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Q: My late mother-in-law lived in Ponca City, Okla., and was present the day the large statue called “Pioneer Woman” was unveiled there in 1930. The statue depicts a pioneer woman and her young son. My mother-in-law bought a small copy of the statue that day and we have inherited it. I recently saw a picture of two small “Pioneer Woman” statues and discovered they are actually bookends. I’m sure my mother-in-law would have bought two if she had known. I was told the little statue might be worth a lot of money, but finding out it is a bookend dashed those thoughts. The statue is 8 1/2 inches tall and is marked “BB” behind the boy’s foot and “JB” on the back. Can you tell me what it’s worth?

A: When Ponca City decided to erect a statue to honor pioneer women, several sculptors were invited to submit small models of their designs, which were exhibited nationwide and voted on by the public. The statue chosen was designed by Bryant Baker. The 17-foot bronze statue was unveiled on April 22, 1930. Jennings Brothers Foundry of Bridgeport, Conn., made pot-metal replicas of the statue and marked them with Baker’s signature, although Baker hadn’t given permission for anyone to reproduce his statue. The small statues made by Jenning Brothers originally sold for $15.95. Value of your statue or single bookend is very little. A pair might sell for $100. A single is worth less than half as much.

 


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