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Q: I inherited this plaque titled "'Yankee Doodle' The Spirit of '76." It's marked "Ivorex" and "Osborne copyright, made in England" on the back and is dated 1925. What can you tell me about it?

A: Your plaque was made by the B. Osborne Co. of Faversham, Kent, England, founded by Arthur Osborne (1855-1943) in 1899. Osborne was born in England, but immigrated first to Canada and then to the United States in the 1870s. He worked at J. & J.G. Low Art Tile Co. in Boston as a designer of low relief tiles before returning to England in 1898. "Ivorex" is the trade name B. Osborne Co. marked on its plaques. The 3-D plaques were cast in plaster of paris, painted by hand, and dipped in wax to make them look like ivory. Many of the 3-D scenes of buildings, rooms, or people were based on postcards or photographs. Hundreds of the plaques were made in a variety of sizes. B. Osborne Co. was in business until 1965. W.H. Bossons Ltd. bought its assets in 1971 and made the plaques from 1980 until 1996, when Bossons closed. The colors in plaques made by Bossons are brighter than those by Osborne. Bossons marked the plaques on the back with a gold sticker. The scene on your plaque is based on Archibald MacNeal Willard's painting made for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. He originally called it "Yankee Doodle" but later agreed to change the name to "The Spirit of '76." Your original Osborne Ivorex plaque is worth about $10.

ivorex plaque















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