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Friday Slide Show: Three Stauffer Figurines Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

17 June 2022

There is nothing like a camera (any kind of camera) to make you notice the things you have become used to ignoring.

For all the knickknacks we as a species acquire, our eyes tend to glaze over them rather than look at them after a while. We stop noticing them. We just stop seeing them.

Mom has kept these porcelain figurines in a guest bedroom for decades. And yesterday, taking a break from some chores, we sat on the bed for a minute and just looked at them for the first time in years. With our camera.

Not much of a porcelain afficionado ourselves, we at first thought they were Hummels. But she keeps her Hummels in a curio cabinet. These are left unprotected on a lamp table.

Whose bulb, we hasten to add, turned out to be dead. So we screwed in a three-way LED that we had laying around (after we discovered it flickered with her kitchen light dimmer). And, inevitable mercy, it worked fine with that fixture.

So we had a look at these charming figures. Three boys (she had four herself) dressed as a newspaper boy, a fire chief and a doctor.

This dressing children up in adult roles is a long-running meme (before memes themselves were running). Put the clueless infant in adult guise (sunglasses if nothing else) and you've got a laugh.

We're guilty. When our now-aging nephew was still in diapers flat on his belly on the floor, we put a bowl of popcorn and a bottle of beer next to him. Hilarious.

OK, you had to be there.

These porcelain figures turn out to be Eric Stauffer designs. Stauffer, inspired by the more elaborate and finely wrought Hummels, designed his cute kids for Arnart from 1953 to 1970 under the brands Arnart Imports, 5th Avenue, ArMark, Royal Carlton, Royal Chintz and Royal Crown.

They are, research confirms, not worth much more than $12 each and perhaps as low as $2. But they are cute.

And hard to ignore.

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