“Ivorex” plaques from England

ivorex plaque

Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: I have some framed three-dimensional wax caricature plaques “Christmas at Wardles, Dear Mr. Pickwick”, “Whist at Wardles, Humorous Mr. Pickwick.” These have been in my family for over 100 years. My great grandfather bought them in England. They both have some damage to the wax due to their age they have wear and tear. Can you provide any information on these plaques?

A: These were called “Ivorex” plaques which is basically a plaster casting which is then painted with watercolors and coated with a thin layer of wax. A number of companies produced these but the primary two were “B Osborne Company” who produced Osborne Ivorex and “W H Bossons” produced Bosson’s Ivorex. Both were based in England.

The Osborne Company was in operation from 1899 to 1965 and during this period the company produced hundreds of different designs. When the company closed in 1965, Bosson purchased a number of their molds and began production. It is reported that they also took some of the unsold inventory, reworked it and sold it under the “Bosson’s Ivorex” label.

If your pieces do not have a label or tag to indicate who made them it is very difficult for me to determine if they were made by one of these two companies or a totally different company.

As for resale value each of the plaques would sell for $150-$175 if in perfect condition.

You mentioned that the condition is not mint so any resale value would be reduced based on the degree of damage.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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  1. I have an 3 d ivorex plaque The Home of Charles Dickens Godshill Rochester. It has the stamped marking on the back of it “Ivorex” Osbourne (copyright) made in England and the A over the O in the bottom left hand corner on the front. How can I find out the value of it. Thanks! Kim

  2. I believe I have a Ivorex plaque of Shakespeare’s Homestead, though it has a c within a circle in the right bottom corner. I would assume this means copyright, but I can’t find an Ivorex plaque with this symbol on it. Can you tell me if this is indeed an Ivorex plaque?

  3. We have 3 Arthur Osbourne Ivorex plaques in perfect condition. The Tower of London, Temple Bar in Johnson’s Time and Shakespeare’s House – Stratford-On-Avon. Would you be able to give us some idea how much they may be worth. Thank for any help you may be able to give us.

    • Michelle Staley

      The price would be about the same. You indicate that your plaques are in perfect condition so this would add $8-$10 USD to the price.

  4. Hi Michelle
    I have a B Osborne 1910 switch the copyright in the back of the Gloucester cathedral in perfect condition. Any idea/estimate if it’s value ?
    Thank you

    • Michelle Staley

      This particular scene comes in two sizes 11¼x7 and 4½x3¼ . The smaller version has a resale value of $50-$75 and the larger size would bring about $150-$175.

      Michelle Staley

  5. Hi I have a ivotex Osborn, of the cottage, yet the spelling is Ann Hathway cottage. The piece in wood frame, antique

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