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Can we see a photo of the underside?

Also, see if you can provide a clearer photo of all the text on both sides.  If it is clearer read at your end, with no guesswork required, then tell us what it says.  With the photos, don't use the flash but do use a torch to cast shadows in the text making the individual lettering more prominent with better contrast.

In the whole image, I can see the text says '4? lettered something FAIR?' BOY.

Then in the close up there is more text, so I assume this text is from the other side?

Sorry, Michael, I had text to accompany the pics but something seems to have happened to it. Here is the original text:
I bought an interesting horse statue and I am not really sure what I have. It is a white grainy, stony feeling material. On one side it says Fair Boy and on the other Colombini Sculpteur. From my research I believe it is an alabaster statue of the French thoroughbred Fair Boy born 1896 sculpted by the studio of Colombini. Given where this statue was, the crudeness (or degradation) of the carving and the price I paid, I find this hard to believe ( although anything is possible). I am hoping someone with more sculptor experience can help me out.

The bottom is just plain with no signature or anything.

My search yielded no results.  There is more than one kind of alabaster.  It is partially water soluble, meaning it can be partially dissolved in water, one kind of alabaster soft enough to scratch with a fingernail, whilst another you would need a knife to scratch.  Also, I know that applying hydrochloric acid can make one makeup of alabaster effervesce (bubble) Ultimately, all the methods for identifying alabaster which I know of would be detrimental to the item in one way or another.

One possibility for the surface degradation, if that is what it is, of your item, is that is has been exposed to moisture over time.  As I said above, alabaster is partially water soluble.  From these photos alone, it is hard to tell if the lettering shown are in fact carved into the piece, or are a result of being moulded.  To me, they look as though they were pressed in like a stamp, but that would mean the piece would have to have been malleable at the time.  Therefore possibly, this was carved from clay, stamped, then had a mould made around the sculpture, then this final piece was cast using that mould.

Can we see a photo of the bottom?

Thanks Michael, 

Here is a picture of the bottom. 


Another form of alabaster which is very common is alabaster resin. It consists of alabaster dust or powder and a resin and is sold as a liquid or solid and can be carved or poured into molds. The writing on your horse is uniform indicative of it being from a mold. The terminology on it makes reference to the original sculpture and artist.

Thanks! That is very helpful!


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