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).
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró
by Peggy Whiteneck
Old Line Publishing, LLC
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
S & H: $5.95
at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
or through any bookseller by ISBN order #13: 978-0-9845704-6-1.
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. No reproduction
of any part of this content is permitted without the express permission of the
web site author.