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A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró

Genuine Figurines & Their Marks

by Peggy Whiteneck
Deals with all Lladró brands!

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.

Again, 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.

More on Suspicious Marks

I've seen one or two items that were marked with both brand marks (Lladró and NAO), probably unintentionally at the factory, but both marks were clear and in separate places on the base.

The photograph shown below is of the base of a legitimate, catalogued NAO, in which a bogus Lladró mark has been overlaid right on top of a legitimate older, impressed NAO mark (just visible in the photo). It may have been added by an ignorant counterfeiter who didn't realize that NAO is a Lladró product. (The addition of what looks like an indelible black stamp on the piece, perhaps added by an auctioneer or other seller, does nothing for the piece, either.)

The fake mark may even have been added by a seller who got tired of "explaining" to potential buyers the legitimate association of NAO with Lladró and who may have added a mark that looks sufficiently like the Lladró mark to head questions off at the pass from those who need to ask such questions. I have now seen two different geuine NAO items with fake Lladró backstamps added. However, doing this has needlessly complicated both the authenticity of the NAO items on which they appear and the legitimacy of the NAO brand itself.

How do I know the overlaid Lladró mark is a fake? Well, in the first place, the color is wrong; one wouldn't see this "Mulberry blue," almost gray mark on a genuine Lladró. The bellflower logo is also ill-formed (though it would be hard to tell because of the interference of the underlying incised mark, which is precisely, of course, why the bogus mark is placed as it is). Finally, the shape of the accent mark is wrong and there's an ill-defined squiggle or blob next to the "O" where the © sign would be on a legitimate mark. (This "fudging" of the copyright symbol is a common feature of counterfeit Lladró marks.) Also, the oldest blue backstamp, which this purports to be, is generally found without a copyright sign, making that "blob" next to the "O" look all the more out of place.

Another example of an odd mark (at right) that may or may not have been intended to deceive has been found on a pair of miniature owls in the "Lladró style." The mark on these examples is somewhat primitive and bears a loose resemblance to the capital letters N-A-O, though it bears no resemblance at all to the refined mark of a genuine NAO. (Compare this mark to genuine examples found on the NAO marks page).

Other clues to the non-Spanish origin of this miniature pair can also be seen in the base, which is mostly glazed; genuine Lladró products - and, indeed, most contemporary Spanish porcelain figurines of whatever manufacturer - nearly always have a completely unglazed base. (They also usually have a flatter base than the one pictured here.) The very large steam escape hole in the bottom of these pieces is also a giveaway. NAO and other Lladró products nearly always have a very subtle steam escape hole in the base, not much bigger than the sharpened tip of a pencil, and, although I have occasionally seen much larger holes in a NAO, I've never seen them take up as much of the proportions of the base as the holes do on these two examples. Though they attempt to imitate the Spanish style, chances are they weren't even made in Spain. The coarseness in the mark's lettering may be attributable to an attempt to imitate a Western alphabet by someone unfamiliar with it, which could indicate an origin somewhere in Asia. (In fact, at least one shipment of forged core collection Lladró that I know of has already been traced to a factory in China.)

Well, the point of all this is, of course, that the global market fanned by online auctions has become a commercial version of the American "wild frontier," so collectors are advised to be cautious in assessing the manufacturing origin of figurines with "funny marks."

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

(More: A Tale of Two Models)

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