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

Made in Spain with No Maker's Mark?
Probably Tang or Rosal

For years, collectors have been tantalized by items marked "MADE IN SPAIN" but otherwise unattributed. Then, one day, Jorge Luis Gonzalez AAA, Certified Appraiser, sent me several photos (which he has been kind enough to give us for this web site) of a dog model with a Tang sticker and a cobalt blue Made in Spain stamp on the base. We both felt this could well be the missing link in identifying these Made in Spain items with no maker attribution, as stickers are a notoriously impermanent means of maker identification.

This dog model is marked with a Tang sticker on the side - with that blue Made in Spain stamp on the base its only permanent mark! (Photos courtesy of Jorge Luis Gonzalez AAA, Certified Appraiser.)

Subsequently, another collector posted a message to me on the World Collector's Net Lladro Message Board, informing me that she has Teresa Schmitt's puppy model shown on the previous page but with the same gold foil Tang sticker as on Jorge's dog (and the same cobalt blue "Made in Spain" as on the base of both).

Given the experience of these two collectors, I am willing to concede that most, if not all, of the items marked "Made in Spain" in cobalt blue with no other attribution - including my Borzoi dog grouping pictured on the previous page - are, in fact, either Tang or Rosal, as both are known to have used, at some point[s], stickers for manufacturer attribution. That much of the mystery, at least, appears to have been solved.

The Tang sticker on Jorge's dog shows the mark in good detail. This mark is also sometimes found in backstamped and impressed forms on the base. But if it's only marked with a sticker, all that's left is the Made in Spain mark on the base if the sticker comes loose. That seems to explain many, if not all, of the Made in Spain marks found on the secondary market without company attributions but looking remarkably like Lladró products!

That solution, however, still begs the questions: When was the item made, and who owned the Tang brand? The affinities with the Lladró style might indicate that the Tang brand was owned by one of the Lladró sculptors. It isn't at all clear that employee relations between the Lladró company and its early sculptors were anything other than the loosest of freelance arrangements, at least early in the company's history. It's possible that one or more of these early sculptors had their own early brand lines that Lladró would have wanted to acquire in the process of consolidating its own brand identity.

While this is a reasonable guess, I must stress that it remains conjecture. So please, no eBay auction descriptions on these unattributed Made in Spain items that say, "Whiteneck says this is Lladró!" The relationship between Tang and Lladró is indirect at best and would have to have been based upon acquisition rather than invention.

It should also be pointed out that a block-print Made in Spain stamp is a lot easier for copyists to imitate than an actual maker's mark. Once word gets out that these items have a probable affiliation with Lladró, however indirect, we can probably expect the cobalt blue country mark to appear on a variety of newer models of obviously inferior quality. (For all we know, this may already have happened - though I haven't yet seen anything with this cobalt blue mark that I didn't think looked like a Lladró in quality.)

Because the attribution of these maker-unattributed items is ambiguous, giving value estimates on them is difficult. My advice for this, as for all secondary market collectibles, is, "If you like it and can acquire it at a price reasonable by your own standards, buy it." Beyond that, you can establish a value by asking yourself what you'd be willing to let the item go for on resale. There is, of course, no guarantee you'd ever get that for it, but at least you'll know where you stand on willingness to sell and at what price.

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, 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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