Discover Vintage America - JUNE 2015

Figurine of a Hollywood actress from the 'Golden Age'

 

Q: I have this wonderful figurine of a lady who is supposed to be Ginger Rogers. It was purchased in an antique shop for a friend by her husband. On the bottom are the numbers 1945. Can you please tell me if it is really Ginger Rogers?

A: This is indeed a beautiful female Art Deco style figurine but it is not Ginger Rogers. She is very typical of the female figural statues in the Art Deco style. I have seen these referred to as figures of Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwyck and several other popular actors of "Hollywood's Golden Era". I actually think she looks more like Claudette Colbert. You also see these statues in a variety of colors including an all over white
In the 1980s, Avon created a beautiful Ginger Rogers porcelain figurine with the option to also buy Fred Astaire.

I came across one of these figures several years ago that still had the original foil label indicating it was made by "Original Art" and also included "Made in USA".

There is very little information available on the Original Art Company other than they began operation circa 1930 and continued operation until the late 1950s or early 1960s. They employed a wide variety of artists who would re-create known works by master artists, small tableware items and small decorative pieces.

As to whether or not the numbers on the bottom indicate the year made or a style number is difficult to say. She is of the Art Deco style and this period ran from the 1920s-1940s with its popularity waning after WWII.

The popularity of Art Deco architecture and mass produced items may have waned but there has always been a niche market for the style that represents glamour, luxury and exuberance.

If your figure in the Art Deco style is free of chips, paint flakes and cracks she would sell for $65-75.

 


Note: All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about half or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade. Send questions with photos to Michelle to publisher@discoverypub.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michelleknowsantiques.com for a one-on-one appraisal.