El Portal Porcelana

"For People Passionate About Spanish Porcelain"

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A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró

Genuine Figurines & Their Marks

by Peggy Whiteneck
Deals with all Lladró brands!

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.

Again, the publisher for these works has gone out of business, but I am pursuing other publishing options for revised and expanded editions of all three. Stay tuned! In the meantime, you can still find advance-ordered and used copies of these books at online booksellers.

Notice to eBay™ Auction Sellers (et al.)

This web site is copyrighted, so please do not "cut and paste" from this site into your online auction descriptions - nor otherwise plagiarize my work! (Yes, it should go without saying; too bad I've had to discover it doesn't.)

"Identical Triplets!"

- © Peggy Whiteneck

A few years ago, collectors began discovering that models produced in the regular Lladró collection had also been produced in identical form in Lladró's NAO brand. The discovery was confusing, as Lladró itself had long claimed that there was no connection whatever between the models, artisans, and production facilities of the two brands. The discovery of these clones proved that this strict separation could not have been the case and that, at least early on, some of Lladró's most famour sculptors had to have worked in both brands - or at least their models had to have gone into production in both brands, whichever set of semantics one may prefer.

Collector Frank Cammarano sent me this picture of Lladró's model #4506, "Boy with Goat," valued in my book Collecting Lladró (2nd ed., Krause Publications, 2003 - see ordering info on left floral banner) at $300-$350 USD for the glazed version and slightly more for the earlier-retired matte. The only thing is, I've seen with my own eyes an identical version of this model with a NAO mark - and his version has an impressed Rosal mark. So there you have it; another model made under at least three Lladró brand names.

As more and more of these brand clones materialized, as Zaphir models morphed into NAO models, and with the recent discovery of the Tang and Rosal brands, I suspected it would be only a matter of time before collectors found incontrovertible evidence that some models have been made in identical form in not just two brands, but in three or more.

And so it has come to pass. Sometime in 2005, I discovered that certain Zaphir models had also been made not just as NAO models but also, at some point, as models in the regular Lladró collection. (See this Zaphir page of "El Portal Porcelana" for a table of items with Zaphir marks also known to have been made in Lladró's regular line.)

Then, in March 2006, I was contacted within days of each other by two collectors, Raffi Souvalian and Frank Cammarano, who had items in their collections that were marked "Rosal" that have also been found in both NAO and regular collection marks.

This stunning polar bear model (left), uncatalogued (and appearing to be a companion piece to what is catalogued in the regular Lladró catalog as #328.13), has been found with the following impressed marks: Lladró, NAO, and Rosal. Additionally, I'm quite sure it was used as the model for one of the crystal polar bears Lladró styled for Daum Nancy. The evidence is incontrovertible that Lladró, in addition to developing models that were unique and sui generis to each brand, also recycled some models among others of its brands.

What this all means for values is something the market will just have to sort out. At a minimum, it seems we should consider, knowing what we know now and before we consider an item "rare," whether an "uncatalogued" model with a regular collection mark - including any of the oldest decimal-numbered models - might have been placed into production in one or more of the other Lladró brands. Certainly, this discovery means that the supply of any given model is likely to be larger (if only slightly) than we had thought, and since markets are based on the interplay of supply and demand, at least the potential exists for a slight downward pressure on values.

But, speaking as a hard-core collector, I don't much care. Over the years, I've assembled what could be considered a large collection - about 250 items - in various Lladró brands. I acquired this collection because I love it, not because I ever thought I was going to make a fortune off it. So aside from wishing the company had been a bit more forthcoming about the matter, it doesn't honestly matter to me what Lladró brand name is attached to a model made in more than one brand. "A rose is a rose is a rose," as Gertrude Stein famously said. Or, as Shakespeare had Juliet say, "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Some Buying Cautions

A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró

by Peggy Whiteneck
published by
Old Line Publishing, LLC
Hampstead, Maryland

The publisher for this book has ceased publication, and I am now at work on a revised and expanded edition, with a couple of promising leads for a new publishing option. For the moment, then, this book will only be available on the retail market from advance-ordered stock. You can still buy it used - but avoid the scalpers and DO NOT PAY HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS FOR THESE SECOND-HAND BOOKS! There are plenty of reasonably priced secondary market copies still available at online book sellers. Stay tuned to this site for future news on the revised edition!

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

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