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 at online booksellers.

About Rosal- One More Mystery
in Lladró Production

by Peggy Whiteneck

I first heard about this brand from a collector, then later found a reference to it on the official NAO web site, where it is identified as a sort of precursor brand for the NAO collection.

This picture of two essentially identical (save for the books at the base of the figure on the right) models of a girl in smock have that unmistakable elongated style of old Lladró. The item with the books at right is marked Rosal (impressed mark); the one at left has an impressed NAO mark. (Photo courtesy of Gene Woods.)

Then, in 2002, José Lladró, the middle of the three founding brothers, and by many accounts the business brains behind the company, came out with a memoir whose English-language edition is titled Passenger of Life; Memories and Opinions of an Entrepreneur (Spain: Editorial Planeta, 2002). In a chapter called "A Providential Conflict," Lladró describes how, "in the mid-sixties," two (!) of Lladró's sculptors and one of its chemists turned renegade and struck out to establish their own competing factory in Chirivella. (Ironically, one of the oft-told tales of Lladró's company history is of the three young Lladró brothers striking out to form their own porcelain works after a labor dispute with their employer, another ceramic factory. So it would have been surprising if at least a couple of Lladró's own employees hadn't taken a leaf from this famous legend.)

Despite his claim that this upstart company produced debased versions of Lladró products, José Lladró's account makes it clear the brothers saw these products as a genuine threat. By his account, the brothers decided to fight fire with fire, setting up their own rival brand to go head to head with the renegade company (a rival that José Lladró, unfortunately but probably deliberately, does not name). This new brand was named Rosal because, according to José Lladró, the brothers wanted to avoid dragging the Lladró name into an ugly competitive fracus.

And an ugly competitive fracus it apparently became, including a messy law-suit in which Lladró prevailed and ended up buying out the renegade company. To quote José Lladró, "That company turned out to be unimportant to us and closed down shortly afterwards" (José Lladró, p. 98). Rosal, meanwhile, "became the seed of what today is Nao, our second brand" (José Lladró, p.99).

Because Rosal wasn't intended (at least at its inception) as a permanent brand, it was initially identified only with a sticker (above left), bearing a simple stylized leaf logo and the name "Rosal." Use of the Spanish word for the country of origin (ESPAÑA) would indicate that, consistent with the limited purpose of the brand, these items were not meant for export to the U.S., where import laws have long required that the country of origin be identified in English.

From a collecting standpoint, the Rosal brand may provide an explanation for why there seem to be so many unmarked but known NAO models circulating on the secondary market. It now seems probable that at least some of these catalogued but unmarked items are earlier Rosal versions from which the sticker has been lost. The inherently temporary nature of stickers would also explain why relatively few Rosal items explicity attributable as such are seen today.

Recently, however, collector Robert E. (Gene) Woods sent me a picture (above right) of the simple impressed mark that appears on the base of at least two of the Rosal items in his own collection, which might indicate that, at a certain point, the Lladró company began to envision Rosal's potential as a more permanent brand.

Subsequently, collector Jose Juan Nadal Cuesta sent me the photo here of a Rosal squirrel, which also has an impressed Rosal mark.

Next Page

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.

information about Lladró and its history and production than you can get in thumbnail photos with captions, and if you're looking for ways to tell genuine Lladró brands from imitations and counterfeits, this book is what you're looking for.

Retail Price in Hardcover: $45

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The logo background and side border graphic on this site are provided courtesy of Absolute Background Textures Archive (www.grsites.com/textures). All other content and graphics on this site are © Peggy Whiteneck unless otherwise noted in individual photographic credits. No reproduction of any part of this content is permitted without the express permission of the web site author.