This is another of my very rare Schafer & Vater antique smoking collectables.
It is one of a series of quirky smoking heads, strange ashtrays, and novelty match holders - that I have for sale in my online shop.
They are all very rare and hard to source and are special items for the specialist collector of early 20th century Schafer and Vater porcelain models.
This little figure is a very rare and a most collectable one - reflected in my price here. He is a titled issue: and is called Henry Clay.
"Henry Clay" is a brand of cigars named after the early American politician Henry Clay (1777–1852).
The model takes the form of a wee ashtray for a single cigar (at the back for the figure). It also functions as a decorative match holder - with pierced holes in the head where you would pop unstruck matches.
The model shows a little figure smoking a large cigar - one of the most popular brands in its day. This little figure was no doubt made for export to the American market - indeed many of these Schafer and Vater porcelain models were keenly collected by Americans.
Height: 4 3/4 inches.
It is in good vintage condition. The modelling and details on this particular figurine as extremely fine - and it is now a rather hard to find an example in such fine condition.
These antique pieces of German smoking paraphernalia are now hard to find.
Displays very well. POSTAGE WOULD BE WITH UK Royal Mail Tracked - this would cost £4.95. Postal discounts would apply - any overpayment in postage would be refunded. to you.
HISTORY: The company was founded by Gustave Schaefer and Guenther Vater in Germany in 1890. By 1896 the business was so successful that they were able to expand to the List Porcelain Factory at Neuhaus.
The company aimed at producing high-quality items in hard-paste porcelain - and it made luxury items, including figurines and dolls' heads. They also produced a range of soft-paste porcelain items such as small liquor bottle which were distributed in pubs etc.
Schafer & Vater were better known for their comical and figural items. They manufactured these in teapots, jugs, creamers, bottles, match strikers, and planters, with a backstamp impressed with a crown above an 'R' in a star. 'Made in Germany' was sometimes stamped in black. Occasionally, Schafer & Vater pieces appear without any stamps or reference to their origin, but they are easy to recognize due to their characteristics and unique craftsmanship and unusual design.
Their wonderful novelty figures were always very popular in the States - and by 1910 the American firm of Sears Roebuck & Co began to import and distribute Schafer & Vater pottery items.
In 1913 Paul Schafer had taken over from his father and, working alongside Gunther Vater, built up a successful workforce of around 200 people. In 1918 the factory was destroyed by fire and they set up a new factory to resume production.
Sadly, the firm closed in 1962 and in1972 the East German government assumed full control of the vacant factory and their records and moulds were destroyed - so no further figures could be produced.