Thursday, January 26, 2012

J is for January and Josef Originals

January Girl says,
I make so many resolutions
Many things that I'll improve on
But as the months go rushing by
I can't remember what or why."

Muriel Joseph George of California (see California Pottery) evidently started her career designing lucite jewelry; but as this material became rare during WWII, she switched to pottery.  Having a love for children and animals, she created a unique line of inexpensive figurines with sweet and simple themes, expressions, and lines. After the war, Muriel began making pottery out of her basement and garage. She averted a possible crisis when her name was misspelled on labels she had ordered by choosing to use them, and "Josef Originals" was born. Known for their distinct black eyes and markings*, these nostalgic figurines have become quite popular with collectors.  Her work has been copied; so interested buyers should do their research. There are several good books available itemizing her collection.  She created many different series including: International, Month (pictured above), Bell(e), and Birthday girls. For me, Muriel Joseph George represents the ingenuity and indefatigable passion and heart of the WWII generation. Her attention to design and artistry while trying to offer something affordable to the average person are inspiring.

Much of the information in this post was gleaned from this article.
But I think the original source may be this excellent article by Leon Carlson.

I've posted images of a few other Month Girls here.

*Markings may include "Josef Originals" carved in or stamped on the bottom of the figurine and/or a letter "C". Earlier figures may say "M J George." Figurines may also have their original foil labels saying "Josef Originals" and "Japan" (as production was moved there around 1960) and their paper card tags.

I am linking to Alphabe-Thursday and, by the way, J is for Jenny our wonderful host too. Please take a jaunt over to the her blog and read the other J posts.


  1. What a sweet little face. It made me go look at some other Josef Originals figurines...I love the expressions on their faces. I'm sure the black eyes are what makes them so special.

  2. Truly unique - great J post!

    Have a great weekend too!

  3. Very pretty figurine. Enjoyed your post, very informative and very original
    "J" word for Alphbe-Thursday. ;)

  4. these little dolls are exquisite .... perfect in their simplicity, amusing in colour ... and i love their black eyes!

  5. I am often enamored by figurines just like this. It was interesting to learn a bit of their background. I've seen that MJ George marking before and I think I definitely need to pay more attention at garage sales!

    Thanks for a jaunty little look at some sweet California pottery!

    And thank you for linking up.



Thank you for your comments. They help me feel that I am some how connected out here in Blogland and not just writing to the air.


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