamp.

In the 1960s the Lefton Company copied many of Florence Ward's designs and used overseas workers to reproduce them. They were then sold more cheaply in the US. Florence Ceramics won several copyright infringement battles against Lefton but the Lefton Company simply modified their figures and continued to sell them. These cheaper-made imitations were the downfall of the Florence Ceramics Company.

Some Florence figurines are:

Scarlett, Melanie and Rhett from Gone with the Wind
Napoleon and Josephine
a VERY collectible series of mermaids

I always buy Florence figurines when I see them, even if damaged and have started a small collection of my own. Florence figurines will still sell on Ebay even if damaged and some people buy them and repair them. They are very lovely examples of California pottery with great attention to detail. You can visit Amy's eBay store here.

Know when to sell on eBay
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