These charming bookends show Josef Original ceramic dolls positioned on wooden bases and uprights. We do not collect bookends like these but they are a good example of bookends that were not factory issued and not folk art; we call them aftermarket bookends. Someone glued commercial dolls to wood parts and made these bookends.
Muriel Joseph of Arcadia, California began making and selling ceramic figurines trademarked Josef Originals back in 1942. She produced animals, children and adults and her figurines can be found in antique shops today. Josef Originals are considered part of the extensively collected California Pottery production of the mid-twentieth century. The figurines on these bookends are typical vintage Josef Originals recognized by black painted eyes. Sale prices for the individual dolls vary and vintage ones may bring up to $100 each.
There is nothing inherently undesirable about aftermarket bookends, so collectors can be comfortable buying them. A cute pair such as these would make a great gift for a young girl. We purchased them in the Old Town Antique Faire in Temecula, California. Temecula is a local destination for western atmosphere, winery hopping, and antiquing.
And we have a sweet young girl in mind to whom they will be gifted.