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Who's on 1st? Peary vs Cook: North Pole ~ Collecting SNOW BABIES Figurines #Antiques


Whimsy meets history in this snow
. The German porcelain group, circa 1910, sold for an impressive $2,475 in 2005, when Bertoias auctioned off the Linda Vining collection. Courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bertoia Auctions.


Now the above figurine is probably not what you envision when you think of SNOW BABIES. I love when my collecting travels can teach me some history along the way. The race to the North Pole was big news in the first decade of the 20th century. Whimsy meets history in this snow "babies" pairing of explorers Robert Peary and Frederick Cook arguing over who was first to reach the North Pole. The more traditional babies below represent the theme as well.
The race to the North Pole was big news in the first decade of the 20th century. Snow babies plant the flag in this collectible made in Germany for the American market – auction price $330. Courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bertoia Auctions.
Snow babies plant the flag in this collectible made in Germany for the American market – auction price $330. Courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bertoia Auctions.


If they look good enough to eat, that results from their edible sugar candy prototypes. Called zucker puppen in Germany, they were used as holiday decorations, children's treats and cake toppers. A German confectioner saw the advantage in re-creating the popular sugar ornaments as bisque porcelain figurines, which could be played with long after the cake had been consumed.

These rare jointed snow babies – the tallest 5 inches – were made in Germany 1900-1910. With a selection of related figures, they brought $230 at auction in 2009. Courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bertoia Auctions.
These rare jointed snow babies – the tallest 5 inches – were made in Germany 1900-1910. With a selection of related figures, they brought $230 at auction in 2009. Courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bertoia Auctions.
There's a price guide full of lots of photos of these darling tiny figurines: Snow Babies, Santas, and Elves: Collecting Christmas Bisque Figures by Mary Morrison. Available here.

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