El Portal Porcelana

"For People Passionate About Spanish Porcelain"

Home Page

   Regular Collection
      (NAO's History)
      (NAO Marks)
      (Fake NAO Marks)
      (More Fake Marks)
      (Compare a Model)
      (More NAO Info?)
      (NAO Catalog)
          (Retired 2004)
          (Retired 2005)
          (Retired 2006)
          (Retired 2007)
          (Retired 2008)
          (Retired 2009-10)
          (Retired 2011-12)
      (Zaphir Catalog)
   Golden Memories
       (GM Catalog)
     (Hispania Catalog)

Made in Spain
(No Brand Name)


Other Companies



Favorite Links

Slide Show

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.

Notice to eBay™ Auction Sellers (et al.)

This web site is copyrighted, so please do not "cut and paste" from this site into your online auction descriptions - nor otherwise plagiarize my work! (Yes, it should go without saying; too bad I've had to discover it doesn't.)

Ah, That Mysterious NAO Brand!

-Peggy Whiteneck

The myth of origins of the NAO brand is a tale I've come to think of as the "Adam's Rib" creation story: "In the beginning was the core collection, and it begat everything else." According to this version, NAO came into being after the three founding brothers decided that it would be nice to have a brand that would make fine porcelain affordable for a broader public.

This breath-taking model of a NAO "Goose"(#52) is over a foot tall! It has a companion piece (#53) in which the goose's neck is bent to preen its breast. These were made in both glazed and matte (unglazed) versions. Both models were recently retired (2001) at a last retail price of $60 each. Identical models have been found with old impressed core collection marks. Just to confuse matters, this pair was also made in a somewhat smaller version called "Goose-Reduced" (NAO #s 54 and 55), retired in 1991. I've recently been advised by Lladró customer services in Spain that the sculptor for these models was Fulgencio García, who was one of the most famous of the Lladró sculptors. (Photo by the author from her own collection.)

However, it has become clear to veteran collectors over the years that the evolution of the NAO brand was contemporaneous with the appearance of the core collection rather than grafted onto it later. Which came first is a chicken-or-the-egg question, but it seems clear that the earliest relationship between NAO-marked items and the earliest core collection models is quite a bit more symbiotic than anyone had previously suspected.

In fact, according to a recent admission on the official NAO porcelain web site, "NAO was founded in 1968 under the name Rosal." Thanks to alert collector Robert E. (Gene) Woods for calling this information to my attention. As it happens, Gene purchased, in the UK, a pheasant model, which he indicates is an exact twin of the regular collection rarity #331.13. (For a picture of this pheasant and more information on this "cloning" phenomenon, see Items Known to Have Been Produced Under Both Marks.)

2017 Update

With all due respect to the Official NAO web site, collectors are advised to exercise caution in drawing conclusions from items posted in that site's "Historical Catalog." In updating retirements and new issues in the NAO web catalog here on El Portal Porcelana, I came across several listings for items on the official NAO web site that were paired with the wrong photos of older items from the regular Lladró collection produced too late for there to have been NAO clones of those items; the titles and sculptors do not match the photos of the items in question. The NAO division of Lladró is struggling with the huge challenge of reconstructing its historical catalog, so just be aware that it has some incomplete information as well as inaccuracies while they are sorting things out.

(Is There Any Difference?)

At Last - A New Lladró Book!

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

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

Retail Price in Hardcover: $45

Back to Top of Page ·  Back Home ·  Contact Us

The logo background and side border graphic on this site are provided courtesy of Absolute Background Textures Archive (www.grsites.com/textures). All other content and graphics on this site are © Peggy Whiteneck. No reproduction of any part of this content is permitted without the express permission of the web site author.