Hummel figurines (also known as M.I. Hummel figurines or simply Hummels) are an extensive series of porcelain figurines based on the drawings from the German Bavarian Franciscan Nun, and Artist Berta Hummel. Berta Hummel who was better known as, Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel is most noted for her paintings which created the basis for the Hummel Figurines. After having completed her education at n art school in Southern Germany, Hummel enjoyed the art of painting during her earlier days, usually depicting the joyful likenesses of blushing children throughout many of her works. Her fellow sisters encouraged her and even suggested that she sell her work, ultimately embarking in a collaboration with Fran Goebel, the director of a German pottery Company. He was greatly inspired by Hummels works and designs and decided to transform her paintings into ceramic pieces. After the figurines are assembled, they’re fired three times in a kiln, glazed, and fired once more. The glazed blanks are finely painted using a palette of more than 200 colors, all handpicked by Maria Innocentia Hummel way back in the 1930s.
Goebel Hummel figurines were first debuted to the public in the year 1935 at the Trade Fair in Leipzig, Germany. The success was immediate. Within several months Goebel’s company had begun work on over 40 different designs. This rapid ascent was cut short in the coming years due to the rise of Nazi control in Europe. Nazi forces ceased Hummel production, and shuttered the Southern German convent to which Berta Hummel called home. In the more recent decades, the market for Hummels has experienced many fluctuations, and dips in price, but current market trends imply that truly outstanding Hummels for sale can still receive impressive value. During WWII Dr. Herbert Dubler, and Ars Sacra had already established a New York-based distribution company. Dubler brought a number of Hummel’s products from Germany into the United States market, to create postcards, folders, and later produce and manufacture the figurines in New York City.
IDENTIFYING AUTHENTIC HUMMEL FIGURINES
M.I. Hummel’s enticing designs allowed for many copies and imitations of these ceramic pieces, In addition to the pieces made during World War II, Asian manufacturers have also flooded the market with copies and reproductions, which are considerably worth almost nothing. In identifying an authentic Hummels there are two things to look out for, the TMK Mark or Goebel Trademark located at the bottom of the Hummel Figurine. Furthermore, each Goebel-produced figurine is stamped with the company’s logo. Various logos were used throughout different periods, which provides a more simplified way to identify the time in which your Hummel piece was made, and how old it is. Goebel started with TMK-1 which stands for the oldest Hummel piece, and moved all the way through TMK-8 which is the ‘newest’ Hummel piece to date. Larger figurines and those with a base also received M.I. Hummel’s signature. Each figurine has the so-called Hummel or HUM number. It’s a 1 – 4-digit number that identifies its model. For example, Adventure Bound is #347. Figurines produced in different sizes, also have designators appended to the HUM. These numbers are usually cast with the figurine or incised in the soft porcelain, so they are a permanent identification feature. Cross-referencing the HUM number online will easily tell you the name of the figurine and give you additional information about it. There are various other marking that you may encounter on authentic Hummel Figurines such as the Decoration designator, Factory Control Number, or a number that you may find etched to the bottom of the figurine.
GOEBEL HUMMEL "Singing Lesson" Collectible Signed Figurine, circa 1960s
Appraisal Value: $800.00
Our Price: $395.00
Our Price: $395.00
This is a beautiful Hummel clay/porcelain figurine called "Singing Lessons." It is a representation of a young boy either giving or receiving a singing lesson from a beautiful bird. It dates between 1960 and 1972. This figurine is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or signs of repair. It is signed “M. I. Hummel". The approximate measurements of the piece are 3” inches in height, 3” inches in width and 1 ¾” inches in depth. The figurine comes with a certificate of authenticity and has an insurance value of $800.00.
Many of these Hummel Pieces were used as inspirational references for media. For example, on the television series ‘Gilmore Girls’, a Hummel collection of Kyle's mothersis broken during the fight between Dean and Jess (season 3, episode 20). In the web series ‘Ask That Guy With The Glasses’, Hummel figures are implied to be satanic. In a 2011 episode of "The Mentalist," human behavioral expert (and the titular "mentalist") Patrick Jane is surprised to learn "supercop" J.J. Laroche, a CBI chief, collects Hummel figurines when Jane visits Laroche's home for the first time. The Simpsons' sixteenth season episode "Home Away From Homer" reveals that Ned Flanders has a sizable collection of "Humble" figurines, a parody of Hummels. The Simpsons' also references Hummel figurines in the episode "Principal Charming" when Marge mentions that her sister Selma enjoys Hummel figurines. Etc.
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