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Now Out of Print

Latest Book!

A Collector's Book
of Retired Lladró ;
Genuine Figurines & Their Marks

by Peggy Whiteneck

Click here to order!

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

Now Available!
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró

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

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

Click Here to Order!

Also available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
or through any bookseller by ISBN order #13: 978-0-9845704-6-1.

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