Lladro: A Porcelain Marvel




Article by: Martin Swinton

Humble Beginnings

The first Lladró figurines can be traced back to 1953 to a small workshop in the rural village of Almácera, Spain near Valencia. Three brothers: Juan, José and Vincente Lladró founded the company. Besides the figurines that define the company now, the brothers crafted , Wood Bar Stools jugs, vases and decorative plates. A Professional Training School, the Grant Centre for the City of Porcelain, was founded in 1962 to train the next generation of craftsman.

International Expansion

Starting in 1965, the company expanded beyond Spain when North Americans traveling to Spain started to import the figurines. In 1988, the Lladró Museum and Gallery was opened in New York City and distribution to Australia began. In 1997, a Lladró Centre was opened in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive. The Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas saw a Lladró Centre open in 1999. In 2000, Sydney Australia was the site of another stand alone Lladró Centre.

Logo Evolution

Changes to any logo are important to a collector because they help to identify the age of a piece. In the beginning, the Lladró brothers personally signed their names to their work. These signatures were incised. The first logo was a representation of the Greek sculpture called "Winged Samothrace". As the company evolved and expanded internationally, the next logo was a stylized version of the bellflower, local , If These Walls Could Talk to the region, along with an ancient chemical symbol and the Lladró name below it. In the 1960's, the word "Spain" was added. The marks during this time were standardized and incised. Adding the word "Spain" was precipitated by the increased role exporting was playing to the company. By the 1970's, a trademark was developed; the familiar blue , Recessed Lighting stamp. In 1974, the accent over the "o" was added. In 1986, the chemical symbol and the typeface were simplified. Using this information, , Unique Candle Chandeliers for Your Home a collector can look at a piece and get an idea of its age.

Building Loyalty

Early on, Lladró understood the value of cultivating loyal customers. In 1985, The Collectors Society was created for customers to interact through events and communications from the company. At a variety of events, in a number of countries, over 100,000 avid collectors continue to meet and share their passion. In 2001, a new level of membership was introduced - Lladró Privilege and a more exclusive Gold level. For a yearly membership fee, Lladró aficionados receive updates on the latest news from the company and are invited to participate in social and cultural events at venues around the world. In 2005, Lladró sponsored a team in the 32nd Americas Cup sailing regatta. Privilege Gold Members were invited to join a VIP boat, have access to the team headquarters and more behind-the-scenes perks.

Fakes

Pay attention to marks. If they are not in line with the evolution of the logo, it may be a fake. Lladró figurines are known for their unique facial characteristics. It is one of the attractions to these collectibles. Authentic Lladrós do not use black to outline the eyes, brows and lids. If these areas are outlined in black, it is likely a fake. The company also started a more modest line called Nao, which should not be confused with the Lladró line.

Most Valuable

Fewer matte glazes were produced, so they are more valuable. Very early Lladrós (1950's - 1970's) had a creamy finish and command steep prices. Early on, the company understood the importance of creating limited editions and retiring designs, , Do It Yourself Bathroom Curtain which creates scarcity that increases the value. In 1982, The Sculptures series was introduced but with a very few produced again increasing their value.

Damage

Any damage reduces the value considerably. Look for damage on any of the protruding areas (hands, arms etc) or the delicate flowers. , A Wool Fleece Throw Blanket is the Ultimate in Luxury and Warmth

Finishes

Lladrós are sealed with one of three finishes: a high gloss, matte glaze and "gres" finish.

Museums

The importance of Lladró craftsmanship is evident in the fact that Lladró creations are included in the permanent collections of the Brussels Royal Museum of Art and History, The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia and the Modern Art Museum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Lladró Today

From the small workshop in a rural village, the company has expanded to over 2,000 people working for the company today. Fine porcelains by Lladró are sold in over 100 countries in more than 4,000 retail locations. , Window Treatments add Style to your Windows Retired Lladrós can be found on ebay and at antique shops.
Martin Swinton owns Take-A-Boo Emporium, an antique shop located in Toronto, Canada. He does furniture , Entertainment Centers restoration, caning and rushing repairs, , 10 Simple Secrets Of Five-Star Luxury Decorating upholstery, teaches courses on antiques and does appraisals for estates and community events. He can be reached at 416-785-4555 or by visiting http://www.takeaboo.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Martin_Swinton
Martin Swinton - EzineArticles Expert Author

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