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 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, along with my earlier Lladró books, at online booksellers.

Not to Be Confused with Nadal

Yes, you read that right! In one of the Lladró company's own books, The Magic World of Porcelain (Barcelona, Spain: Salvat Editores,SA, 1989: p. 24), the Lladró brothers are said to have worked for a company named "Nalda." For a long time, I was convinced this must have been a typographical error misrendering the brand name "Nadal," a theory that was reinforced for me when I looked at the style of the Nadal figurines (see Nadal page this site) and noted how very close it is to the Lladró style.

Subsequently, alert collector Teresa Schmitt discovered that there really was a separate porcelain-producing company with the name "Nalda." She referred me to the Nalda web site, which, at that time, was entirely in Spanish; company information in this article is taken from my translation of information on that earlier web site. (The company has since revamped its web pages and collectors will now find an English language version.)

A Nalda figurine showing stylistic affinities with Lladró but not really possible to say who influenced whom. Certainly, the aesthetic and technique of this figurine don't take as many risks as Lladró does; note the coarse, out-of-scale modeling of the stalks in the wheat bundle. (Photo by Teresa Schmitt from her own collection.)

Nalda was founded in 1915 (and is still in business today!) to make porcelain electrical insulators and other electrical porcelain applications. But, around 1935, the Nalda company had made a foray into decorative porcelain figurine production, which it ceased around 1972 in order to return to its original mission of commercial porcelain production. This chronology is consistent with the years (early 1940s) that, according to the Lladró source mentioned above, the teen-aged Lladró brothers would have worked for a company named "Nalda."

The pictures on this page were provided by Teresa Schmitt from an item in her own collection. The facial close-up certainly shows affinity with the style that would later come to be associated with Lladró, although it lacks something of the characteristic delicacy of Lladró.

However, one can't tell from the mark whether the figurine pictured here is from the 1930s or from the 1970s; thus, one can't say with any certainty in which direction the aesthetic influences would have flowed, whether from Nalda to the Lladró sculptures or from Lladró to later Nalda sculptures.

At left, the mark from the base of Teresa's Nalda. The bottom line reads "Manufactured in Spain." (The smudge is in the mark, not the photo. Courtesy of Teresa Schmitt.)

There are very few Nalda figurines found on today's secondary market, leaving them virtually without a collector following and nearly impossible to price. The quality on these is variable, and I've seen at least one example that I thought was surpassing awful, so collectors are advised to exercise aesthetic good judgment in making purchasing decisions. Today, Nalda is of interest primarily for the connection this company had to the early work history of the young Lladró brothers.

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 brands 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

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