At Last, A Mystery Solved!
- © Peggy Whiteneck
Those of you who have spent time browsing these Tang
pages may have noticed the Tang sticker on Brenda McCrary's "child
with tambourine" on the pevious page. Thereupon hung the resolution of a
mystery, though I didn't know it at the time because I hadn't seen a photo of the
More recently, collector Jorge Luis Gonzalez emailed me to tell me excitedly
he thought he'd found the answer to a long-standing mystery among Lladró
collectors - and that is that we keep finding items marked "Made in Spain," usually in cobalt blue block caps,
but with no maker's marks. The reason these items were so curious to collectors
is that they look an awful lot like genuine Lladró - much more so than
any of Lladró known imitators who consciously strive and mostly fail
to emulate Lladró's distinctive style. We collectors were constantly wondering and
conjecturing on what to make of these items.
What Jorge had discovered was a recent acquisition for his own collection
that bore the same Tang sticker as on Brenda's item, but he supplied the
missing piece of the puzzle: a photo of the base with the same block-letter cobalt blue
"Made in Spain" mark that we had seen on other unmarked items. Subsequently,
another collector told me that she has an item pictured in my
"Made in Spain-No Mark" section of "El Portal Porcelana" but with the Tang
sticker found on Jorge's dog.
This dog model is marked with a Tang sticker on the side -
with that blue Made in Spain stamp on the base its only permanent mark! (Photos
courtesy of Jorge Gonzalez.)
Well, one thing we know about stickers is that they usually fall off!
Based on the evidence, it seems clear that most of the unmarked but
country-attributed Spanish porcelain figurines are Tang from which the stickers
have come loose and been lost. (A few of these Spain-marked
items could be
Rosal, which was also sometimes marked using stickers. Both Tang and
Rosal were at some point marked more permanently with the brand backstamp
or impressed marks shown on their respective pages of this web site.)
It should also be noted that the Made in Spain mark is simple enough to be
copied on manifestly inferior products. It takes time
and experience for consumers to evolve into collectors who are able to tell
the difference between superior and inferior quality in product comparisons.
So whether or not a given item marked "Made in Spain" is a Tang or Rosalor some inferior brand
depends upon those quality judgments and the consumer's ability to make them.
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,
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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