Identifying a Figurine?

I am looking for more information on this little guy, who is 4"H and marked Germany on the back. It's hollow and there is a pinhole sized hole above his pocket. I thought this was a pie bird, but the bottom isn't arched. Smokers usually had an open mouth.


Any ideas?

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September 21, 20200 found this helpful

He's Kewpie doll

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September 21, 20200 found this helpful

While I am not 100% positive, I don't think he is a Rose O'Neill Kewpie doll. Those are typically marked with her name--although I suppose the label could me be missing, but most were NOT on a stand like this, and I have never seen one with any holes in their chest as you describe.

Until it can be confirmed, this is a Kewpie STYLE--unfortunately, Kewpie has become like Kleenex--which is a brand name that people but where people use it to describe similar, not branded people call all tissues Kleenex or all bandages Band-Aid.

I know I am being a bit picky here...but in the resell world, you can get into a whole heap of unhappy buyers if you call something something that it is not.

I am still digging in my files to see if I can find out more.

Can you tell me if he is bisque (which is a rough material) or porcelain (which is smooth).

Also, you say he is hollow--can you show the underside--bottom of the stand? Is that open--what you are referring to as hollow?

It is possible if the bottom is open that he is some kind of pie baker to release the steam...usually those are birds, but I have seen other things that function in the same manner--seeing the bottom may help me figure it out.

Maybe with a little more info, I can find more details!

Thanks for posting!

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September 21, 20200 found this helpful

PS...So when they are people or other animals...they are called pie whistlers or pie funnels!

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September 23, 20200 found this helpful

Hes either porcelain or ceramic, definitely not bisque.

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September 24, 20200 found this helpful

Thanks for the photos!!

This has me so intrigued that I found a Facebook group for you:

They are all about pie vents/pie birds/pie whistlers. That he appears to be a baker, I say he is a pie whistler...however, they had a newsboy from Germany that was similar in design to yours and they called him a German Smoker for incense.

I wasn't clear if they had a base to put the blob of incense in and then the figural covered it or not. That wasn't clear to me and I need to learn more because today was the first I heard of German Smokers.

Maybe you can post him on that site and get their feedback.

This has been a fun project to research!! Thanks for sharing him!

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September 21, 20200 found this helpful

This is a German bisque/porcelain figure(Kewpie) - here are others for sale- and also on eBay - - Bisque/porcelain asking $12 to up in the $100's online.

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September 21, 20200 found this helpful

My goodness - Pghgirl you do bring back memories!
I always knew the item you're talking about as a 'pie bird' and at one time all the homebody ladies had at least one.
I'm not sure this is one of those as most larger ones usually had 'vents' on the bottom sides but this could have those vents also (no picture of sides or bottom).
I keep thinking the little hole held some type of stick/flag/handkerchief or ?? But that is just my thinking.

If you will join the Reddit site and post these pictures, I feel sure you will have an answer if a few days. This site shows amazing results on all kinds of things that are difficult to find information on.
It takes a little getting used to but the administrators are very helpful and can guide you to the correct group to post to.

Please let us know if you find out what this little fellow really is (besides being cute).

Now - just in case someone wishes to know what Pghgirl is calling a 'pie baker/etc' here are some notes and links to check out.

"Pie birds (also known as pie funnels, pie chimneys, and pie whistles) are hollow ceramic devices used to keep pies from bubbling over in the oven by providing ventilation from the hot filling through the crust."

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September 22, 20200 found this helpful

Good memories like that are fun!!! When I started thinking about this topic, I wonder if anyone ever found the last Pie Bird (mine was an actual bird) that I had. Years and years ago, when I was living in an apartment I dropped it behind the stove and could not for the life of me budge that old stove so I could to get it. The kitchen was the tiniest space ever and I could not get a yardstick to go under the stove to fish it out--there wasn't three feet of space for me to do it. I gave up. I hope when they eventually moved the stove (which was probably 20 years old or more when I lived there 25 years ago) that they found it and use it!!

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September 21, 20200 found this helpful

I have looked at the Kewpie figurine and this is not the same at all. This one has a hat on it with the point or fold on the top. The Kewpie figurines it is a piece of hair on top of the head that is normally yellow. I have searched through 30 pages of German figurines and not thing at all comes close to this one at all. I will agree that the look of the face does resemble a Kewpie figurine but nothing else is the same at all. None of the Kewpie figurines seem to be wearing cloths and this one looks like it is wearing a bakers outfit or some sort of an outfit. My best suggestion to you is to visit an antique store in your area and show them this figurine. Maybe they will have a bit better luck in helping you out.

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