Cobalt/Impressed "Made in Spain"
(No Brand Attribution) ~ A Mystery Solved?
For years, collectors have encountered models
marked "Made in Spain"
in block letters in a cobalt blue stamp very close to (if not the
same as) the blue used in the Lladró backstamp but without a brand name or
manufacturer's attribution. Collectors have also brought to my attention
other non-attributed items
but with the Made in Span mark impressed into the porcelain rather than
backstamped in cobalt blue.
This small model of dog and bone has many stylistic
affinities with the rudimentarily modeled "Dog & Snail" #L07l that has been found
with both incised NAO and incised Lladró marks (see
NAO catalog page #L071).
The one pictured here is marked as in photo at bottom, "Made in Spain."
The primitive modeling would be difficult to
ascribe to Lladró were it not that the modeling on the known L071 isn't much
finer! (Photos courtesy of Teresa K. Schmitt.)
As I note in my book Collecting Lladró (ordering info
on the left banner), these Made in Spain stamps are often found on
relatively high quality models that I have always felt are too well done to be the typical
product of any of a number of small, competing companies working "in the
Lladró style" in the Valencian region of Spain. My own suspicion was
that at least some of these unattributed models have
some connection or other to Lladró itself - either as older models
marked before Lladró began "branding" its products or, perhaps, as a way to offload
items produced by Lladró/NAO sculptors or sculptors in
training when these models may have been deemed too good for destruction but perhaps
not yet ready for the laurel of a Lladró brand name.
Shortly after I first started collecting Lladró, I bought
this large (just over 12" in length) Borzoi dog grouping in an antique
shop for $150. I felt then that the modeling quality, right
down to the dogs' teeth and tongues, is too good to be
anything but Lladró. But it's simply marked "Made in Spain"
in a cobalt blue stamp. My value estimate is based on what I'd be willing to
sell it for were I in a selling mood (which I'm not!), and I wouldn't take less than
$350 for it. (Photo by the author.)
It has recently been
discovered that the earliest
Rosal pieces had paper
brand labels that easily became detached over time, and that provides another
possible explanation for at least some of the items with the impressed
country attribution, an early form of marking that would be about the vintage of the Rosal
Recently, collector Christine Russell sent me a picture of her "Made
in Spain" no-brand item. Check out that face: Could she be anything other than
a Lladró? (In my experience, the faces always tell and are the one
thing on a human-image Lladró that is inimitable by
Check out this girl with geese and her apron full of eggs.
Could the girl's face be anything other than a Lladró? The item has an
impressed mark identifying it as "Made in Spain" but is otherwise
unattributed. (Photos courtesy of Christine Russell.)
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró
by Peggy Whiteneck
Old Line Publishing, LLC
Ever since its founding in the 1950s and its subsequent, stellar rise to global prominence,
collectors have been fascinated with the singular modeling and attention to detail in
Lladró Spanish porcelain figurines. Eventually, collectors discovered that Lladró
wasn't just one brand, but several. At the same time, other companies began to sprout up all
over Spain, particularly around Lladró's own region in Valencia, working
"in the Lladró style" and hoping to catch a ride on the tailwinds of its popularity.
This book is written to acquaint readers with retired figurines in all the Lladró and
Lladró-affiliated brands and to help distinguish them from the work of other Spanish
companies. The book features substantive chapters on the Lladró "core brand,"
NAO by Lladró, Zaphir, Golden Memories, Rosal, and Hispania, complete with
representative photos for each brand.
Retail Price: $29.95
S & H: $5.95
at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
or through any bookseller by ISBN order #13: 978-0-9845704-6-1.