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Now Out of Print


Latest Lladró Book!

A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró ;
Genuine Figurines & Their Marks

by Peggy Whiteneck
Deals with all Lladró brands!

Click here to order!



For those interested in glass figurines, Fenton Art Glass Beasts, Birds & Butterflies is another of Peggy's recent books!

Click here to order!



Also for those interested in glass, Fenton Art Glass Fairy Lamps & Lights is Peggy's latest book! It focuses on small, candle-lit "lamps" that were first used in the Victorian era to light dark hallways before the invention of gaslight or electricity.

Click here to order!

The Curious Cases of Zaphir Clones of Models in the Regular Lladró Collection & Zaphir Models with Old NAO marks

It is known that some of the Zaphir models can be found with later NAO marks because, when Lladró closed the Zaphir brand around 1982 or so, any Zaphir models then in production were brought over into the NAO brand. (Many of these were, in fairly short order, also retired from NAO production as well.) I do not consider these items "clones" in the sense I have used that term to describe NAO clones because, in the Zaphir to NAO evolution, we are talking about a natural phase-out of one brand into another. In discussing "clones," then, I am talking about a more episodic "twinning" phenomenon in which a few items made in NAO or Zaphir have also been found with old, impressed core collection marks.

For some time, veteran collectors have also been familiar with the phenomenon of NAO-marked clones of older Lladró pieces, including some of the core collection pieces catalogued as rare in company sources (items usually numbered with a decimal point).


I scanned this picture of Zaphir's "Elf" #601 from a 1978 Zaphir retail catalog. Having seen this item in the Zaphir catalog of this web site, a collector recently contacted me to say that he has a nearly identical item marked with an old, impressed Lladró mark. (Under the circumstances described here, I'm not at all surprised!) The only difference, he says, is that his Lladró-marked item has a quiver of arrows tucked into that space between the figure's body and the branch of the tree stump.

Once again, sculptor Fulgencio García appears to have been the link in this mystery of models shared among the three brands. As is the case with all the NAO clones of core collection items, García was the core collection sculptor of record for all the Lladró models that have been found with Zaphir marks (see table below). Thus, even though a 1978 catalog for Zaphir identifies Jose Puche (also a famous sculptor of the core collection) as "the" sculptor for the Zaphir collection, it now appears that at least a few of the Zaphir models were sculpted by García and others. Stranger still, a few Zaphir-marked items of core collection pieces have also been found - again, including at least two of the decimal-point numbered rarities. Recently, also, I was contacted by Gill Billington of the United Kingdom, who sent me photos of the model and base of what is the first example I've come across of a Zaphir model with an older NAO mark (the original brown backstamp), an item that does not appear otherwise to have been catalogued in the NAO line.

What makes all this especially intriguing is that there is no evidence that Zaphir is as old as either the NAO collection or the regular Lladró collection. As far as I've been able to determine, Zaphir was not on the scene much before the late 1970s, giving the other two collections a good ten years or more of a head start on its production. How, then, Zaphir would have been recycling older Lladró and NAO models is something of a puzzle.



Gill Billington of the UK supplied me with these photos of what is clearly Zaphir model #558, "Little Shepherd." Thing is, though, this one has an original NAO backstamp! So it can't have been subsequently produced as a NAO with the same serial number (which is more generally the case with NAO marks on Zaphir models) because the NAO mark is an older one that predates the Zaphir line and its model numbering. This is the first example I know of in which the NAO model was made before the Zaphir of the same model. [Photos courtesy of Gill Billington.]

Whenever I come across another of these odd connections, I find myself wishing I'd been a fly on the wall to know how this all got started - and how it eventually sorted itself out into three different brands!

LIST OF ZAPHIR ALSO FOUND
WITH IMPRESSED LLADRÓ MARKS

    Zaphir Number
  • #729, "Satyr" (#1) [with cymbals]
  • #730, "Satyr" (#2) [with pan flute]
  • #731, "Satyr Group"
  • #732, "Athena" (later made as NAO #732)
  • #733, "Aristotle"(later made as NAO #733)
    Lladró Number
  • #1006, "Pan with Cymbals"
  • #1007, "Pan with Flute"
  • #1008, "Satyr Group"
  • #343.13, "Greek Shepherdess"
  • #342.13, "Greek Shepherd"

Notes: Zaphir #731, Satyr Group, is listed in the Zaphir price list for 1981 and is presumed to be the same model as Lladró #1008 based on the pattern established by the individual satyr models.

It is also fascinating to know that the "Athena" and "Aristotle" models are the only items known to have been made under all three brand marks, as these were also made as NAO!


Now Available!
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró

by Peggy Whiteneck
published by
Old Line Publishing, LLC
Hampstead, Maryland

Posted 9/20/10

Ever since its founding in the 1950s and its subsequent, stellar rise to global prominence, collectors have been fascinated with the singular modeling and attention to detail in Lladró Spanish porcelain figurines. Eventually, collectors discovered that Lladró wasn't just one brand, but several. At the same time, other companies began to sprout up all over Spain, particularly around Lladó's own region in Valencia, working "in the Lladró style" and hoping to catch a ride on the tailwinds of its popularity. This book is written to acquaint readers with retired figurines in all the Lladró and Lladró-affiliated brands and to help distinguish them from the work of other Spanish companies. The book features substantive chapters on the Lladró "core brand," NAO by Lladró, Zaphir, Golden Memories, Rosal, and Hispania, complete with representative photos for each brand.

Retail Price: $29.95
S & H: $5.95

Click Here to Order!

Also available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
or through any bookseller by ISBN order #13: 978-0-9845704-6-1.


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