• April 1, 2012 • THE PHOTO ON THE LEFT shows a 1920’s or 30’s Art Deco thirteen and one-half inch tall female head by Goldscheider of Vienna. It sold recently on eBay. Next to it, courtesy of antiques dealer Becky Sweet, is a photo of the smaller look-alike ten and one-half inch tall female head by Kent Art Ware. Since Kent Art Ware was clearly marked there was no intent to trick buyers into thinking they were purchasing a Goldscheider product. These two ceramic heads prove, however, Kent Art Ware produced at least one Goldscheider look-alike.
MARK CHERVENKA is an expert and author (search his name on Amazon) on look-alikes. I emailed him in March of 2010 seeking information about Kent Art Ware and this was his generous response:
Thanks for your note.
My reference to Kent Ware imitating more expensive “name brands” is a general observation based on my own twenty plus year research of antique and art fakes, reproductions, and look-alikes. Look-alikes are of special interest because many times, through either ignorance or deliberate intent, the unmarked look-alikes are represented as their higher priced “name brands.”
From your note, you are probably aware that a great deal of Japanese and Czech ceramics, glassware and small manufactured novelties such as toys made between the world wars–1919 to 1939–were made as substitutes or lower priced alternatives to better known brand names.
Czech glass makers made virtually identical copies of Lalique studio glass and perfume bottles; Japanese potters made virtually identical copies of German Schafer Vater risque figural nip bottles and Goebel figurines; Japanese toy makers copied German toy makers, etc., etc. Much like today, retailers went to low wage sources for products. In the mid-20th century, two of those locations were Czechoslovakia and Japan.
In researching possible inspirations of Kent Art Ware designs, be sure to check Goldscheider and Hutschenreuther as they made a number of lady heads. Also, were you aware there are a number of Czech pieces that use the same curly hair on similar lady head figures? The Czech pieces are matte glaze, not shiny glaze.