All Fontanini figures made from polymer resin are marked. Older figures are marked on the undersides with a small spider and the words "Depose Italy". During the 1980's, Fontanini replaced the spider with the Fontanini name, the date of manufacture, and a small fountain.
After completing my last blog entry, I remembered that we had acquired another grouping of polymer resin figures at the Ontario Antiques Mall in Farmington, NY, in early May, 2013. They were quite inexpensive and of the five figures, we were really only interested in the figure holding the frame drum with the very curious attached jingles. Now that I realize that they are pre-1980 Fontanini figures, I am glad that we kept the collection complete. So here they are together, four dancing damsels in a variety of ethnic costumes dancing to the beat of the drum.
Which brings me to the copy-cat. The day before, we had picked up another Italian polymer frame drum player with similar jingles on her drum at the Springfield Antique Center in Ohio. We paid almost as much for her, as we paid for the five the next day!
When we compare the two, there is no question that the Fontanini figure reflects superior craftsmanship, but both are charming and welcome additions to our frame drum collection.