Chalkware

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Two chalkware figurines

Chalkware is an American term for popular figurines either made of moulded plaster of Paris (usually) or sculpted gypsum, and painted, typically with oils or watercolors.[1][2] They were primarily created during one of two periods: from the late 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, or during the Great Depression. Those created during the earlier period were intended as a more serious decorative art, often imitating the more expensive imported English Staffordshire potteries figurines such as Staffordshire dog figurines; those during the second period, by contrast, were more typically somewhat jocular. Early chalkware was often hollow and is difficult to find unblemished.


Carnival chalk[edit]

“Carnival chalk” refers to chalkware figures given out as carnival game prizes during the first half of the 20th century, especially during World War II. They were later replaced by stuffed animals.

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