At the beginning of World War II, an Arcadia, California, artist named Muriel Joseph created Lucite costume jewelry under the business name Muriel of California. Unfortunately, Lucite was needed for the war effort, mostly for windshields in airplanes, forcing Joseph to search for a new material and product line. For a few years she made ceramic jewelry before seizing on the idea of ceramic figurines, which she produced with the help of her fiancée, Tom George, when he returned home from the war (like a lot of other vets, George could not find a job, so he focused on his wife’s business instead). By 1946, Josef Originals was launched, complete with the misspelling of Muriel Joseph George’s maiden name, thanks to a printing error.

Figurines of adorable animals, angels, and children dominated her early lines, as the small company, which was based in the couple’s home, focused on quality over quantity. By the mid-1950s, though, fake Josef Originals from Japan started to appear in the United States. George countered by adding even more details to her pieces, but this just made them more expensive to produce. Finally, a businessman named George Good convinced the couple to fight fire with fire and begin manufacturing Josef originals in Japan. In 1959, they went to the Katayama factory in Japan to personally train the workers there to ensure that the quality of Josef Originals remained high. It did, which made the 1960s and ’70s strong decades for the firm (George retired in 1981).


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

V&A Porcelain Figures

V&A Porcelain Figures

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s online collection of Meissen porcelain figures includes more than 150 pieces, in… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Josef Originals Japan Musical Music Box Girl In Pink Dress, Flowers TagJosef Originals Little Internationals €Vintage Josef Originals "jill" From The "nursery Rhymes" Series RareVintage Josef Originals "baby Shower" From "party Cake Toppers" RareOld Japan Josef Originals Huge Size Girl Holding Poodle Pink Ball In Star FigureJosef Originals Southern Girl Lipstick Holder - Josef Of JapanVintage Josef Originals Belle Of The Ball, From The Bell Series, Green DressVintage Josef Originals Lady W/ Bluebird Figurine 8 1/4" Ex CondJosef Originals Figurine "debby" First Formal Series 5 1/4" Sticker/excellentRare Josef Originals Figurine Norway Girl Little Internationals Series OriginalLarge Vintage 7" Josef Originals Girl Or Lady With RosesJosef Originals Girl In Pink With Basket Of Flowers, Rare! Mint! Josef Originals Puerto Rico International Girl With Maracas 1960s FigurineRare Josef Originals Beautiful Lady With Flowers Collectible FigurineVintage Josef Originals Pixie Or Elf With Ladybug - Make Believe SeriesVntg Josef Originals Baby Infant Wkitten/cat Signed & LabelJosef Originals California Doll - "mama" Vintage Josef Originals "little Hidee" Trinket Box Blue Dress W/labels & Hangtag4 Josef Originals International Girls England, Sweden, Portugal & Israel Josef Originals Music Box €Josef Originals Rare! "amber", Southern Belles, 7 1/2" Tall, Excellent Cond.!Vintage Josef Originals Girl Holding Teapot And Cup FigurineVintage Josef Originals Pixie Or Elf With Flower Horn - Make Believe SeriesRare! Josef Originals Figurine W/ Blue Rhinestones Josef Originals Hawaii Hawaiian Hula International Girl 1960s FigurineVintage Josef Original Girl Figurine With CakeJosef Originals Mexico Mexican Girl Little International 1960s FigurineJosef Originals Pitty Sing €Vintage Josef Original Girl Figurine With PresentJosef Originals Bell From Japan - Pink Southern BelleRare Josef International Series Figurine PanamaVintage Josef Originals Figurine March Poodle Black Eyes Tag Excellent ConditionVintage Josef Originals Pink Girl W Cake Figurine Bell Black EyesJosef Original Porcelain Doll Figurine Taffy Excellent Both Tags Hallmark Vintage "josef Original" Yellow Pie BirdVintage Josef Originals Girl Holding Bunny "love Is" Series 1978 RareRare Vintage Josef Originals Bicentennial Liberty Belle Patriotic Bell FigurineVintage Josef Originals Little Baby Boy Child Puppy Dog Bedtime FriendJosef Originals. 1945-62 Ca. Cho Cho And SakuraVintage Josef Originals Dog Lot Japan Basset Hound Mom And Three Pups.Josef Originals Birthday Girl March Green Dress With PuppyJosef Originals Rare! Date Book, Sweet Sixteen, 7 3/4" Tall, Excellent Cond.!Vintage Josef Originals Figurine October Opal Black Eyes Tag Excellent ConditionJosef Original Figurine Girl With Shopping ListJosef Originals(?) Little Girl Salt And Pepper ShakersRare Josef Originals 9" Yellow Bridesmaid Wedding Figurine Cute Vintage Josef Originals Christmas Angel FigurineVintage Josef Originals Figurine November Bird Cattails Black Eyes TagVtg Josef Originals International Series Rare Ireland Pink Dress 3.75" Figurine!Josef Original Signed Native GirlJosef Originals Girl Figurine Gray DressJosef Originals Figurines X4Josef Originals Rare! Girl Playing Piano Music Box, Love Story! Excellent!Vintage Josef Originals Girl & Kitten Figurine Large Pink DressVintage Josef Original Angel Figurine "good Bad Bent Halo" W/labels & HangtagJosef Originals Baby Crawling On Floor With Puppy DogExcellent 9 Vintage Josef Original Birthday Girl Ages 3 4 5 6 7 10 11 12 14 TeenVtg Josef Originals July Birthday Birthstone Girl Figurine 4" Japan RhinestoneVtg Josef Originals Birthday/birthstone Porcelain Girl~may~black Eyes/japanJosef Originals Birthday Angel Girl Figurine 6 Year Old Vintage