Eps 67 Benesch’s Chalk Heads!

Businesses, Retail

Sharing a brief piece on some items gifted to our casual historian of HdG by Erin Callahan Maphis. Erin’s Uncle Burton Hawkins was cleaning out the basement after Benesch’s closed and gave her the opportunity to pick out a couple of items.

We know that some folks think dolls are a bit creepy. But picture these cuties with a baby’s cap or bonnet on them. “Too cute!”

chalkheads of baby from Benesch's Store in Havre de Grace
chalkheads of baby from Benesch’s Store in Havre de Grace
chalkhead of baby from Benesch's Store in Havre de Grace

The shop was located at 224 N. Washington Street where the Riverview Gallery and the Corporate Center are located today. These chalk doll heads were used for displays such as a baby’s cap or bonnet.

Needless to say, they are an exciting piece to add to the Havre de Grace History MuZeum located in the store at Bahoukas Antique Mall.

If you’d like to know a bit more about Chalkware, take a peek at the video below.

Chalkware is an American term for popular figurines either made of moulded plaster of Paris (usually) or sculpted gypsum, and painted, typically with oils or watercolors. They were primarily created during one of three periods: from the late 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, during the Great Depression, and during the ‘mid-century modern’ era as decorative lamps, figurines and wall decor from the 1940s-1960s. Those created during the earlier period were intended as a more serious decorative art, often imitating the more expensive imported English Staffordshire potteries figurines such as Staffordshire dog figurines; those during the second period, by contrast, were more typically somewhat jocular. Early chalkware was often hollow and is difficult to find unblemished.

from Wikipedia

Remember, don’t throw the Havre de Grace ‘stuff’ out when you’re cleaning out a home, settling an estate, or just ‘downsizing,’ without checking in with George. Don’t give him cause to cry!!!

Our ‘casual historian’ is always waiting for your stories and any memorabilia you may want to share.

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