20 Most Valuable Chalkware Figurines (Identifying & Valuing)

The first chalkware figurines appeared in 1770, sold by Henry Christian Gayer. Initially, Henry Christian Gayer advertised chalkware figurines as plaster figurines. However, chalkware soon became known as the “poor man’s porcelain” because it was a more affordable version of the ceramic Staffordshire figurines that sat on the mantels of numerous upper- and middle-class homes.

Today, however, Chalkware figurines are no longer associated with poverty—especially when collecting pieces that have been around for years. Antique and vintage chalkware figurines can be worth as much as $1,500 per piece, although you can find some pieces at under $100. 

If you are thinking of collecting carnival chalkware fish—or other types of chalkware—this detailed guide is for you. You will learn how to identify vintage chalkware. This chalkware price guide will also help you determine the price of the most valuable chalkware figurines.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

What is Chalkware Figurines?

Chalkware refers to a specific type of ornamental figurine produced using gypsum-based plaster of Paris. Chalkware entered the market to make figurines more affordable to everyone, considering that the ceramic figurines were too expensive and only cheap to upper- and middle-class families.

Carnival chalkware became extremely common between 1910 and 1940. This was when garishly painted figurines of cartoonish animals started selling on fairgrounds and carnivals. The Chalkware fish figurines were one of the most common carnival chalkware.

How to Identify Vintage Chalkware

When identifying chalkware figurines, there are several things you can observe to make your work easier. In the following section, we will look at all of these things:

1. Type of Figurine

Type of Figurine
Source: pinterest

Chalkware figurines fall into three main categories—animals, fruit, and idyllic peasant figurines. The most common chalkware figurines will include animals such as deer, parrots, squirrels, roosters, cats, and dogs. These animals are generally sitting or sleeping and sometimes recumbent with one leg extended like they are about to get up.

People figurines include kneeling children, Madonnas, saints, nativity scenes, angels, and shepherdesses. In most cases, the fruit will be depicted in a bowl.

2. Check the Paint

Check the Paint
Source: amzn

Most chalkware figurines were hand-painted, with some pieces being glazed. Many figurines boast a matte finish. Building fronts may have glazing on their windows.

Later pieces—vintage chalkware—were not fired and were less commonly glazed. Modern chalkware artists prefer using tempera for painting, while the oldest artists utilized oil-based paints or watercolors.

Animals are generally realistic, featuring lots of details—like the spots on their fauna—while the fruits may be painted differently (you may come across blue bananas and purple pineapples).  

3. Check Their Weight

Most of the chalkware pieces will be heavier at the bottom. While all chalkware figurines will be hollow, the oldest pieces tend to be much lighter since they do not have a heavy plaster base that chalkware artists incorporated much later to keep the pieces from tipping over. This means that the reproductions will be heavier when compared to antique and vintage chalkware figurines.

4. Look for Maker’s Marks

These usually sit at the bottom of the figurine. Contemporary figurines will have a label on the underside indicating the copyright date, year of production, and design number. You may find the studio name and/or place name if you are lucky.

5. Check the Mold Lines

Artists responsible for creating the antique and vintage figurines created their pieces by pouring the plaster of Paris into two separate back and front molds, which then were cemented together and their edges smoothed and sanded. Therefore, when identifying your most valuable chalkware figurines, you may want to look for evidence of the glue holding the two sides of the figurine mold together.

6. Look for Signs of Wear

Chalkware degrades over time. And older pieces will tend to feature signs of wear, including flaking, chipping, and breaking. If your chalkware piece shows signs of wear, you could have come across a vintage chalkware figurine.

Also, intending to keep their pieces in perfect condition, some collectors may have done some touchups on their pieces to reduce the signs of wear and tear. The paints used on the original pieces were highly absorbent. Therefore, it will be straightforward for you to notice any paint used for readjustment.

Chalkware Price Guide: Factors Affecting the Price of Chalkware Figurines

If you are planning to buy or sell some chalkware figurines, you must ensure you are getting paid—or are paying—the right amount for these figurines. This section of our chalkware price guide will discuss the factors that affect the price of the most valuable chalkware figurines.

Age

Old figurines boast unique colors and designs that are not common on modern figurines. This makes these figurines more valuable in the market.

Rarity

Unique pieces that are not that easy to find will always have a higher cost than those that are easy to come by. You should expect limited editions—such as the world-war-II-themed options—to have a higher monetary value.

Condition

A carnival chalkware fish or vintage chalkware piggy banks can break when handled without proper care. For this reason, chalkware figurines that are missing their parts will be less costly than those with all their parts still intact.

Decoration

Chalkware figurines boasting unique decorations or attractive designs tend to cost more than those with common designs.

20 Most Valuable Chalkware Figurines

Now that we have shown you how to identify vintage chalkware and discussed chalkware value in this chalkware price guide, we will take a deeper look at the most valuable chalkware figurines. These pieces should give you a better idea of what to expect in the market.

No.
Name
Cost (USD)
1. 
Vintage Mid-Century Home Chili Gold Gilted Chalkware Figurine
$1,500
2. 
Vintage Bathing Beauty Swimsuit Chalkware Figurine
$1,499.99
3. 
Chalkware Jesus Christ Statue Figurine
$696.50
4. 
French Jesus and John the Baptist Pair
$696.50
5. 
Antique Chalkware Saint Trudo Figurine
$595
6. 
Esco Chalkware WC Fields Figurine
$552.50
7. 
Antique American Folk Art Hog Pig Chalkware Figurine
$499.99
8. 
Micky Mouse Carnival Chalkware Figurine
$499.99
9. 
Antique Wall Angel Chalkware Figurine
$490
10. 
Antique French Archangel Chalkware Figurine
$490
11. 
Antique French Jesus Prague Chalkware Figurine
$399
12. 
Antique Flemish Statue Chalkware Figurine
$399
13. 
Rare Marwal Ind Inc Cherub Chalkware Figurines
$369.90
14. 
Saint Eloi Eligius Chalkware Figurine
$350
15. 
Antique Saint Stefaan Stephen Chalkware Figurine
$350
16. 
Antique Mary Burgundy Chalkware Figurine
$350
17. 
Madonna Statue Chalkware Figurine
$350
18. 
Antique Madonna Child Chalkware Figurine
$346.50
19. 
Hollywood Regency Ballet Dancer Chalkware Figurines
$321.26
20. 
Saint Roch & Dog Chalkware Figurine
$297.50

1. Vintage Mid-Century Home Chili Gold Gilted Chalkware Figurine

Vintage Mid-Century Home Chili Gold Gilted Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

The most valuable chalkware figurine on this list, this piece was manufactured between 1920 and 1949. The seller notes that this piece goes beyond just the figurine to include a working light that can be used in the household.

This piece has its origin in Italy and boasts an antique gold finish. The vintage chalkware is still in good condition and only features minimal signs of wear, making it worth $1,500.

2. Bathing Beauty Swimsuit Chalkware Figurine

Bathing Beauty Swimsuit Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This piece fits perfectly in the antique category since it was produced more than 100 years ago. Surprisingly, after years of use, the piece only features minimal signs of wear.

The seller notes that it is very detailed and can be used in almost every setting. To add this piece to your home, you will need $1,499.99.

3. Chalkware Jesus Christ Statue Figurine

Chalkware Jesus Christ Statue Figurine
Source: ebay

This extremely rare Jesus Christ statue was produced between 1920 and 1930. Despite being around for about nine decades, the piece is still in good condition and only has some very minimal loss of its surface finish.

The statue stands at the height of 70 cm. This makes it one of the larger, most valuable chalkware figurines on this list. To add this figurine to your collection, you will spend $696.50.

4. French Jesus and John the Baptist Pair

French Jesus and John the Baptist Pair
Source: ebay

This large pair of chalkware figurines represent the young versions of John the Baptist and Jesus. The statues measure approximately 45 cm when it comes to height.

The seller notes that the figurines were produced in the 1920s, which means they could fit perfectly in the antique category. To add these antiques to your collection, you will need $696.50. Interestingly, when we reviewed this valuable chalkware figurine listing, we noticed that 24 people were already planning to purchase it.

5. Antique Chalkware Saint Trudo Figurine

Antique Chalkware Saint Trudo Figurine
Source: ebay

This one-of-a-kind statue of Saint Trudo has a height of 65 cm. Surprisingly, it is in good condition despite being used for years and passing from one collector to another.

The figurine depicts the saint in his elderly years, holding a walking stick and what looks like a temple. The figurine is currently listed on eBay for $595.

6. Esco Chalkware WC Fields Figurine

Esco Chalkware WC Fields Figurine
Source: ebay

This vintage chalkware figurine was produced in 1971. It depicts the WC Fields character in the Esco family. The piece has a height of 17 inches and boasts impressive details that make it look realistic.

Wearing a real-looking hat and holding a cigar in the right arm, the figurine is extremely interesting. If you want to look at the figurine daily in your house, you can purchase it for $552.50.

7. Antique American Folk Art Hog Pig Chalkware Figurine

Antique American Folk Art Hog Pig Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This original piece boasts the Americana style and dates back to the first half of the 20th century. The Chalkware figurine depicts a pig and measures about 6 inches in height.

The seller notes that the pig still boasts fine details, although it has experienced some details loss after exchanging hands for nearly a century. To collect this chalkware figurine, you will need to pay $499.99 for it.

8. Micky Mouse Carnival Chalkware Figurine

Micky Mouse Carnival Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

Most of us are familiar with the cartoon character mickey mouse. Luckily, if you want to see this character in your house every day, you can grab the mickey mouse chalkware figurine for only $499.99.

One of the best chalkware figurines currently available on eBay, this piece is still in excellent condition and does not have major signs of wear. The vintage piece still has its color intact, with very minimal chipping.

9. Antique Wall Angel Chalkware Figurine

Antique Wall Angel Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

If you are interested in something more religious, how about getting this Antique Wall Angel Chalkware Figurine? This piece is listed on eBay for $490; when we checked, about 14 people were interested in acquiring it.

The religious piece was manufactured in France and boasts good condition with minimal wear and tear. The piece was produced in the 1930s, with a width and height of 19 cm and 40 cm, respectively.

10. Antique French Archangel Chalkware Figurine

Antique French Archangel Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This is yet another religious piece depicting an archangel. This piece stands at the height of 38 cm and is 22 cm wide. The attractive archangel chalkware figurine was produced between 1920 and 1930.

Surprisingly, after being around for a century, it has no major wear and tear signs. Adding this piece to your collection will cost you $490—when we checked the listing, seven people were already interested in paying this price for the chalkware figurine.

11. Antique French Jesus Prague Chalkware Figurine

Antique French Jesus Prague Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This chalkware figurine depicting the Jesus of Prague was produced between 1920 and 1930. It stands at a height of 43 cm and is covered in deep details from top to bottom.

While anyone would expect a piece that has been around for a hundred years to have major signs of wear and tear, this is not the case with Jesus of Prague. This is probably why the statue is selling for $399 and already has eight people interested in purchasing it.

12. Antique Flemish Statue Chalkware Figurine

Antique Flemish Statue Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

Designed to present OLV de Vosselaar, this piece stands at 46.5 cm and has a width of about 15.5 cm. The seller notes that this piece dates between 1920 and 1930 and could carry some religious significance.

The chalkware figurine is gold colored and depicts a woman wearing a crown and a child sitting on her lap. When we checked the listing for this piece, it sold for $399 and had six people interested in paying this amount to own the figurine.

13. Rare Marwal Ind Inc Cherub Chalkware Figurines

Rare Marwal Ind Inc Cherub Chalkware Figurines
Source: ebay

This piece boasts the Bohemian pattern and has Cherub as its main subject. It was produced in 1954 and has angels as its characters. Each piece features three baby angels depicted in different positions.

The two chalkware figurines can fit nicely in every room, including the bedroom, basement, attic, study, office, lounge, living room, hallway, foyer, entryway, and dining room. To acquire this, you will just need $369.90.

14. Saint Eloi Eligius Chalkware Figurine

Saint Eloi Eligius Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This chalkware figurine was designed to look like Saint Eloi Eligius. The figurine stands 47 cm tall, which makes it medium-sized—not too big or too small.

The chalkware figurine was produced in the 1930s. Surprisingly, the piece has seen very minimal wear after all these years of use in different households. Currently selling at $350, this piece has already attracted the interest of 12 buyers—this suggests that it has a high demand and is one of the most valuable chalkware figurines.  

15. Antique Saint Stefaan Stephen Chalkware Figurine

Antique Saint Stefaan Stephen Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This rare chalkware figurine was designed to look like Saint Stefaan Stephen. The piece features in-depth details that make it stand out—from the colors on the clothes to the bible and the realistic face.

The piece is 46 cm tall and is reportedly in good condition, only featuring some very minimal signs of wear. To add Saint Stefaan Stephen to your collection, you will need $350. However, you may have to compete with five people who have already expressed interest in the figurine.

16. Antique Mary Burgundy Chalkware Figurine

Antique Mary Burgundy Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

One of the oldest Chalkware figurines on this list, this Mary Burgundy figurine was produced in the early 1900s. Standing at the height of 58.5 cm, it appears the statue depicts a pregnant Mary Burgundy.

The seller notes that the figurine is in excellent condition, although it has undergone some slight retouches in the past. The retouches are hardly visible as they blend perfectly with the original colors.

This Mary Burgundy Chalkware statue is on sale for $350. When we checked the listing, it was surprising to see 11 people already interested in acquiring the figurine.

17. Madonna Statue Chalkware Figurine

Madonna Statue Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This Madonna Statue Chalkware Figurine dates back to the 1930s and boasts an Art Deco style. Manufactured using chalkware material, the figurine also boasts a gold patina that makes its entire height of 60 cm stand out to the eyes.

The gold statue boasts a special design and does not show any signs of wear and tear. Its impressive condition makes it worth $350. When we checked the figurine’s listing, we noticed that six people were already planning to add it to their collection.

18. Antique Madonna Child Chalkware Figurine

Antique Madonna Child Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

This Chalkware figurine is a perfect representation of Madonna with a child. The figurine boasts a height of 47 cm, and its history goes back between 1920 and 1930.

The figurine is still in good shape—this is visible when you look at the pictures—and only shows minor signs of wear and tear. The figurine depicts Madonna sitting down and holding a child. If this piece interests you enough and you would like to add it to your collection, all you will need is $346.50 to pay for it.

19. Hollywood Regency Ballet Dancer Chalkware Figurines

Hollywood Regency Ballet Dancer Chalkware Figurines
Source: ebay

Combining blue and gold colors, this standout chalkware figurine represents ballet dancers wearing their costumes. Based on the Hollywood Regency theme, the Chalkware figurine is noted to have been made by Fred Press.

The seller notes that the figurine is in excellent condition and does not show major wear and tear. However, the seller suggests better cleaning to restore it to its tip-top condition. You will need to pay $321.26 to add this figurine to your collection.

20. Saint Roch & Dog Chalkware Figurine

Saint Roch & Dog Chalkware Figurine
Source: ebay

Designed to commemorate Saint Roch and his dog, this figurine stands at 46 cm. In less than half a meter, the figurine showcases all the critical attributes of Saint Roch, including the bleeding wound on his thigh. The figurine is painted in a way that makes everything very realistic.

This piece is from the 1920s, meaning it has been doing rounds for over a century. The antique chalkware figurine, however, has somehow managed to maintain its tip-top condition.

To add this to your collection of figurines, you will need to spend $297.50. The piece seems to be in high demand because when we checked its listing on eBay, it had close to 20 people interested in buying it.

Overview

Chalkware figurines have been around for quite a long time now. The initial versions were marketed for the first time in the late 18th century. Their popularity grew before dropping in the 19th century and then picking up again in the first half of the 20th century. The pieces outlined in this guide were produced between the early 1900s and the 1940s.

Although the chalkware figurines were introduced as a cheaper alternative to the porcelain options, today, the oldest pieces still in good condition are worth a lot of money. This guide shows you how to identify and value your chalkware figurines. Whether you are trying to buy the most valuable chalkware figurines or your goal is to sell some you have in the house, this chalkware figurine price guide should help you.

We will love to hear from you if there is something we did not address to your satisfaction. Leave us a comment below, and we will respond with an answer as soon as possible.

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