Monday, October 31, 2016

A Mystery Solved Backwards

Known: the small male Quail, reissued under license by Share The Love in 2014, is a Maureen Love design. The mold was in her estate, and was collected by Dawn Sinkovich. We measured the interior mass, poured the rubber master into the mold, and preserved it, as her subcontractor. There is no doubt of its provenance. Then, Dawn personally cast and glazed the edition.

Share The Love Quail
(I bought this one because I liked the backwards plume.)

What we didn't know, with any certainty, was the purpose of the design. Was it for Maureen's own pottery, or for a big company? Were there just a few, or were they mass produced? Why did they bear such a striking design resemblance to the Large Quail that Maureen designed for DeForest of California?

Was he meant to be a maquette, or finished at full size? Share The Love, as far as we knew, was the first to finish and release a never-made, waste-mold quail.

These questions might have gone unanswered forever, if not for a chance find on eBay, one random night, when I had a bout of insomnia. Scrolling through esoteric search headings helps put me to sleep... that is, until I stumble upon a new-to-our-collecting-world Maureen Love sculpture on a cheap Buy It Now. Then, I twitch, toss, and turn until daylight. Tracking number, what's the tracking number?!

The BIN listing dimensions had me already formulating this blog post. She was exactly the right size. Her very existence solved a mystery. She was unmarked, so how could I identify her factory? 

Easy. DeForest birds have tells. 

1. The fantasy wing shape.

2. Pink dryfooting on white-bodied ware. (The interiors are white bisque.)

3. Groovy art glazes.

This was, without a doubt, a deForest small female quail.

Her very existence indicates that the STL small male quail was originally issued by DeForest, too. Even the carved bases match. Figurine pairs and families were typical in California potteries. It encouraged more sales, and the marketing strategy continues to this day.

As this is the only example known to our hobby, I volunteered to have her molded for Share The Love.

In 2017, collectors will be able to reunite the quail pair. For once, insomnia pays off; this time, it gives collectors more to Love, and solves another mystery.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful find! I look forward to being able to add the female quail to my collection next year.