Lladro Figurines are porcelain figurines produced by the Spanish manufcaturer Lladro.
Brief History and Description
Lladro porcelain established their first factory in 1958 complete with new furnaces, skilful workers, and chemists to manufacture unique glazes and porcelains.
The Lladro brothers, Juan, Jose and Vicente showed a keen interest in arts and sculpture from childhood. This prompted their mother to enroll them in the Valencia School of Arts and Crafts. They did their apprenticeship at Valencian Tileworks Company before joining the esteemed Victor de Nalda firm, which produced high quality Spanish tableware in 1951. Simultaneously, they built their own kiln in their backyard and started making classical figurines, candelabras, trinkets, and porcelain flowers.
Two years later, fueled by the aspiration to create the finest porcelain in Spain, they left their jobs and founded Lladro Porcelain with 2,000 pesetas loaned to them by a friend. Their growth was steady. Forever seeking methods to develop their business, the Lladro brothers ventured into a new line of business that consisted of exquisitely crafted annual Christmas bells. The first one came out in 1987 followed every year by a line of Christmas ball decorations. In 1992, another line of annual Christmas ornaments, which was an assortment of Lladro miniature figurines, was introduced. These figurines are still being made today.
Subsequently, the brothers set up a Lladro Permanent Council constituting of themselves, their children, and senior staff of the company to ensure the smooth running of the factory and the future of Lladro porcelain. As a result, the Lladro success story still remains intact as their reputation of uniqueness in porcelain crafting.
Guide for Collectors
Lladro porcelain is very popular and their captivating figurines have a long list of celebrity clients. Recognizing the quality and uniqueness of their figurines, the Lladro brothers launched the Lladro Collectors Society. The first Collectors Society piece was “Little Pals” in 1986. Its immense success inspired Lladro to release one collectors society piece annually ever since. These figurines were offered only to the members of the society initially and non-members had to wait for secondary sales.
An easy way to find the value of Lladro Porcelain and Lladro figurines is to refer the books on collecting Lladro porcelain figurines. Some good reference books are Lladro Identification & Price Guide and The Collector's Book of Retired Lladro, which are both written by Peggy Whiteneck. Peggy who prices Lladro figurines for Price Guide to Contemporary Collectibles and Limited Editions is well versed with Lladro figurines. The first book features over 2000 listings and has over 600 colour photographs.
Another good collector’s guide is the Authorized Lladro Reference Guide by Lladro Porcelain. There are over 4000 objects that were made between the years 1941 and 2006 and which have been organized by theme. Each entry has the figurine's photograph, name, height, its status (whether it is being made or not), reference number, the year of issue and its last retail price and the retirement year. It also provides information on whether it is a Collector's Society issue, or a Limited Edition issue.
Notable Auction Sales
Two Lladro porcelain figurines, the first one the bust of the Madonna and Child and the second one an obstetrician spanking a new born infant was auctioned off for a premium price of $488 at Bonhams, Madison Avenue, New York on 16th September, 2010. Each of the figures carried on their undersides, the blue stamped factory mark, over Made in Spain with inscribed letters and numerals.
A small collection of Lladro figurines was auctioned off for a premium price of £216 at Bonhams, Chester on 6th September, 2010. The figurines included a figure of two children riding on the back of a polar bear, a figure of a kneeling boy with a lamb, a figure of a reclining cherub, and a figure of an Oriental girl on a plinth holding a fan, together with three figures including one of a young girl yawning, a figure of a boy scratching his head, and a figure group of two storks in flight.
Four Lladro figurines were auctioned off for a premium price of £228 at the Art and Antiques Auction at Bonhams, Chester on 9th August, 2010. The Lladro figurines included the figure of a girl with a lamb under one arm and a basket of vegetables under the other, a figure of a seated girl holding a doll, with a basket of food at her feet, a figure of a girl wearing a scarf with a duck and a basket of ducklings at her feet, and a figure of a seated girl feeding a lamb with a bottle.
A pair of Lladro porcelain figurines was auctioned off for a premium price of $46 at Christie’s, New York on 7th February, 1995.
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