HISTORY: Poultry Seller is a copy of a Meissen figurine, circa 1750, that Bob saw in his book about porcelain. Both this piece and "Lady with an Urn" were carved from the same one-by-one inch piece of dental wax given Bob by his dentist friend. Carved in november 1977.
GENERAL: Quantity: 196 were painted, issue price $50; 81 were finished in white enamel, issue price $28; and five were done in polished, free-standing, sterling silver, issue price $47.20. The five sterling pieces were cast first, then the white and painted pieces were alternated as orders were received.
This was Bob's first use of a glaze. Notice the beauty of the blue in her skirt and the rich yellow of her blouse. Of course, he already was trying to achieve the "porcelain look."
Bob was beginning to undertstand the technical production problems -- a start towards sound growth for his fledgling enterprise.
The bases were cast too thin, so sterling had to be welded to the final figurine to give support and provide thickness. Bob hand-made the wooden bases to help level them and then glued the figurine to each one. This also dressed up and provided a pleasant accent to the figurine.
A wooden base is found on this figurine, as well as on the "Baltimore Oriole" and "Doves on Flowering Dogwood."
Each base should be marked "_____/3000" whether or not the figurine is painted, white or sterling.
SIGNED: On the back side of the base in green ink, or on the bottom in white ink in script "R.Olszewski" -- "Clearly, so everyone can read my name," quipped Bob. The precious metal figurines were not signed.
STRONG POINTS: Good interaction between the couple.
WEAK POINTS: "Poultry Seller" has a flat look. Bob was having trouble sculpting depth, since he was carving and painting from the pages of a book. He could not afford to purchase a "Poultry Seller" sculpture to use as a model. Notice the two-dimensional look where the front and back of the dress meet. Note also the wedge shape rather than the desired round look to the entire figurine. This was complex carving, considering his level of expertise.
VARIATIONS: The thickness of the metal base will vary.
The above is an excerpt from The Goebel Miniatures of Robert Olszewski: An Authoritative Reference & Price Guide, 1989, Collectibles Reference Press by Dick Hunt