July 23, 2014
There are snowbabies figurines and then there are Snowbabies figurines. Early in the twentieth century, German artisans began producing white figurines modeled in white bisque, primarily featuring children at play. These original ‘snowbabies’, as they came to be called, were very popular and soon inspired the production of mass-produced knock offs.
Disruptions occurred in production owing to the World Wars and the hard times in Germany between the wars, and the quality of these old snow babies is quite uneven. However, those original high quality snowbabies are very much in demand among collectors. Much later, in the 1990′s, production of high quality figurines in the old style and familiar themes was re-introduced, and such items are also in demand.
In the mid-1980′s a new line of ‘Snowbabies from Department 56′ began to be produced in the United States. These are based on the work of talented artist Kristi Jensen Pierro, who claimed that the original models were inspired by her own children. These became quite good sellers, and over time the line has expanded to include bunnies, a perennial favorite among collectors of the several most in demand figurine manufacturers, as well as a variety of movie-inspired and other themes.
Rising to meet the demands of a hungry market place, eventually Christmas and Easter themed figurines began to appear. Other figurines available are based on such popular activities as knitting and fishing.
Following the standard marketing techniques for collectibles of all descriptions, new models are introduced, sold for a more or less limited time, and then discontinued. Naturally, new models are in development at all times and introduced into the life cycle as before, often carrying on a thematic tradition established by their forebears.
Serious collectors of all Snowbabies are always trying to fill holes in their collections. Other, with a more casual interest, may find a discontinued item that catches their fancy. There are websites that cater to both types of persons, and naturally, there are always people looking to trade in their possessions and offer unique items from time to time in on-line auctions. These types of figurines are often sold on eBay for prices that can vary widely. If you are looking to place a value on a collection you already own, you may want to consult a price guide and then compare those numbers with what the items actually sell for on the auction site. For more information, please visit packing cube.