The earliest Christmas bisque figures and snow babies date from the early 1900’s and are typically 3″ or taller. These figures predominantly portray children and adults, although other figures were also made (Santas, bears, etc.). Some pieces were decorated with a grout that represented snow; mostly this grout was white but in some cases it was a beautiful blue or pink. These larger pieces are exquisite in their detail.
After WWI, the pieces made were smaller (most under 3″) and included Santas, elves, snowmen, children and animals in a variety of settings. These pieces are more plentiful than the earlier, larger pieces. Some are marked Germany or Japan on the bottom, some are incised with a production number on the back, and others have no mark. The German pieces generally have better detailing but some Japanese pieces can rival their German counterpart in quality. The picture shows a grouping of the smaller snow baby pieces dating from the 1920’s to 1930’s. The pieces from this era either have white “snow” or are “unsnowed”.
Bisque figures have been produced after WWII and some resemble earlier pieces. So if you are interested in the antique versions, become familiar with these later pieces.