This is an example of a piece with newly applied snow. The piece itself may or may not be old, but the gray snow is definitely not old. Be particularly suspicious if you come across several together with this type snow, or you haven't seen pictures of the poses ever before.
The first new German snow babies I saw looked a lot like this baby. They weren't on big snowballs, but they were on sleds and skis. Later they appeared on polar bears, elks, and as singular babies. Always they had black specks in their snow and blunted noses. Their skis were porcelain rather than wood like the originals. Now I seldom see the black specks, but I still see the reproductions.
This pose, painted in several colors and with the addition of ground bisque snow has been appearing on ebay for some time. It is not an old snow baby. If you wonder about a piece listed on the web, send me an auction number or a picture, and I will be happy to give you my opinion.
The only old example of this piece I've seen is shown in my book as Pic 9.38, unsnowed and glazed. Some snowed examples of this piece are quite convincing. Don't be fooled.
New German Snow Babies
Mary Morrison's German Snow Babies
Sometime around the middle of the 1990s in the eastern United States, I began to see high quality snow babies for sale that looked very much like the German snow babies I was collecting. It wasn't long before a dealer who had sold me wonderful old snow babies telepnoned me from an antique show in Las Angeles with a report of "wonderful snow babies she had never seen before." For me, that was the beginning of "New German Snow Babies." The quality was good enough to fool some long time collectors and dealers. It is one of my goals to try to make it impossible for anyone to sell them as "old".
There are some dealers in the US who buy these pieces directly from the sellers in Germany who are having these reproductions made, then try to sell them here as old. There are several dealers in Germany who sell these pieces directly on ebay. Some ship them from the UK. If you are suspicous about an ebay dealer, look at his other items to see if he is selling other reproductions. Look at the "Links and Buying Advice" page on this website. I have listed some offenders there. Or send me the auction number and I will give you my opinion and experience with that dealer.
To be fair, there are some dealers who have been fooled and don't realize they are selling reproductions. This is a problem for all of us. We need to spread the word about snow baby reproductions.
You may see examples of this or other Santas shown here for sale with colored paint and sometimes with snow. Remember though, that I have never seen old examples of these pieces. And new examples do exist with all kinds of finishes.
Here is a Santa in a boat that you should not buy as old. I have only seen new examples of this piece. There are other slightly different antique Santas in boats shown in my book.
Another quite unusual piece. A gnome pulls this swan-like sleigh and an angel rides with the presents. I've never seen an old example.