Little is known about Nadal outside Europe, but although it has only a
fraction of the market that has been generated by the more ambitious Lladró
company, collectors who encounter Nadal on the secondary market are intrigued
by it and impressed with its obvious quality. And, thanks to alert
Lladró collector Jorge L. Gonzalez, we now know that
Nadal Porcelain does, indeed, have a web site! ( Click Here. ) On the opening page, you can click on your
preferred language version, Spanish or English.
Founded in 1915, the Nadal Porcelain company is probably the oldest extant
contemporary fine porcelain manufacturer in the Valencian region of Spain. It was
noted for its unusual mixture of matte and gloss surfaces within the same model.
Today, its standard finish is either a gloss or something very much akin to
Gres in the Lladró line.
I don't find the range of themes treated in the Nadal corpus to be as
broad as that in Lladró. Nadal has had a strong interest in
Egyptian motifs and has done a number of Gres figurines and busts on Egyptian
Nadal's "Offering to Osiris" is a limited
edition of 5000 that expresses Nadal's aesthetic interest in Egyptian
themes. It currently retails at $575.
I'm constantly getting emails from collectors wanting identifications
of and information about their Nadal figurines, sometimes complaining that the company is not responsive
to their questions. Sorry, but I, too, have found
this company a difficult nut to crack. If anyone
out there in cyberspace has one or more old retail catalogs for Nadal that
they'd be willing to copy and send to me, I could do a Nadal web catalog here on
"El Portal Porcelana." Please email me if you could help with that info. In the interim, a picture catalog
of all their current issues can be found on their own web site (click on
the company link above.) Sorry...I'd help if I could, but that's the best
I can do for now. So please don't email me asking for particular Nadal
figurine IDs. :o)
Nadal doesn't appear to have a strong export
presence outside Spain and the UK. The lack of global market
penetration would go some way to explaining why these very
expensive-to-make figurines seem to go for
next to nothing on eBay - making them a great collecting opportunity
for those who want something beautiful and don't care a great deal about resale, at least in the short to
mid-term. (I am not prescient enough to predict the long term prospects
for Nadal secondary market values - beyond noting that one of the reasons
has been so relatively successful as a secondary market phenomenon
is its international retail market and the global
reputation and brand recognition resulting from that presence.)
This enchanting little miss is Nadal's
"Dreamy Afternoon," priced at $210.
I can, however, say, from my own experience and from that of other people who
contact me about other-than-Lladró brands, including this one, that it's no fun
collecting things one can't identify as to model number, name, or period of production.
An inherent part of collectibility, in porcelain as in any other medium, is knowing
what the thing is, which means having specific information available about it. This, too
is a factor in why Lladró has achieved the market penetration it has while other
Spanish porcelain producers haven't been able to come close: Lladró provides
collector catalogs, retail catalogs, and historic catalogs on its web sites for both
its main bran and NAO that help collectors specifically identify what they have.
(Please note a possible source of
confusion: Nadal porcelain in Spain is not the same company as the
Lladró secondary market dealership in the United States that was owned by a family
that happened to have the same surname.That US-based company sold Lladró
products and was a respected source for secondary market Lladró for many years though
I believe it is no longer in business.)