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"For People Passionate About Spanish Porcelain"

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     (Hispania Catalog)

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Now Out of Print


Latest Lladró Book!

A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró ;
Genuine Figurines & Their Marks

by Peggy Whiteneck
Deals with all Lladró brands!

Click here to order!



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

Click here to order!



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.

Click here to order!

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?)


Now Available!
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró

by Peggy Whiteneck
published by
Old Line Publishing, LLC
Hampstead, Maryland

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


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