Every fortnight we hold our ever-popular sales of Antiques and Collectables. There are usually around 600-650 lots and include everything from ceramics, brassware, clocks, pictures as well as furniture.
Almost every sale includes Lladro figurines so I thought I would tell you about the history of the factory.
The Lladro factory was established in Almacera, near Valencia in Spain in 1953 by three brothers Juan, José and Vicente Lladro, who started to make vases and jugs from hard-paste porcelain. It was not until 1956 that the first figures were made, for which the company became so famous.
Lladro figures are easily identified by many common features used by almost all their different designers. Colouring is important with most pieces favouring the pale pink, white and blue glaze combination, this soft colour palette helping to add to the delicate, angelic nature of the figures. Lladro is also celebrated for its elegant smooth lines and elongation of form which again contributes to the character of their work. Lladro figures are often said to have faces full of character and more importantly to help identify genuine pieces is the fact that the colour black is never used on the eyes, eyelids or eyebrows of a Lladro figure.
The majority of Lladro figures were glazed in high-gloss so matt pieces or the pre-production pieces with a more creamy finish are both therefore rarer and generally more valuable. Figures that are larger or those with more complex mouldings are also considered more desirable. A good example of this is a model of figures in a vintage car that we recently sold for £1000.
Although Lladro figures have been made since the 1950s, it is actually quite rare to find these older pieces. The earliest examples are easy to spot as they have incised marks, by 1960 an impressed mark was the standardised format. In 1971, the blue mark was introduced and included the logo as well as name.
Today Lladro is often brought by holiday makers coming back from Spain. Always remember to keep the boxes as these can add value on the second-hand market.
All the designs are sketched out to begin with and then a clay model is made and finally a mould is created in which the liquid porcelain is poured.
In 1968 Lladro introduced a cheaper range marketed as Nao. These figures are very similar to Lladro but are less refined and not as complex in design with less colours used and are a more affordable alternative to Lladro.
So, if you already collect Lladro or would like to start a collection, do come down and take a look at our Antiques and Collectables sales. Try and buy the more unusual and unique pieces if you can, and as always, avoid damage.