El Portal Porcelana

"For People Passionate About Spanish Porcelain"

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For those interested in glass figurines, Fenton Art Glass Beasts, Birds & Butterflies is another of Peggy's books!

Also for those interested in glass, Fenton Art Glass Fairy Lamps & Lights is Peggy's latest book! It focuses on small, candle-lit "lamps" that were first used in the Victorian era to light dark hallways before the invention of gaslight or electricity.

The publisher for these Fenton books has gone out of business, but I am pursuing other publishing options for revised and expanded editions. Stay tuned! In the meantime, you may still find advance-ordered and used copies of these books at online booksellers.

How "Golden Memories" Became "Just a Memory"

-Peggy Whiteneck

Golden Memories (GM) was originally conceived as a series within the NAO brand. As such, it was a loosely defined thematic category that was essentially indistinguishable from the rest of the NAO collection. Then, for some unknown reason, the company decided to launch GM as a separate product line in 1992, a move which proved ill-fated.

Golden Memories had its own logo (a child lying on his stomach in grass and flowers with a little dog in front of him), and the logo and series name were incorporated into a light green backstamp. The copyright dates on Lladró models are generally the year before issue date, so the dates on the base of Golden Memories figurines are 1991 through 1993, corresponding to issue years of 1992 through 1994.

This little guy is titled "Come Home Soon!" (Golden Memories number 33012), a model from the ill-fated brand's first year. The facial features on these first year models had the most affinity with other Lladró. Note the uncharacteristically bright pink of the toy dog and phone. (Photo by the author from her own collection.)

The faces of the first-year figures (1992, © 1991) had the greatest affinity with the rest of Lladró. Unfortunately, the manufacturer undercut the resemblance to other Lladó products by failing to use the famous company name in the first-year mark. The first-year models were very thinly potted, of a distinctive ceramic formula and matte texture markedly different from Lladró's regular matte porcelain, and translucent as fine porcelain is supposed to be but rarely is in figurine form. The colors in these models were much more vivid pastels than normally associated with Lladró. These differences all but obscured the similaritities with other Lladró products, and consumers don't seem to have known what to make of the line.

The facial features on Golden Memories figurines were completely revamped in the second year of production (1993, © 1992), and a more traditional glazed surface was adopted for the line. The eyes were round, large, and uncharacteristically dark for Lladró, and the facial features appeared squashed and somehow misshapen. I have always thought of these ugly-duckling, second-year models as the proverbial "faces only a mother could love."

In the third year (1994, © 1993), the facial design was revamped yet again. The big, dark eyes developed for the second year figurines were retained, but the faces and noses were more rounded and childlike. A markting gimmick was added with bases that had mystical "shapes" (clover, half-moon, hear, and star) that were supposed to have delinieated themes but were never consistently enough applied to work that way.

Golden Memories was a brand in search of an identity it never quite found, and it is difficult to discern a rationale for its introduction. The best theory I've heard is that GM was Lladró's attempt to capture a part of the modestly-priced but volume-lucrative market niche occupied by Enesco's popular "Precious Moments"®. Unfortunately, Lladró had too little experience producing figurines in the lower end of the market to be successful competing within that segment.

(The GM-NAO Connection)

At Last - A New Lladró Book!

The Lladró Guide; A Collector's Reference to Retired Porcelain Figurines in Lladró Brands

My most recent Lladró book has revised and expanded content and remains the only book in print on this topic that isn't just a catalog. Covers all Lladró and Lladró-affiliated brands (regular collection, NAO, Zaphir, Golden Memories, Hispania, Rosal, and Tang) and tells how to distinguish them from imitations and counterfeits. Revised and expanded content includes many new photos and a new chapter on future directions for collectors and the company now that it has passed from family hands. The book is in hard cover, which eliminates that annoying curl-up that happens with paperback books.You can order the book directly from the publisher, Schiffer Books, on Amazon, or from your favorite bookstore using the ISBN 13 number 978-0764358395.

Warning: If you're looking for a catalog of every retired figurine Lladró ever made, this is not the book for you. If you're looking for beautiful, full-color photos of representative models and more in-depth and well-researched information about Lladró and its history and production than you can get in thumbnail photos with captions, this book is what you're looking for.

Retail Price in Hardcover: $45

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