Q: Before my parents were married (I’m 87), my father gave my mother a bisque Kewpie figurine that’s 8 inches tall. Kewpie is sitting in a blue chair with a high back and is holding a single rose. The only mark I can find on it is “1912” on the bottom.
A: Kewpies, little naked angelic babies with small wings, were the creation of American illustrator Rose O’Neill. They first appeared in 1909 as drawings in Ladies’ Home Journal, but within a few years dolls and figurines were being produced. The earliest figurines were bisque, like yours, and were made in Germany. Production rights were controlled by Geo. Borgfelt & Co., a New York City importer. Kewpies as old as yours sell for high prices if they’re in excellent condition. One that matches the description of yours sold for more than $900 at a recent doll auction.