Another Gemma find!

You may recall earlier in the year when I ran across 2 Gemma Taccogna papier mache sculptures in a thrift store to my unending glee.  I had been drooling over her work online and wishing for some of my own but unwilling to drop multiple hundreds of dollars on one of her pieces.  Since then I have loved admiring my 2 Gemmas on the fireplace mantle.  Well folks, you can officially call me a collector because now there are 3.

Isn’t she breathtaking??  She was discovered in the vintage store across the street from mine (yes, the very same one where Mr. Crafter found the Black Forest coffee and end tables last week!) and she was only a few dollars more than I paid for the other Gemma head!  I still can’t believe my good luck.

I was almost 100% positive it was one of hers even before I anxiously flipped her over.  She’s just too iconic of an example of a Gemma Taccogna.  And the colors – sweet mother – the colors are perfect for my house!  Seriously, I should go buy a lottery ticket.  I’m on a roll.

This piece is a vase – and it’s huge!  Over a foot tall.  The condition is great considering it’s a 50 year old piece of papier mache.  Just some minor flaking around the edges and crazing on her face.

She looks like she’s always been on my mantle.  The other head is a Mayan artifact replica we got on our honeymoon made by a man who looked just like a Mexican Johnny Cash. He had spent is career restoring Mayan artifacts for museums and in his retirement made authentic looking replicas in a small hut we just happened upon in the middle of nowhere.  Although he’s not papier mache I think he fits in nicely with the girls.  It’s not creepy at all to have a posse of disembodied heads staring at you from above the fireplace, right?

6 thoughts on “Another Gemma find!

  1. OMG she’s beautiful!!!! I t hink, maybe, think we had one of these when I was kid. Crap, we had SO much MCM stuff. A house FULL of MCM Danish furniture. Real. Have no idea where it all went. My mom doesn’t remember either. She thinks she just gave it away or threw it away. SOB.

    • Mamaholt, my husband’s family was like that too. We look at old pictures and think – “What happened to all that great stuff??” It makes me want to hoard everything so my daughter doesn’t have to ask those questions when she grows up :)

  2. Gosh, if I come across any of these sculptures I’ll send them to you…I may have seen some in the past and didn’t know they were prized. Neat story about the wood carver in the hut…objects that have little stories are special.

  3. Where are you located? I’m married to one of Gemma’s grandsons and we’re always popping into thrift and antique stores to rescue her work. We live in Southern California and have not found anything yet. We just end up buying them on Ebay when the price isn’t too high.

    • Hi Leigh! I’m in Austin Texas. I have found two Gemmas in Houston and one here in Austin. It’s definitely a rare occurrence to find any of her pieces. I would imagine especially in Southern California people are more hip to her work and less would slip through the cracks.

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