Fully resoted and repainted vintage carnival chalkware statues for sale. There's are just a few of these vintage chalkware pieces that are available. More before & after pictures to come soon! Please follow La Porte Vintage on Instagram for full backstory on these unique pieces.
These plaster "chalkware" statues were manufactured from the 1920s to the late 1960s and were specifically made to be given away as the 'prizes' for winning the games at carnivals. They range in size from 6" to 15" tall.
I marvel at the tremendous detail, expression, the posture, design and proportions created by some unknown, nameless 'sculptor' so many decades ago. Molds were made from those original pieces and then these statues were mass-produced. Made of inexpensive Plaster of Paris basically, these pieces were cranked out quickly and relatively cheaply. However, when it came to painting them, things really went off the rails. My theory is that hand-painting them in any realistic manner was just too time-consuming and costly. It was an item to simply be given away as a carnival prize after all. The painting, mostly done with an airbrush, was crude and imperfect to say the least. Done with speed and just a passing regard for the tremendous detail of the original mold.
Some of these pieces only have paint on the fronts. And some of them are completely flat, and unpainted, on the back because only the front half of the mold was used. The flat back ones are sometimes mistaken for doorstops or bookends, but they are the older ones and are a good example of the speed of the production... no time spent fusing a front and a back together and waiting for that step to cure, and then proceeding to the paint department.
Can you imagine how many of these statues broke along the way? And how breakable and cumbersome for the 'carnies' to haul around and store and display. And then, if you won one of these statues, you had to carry it around the fair for the rest of the day!! In the late 1960s, carnivals started using much more practical stuffed animals as game prizes.
So I have acquired these online. I have restored and repainted them to try to do justice to the fantastic creation of the original sculptor from 60, 70, 80+ years ago.
This is a new thing. A new category of collectible. A new idea. I cannot find chalkware pieces restored to this level anywhere on the internet. I don't think they exist. New territory. A fully restored antique. Changed from its original appearance. Restored and given a new life of displaying extreme cuteness and happiness!
La Porte Vintage
114 E. St. Joseph Street
Arcadia, CA 91006
Tel & Text: 626/429-2392
Monday - Friday
10:00am to 5:00pm
and by appointment.