I hope you’re enjoying the week between Christmas and New Year. May the Quality Street never run out, and your presents all be collectable, as the antiques aficionado’s blessing should go!
I wonder if anyone unwrapped a long desired Lladro figurine? Just a few years ago, these were staple presents in thousands of homes, but, perhaps because of this very ubiquity, their collectability has dropped somewhat in recent years.
Started by Spanish farming brothers Juan, Jose and Vicente Lladro in the 1950s, Lladro porcelain has long been known for high quality and excellent workmanship. Each item is crafted by hand, and designs usually illustrate life’s precious moments.
Years in pictures: Here's 37 pictures from 2009 showing what the people of Preston were getting up to
Love Island winner - Prestonian Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu - reveals special announcement with beau Davide Sanclimenti on premiere of The Big Breakfast 2022
Through the years: Here's 33 candid pictures showing what life was like in Preston in 2010
Saved by the bell: Here's 28 scenes showing just what the kids of Ashton High School did back in the 90s and 00s
Crofters Hotel: Memories of the popular hotel and wedding venue near Garstang after it closes to make way for 66-bed care home
They are best known for their huge range of figurines (now numbering into the thousands) in more than 20 different categories. With so many, it’s perhaps inevitable the market has become somewhat flooded, not helped by the high number of imitators which grew up as Lladro’s fame increased.
We always welcome people bringing their collectables into the centre for valuations. However, it’s never a pleasure to tell someone their precious collection is worth far less than they imagined, even worse to say: “If you’d only brought it in two years ago…”
Lladro figurines are of course still charming, and indeed, a drop in the market is often a spur for canny collectors. Whether buying in bulk and gambling on the price rising again, or being able to afford that one aspirational piece you’ve been lusting after, it can be a great time to get a bargain.
This lovely seated lady, currently in the centre priced £20, is one of Lladro’s ‘Nao’ figures. Contrary to common belief, these aren’t Lladro seconds, but a subsidiary line, normally produced by apprentices.
Unbeknown to many people, Lladro also produce animals, vases, jugs, candleholders and tableaux. These are rarer to find in the UK, and can make interesting collections and investments, especially going forward.
With only 100 made in 2016, you’re unlikely to find a copy of the incredibly intricate party scene ‘Carnival in Venice’. With a current price tag of £165,000, however much Lladro may have taken a hit recently, this one seems unlikely to drop to affordable levels!