The process to create each Hummel figurine, plate, bell or other item is quite lengthy, more than you might expect. As an example, after the figurine has been poured into the mold, removed, dried, cleaned and is placed in an electric kiln to be fired, a master painter will then add the first personalized touches to the face such as the eye lashes and eye pupils.
The following special edition of March Winds HUM 43/0 below shows three of the basic steps on how a figurine is decorated. This is a good example of the painting progression using the Hummel Arbeitsmuster March Wind.
To the left is an Arbeitsmuster Red Line example where the MASTER PAINTER initials Ki 10.72 which means Franz Kirchner in October 1972 along with the trademark 5. Notice that the HUM 63 number has the special addition of being filled in with black paint/ink.
Arbeitsmuster – working sample
Archivmuster – archive sample remains in factory
Faience – special glossy finish
Malmuster – painting sample
Masterpiece – figurine from master painter/sculptor
Musterzimmer – special show room sample
Progression Set – four of the same figurine in different stages of development
Red Line – artist finished example to copy
The following are a handful of the Master Painter’s names with an example of their initials and a date when the sample figurine face was painted. Some of the latest versions have the name as well as the metal tag. Forgive me for the names and their initials I have written incorrectly and if you know the name, please let me know for a correction.
Updated 3 December 2020
More examples will be added as they are located to provide excellent detail as to what you might find and what to look for that makes your Hummel even more special.
You may wish to also check some other web sites such as eow1.com/t-glossary.aspx for some great examples.
Miller, R. L. (2003). The no. 1 price guide to M.I. Hummel: Figurines, plates, more. Cumberland, MD: Portfolio Press.
Recklinghausen, H. A. (2013). The official M.I. Hŭmmel price guide: Figures & plates. Iola, WI: Krause Publications.
Schwatlo, W. (1994). M.I. Hummel collector’s handbook: Part I. Niedernhause, Germany: Schwatlo.