Figurine dating

Goebel started with a triangle and a moon and has had numerous trademark designs since then, such as the bee mark. However there is one problem: my figurine has no stamped or incised Goebel mark.

I have seen this same figurine many times on Ebay with the typical Goebel crown mark, either incised or painted, from several different years during the timeline they gave me. There are endless scenarios you could imagine that would explain its absence.

It is one of a series of European venus figurines that proliferated during the period of Gravettian art (c.25,000-20,000 BCE).

In fact, the term "Venus of Kostensky" is a misnomer, since - like the "Venus of Gagarino", the "Avdeevo Venuses", the "Mal'ta Venuses" and the "Zaraysk Venuses" - it refers to a group of venuses, in this case found at Kostenky, in the Don Region.

Occupied by Neanderthals during the Middle Paleolithic, scholars believe that they were displaced around 30,000 BCE by the first wave of "modern man", a view supported by the fact that the earliest directly-dated modern human remains from Kostenky date to about 30,000 BCE.

At any rate, from then on, Kostenky was repeatedly occupied by hunter-gatherers during the Gravettian or "Willendorf-Kostenki" culture, and scholars believe it was modern man who created the earliest art of the area.

Though less famous, a second mammoth ivory figurine from the same site (see figure 3), is considered to be more representative of the Kostenky-Avdeevo-Gagarino style.

As well as Kostenky, items of mobiliary art and cave art have been found at many other Russian and Ukrainian archeological sites, including: Amvrossievka, Apiantcha, Avdeevo, Bez'imyannyi, Borchtchevo, Brynzeny, Dobranitchevka, Ubovaya Balka, Eliseevichi/Yeliseevichi, Gagarino Gontzy, Ignatievskaya, Ilskaya, Kaistrovaya Balka, Khoylevo, Kievo-Kirillovskaya, Klimaoutzy, Klinetz, Kosseoutzy, Lissitchniki, Mal'ta, Mejiritch, Mezin, Molodova, Murakovka, Novgorod Severskyi, Puchkari, Rogalik, Smelobskaya, Starye Duruitory, Sungir, Suponevo, Timonovka and Yudinovo, to name but a few.

I have seen many of these sitting around ceramic factory studios.

They often don't get round to having the final stamp put on.

Eventually one of the staff acquire it and it gets onto the market that way.

So ultimately, here is the information I seek: Does anyone know under what conditions and when the Goebel Company would not have put a stamped or incised mark one of their products? Pat Hi Pat Your article is perhaps the most exhaustive piece of research I have ever had on this China Chat forum in 10 years. Right off the bat, if I had seen this piece without your research, I would have also written it off as a Goebel type copy - likely from the Far East.

This is because Goebel were very clear and efficient at marking their wares. Not unless we get a clever contributor to solve this for us. First thing is, sometimes the Goebel crown is impressed (in the mould) and sometimes an ink stamp. The shape mark NM 572 is in the mould, so is on the piece anyway.

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