Chalkware has been around since the late 18th century, and pieces from that era are considered more along the lines of serious art. The Chalkware we will be discussing comes much later than that and to me is considered to be art as well. Though Chalkware has been around a long time the retro collectible pieces that I will be showing you were made sometime between the 1940’s through the 1950’s. There was a resurgence of decorative Chalkware starting sometime in the 30’s or 40’s because of carnivals (Chalkware from that time is refered to as “Carnival Chalk”). They were awarded to the lucky boy or girl who had won a carnival game. They were made of gypsum and were painted in water colors for eye appeal. Chalkware is very chip prone and can break with very little effort. This is why they have been getting harder and harder to find. Chalkware during the time we are discussing came in so many different forms. It was made into figurines, lamps, shadow boxes, shelves and I am sure a lot more than I am unaware of. Chalkware is still made today but to me the best Chalkware ever made was the Chalkware between the 1940’s through the 1950’s. Here are some pictures of some Chalkware Mel and I have.
Click Images to Enlarge
I have a chalkware head with cap – hollow inside – that belonged to my grandfather – he passed away in 1956 approx – and he had it a long time before that. He kept his pipe and tobacco in it – the cap comes off!
Can you give me an idea of its age? What it is worth? There does not seem to be markings on the bottom that I can see!
Hi Dianne. It sounds like a really awesome piece. We don’t provide estimates or appraisals. If you contact a local antique store they may have an appraiser onsite or refer you to one. You can also search sold listings for similar pieces on eBay.