For decades, beautiful Lladró porcelain figurines have been renowned for their craftsmanship. Lladró figurines at an estate sale are a wonderful find. When shoppers discover these exquisitely crafted porcelain pieces, they often snap them up for their collections. Before you search for these pieces at your neighborhood estate sale this weekend, you’ll want to learn about the factors that determine a Lladró figurine’s value. You should also make sure you know accurate selling prices for these sought-after porcelain figurines.
History of Lladró Figurines
The iconic Lladró porcelain figurines have a colorful history. In 1953, brothers Jose, Juan, and Vicente Lladró started a part-time porcelain ceramics business near Valencia, Spain.
At first, the Lladró brothers sold functional pieces, such as vases and plates, at their local market. In 1955, they began making figurines, reviving the style of 18th-century makers such as Capodimonte.
Lladró porcelain figures soon became so popular that the brothers expanded their operations. The Lladró brothers moved to a nearby Tavernes Blanques warehouse, and they hired additional artisans to help them.
Lladró Production, Expansion, and Present Day
During the 1960s, Lladró developed more dynamic pieces and specialty figurines. The company also expanded production outside the Spanish market, introducing its first pieces to United States collectors in 1965.
Throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the company gained international recognition for its fine porcelain figurines.
Lladró began to introduce more complex pieces and limited-edition series. In the 1980s, there was the launch of the Lladró Collectors Society and the opening of Lladró’s first gallery and museum in New York City. In the early 2000s, Lladró introduced its technically brilliant High Porcelain line.
Currently, the Lladró brand continues to enjoy strong market demand. In the past few decades, this well-regarded porcelain company revisited its functional beginnings. It began producing sculptural pieces crafted in matte white porcelain, home accessories, lighting, and jewelry collections. However, the company still produces the high-quality porcelain figurines it gained notoriety for.
Popular Lladró Porcelain Series
Lladró artisans create an intimate portrait of each figurine, with the subject’s pose and expression adding to their persona. There is remarkable attention to detail, as the artisan captures every character’s subtle nuances. These masterfully crafted figurines really do seem to come alive.
Look for a ballerina’s graceful lines yet muscular legs, or see a young woman’s long, flowing skirt that simulates the folds in motion. If two or more figurines are presented together, as in a figural group, you’ll see an interplay between the two characters.
Nao Porcelain Figurines
In 1968, Lladró introduced its “Nao” line of figurines. Each Nao piece features a simpler design and a considerably lower price tag than the elegant Lladró pieces. In fact, Nao designs were created by an entirely different design team.
For example, a Nao ballerina might feature the same seated pose as her pricier counterpart. However, the Nao figurines’ designs are static rather than dynamic, and you won’t see facial expressions that provide a window into the figurines’ souls. Additionally, the Nao figurines’ clothing and other figural elements don’t contain much attention to detail.
Gres Porcelain Figurines
Lladró artisans began to craft the Gres line figurines in the 1970s. Since then, Gres figurines have become very desirable porcelain collectibles.
Gres porcelain figurines are made from matte finish porcelain with muted color finishes. Subjects feature natural-looking skin tones and textures and contrast with shiny accent glaze colors. Animal figurines feature more realistic color depth, adding to the subjects’ appeal.
Don Quixote Porcelain Figurines
The Don Quixote series is an integral part of the Lladró porcelain brand. Inspired by the Spanish golden age literature, the Don Quixote porcelain figurines reflect this quirky fictional subject’s unconventional character. Lladró began crafting the series in the 1970s, and the line remains extremely popular. The pieces’ uncanny styling brings Don
Quixote to life while bringing higher prices on the resale market. Additionally, some Don Quixote figurines were part of limited-edition releases. This factor contributes to higher secondary market values.
Determining a Lladró Piece’s Authenticity
Confirming a Lladró piece’s authenticity is a two-step process. To find the product number, look for the number string’s last four digits on the right. This is the product number. First, visit the independent Lladró Database. The database can help you verify the product number on the figurine’s underside.
To find the product number, look for the number string’s last four digits on the right. This is the product number. Type the four-digit product number into the “Search by Product Number” box. You should see those same four digits as part of Lladró’s reference number for that figurine. This tells you that your figurine matches the one in the Lladró Database.
Next, ensure that the blue Lladró logotype, or maker’s mark, also appears there. Lladró began using its distinctive company logotype in 1960. Beginning in 1971, Lladró began using versions of the familiar blue stamp that read “Lladró made in Spain.” This company logotype resembles a tulip or bellflower.
Determining Lladró Values
The best way to determine a Lladró’s value is by consulting a Lladró value guide. A quality value guide lists pertinent details on many current and/or retired Lladró figurines. Consulting a Lladró value guide will come in handy should you stumble across a Lladró figurine at your next estate sale. Additionally, it’s always best to refer to a Lladró value guide if you plan to sell your Lladró figurines.
In addition to searching the comprehensive Lladró Database to confirm authenticity, you can also use it to find the value of a specific Lladró piece. Search the database by Product Number or Name. Alternatively, target your inquiry by
Designer, Year Made, Year Retired, Limited Editions, or Categories. Note that the Lladró Database is derived from publicly available Lladró product information. The Lladró Database is not associated with Lladró S.A.
A Retired Collection
A Retired Collection is a website that specializes in the purchase and resale of retired Lladró porcelain figures. To view details on retired figurines, open an account, and enter the figurine information into the search platform. From there, you can view the figurine’s name and sculptor, along with the piece’s issuance and retirement dates.
The website also lists the original sale price and current value. The website does not claim to have the lowest prices for Lladró porcelain figurines, so if you’re looking to buy, another online retailer or an estate sale may be your best option. However, you can use the website to help you determine how much retired Lladrós figurines are worth.
Factors that Affect Lladró Values
Numerous variables can affect a Lladró porcelain figurine’s value. Take a look at the following factors to get an idea of what decides Lladrós’ values. By doing your homework, you’ll know what to look for when you find a Lladró collectible.
Item Condition and Packaging
The first thing to note is the condition of the porcelain figurine. As with other collectibles, the item’s condition plays an important role in its value. An item in mint condition, with its original box, will bring the best price. However, items in excellent condition or good condition may still be worth a lot.
Some Lladró figurines are manufactured as limited-edition pieces. Each figurine is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. When the figurines have all been sold, the company does not make more of them. With fewer limited-edition figurines on the market, each one is more valuable.
Handcrafted and Retired Figurines
Early, handcrafted figurines are typically worth more than mass-produced pieces. In addition, retired Lladró figurines generally have higher values than figurines that are still in production. Finally, Lladró event-based pieces also command high values.
The Lladró company does not discard its subpar pieces. Instead, it sells them on the market. These slightly defective pieces are known as “Seconds.” Naïve buyers snatch them up, unaware of varied quality levels and thinking that they’re getting a collectible in mint condition.
If you find a newer Lladró piece without the blue stamped logo on the underside, the piece is likely a “Second.” All first-quality Lladró figurines produced since 1971 should feature the blue stamp.
A Lladró piece’s documentation, or provenance, can help to verify the item’s authenticity. In turn, that will likely increase its value. If you stumble upon a Lladró porcelain figurine in excellent condition without its original box, look for documentation. The right documentation can prove authenticity and increase its value.
Singular Porcelain Figurines vs Figural Groups
Lladró figural groups feature finely balanced character interplays and generally command higher prices. Finding a figural group in mint condition with its original box will likely be very valuable. However, singular (or individual) figurines have their own distinctive appeal. Examples include varied Lladró ballerina pieces, the Daisa girl, and several charming puppy dog figurines.
Each singular Lladró porcelain figure also features the company’s impeccable construction and fine finishing touches.
Most singular figurines are an affordable way to start your own Lladró collection. But, do note that a few special figurines command markedly higher prices.
Lladró Figurine Auction Selling Prices
With so many Lladró figurines on the secondary market, you may ask yourself “Do Lladró figurines appreciate in value?” The answer is an emphatic “Yes!” Rare figurines, along with large and/or elaborate pieces, have sold for $2,000 to $25,000 or more.
Dioramas bring especially good prices. For example, the elaborate Disney-themed “Cinderella’s Arrival” limited-edition piece is priced at $40,000.In contrast, small and plentiful figurines have sold for $10 to $20 each. Finely detailed medium-sized figurines generally sell for $75 to $150 each.
The following are “Sold” prices for Lladró porcelain figurines. Add this information to your Lladró price guide.
Don Quixote Figurine Auction Selling Prices
The colorful Don Quixote figurines, each of which depicts the famous Spanish novel character in a different light, have been a long-time collector favorite. Don Quixote’s poses and expressions, and his occasional companions, add to the flavor of each intriguing figurine. Look for Don Quixote figurines at your next estate sale.
“Don Quixote with Sword”
Selling Price: $2,300 (July 2007)
“Don Quixote and Sancho Panza”
Estimated Price: $600-$1,000
Selling Price: $1,800 (January 2011)
“Don Quixote and the Windmill”
Estimated Price: $600-$1,000
Selling Price: $1,800 (May 2014)
“Return to La Mancha” Figural Group
Estimated Price: $1,000-$1,500
Selling Price: $2,300 (August 2015)
Figural Group Auction Selling Prices
Generally speaking, figural group Lladró pieces are valued higher than singular figurine selling prices. To date, the highest figural group selling price was $130,000. This information may be useful for your Lladró price guide.
“Bedouins on Camels” Gres Figural Group
Estimated Price: $579-$869
Selling Price: $1303 (December 2014)
“Winter Wonderland” Figural Group
Selling Price: $1,000 (November 2007)
“Nativity Scene” Figural Group
Estimated Price: $1,000-$1,500
Selling Price: $900 (October 2014)
“Equestrian Group of Three Wild Horses Frolicking” Figural Group
Estimated Price: $434-$579
Selling Price: $1591 (July 2014)
Where to Find Lladró Figurines
Lladró figurines may make their appearance in diverse venues. If you live in a good-sized city with numerous estate sales and antique shops, your odds of finding Lladró figurines are relatively good. If you live in a smaller town with few in-person shopping options, online listings are a better option. With numerous listings from sellers across the country, you’ll find a veritable feast of lovely Lladró figurines.
Finding Lladró Porcelain Online
Of course, Lladró still produces porcelain figurines for sale. However, if you’re not looking to pay for a new item, you can always look at online second-hand shops. Retailers, such as Etsy, eBay, and Ruby Lane, may have Lladró figurines in their inventories. Amazon also lists Lladró figurines for sale.
As you look for the perfect collectible to add to your home, be sure to thoroughly read the product description. A well-written product description entails all defects. Be wary of short product descriptions that lack details.
Also look for online sellers that have a good market reputation. Peruse their other listings and check out their seller rating. The seller should also include numerous quality photographs that show the piece from all angles. An ethical seller will not hesitate to present the item’s defects along with its highlights.
Finding Lladró Porcelain In Person
Estate sales should be your first choice for finding Lladró vintage collectibles. Before you go to an estate sale, be sure that you’re familiar with Lladró values, and make sure you know a reputable value guide to reference on-site.
Local antique shops will likely attract their share of Lladró figurines. Look carefully in the display cabinets or ask the shop owner for help. Be sure to evaluate the Lladró porcelain to determine its authenticity and condition.
Finally, search the eBay “Sold” listings, which provide recent selling prices. To perform an eBay “Sold” search, go to the site’s home page. Click “Advanced” to the right of the blue search bar. Type in your data, check the “Sold Listings” box and hit the blue “Search” bar for results.
With many beautiful Lladró figurines for sale, you have a good chance of finding one (or more) in your local area. Now that you have a good knowledge of Lladró values, you’ll be able to shop your next estate sale with a collector’s eye.