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 works 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.

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

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.

Retail Price in Hardcover: $45

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