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 Figurine 6 1/2 Inch Pink Girl Blonde Roses CatRare Josef Originals - Africa - Little Internationals - Black Eyes Josef Originals Valentine Heart Piorcelain Ceramic Girl Figurine MibJosef Originals Porcelain Ceramic Girl Figurine Tea Party Josef Originals Lady Figurine Girl Figure Pink Flowers - Ceramic DollJosef Originals Figurine, Lady On Chiair With BookVintage Josef OriginalsRare Josef Originals - Hungary - Little Internationals - Black Eyes Josef Originals Girl Holding Puppy Yellow Dress Blue Flowers Pink Roses Vintage Josef Originals Figurine 5 Inch Green Girl Brunette SunflowerVintage Josef's Original Girl Churning Ice Cream W Kitten W Foil StickerJosef Originals Porcelain Winter DollBeautiful Angel "little Commandments" By Josef Originals, Be Loving & GivingVintage Josef Originals...set Of 3 ~~christmas Choir Boys!! Stickers Still OnVintage Josef Originals Rare People I Love Series My Faithful Friend 4" FigurineJosef Originals 9" Lady In Pink With Luster Finish, 1960'sJosef Originals Snail W/tag & Labels Pokey JapanJosef Original Bumble Bee FigurineLarge Beautiful Josef Originals Lady W/flowers. Estate Find. L@@kVintage Josef Originals Robin Figurine 5 1/2 Inch Blue Girl Blonde HarpJosef Originals Porcelain New Years Eve Party Girl Figurine January GarnetJosef Originals, Worm Or Caterpillar, "bird !!!" W/tag & LabelJosef Original Young Girl W/ Swan Music Box Figurine W/ Hang TagJosef Originals "days Of The Week" Thursday Beautiful Lavender Girl With Lavender Gem Flower, Josef OriginalsVintage Josef Originals Baby Boy With Teddy Bear "baby In Cradle" Series Vintage Josef Originals Village Mouse Miniature Figurine Mice. 10 Each.Vintage Josef Originals Mandy Figurine 5 1/4 Inch Pink Girl Blonde GuitarJosef Originals Kate Of Town & Country Series California Dish Washing PorcelainJosef Originals, Three Winter MiceVintage Josef Originals Baby Elephant Figurine Butterfly On Trunk Vtg Josef Originals Switzerland Figurine Little International Series Japan As IsJosef Originals "the Artist" Figurine From The 'careers' SeriesVintage Josef Originals Figurine 4 Inch Blonde Girl Flower BasketVtg Josef Originals Fuzzy Flocked Bunny Rabbit - Small 2.25" W/ Original LabelsVintage Josef Originals - Birthday Angel 1 - One Girl Black Eyes Blue Gold SmallVintage Josef Birthday Girl Figures Topaz Sapphire September November OriginalHtf Josef Originals Ireland Figurine From 'little International' Series Josef Original Birthday Girl Angel Figurine At 1 Josephs Originals, Vintage Year 7, With Tag And Sticker On Green DressJosef Originals - The Third Year (3) - Hang Tag - Black Eyes Vintage Josef Originals Tammy "musicale" Series Piano Music Box Pink GirlJosef Original Birthday Girl Angel Figurine At 6Josef Original Birthday Girl Angel Figurine At 4Josef Original Birthday Girl Angel Figurine At 5Josef Original Birthday Girl Angel Figurine At 3 Mint, Josef Original Angel Birthday Girl, Applause, Year 15Josef Original Little Boy And Puppy In Blanket TentJosef Originals April Birthstone Figurine "doll Of The Month" W/labels Ex CondVintage White Puppy Dog Poodle Animal Figurine Josef Originals 3" Cutie Sit A