Lladro Reference Guide

Lladro Reference Guide
Lladro has been producing porcelain figures for over fifty years - the conception of three Spanish brothers, Juan, Jose and Vicente Lladro during the mid-1950S. All three brothers were interested in pursuing an artistic career, particularly in sculpture. They'd grown up in humble surroundings on their parents' farm in Almacera, Spain during the hard post-war years and hoped to improve their future prospects.  For several years, the three managed to utilise their spare time and experiment with sculpting techniques.












Lladro Reference Guide
This eventually led to them opening a small workshop where they produced traditional porcelain.
However, the brothers soon realised that their talents weren't being stretched and decided to produce a modern, innovative range of designs. They opened their first factory in Tavernes Blanques in 1958.
Over the ensuing years, Lladro porcelains became popular throughout the world. In the first decade alone, the factory had to be enlarged seven times as the company became more successful. 1969 saw the foundation stone laid for the 'City of Porcelain' which has remained the home of Lladro ever since and is now visited by many of the tens of thousands of Lladro collectors who come to watch and learn how their collections are created.


The appeal of Lladro is universal - it has few rivals with such cross- cultural appeal. Undoubtedly this is due in part to the varied styles that are produced, The beauty of Lladro is that it can be placed anywhere within the house and not look out of place - whether it is the kitchen, the cloakroom or the lounge. There is always a figurine that will fill that special place or occasion".


Lladro Reference Guide



Another factor in Lladro's popularity is that it creates pieces that appeal to particular denominations or nationalities, so providing an added interest for collectors around the world. In 1978, Lladro produced Saint Francis, the patron Saint of Italy. It would not have been aimed at the British collector but adorns many Italian homes where it holds a special meaning. Lladro has so far produced well over 5,000 pieces in total, both imaginary and 'real', with mass-produced open editions and many special limited pieces.










Lladro Reference Guide


Huge increases in value have been realised on many  items, Many limited editions are sold out within a few months of their issue and special pieces, such as the Society pieces, have gained in value tremendously. For example, 'Little Pals' from 1985 and 'School Days' from 1988 are commanding over ten times their original price. Already, last year's Society piece, 'Heaven and Earth', is fetching £700 compared to the £450 retail price ". Some collectors favour the Society pieces and concentrate their collections around them, but others chase different types  clowns, ballerinas, dogs and nuns are all in great demand.







Lladro Reference Guide



Apart from the obvious subject matter, there is also the type of finish to a Lladro figure that appeals: "The British collector on the whole seems  to favour the traditional Lladro figurines, with the muted colours and high-glazed finish, but the 'Gref', which is the full colour production, is picking up in popularity in this country". There is also 'Goyescas'.





This finish has a roughness and the pieces in goyescas are always full colour, not muted colour. Some Lladro pieces are produced with a matt finish, such as 'Venus and Cupid'. The matt pieces are not generally as popular as the other finishes as they are harder to look  after - any grease from the hand will mark the piece. But, of course, there are some people who collect these specifically and retired or limited editions are still highly valued by collectors.

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