Peering out from curio cabinets and china cabinets, figurines enliven a room and give it character. The type of figurines you collect embody you and personalize your home. Rosie cheeked Hummel figurines provide a cheerful atmosphere. Pastel colored Lladrós—a sense of romance or whimsy. And, if fortunate enough, a Meissen provides unparalleled class.
Whether you are just picking up the hobby of giving figurines a home or are a lifelong collector, here are the top collectible brands to keep an eye out for on MaxSold.
Meissens are for the advanced collector or if you have a lot of revenue to start your figurine collection.
Meissen porcelain started in the 18th century, back when porcelain was coined “white gold” and was one of the most highly valued materials in the world. Before the 18th century, all porcelain was imported to Europe from the East. However, this changed in 1708 when Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus developed a new method for creating hard-paste porcelain and the Meissen company was founded. Meissen created ornate pieces including vases, candelabras, and figurines, usually depicting neoclassical motifs.
Small Meissen figures sell for thousands of dollars. Larger, more elaborate figures sell for tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Meissen figures are marked with the imprint of crossed swords on the bottom of the collectible. But other companies tried to copy Meissen’s successful style and sometimes used similar markings. Therefore, always hire an expert before you invest in a Meissen.
If you are starting your figurine collection or want to add some timeless class to an already thriving collection, Llardó is the brand for you. While not as old or valuable as Meissen, Llardó figurines have captured the hearts and imaginations of collectors around the world.
Founded by the Llardó brothers in their hometown Almacera, Spain, Llardó began as a part-time business in 1953. When the brothers started making figurines in the style of 18th-century manufactures in 1958, they began to gain popularity. They slowly expanded their company and gained renown throughout the world.
The average Llardó porcelain sells for $75-$150. You can find small, common pieces for as little as $10-20. Generally, the most elaborate pieces sell for $2,000-$25,000, or even higher.
Usually, you can identify Llardós by the blue logotype that looks like a bellflower or tulip, accompanying the words “Llardó made in Spain.” But the logotype has changed throughout the years.
Hummel is another great brand for beginning collectors. These figurines depict adorable children doing daily activities from skiing to playing ring around the rosie.
Hummel started with the art of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. Her drawings of children in pastoral settings became famous throughout Germany and Switzerland and caught the attention of Franz Goebel, head of the porcelain company W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik. After acquiring the rights to Hummel’s drawings in 1935, he started making figurines. He introduced the figurines to the world at the Leipzig Trade Fair and they became an instant hit in Europe. After World War II, these figures gained popularity abroad when American soldiers began to send the figurines home as gifts.
Most Hummel figures sell for $50-75. Nevertheless, some rare, intricate Hummels can be sold for thousands of dollars at auction.
Hummel’s trademark has varied throughout the years. The earliest trademarks from 1935-1949 incorporate a crown above the overlapping letters “WG.” Marks from 1950-1972 incorporate a bee inside a letter “V.” Identification marks since 1964 involve the words “Goebel W. Germany” and the bee.
General Guide to Collectibles Figurine Values
- Large and Intricate: Large, elaborate pieces are usually priced higher than smaller, less detailed ones.
- Condition: Figurines with no stains, chips or other damage will fetch top dollar prices. Having the original box will cause the value to skyrocket.
- Delicacy: Porcelain figurines with details that could easily break off, such as hand sculpted flowers, are an indication of value.
- Desirability: Items that appeal to collectors around the world increases the collectible ’s value. For instance, Hummel’s Apple Tree Boy and Apple Tree Girl are rare finds because so many people treasure them in their collection.
- Rarity: Retired, limited-edition, and models that had few figurines produced usually come with high price tags.
- Year: The older the collectible the more likely it is valuable.
- Sets: Having a complete set of figurines causes the collectibles to increase in value. Some popular sets include the Lladró Don Quixote set or complete Hummel nativity scenes.
General Tips for Purchasing Collectible Figurines
- Always have the seller show you the logotype on the underside of the figurine before you buy. If they refuse to show you this mark, it is probably a counterfeit. When you are selling a figurine on MaxSold, take a picture of the bottom of the figurine to show potential buyers the identification mark.
- If you have any doubts about a figurines’ authenticity, have it evaluated by an appraiser. Especially if the piece is a large investment.