This charming pair of figurines was made by Niepold’s, Inc., located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which started production in the early 1900’s. Their Borghese line was made of cast plaster, which we often see described as chalkware or plaster of Paris. After the figurines were molded, they were painted to resemble antiques, often using shading techniques to imitate wear from aging. This is particularly true of this early pair.
Amazingly, given how easily chips or breaks can happen to this material, the shepherd boy has retained his full staff and there is only one small chip on the rear brim of his hat, shown on the right in photograph #4. He stands approximately 7 inches tall and 3 ¼ inches across the widest part of his oval base. The shepherd girl, holding a basket of grapes and leaning on a tree stump, is in excellent condition. She stands 6 ½ inches tall and is 4 inches across the widest part of her oval base.
The boy has retained the full Borghese label on his base, along with a mold number label. The girl has a partial Borghese label on her base.
These beautiful figurines have the workmanship and incredible detail of the early examples from Niepold’s Borghese line.