Last year I was fortunate to have in my studio a set of Nativity statues from the House of Raffl. Identification was easy, as the name of the studio was proudly incised around the base of each figure.
When studios go into decline, and its assets sold off, occasionally the moulds for casting will be purchased by a more affluent studio. The latter may eradicate the name of the original studio, and this makes identifying older statuary problematic.
With a sense of history in mind, it is my practice to preserve these name labels, or reveal them when they have been obscured by paint.
The House of Raffl manufactured in tens of thousands of religious figures (over 62,000 for the period from 1871 to end 1877), they were installed in churches throughout France and also exported worldwide.
The studio had many owners, and operated in between 1857 and began a decline around 1920. (To my knowledge it was last in operation around the 1940’s.)