mandy

Frankoma Medicine Man, #115

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I have a white Frankoma Medicine Man. On the bottom it says Frankoma,115 and it has a circle within a circle. It has quite a bit of crazing but I can't find any other flaws on it. I have done an Internet search as well as searched Frankoma collectibles books and can't find the Medicine Man in this white color. There are several other colors though.

Does any one have any information on this particular color Medicine Man as well as possible value, year it was made, or what kind of clay?

Thanks for your help.

Mandy

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The #115 Medicine Man was made during two different time periods. The early version was made in 1941 and is 9-1/2 inches tall. It must be a rare piece because the book value is listed at $600-750. Of course, in 1941 Ada clay (very light brown-beige) was used in all Frankoma pieces.

The #115 was made again in 1973-75; however, it was smaller -- 8-1/2 inches tall. And by that time, Frankoma was using Sapulpa clay. Its book value is $100-125, which is nothing to sneeze at.

You should be able to quickly determine which #115 you have just by measuring it. You are fortunate to have either one. Please let us know what your ruler tells you.

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The clay color should be dramatically different, as well. In the early-70s, the clay was a deep red and couldn't easily be confused with Ada (unlike some of the post-1980 Sapulpa clays which got lighter).

Just for general interest, there is a reason why many of the reissued pieces are smaller than the originals. I'm not 100% sure that this is the case with the Medicine man, but it's clearly the case with some pieces:

Frankoma clay shrinks 5-10% when it is fired (that's the current amount, I'm not sure how much Ada clay shrunk in firing). Thus, the size of the finished piece is smaller than the raw piece when it comes out of the mold. When a piece is re-issued, if the original mold is used, the reissued piece will be the same size as the original. But if the original mold is lost, it may be necessary to make a mold from one of the older pieces. In that case, the mold is the same size as the original FINISHED piece (9" in the case above), so the finished piece is 5-10% smaller. Because the new mold is made over a glazed piece (and since glaze tends to puddle in the deep markings), these pieces will also have less detail than the originals.

Remember, that's not always the case. Some reissues used the original molds, so retained the same size and detail as the originals (Frankoma generally tries to mark reissues so there's no room for confusion but the glaze colors will also remove confusion). It's only when the master mold has been lost that the reissue has to be made from an original piece and becomes smaller and slightly less detailed.

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Sorry to be so long in replying. My Medicine Man figure is 8" H x 4-1/2" W. I thought it to be a white color but it really looks more gray in color and I am wondering if it is Mountain Haze which is a Light Bluish–Gray (1987–92). It is actually marked 115 on bottom and is marked with a circle within a circle. It also has crazing and BlueEagle is imprinted on the back. It has some small imperfections such as discoloration in places as well as pinholes.

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Mountain Haze was used by Frankoma from 1987 to 1992, so the #115 re-issued Medicine Man would not be found in that glaze. I have seen White Sand look grayish, especially when used on a red (Sapulpa) clay piece. I have no information on the "circle within a circle" that you mention, but "BlueEagle" may have been added if it was used as an advertising piece.

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Mountain Haze was used by Frankoma from 1987 to 1992, so the #115 re-issued Medicine Man would not be found in that glaze. I have seen White Sand look grayish, especially when used on a red (Sapulpa) clay piece. I have no information on the "circle within a circle" that you mention, but "BlueEagle" may have been added if it was used as an advertising piece.

I agree - it sounds like white sand which often has a grayish tint.

However, the 'Blue Eagle' mark indicates an advertising piece as you've suggested. It has sometimes happened that advertising pieces were glazed in new colors that were not part of the standard glaze lineup. A picture would be helpful.

I'd have to see the 'circle within a circle', but it could be the copyright symbol.

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I agree - it sounds like white sand which often has a grayish tint.

However, the 'Blue Eagle' mark indicates an advertising piece as you've suggested. It has sometimes happened that advertising pieces were glazed in new colors that were not part of the standard glaze lineup. A picture would be helpful.

I'd have to see the 'circle within a circle', but it could be the copyright symbol.

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From an earlier reading I know that Blue Eagle referred to the artist Acee Blue Eagle who did some work for Frankoma. I can't remember where I got the information. After looking at the bottom of the figurine, I think the circle within a circle is actually a Circle "O" which Frankoma used (February 1934-35, black ink or Incised). In the 1940's forward they used an Incised Oblong "O". I don't know how to attach pictures but if you will email me at mandy1jay@yahoo.com I will send the pictures. I took a picture of one of the discoloration marks (blue) but don't know if it will show up. There were several very small ones.

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You really need to post a photo of this piece so we can all see. Do a google search for "online photo storage". There are many free services such as shutterfly.com and photobucket.com and others. Pick a site and set up an account. Upload your photos to it, and then come back here and post a link to your photos. You link a photo in your post here by clicking on the little photo icon. It's easy.

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From an earlier reading I know that Blue Eagle referred to the artist Acee Blue Eagle who did some work for Frankoma. I can't remember where I got the information. After looking at the bottom of the figurine, I think the circle within a circle is actually a Circle "O" which Frankoma used (February 1934-35, black ink or Incised). In the 1940's forward they used an Incised Oblong "O". I don't know how to attach pictures but if you will email me at mandy1jay@yahoo.com I will send the pictures. I took a picture of one of the discoloration marks (blue) but don't know if it will show up. There were several very small ones.

Sorry, but a circle within a circle is not the 'round o' mark. 'Round O' and 'Oblong O' refer to the shape of the letter 'o' within the word Frankoma. The round O mark was used from 1934 to 1938 (approx), so it is unlikely that a Medicine Man would have the Round O mark. What color is the clay?

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http://frankomamedicineman.shutterfly.com/ (paste this into browser)

I set this up in Shutterfly but am not sure I did it right. The figurine is more of a whitish gray which doesn't really show well in my picture. I am not good with taking pictures! The 115 shows up pretty well but the picture I took of "BlueEagle" didn't show at all. Sorry about that.

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http://frankomamedicineman.shutterfly.com/

I set this up in Shutterfly but am not sure I did it right. The figurine is more of a whitish gray which doesn't really show well in my picture. I am not good with taking pictures! The 115 shows up pretty well but the picture I took of "BlueEagle" didn't show at all. Sorry about that.

Definitely white sand and definitely Sapulpa clay. The color matches the mid-70s era. Medicine Man was also reissued in the late 90's, but your clay color looks too dark for that. I don't know about the BlueEagle. Perhaps it was signed by the artist (although he would have to have been getting up in years by the mid-70s? Value probably in the $100-150 range.

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Definitely white sand and definitely Sapulpa clay. The color matches the mid-70s era. Medicine Man was also reissued in the late 90's, but your clay color looks too dark for that. I don't know about the BlueEagle. Perhaps it was signed by the artist (although he would have to have been getting up in years by the mid-70s? Value probably in the $100-150 range.

******

Thank you for your help. I will try to find the info for Blue Eagle as related to this item. If I do, I will post it.

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I did some more looking and it seems like all of the 70's versions may have been signed Blueeagle. Here's a useful reference:

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/frankoma-medicine-man-accee-blue-58624496

*******

Thank you for the information. All of the information I could find was in a Schiffer Book for Collectors by Phyllis and Tom Bess (copyright 1995) and it stated that Acee Blue Eagle designed the Medicine Man figurine. The picture in the book was a glaze-rubbed bisque, No. 115, H-8-1/2", I-1941-42, Reissued 1973-75.

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