Saturday, February 19, 2011

Head Vases

From the 1940's to the 1970's Lady Head Vases were widely available and very popular with florists and their customers. I was entranced with the first Sunbonnet Girl I found and began my collection about 30 years ago. I've always enjoyed filling the hats with summer and autumn flowers; roses, dahlia's, daisies, whatever was in bloom. I've added links about head vases and an 'copied and annotated' an overview at bottom of page. 

There are several good books available. Head Vases Etc.: The Artistry of Betty Lou Nichols and The Encyclopedia of Head Vases by Katherine Cole are good references.

Sunbonnet Girl Head Vase was my first and remains in my collection
as does this Christmas Girl (with lots of chips and cracks), the second I collected.
This lovely came later and still lives in the china cupboard
along with this elegant lady who has a bit of paint flaking on her cheeks
The white and gold lady is in my A Vintage Green booth at Village Antiques Mall
 Little Umbrella Girl with missing hand (and missing umbrella)
as are the wonderful array of Lady Head Vases shown here.

I checked out the blog Ladies of the House and The Collector Ladies site that has sells head vases and therefore shows current prices being asked, always interesting and informative. 

E-How has a page on identifying Lady Head Vases. About.com also has a page about head vases.

Zimbio wrote "Lady head vases were made primarily in Japan and were popular in America from the late 1940s through the early ’70’s. These ceramic vases were used in florists’ flower arrangements.There were dozens of manufacturers and thousands of different kinds of vases. As a result, you’ll find them at flea markets and yard sales, antiques malls, and auctions for lady head vases including on eBay.
Makers include Napco, Enesco, Rubens and Betty Lou Nichols, whose marks make good identifiers, but unfortunately not all vases have them. One good way to identify quality vases is to look for flourishes such as necklaces and dangling earrings. These should have a patina about them, and not look new and shiny.
Prices vary, and you can find a nice vase for $15, but expect to pay more like $50 for a lady head vase in good condition. Some sell for as much as $1,500." End of quote from Zimbio.

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