The 5.25 inch long bisque bathing beauty is incised underneath with mark of Schafer and Vater and number that appears to be "7923." Although she is an authentic antique, this lovely lass is currently being reproduced by Mundial Company of Belgium (click on "baigneuses" on the index to the left). The antique original has excellent sharp bisque and modeling, while the bisque of the knock-off lacks the clean, sharp quality of the original. In the original, the swimsuit (here bright orange, but it also came in blue) is cold painted, has a matte finish, and often shows some wear. In the reproduction, the color is fired in, and is a dirty, slightly shiny orange with greenish shading or a dingy blue). The crisply molded details of the original, such as her combmaked curls, and the flowing folds in her towel, are lost in the reproduction. Mundial does not mark its products, which are often artificially aged to look worn and dirty (and also to disguise their often poor quality). The repros are showing up in antiques and flea markets, as well as on-line auctions, where they are sometimes sold as antiques. Although their quality falls well below that of the antique original, they can fool innocent collectors and honest dealers who have not had a chance to handle the genuine item.
I will not be posting tomorrow, so please check back on Sunday!