Mystery surrounds disappearance of Jewish Princess in Sausalito

Only a rough mold of the "Jewish Fairy Princess'" clay head and a few scattered photographs remain in artist Claudia Cohen's possession.

The child-sized sculpture dressed in a blue party dress with wings, white gloves and black patent leather shoes is gone.

Allegedly abducted from the Sausalito ICB Building in August, the "Jewish Fairy Princess" was last seen sitting in the hallway outside Cohen's studio, wrapped in an old terrycloth bathrobe.

The burglary feels more like a "rape" for the artist, who considers the fairy princess "a piece about myself" and would have sold her for close to $2,000.

"To steal a piece of art just seems like the most evil thing in the world — it's an outrageous breech of all things holy," said Cohen, a Larkspur resident. "I can't help thinking that [the abductors'] karma is at risk."

Although Cohen has not alerted the police, she has stumbled upon a few leads. After the sculpture's disappearance, Cohen said her colleague Jane Fields of Fields Howard & Associates told her she thought she may have held the door open for the thieves, a "creepy-looking" male and female couple.

The female, Cohen said, was hiding something wrapped in a towel under her coat.

Later, Cohen said she received an anonymous call from a woman describing suspects fitting a similar description.

However, Cohen has been unable to locate the woman's phone number, which she had jotted down on the back of an envelope.

Cohen, an artist who works in ceramics and bronze, has rented a studio in the ICB building since 1985. She has only recently begun to doubt its security. Earlier this year, two framed pictures of Cohen holding a piece of her art were stolen from the hallway wall.

"Maybe I have a fan," she said. "Or maybe they just stole the stuff because they could."

Still, Cohen, who fears her sculpture may have been left in a junk store or discarded, had felt confident enough to keep the princess in the hallway. Her studio, she said, is too crowded.

"It's a large piece and it was wrapped up and in a discreet end of a hallway," she said. "You'd have to go into a private hallway to get to it."

The "Jewish Fairy Princess," one of only two Cohen created, is based on the stereotypical term "Jewish American Princess" — "a phrase I don't like very much," said Cohen, who "decided to make my own version of a JAP."

Her first version of the princess was sold several years ago. Cohen is now debating the possibility of creating another.

The stolen princess is all dressed up, "just like my mother used to dress me for parties and holidays." She wears a ceramic crown upon her clay head, has wings and holds a magic wand with a Star of David. Her blue dress, an actual child's dress, clothes a body made of wire and stuffing.

Overall, said Cohen, she displays all the virtues of a "sweet little fairy."

"But," she added, "she clearly is a Jewish American Princess, too. She can wave her wand and get anything she wishes for."

If only she'd wish for a safe return home.