Banjo Betty Trinket GiveAway, Made in Japan

Our Adventure to Giveaway Vintage and Antique Trinkets from our Collection

 Banjo Betty, Made in Japan, a copycat of Joyful, a Hummel and the February Trinket Giveaway
“Angel with Lute,” a Hummel candle holder in the “Joyful” design

In 2016, we sponsored a monthly giveaway drawing for antique and vintage keepsakes at our companion website, Estate Trinkets & Treasures.

We chose to give away Banjo Betty in February during our Trinket GiveAway.

Banjo Betty is a copycat of an early Hummel by W. Goebel, from the art of Sister Innocentia Hummel titled Joyful (number 53).

When I first discovered Banjo Betty in our estate items,  I was curious. Who made this piece of porcelain, and what is it worth? … need-to-know info to determine its value. I searched through my books  on antique, porcelain companies to identify the manufacturer’s mark.

Our library is filled with books and magazines on antiques

My search was fruitless. The smudged manufacturer’s mark on the bottom of my mystery figurine was nowhere to be found. And even though the figurine itself had the appearance of a Hummel, I knew the mark was not one of the famous Bee marks.

Skier Hummel figurine number 59
“Skier’ Hummel by W. Goebel: TMK-2/Full Bee

We have a Hummel collection, and the markings are all quite legible, such as on Skier.

Charts abound in books and online to help collectors date a Hummel. Thanks to Hummel’s fine catalog system, the date, place of origin, and name of the Hummel can be determined by the marks on the bottom of a figurine – whether it’s Bee, Full Bee, etc.

Skier Hummel with Full Bee trademark on bottom of figurine
Hummel Full Bee trademark of W. Goebel

My famous process-of-elimination theory led me to error

Unable to find a porcelain maker identified with the figurine’s mark,  I defaulted to Beswick because not all early Beswick was marked by the manufacturer.

Convinced the figurine was pristine, English Beswick porcelain, I posted it for sale on eBay as $valuable AND antique.

Within days, a Hummel collector e-mailed to say the figurine was NEITHER Beswick NOR antique but rather a copycat Hummel by Japanese importer Akiyama, and dates from the 50s. (Reference: Hummel Copycats; Author, Lawrence L. Wonsch, pg. 43; 1987).

I should have known the figurine was porcelain from Japan as they are master craftsmen at creating copycat products of popular items in trade.
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