About Erich Stauffer Figurines
Erich Stauffer, a porcelain figurine artist, is said to have been a designer for several different porcelain figurine companies including Goebel and Kalk, but probably only worked for Arnart Creation (also known as Original Arnart Creation, Japan or Original Arnart Creation, New York). Arnart was founded in 1953 in Japan to produce porcelain art, and has offices on 5th Avenue in New York, New York under their new name, Arnart Imports Inc.. Erich Stauffer designed fake versions of Hummels and Kalk figurines for Arnart from 1953 to 1970 under the brands Arnart Imports, 5th Avenue, ArMark, Royal Carlton, Royal Chintz, and Royal Crown.
Arnart is known by its crown and crossed arrow symbols on the bottom, some of which are printed with numbers in a series in porcelain or on a sticker. Erich Stauffer designed “fake Hummels,” which used a crown symbol. Goebel Hummels had similar marks in use from 1934 to 1942. Arnart also produced “fake Kalks,” which carry the two three-feathered crossed arrows, trade marks of the Porzellanmanufaktur Kalk company from Eisenberg, Thuringia in Germany. Because Arnart produced both fake Hummels and fake Kalks, some have speculated that Erich Stauffer worked for either or both in Germany, but this theory is not supported. It is most likely that Erich Stauffer only worked for Arnart.
Some people place Erich Stauffer figurines back to 1940 because of the United States ban on imports from Germany during World War II, which started in September 1939 when the United Kingdom and France both declared war on Germany. On December 11, 1941, the United States declared war on Germany. The New Deal, which was the name that President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to a sequence of economic stimulus programs initiated between 1933 and 1938 to combat recession, included blocking imports from Germany to the United States. However, Arnart Creation was not founded until 1953, eight years after the end of World War II on August 15, 1945.
It is true that Hummel porcelain figurines were manufactured by Goebel in Germany, which was no longer able to export to the United States during World War II, but Arnart more than likely capitalized off not the import ban, but the general popularity of the premium porcelain brands of Goebel Hummel and Kalks. Erich Stauffer, a traditional German name, may even have been invented to make it seem as though the Arnart imports were from Germany. This could explain why it is so hard to find out information about Erich Stauffer, the designer.
Another reason why the import ban theory does not hold up is due to the fact that the ban also applied to Japan, where the figurines were initially produced. After World War II, Arnart was part of the influx of cheap Japanese imports flooding the US market. Arnart’s imitations began to tarnish their brand so in 1957 Arnart changed their name to “5th Avenue” after securing their 5th Avenue office in downtown New York and stopped using a printed stamped “Made in Japan” pottery mark, replacing it with a “Made in Japan” sticker. In 2000, 5th Avenue changed their name back to Arnart Imports Inc.
What is an Erich Stauffer Figurine Worth?
Erich Stauffer figurines selling on online auction services such as Ebay end anywhere from $5 to $40. The price varies by how clear the mark on the bottom is, whether a number exists or not, if there are any chips or cracks in the porcelain, and if it has a sticker. A sticker, because of the chance of removal over time, makes it more valuable. It is important to note that even though the figurines, also known as “fake Hummels” or “fake Kalks” are imitations, over time have become valuable in their own right. However, as long as Arnart Imports Inc. is still in business, the price of Erich Stauffer figurines will never be as high as Goebel’s Hummels.
Erich Stauffer figurines usually look like Hummels or Kalks and can be identified by the crown or crossed arrow symbols, but also by a beehive symbol or taglines such as “Made in West Germany” or “Designed by Erich Stauffer”. One person has also reported seeing “Divinity Artware” under one Erich Stauffer figurine. Figurines stating that they were made in Germany were not. They are hand-painted porcelain figurines from Japan. They may also say “New York,” but again, Erich Stauffer figurines which say “New York” originally had “Made in Japan” stickers and were made in Japan. The best way to find out what your figurine is worth is to have it professionally appraised or by purchasing one of the books below:
|Erich Stauffer Figurines [Kindle Edition] – (includes price guide and history)||The Official Guide to Flea Market Prices, 2nd edition [Paperback]||How to Sell Antiques and Collectibles on eBay… And Make a Fortune! [Paperback]|
One reviewer said, “I’ve been selling on ebay for about a year and have read numerous books on ebay. How to Sell Antiques and Collectibles on ebay….and Make a Fortune….is the Best book I’ve come across. A lot of the other books on ebay…contain information you could find on the ebay website. This book is different…got a lot of great tips about selling in the most popular catagories, ect.”
Arnart’s Erich Stauffer Fake Hummels
Arnart sold Hummel look-alike figurine with a crown label designed by German artist Erich Stauffer. Arnart was big importers of cheap Japansese goods in the 1950’s and 60’s, which also with a crown label.
The first Hummel figurines were sold in 1935. The figurines are all based on the drawings and paintings of children by sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. Much of the art was done in the 1930s.
In addition to figurines of children, there are figurines of saints – a stylistic departure from the figurines of playful children which was copied by Erich Stauffer for Arnart. Hummel and Erich Stauffer were both artists, but Hummel worked for Goebel and Stauffer worked for Arnart Imports (also known as Arnart Creations, among other names).
Hummels were made by Goebel up until June of 2008 when Goebel discontinued making them. It is important to note that Hummel is not a brand or a company, but a line of porcelain figurines distributed by the Goebel company. All Hummels are Goebel figurines, but not all Goebel figurines are Hummels.
Erich Stauffer Figurines Book
How much is an Erich Stauffer figurine worth?
I’ve compiled all of my writing on the history of Erich Stauffer, Erich Stauffer figurines, and Arnart into one volume, which is available exclusively on the Kindle at Amazon. It’s not just a copy of the content you’ll find here, but more has been added for clarity and it’s been arranged in a way that makes sense to the reader. Don’t have a Kindle? You can still read the book on your computer, mobile phone, or tablet by downloading the Kindle software for your particular device.
Learn who Erich Stauffer was, find out more about Arnart Imports and Erich Stauffer Figurines. What is an Erich Stauffer figurine worth? This isn’t a Erich Stauffer figurines price guide, but there are some ranges and metrics of evaluation you can use. Learn how to Identify fake Hummels and other Arnart figurines based on crowns, crossed arrows, and porcelain marks. There are no pictures in this book, but there is lots of information about Erich Stauffer figurines and Arnart Imports that you might find useful in identifying and verifying your porcelain figurines.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of the book:
If you’re reading this book, you’ve probably purchased or inherited a porcelain figurine with a strange inscription on the bottom. You look closely and faintly make out the words, “Erich Stauffer” and if you’re lucky, some hand-drawn crossed-arrows. Some figurines have stickers, some have paper labels, some are numbered and others not.
You probably did a web search to see what your figurine was worth or who made it. You might have found some eBay listings or an antiques web site with a few figurines for sale, but you probably still have questions about who Erich Stauffer was, what they are worth, and why the figurines were made. This book seeks to answer those questions.
Erich Stauffer Figurines Price Guide
After having several people email me about the prices of Erich Stauffer figurines I attempted to make an Erich Stauffer Figurines price guide, but it was way more complicated than I thought.
I knew that the price varies by how clear the mark on the bottom is, whether a number exists or not, if there are any chips or cracks in the porcelain, and if it has a sticker. But I didn’t know exactly what metrics to use or what the official names of the figurines were or if the numbers on the bottom under “Designed by Erich Stauffer” were unique to each porcelain figurine or if that ID number tied it to a set.
What I found out by researching the completed Ebay auctions from the last 6 months was that:
- Not all Erich Stauffer figurines had paper tags glued to the front, some used tags on a string
- The ID numbers seem to correspond to groups of figurines, meaning they were meant to be sets – making collecting all of the figurines to a set more valuable than the individual figurine
- Some of the Erich Stauffer figurines have the same name, even though they aren’t part of the same set
- Some ID numbers are also re-used, even if they are not part of the same set
- If the number has a division symbol (/) it may be a limited run or made to look like it was a limited run
- I don’t know what the S or the U at the beginning of the ID stood for/stands for
- The prices of Erich Stauffer figurines ranges from $1.86 to $20.89 each with this limited sample:
|Autumn Time – Boy||S8218||$ 6.67||$ 6.67|
|Autumn Time – Nun||8316||$ 15.00||$ 10.50||$ 12.75|
|Backyard Harmony||8213||$ 6.67||$ 6.67|
|Barnyard Frolics||8248||$ 17.00||$ 6.67||$ 9.99||$ 11.22|
|Country Outing||u8517||$ 1.86||$ 1.86|
|Farm Frolics||S8396||$ 6.67||$ 6.67|
|Harvest Time||8218||$ 2.40||$ 2.40|
|Life on the Farm||8394||$ 6.67||$ 1.99||$ 4.33|
|Little Maestro||u8588||$ 1.86||$ 2.99||$ 2.43|
|Mother’s Helper||u8588||$ 1.86||$ 2.99||$ 2.43|
|Open Laces||$ 8.00||$ 8.00|
|Photo Play||U8543||$ 3.95||$ 3.95|
|Picnic Time||$ 2.40||$ 2.40|
|Rainy Days||8343||$ 6.67||$ 6.67|
|Spring Festival – Girl||S8262||$ 19.95||$ 19.95|
|Spring Time||8316||$ 9.99||$ 6.50||$ 5.24||$ 7.24|
|Summer Time||8316||$ 28.77||$ 13.00||$ 20.89|
|Winter Time – Nun||$ 13.00||$ 3.25||$ 8.13|
|Work Time – Boy||u55/26||$ 1.86||$ 1.86|
|Work Time – Girl||u65/20||$ 1.86||$ 1.86|
|Young Folks||8515||$ 4.99||$ 4.99|
|Girl with Umbrella||8218||$ 9.99||$ 9.99|
Buy the full history of Erich Stauffer figurines that includes a price guide on Amazon.
Erich Stauffer Figurines Collector
Joan Collett Oates is an author and antiques collector who has been an adviser to several antique collectible books including Warman’s Americana & Collectibles: 11th Ed., Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2011, Antique Trader Pottery and Porcelain Ceramics Price Guide, The Official Price Guide to Flea Market Treasures: 5th Edition, and Maloney’s Antiques & Collectibles: Resource Directory just to name a few.
Joan Oates is known for collecting Phoenix Bird Chinaware and Erich Stauffer figurines (fake Hummels). In Maloney’s Antiques & Collectibles, she actually gives her phone number and address with this request:
Wants to buy Erich Stauffer child-like figurines; must say “Designed by Erich Stauffer” underneath and give style number, price, describe activity, give height.
And on ArtMLS (Art Multiple Listing Service) she wrote:
Interested in child-like, Hummel look-alikes marked ‘Designed by Erich Stauffer’ and numbered, made in Japan and imported by Arnart Imports.
If you’re asking yourself, “How can I sell my Erich Stauffer figurines?” or “How much are my Erich Stauffer figurines worth?”, email Joan Collett Oates at email@example.com.
In addition to being an adviser on several different antique collectible books, she has also written her own book on Phoenix Bird Chinaware by the same name.
Joan Virginia Oates was born in 1928. Joan currently lives in Marshall, Michigan. Before that, Joan lived in West Bloomfield, MI from 1988 to 1988. Before that, Joan lived in Constantine, MI from 1992 to 2005.
If you’re interested in an Erich Stauffer figurines price guide, check out The Official Price Guide to Flea Market Treasures: 5th Edition, by Harry Rinker, which Joan Oates advised on. It has a list of 16 different fake Hummel (Arnart Imports/Royal Crown) Erich Stauffer figurine prices.
Arnart Imports Porcelain Marks
Not only was the Japanese ceramic industry smaller in scale compared to the Chinese, but the porcelain marks were also applied for different reasons that on the Chinese porcelain. Personal signatures by the artists involved, such as Erich Stauffer, are quite common. We also find a different attitude towards what marks that are put on the Japanese porcelain and in particular the export porcelain from the 19th century and onwards.
The entire range of Imperial reign marks so common on Chinese porcelain, genuine or not, is mostly lacking. The marks are more commercially oriented, such as with Arnart Imports, are more numerous, and can vary even within a set of pieces. They can indicate the name of the factory, the potter, the decorator, the pattern, the customer, the exporter, the importer or both or a part of them or maybe just say “Made in Japan”, “Japan”, “Nippon”, “Happiness” or “Good luck” in any number of ways.
Increasing the confusion are the hundreds of porcelain decorating firms active in the early to mid 20th century simultaneously putting many different marks on the same wares seemingly at random but probably for some reason. To take just one example, the Noritake company which has been active for about one hundred years only, are thought to have used over 400 different marks.
Arnart Imports Inc., owner of the Erich Stauffer figurines, is still in operation and is currently located in 230 Fifth Avenue, New York. The company specializes in porcelain gifts and decorative accessories. First registrated trade mark is the Crown and A’s mark registred April 30, 1953. A mark looking like a bee hive, was first used the last of December 1957. Both were cancelled in 2001.
Arnart Creations Crossed Arrows
Crossed arrows were stamped in several countries as a porcelain brand. Whether this was in reference to the famous Meissen crossed swords, it should be presumed to be. Today, you will find mark crossed arrows on porcelain dishes, porcelain figurines, and knickknacks from the following countries:
- Germany: Kalk Porcelain Factory Eisenberg / Thuringia
- France: Paris porcelain factory Bloch (often with the addition: “PORCELAINE DE PARIS FRANCE”)
- Japan: Arnartcreation or Arnart (often with a multi-digit number)
- USA: Homco (Home Improvement Co.) (often with a multi-digit number, decorative name and / or artist name)
In addition, there are also hand-painted Markung crossed arrows, but the problem of a properly assigning them is that there were several companies that are used weapons as a trademark. For example, the porcelain factory, Rauenstein, crossed flags, the teat porcelain villages crossed spears, and Volkstedter porcelain factory used cruising signs, all of them together with a certain similarity which is presumably intended. You can see how it can be hard to identify porcelain pieces to a manufacturer.
When looking at Arnart marks and seeing the different number combinations one tends to believe that there was some connection between Arnart and HOMCO. The marks themselves – and the items these marks appear on – are not HOMCO as the marks were registered by Arnart and the mold style, decoration and other marks clearly indicate Arnart as source. Arnart was in the replication business so they simply used a numbering system similar to HOMCO to better position themselves in the marketplace. Arnart even went as far as to use the HOMCO numbering scheme for some Erich Stauffer figurines.
Here are some books on Volkstedter porcelain and HOMCO “Denim Days” figurines:
|Dresden Porcelain Studios [Hardcover]||Antiques Price Guide 2008 [Hardcover]||Mary Barker’s Complete Collection Home Interior’s/ Homco Denim Days 2nd Edition [Paperback]|
One reviewer said of Barker’s HOMCO guide, “This was for my mom, she collects denim days. She loves the book. Now she can see what to look for next.” What will you look for next?
How to Identify Porcelain Figurines
A figurine is a statuette that represents a human, deity (god), or animal. Figurines may be realistic or iconic, depending on the skill and intention of the figurine designer. The earliest figurines were made of stone or clay, but modern versions are made of porcelain, ceramic, metal, glass, wood, and plastic (think G.I. Joe’s and other action figures). Figurines with movable parts, which allow limbs to be posed, are more likely to be called dolls, mannequins, or action figures. If they can move on their own they are called robots or automata, depending on which part of the world you live in.
Figurines and miniatures are sometimes used in board games, such as chess, and tabletop games like Risk. Old figurines have been used to discount some historical theories, such as the origins of chess. Figurines are still used in digital games in the form of avatars or characters in a game that are manipulated by the player using a computer or gaming console. In this sense, figurines are simply meant to represent something else, much like the original definition where we stated that figurines are “statuettes that represent a human, deity (god), or animal.
Porcelain figurines began in China. There are prehistoric figurines of pregnant women called Venus figurines, because of their presumed representation of a female goddess, or some connection to fertility. The two oldest known examples are made of stone, were found in Africa and Asia, and are several hundred thousand years old. Many made of fired clay have been found in Europe that date to 25-30,000 BC, and are the oldest ceramics known.
These early figurines are among the first signs of human culture. One cannot know in some cases how they were used, but we can hypothesize that they had religious or ceremonial significance and may have been used in many types of rituals. Many are found in burials, which helps back-up this hypothesis. Some may have been worn as jewelry or intended to amuse children, much the same way we use action figures to amuse children to today (or children or amused by figurines and dolls so we make more of them).
Porcelain and other ceramics are common materials for figurines. There are many early examples from China where it originated, which drove the experimentation in Europe to replicate the process. The first European porcelain figurines, produced in a process mastered in Germany were known as Meissen ware after the city where it began. Soon the technique was copied in other cities, such as Dresden.
Modern figurines, particularly those made of plastic are often referred to as figures. They can encompass modern action figures and other model figures as well as Precious Moments and Hummel figurines (which are not plastic), Bobbleheads and all kinds of memorabilia. Three companies which continue to produce figurines are Arnart, Royal Doulton, and Lladró.
Figurines of comic book or sci-fi/fantasy characters without movable parts have been referred to by the terms inaction figures (originally used to describe Kevin Smith’s View Askew figurines) and staction figures (a portmanteau of statue and action figures coined by Four Horsemen artists to describe Masters of the Universe figures). This is just an example of how figurines continue to evolve and change.