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, along with my earlier books on Lladó, at online booksellers.

Lladró's "Core Collection"

- Peggy Whiteneck

When Lladró first began to use the expression "core collection," it meant anything produced in its primary porcelain formula, this usage intended to distinguish the regular porcelain from Gres, a more earth-toned semi-porcelain the formula for which - like all of Lladró's porcelain formulas - is top secret. However, I have found the term "core collection" more useful to describe any item whose mark consists mainly of "Lladró" and "Hand Made in Spain." This includes not only the Gres formula, but also "Goyescas," a series sculpted by Enrique San Isidro and of a material that is more malleable in its prefired state than is regular porcelain and whose claylike consistency holds the imprint of the artist's fingers.

Lladró is famous for its flowerwork. The petals on this item (above right), serial #1444G, "Kittens in a Basket with Flowers," are all individually made and assembled into flowers, then bunches of flowers. The process is understandably labor-intensive, and flowerwork adds to the cost of any Lladró. This model is still being produced and retails for a whopping $625 (USD) - though I was lucky enough to find this one on the secondary market for much, much less! (Photo by the author.)

What Makes Lladró Great?

I took this closeup of "Charlie the Tramp" (AKA, in a literal translation from the Spanish, "The Eternal Poet," #5233G) to show you the fine detail in the face painting. Note the use of muted colors for the eyebrows and lashes, the faint suggestion of a moustache. This subtlety is characteristic of Lladró's face painting. (A larger version of this picture can be seen on the "Slide Show" page.) (Photo by the author from her own collection.)

Because I sort of "wrote the book" on it (see ordering info below), I won't be saying much more about the core collection on this web site except as it relates to its sometimes complex and convoluted relationship with other Lladró brands. Those wishing more information on specific core collection figurines are encouraged to check out the Lladró company web site or the web site for A Retired Collection, Janet Gale Hammer's fabulous site devoted exclusively to retired Lladró and probably the best thing on the Web for those looking for individual core collection figurine identification. But I'd be remiss if I didn't at least list some of the things that make Lladró great, placing it head and shoulders above its Spanish competitors:

  • Finely detailed modeling
  • Delicate facial painting
  • Amazing flowerwork
  • Broadly inclusive themes (ethnic and international)
  • Dynamism and fluidity (a sense of impending movement)
  • Technical risk (pushing the medium to its farthest limits).

Models Made in Three or More Lladró Brands

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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