Buying and selling figurines on the secondary market can be tricky. Certain manufacturers, like Hummel and Precious Moments, once soared in popularity but have seen a sharp decline in demand as they flood the market. Lladró porcelain figurines are also flooding the market, so can you expect the same reaction from collectors?
It depends. We’ve auctioned hundreds of Lladró figurines, often seeing some themed pieces come through our auction house time and time again. The more common collectibles might average $50 to $100, whereas a rare piece in good condition with the original box could command thousands of dollars.
Collectors admire the exquisite craftsmanship of these collectibles, but I think there is also tremendous respect for how three brothers turned their passion for art into a world-renowned porcelain company in less than two decades.
Juan, José, and Vicente Lladró launched their company in 1953 in Tavernes Blanques, a suburb of Valencia, Spain, and they focused initially on functional pieces, like plates and vases. Inspired by European manufacturers of Meissen, they shifted their focus to decorative figurines later that decade and their growth exploded. By 1969, they had expanded their studios seven times before they laid the foundation for Lladró’s current home, known as Porcelain City.
The most valuable Lladró that we auctioned was “Cinderella’s Arrival,” which realized $5,000 in February. Measuring just over two feet high and nearly four feet long, this incredible creation weighed 93 pounds.
Most of the pieces we see range from five to 15 inches tall. Earlier this month, “The Apollo Landing” that celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first moon landing realized $350, while a slightly damaged figurine with several elephants sold for $140. Some of the pieces that did well last year included the Wrath of Don Quixote, which sold for $325 in November 2017 and Loves Tender Tokens, depicting a young girl with a flower cart, which sold for $500 in January 2017.
Before you buy or sell a Lladró figurine, be sure to check for the famous bellflower mark that is printed or engraved on the bottom. Nao, while part of the Lladró family, is not of the same caliber and will feature a ship logo instead of a flower. Also, starting in 1977, the word Daisa was stamped under the Lladró logo as a copyright symbol. Finally, if you see that the bellflower is not complete, that indicates the piece was not approved by quality control. These “seconds” can still hold value, so don’t be discouraged. Like any collectible, it’s always a good idea to have a professional examine it.
Erik Hoyer owns EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale.