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
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.
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró
by Peggy Whiteneck
Old Line Publishing, LLC
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
at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
or through any bookseller by ISBN order #13: 978-0-9845704-6-1.