Collecting Lladro Collectibles As A Hobby
For many, the hobby of collecting begins without even knowing you’re doing it. One year you get a birthday gift and you acknowledge how much you like the item, or the artist. Next year on your birthday someone gives you another similar item, or different piece by the same artist. Now you have more than one item, now you have a collection. (Collection: A group of objects or works to be seen, studied, or kept together.) Possibly your collection started through the inheritance of a family heirloom. This acquisition possibly peeks your curiosity, and you start looking for similar items. These collectibles could be sweet and cuddly like Beanie Babies, or as elegant and exquisite as Lladro Collectibles.
And, with the beauty found in all of the Lladro collectibles, once you have one piece, it’s more than likely that you will want to intentionally look for pieces to add to, or expand your collection. Friends and family begin to do the same, bringing you a one-of-a-kind limited edition beer stein from Germany, or when they cruise to Mexico, they bring you original pieces of Lladro.
The Value of Collectibles
The value of collectibles for many people is simply based on sentiment. They possess items that belonged to a great grandparent, or it was smuggled out of Europe during the war. Many times the item does not have significant monetary value at the time, and that may not increase, and in fact may decrease in value over time, but none the less, these belongings are important to you. As your collection of “shot glasses from around the world” grows, the value to “you” increases, but the prospect of becoming a collectible of value, something that you cart to the antique roadshow and become instantly wealthy, is very rare. The future value of a collectible is based on many particulars. A few simple details: (1) who the article is made by (2) how many of that particular item was originally produced (3) what the article is made of. (E.g. gold items generally increase in value, while silver fluctuates up and down) and (4) can you still get them today. Shot glasses are manufactured every day, all over the world, but don’t rule them out as there are some very rare “shot glasses.”
Lladro Collectibles, although also made regularly, are made in limited editions, limited quantities and are made of a unique material. This is the type of collectible that you search for at yard sales and the shelves of thrift stores, longing to find a rare piece.
The Value of Lladro Collectibles
Unlike the shot glass collection, although valuable to the owner for its personal stories and history, fine decorative items like Lladro Collectibles, will maintain their original value, and over time will inevitably increase in value. Certain pieces will increase in value faster than others, depending on a number of factors. This can range from the number that was originally produced, whether the item is still in production, if the piece has been retired, and/or was a different level or quality of porcelain used in manufacturing. All of this, and more, can modify the value of a Lladro Collectible.
The History of Porcelain and Lladro
One of China’s greatest arts has been the combination of clay and other “secret” material that created what we know as porcelain. Porcelain dates back to the early dynasties of China, circa 620. When expeditions from Europe returned from China with this exquisite “material”, it had a profound effect on European aristocrats. The demand in Europe grew but manufacturing in China was problematic. Yet, the Chinese refused to reveal their secret to European manufacturers anxious to mass produce on home grounds. Attempts to recreate were futile, but out of the fires came what we know as European porcelain. One of the more famous porcelain works are that of the Lladro brothers, born out of their own family workshop on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. These boys came from a farming family, but worked to improve their future by studying the arts in their free time and eventually developing their own style and technique working with ceramic. Today Lladro Collectibles are found around the world and their value continues to rise year after year.
How to Preserve Your Lladro Collectibles
Preserving the value of any collectible is very simple: keep it as close as possible to its original condition. If you purchase a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll, the only way to maintain the value of the doll is to keep it in the sealed box, untouched and not played with. Items like Beanie Babies or other pieces that do not come in a box, should be stored in a glass cabinet, available for viewing, but again not to be touched or played with. Glass collectibles are some of the hardest items to keep in clean and undamaged condition because glass chips and glass will break. Keeping your Lladro Collectibles in a china or sealed cabinet is also the best solution, displayed for all to see and enjoy.
Whether you start collecting on purpose, or a collection “lands in your lap” it is an admirable hobby and over time can be a prosperous one too. If you are diligent, and willing to scrounge the most unlikely places, you just may find that one-of-a-kind Lladro Collectible that is worth a considerable amount of money. That would be a great piece of luck!
Lladró porcelain figurines are examples of the finest decorative collectibles. When the three Spanish Lladró brothers started the Lladró company in the early 1920s, their emphasis was on liquid vessels (jugs and vases.) In the mid 1920s they added porcelain figurines to their inventory. The figurines are their most sought after fine decorative collectibles.
The Lladró family continues to own the company, although in 2003 the three founding brothers relinquished control of the company and gave it to the next generation. However, the company currently has a non-family member CEO.
Lladró collectibles sculptures (figurines) are at the top of fine collectibles and are distinguished by the soft pastel coloring of the porcelain.