Grandmother's Figurine mrked with S painted on the bottom with the x running through

by Carolyn Siegal
(Pasadena, California)

The Markings - Grandmother's Figurine mrked with S painted on the bottom with the x running through

The Markings - Grandmother's Figurine mrked with S painted on the bottom with the x running through

The Markings - Grandmother's Figurine mrked with S painted on the bottom with the x running through
The Figurine
Close-up

Hi, my grandmother (of blessed memory) gave me this figurine me to many years ago. I admired it as a young girl, imagining the story behind this innocent conversation between the young man and woman, with grapes nearby. I had imagined this was Meissen because my grandmother often talked about Meissen and did try to collect it but I no longer think this likely since it doesn't have a crossed sword marking.


The figurine measures just over 7 inches in height and the diameter of the base is about 5 1/2 inches. From reading your website, I am thinking Samson is a possibility as their is a very clear S painted on the bottom, with the x running through.

The under base is unglazed which made me wonder if this was a piece produced in one factory and then painted by another. Honestly I haven't a clue, but would like to know something about this. My grandmother fled Germany for the US in 1939 as a young mother, but it seems unlikely that a piece like this would have traveled with her, so am guessing it was an antique shop purchase or family hand me down from the relatives who had arrived earlier.

It is in excellent condition, which seems like a miracle considering how often it has been moved, and living in my household.

Any insights on origins would be much appreciated.

Carolyn

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Reply by Peter (admin)

Hi Carolyn

I am heartened to see how much you cherish your granmother's figurine. It surely is a lovely piece.

I can see how your grandma must have talked about Meissen in the context of this figurine, which was, in fact, made in the Thuringia region of Germany sometime after 1925, but before 1970 by a maker inn the town of Scheibe-Alsbach called A.W.F. Kister (formerly Kämpfe & Greiner, formerly Ludwig Oels, then latterly called Scheibe-Alsbach its closure in 1991).

It may have been made in post war East Germany, in fact, under the Soviet communist regime, unless you know for certain from the provenance it was made before the 1950's. I would be interested to find out, because there are aspects of the modelling and the decoration which seem to my eye to be after the end of WW2 (i.e. 1950's or 60's). But that is just a hunch not a certainty.

Please post below with your reply to that (for my own education!) Thanks.

Anyway, the reason your Grandmother talked, not inaccurately as it happens of Meissen was that years ago, older people referred to Meissen and Dresden in the same breath and the words were somewhat interchangeable.

Nowadays we are more accurate, and people tend to know that Meissen was the original European porcelain factory which discovered the coveted oriental secrets of how to make real porcelain in 1710, just like the Chinese, and Dresden was the big nearby city (about 10 miles away) which ended up being the place where retailing porcelain was the big industry.

This piece is of course in the Dresden tradition so to refer to it as a 'Meissen' piece was not altogether inaccurate in those times as a general description, even though it was not actually produced by the Meissen factory.

Now you know all about your treasured figural group. Happy to be of help.

Best regards

Peter (admin)

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Response
by: Carolyn

Hi Peter,
Thanks for your insights and for posting. I have since learned that many of the collectibles my grandmother had were either purchased later in the US or during a stint in Germany in the early '50s when my grandfather was a chaplain for the US army. So I have no additional information that could confirm provenance or date. Hoping one of the readers will have some more specifics.

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