The topic for this page was an obvious choice to have you consider looking for interesting variations that make these figurines “rare” and therefore, perhaps more desirable due in part to the fewer number available to be searched out and find a prominent place in your collection. In Robert Miller’s book “Hummels 1978-1998, 20 Years of “Miller on Hummel” Columns As Published In Collectors News“, a great percentage of the questions people asked him in his news column were about variations of the figurines they came across. Here are a few I ran across which were available when the article was written on that item. There are also many more since the publication date that have shown up and some are illustrated below. Keep a good eye out for some of these and many more that are a little different from the usual. You may find that one-of-a-kind just waiting for you to purchase.
This page was updated on 18 May 2023.
HUM 6 – Sensitive Hunter
Molded by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1935, this was certainly one of the very first figurines to be shown at their initial introduction to the world at the Leipzig Fair in Germany and was known then as “The Timid Hunter”. Here are two major variations to further examine with this little “hunter”.
The first noteworthy distinction came with the Full Bee TMK-3 trademark when the lederhosen straps on the back went from being parallel to one another to crossing each other forming an X when viewed from the back side. The TMK-3 trademark had both versions and would make an interesting conversation piece if both of this trademark were in your possession.
The second distinction came about in 1981 when all of the sizes had a change in color of the rabbit from a vibrant orange to a dark brown color. Notice also that there are some differences in the position of the rabbits ears being more spread apart in the later models. The orange rabbit on the left is a Last of the Bee TMK-5 trademark and the brown rabbit on the right is a Missing Bee TMK-6 trademark. It is interesting to see these differences side by side and only then do you notice some of the smaller variances between the figurines of the same model.
HUM 7 – Merry Wanderer
Molded by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1935, the predominant feature to see here is the “double base” or also known as the “stair step” base typically found in the HUM 7/I seven inch size in the TMK-1 Crown, TMK-2, Full Bee and TMK-3 Stylized trademarks. Other variations to be on the lookout for are those with six and even seven painted vest buttons instead of the usual five, a few very early sample pieces painted with bright colors known as the Faience technique, and a 1996 promotional figurine with a bright red satchel produced for a chain of gift shops in the Caribbean Islands. The Merry Wanderer is certainly one of the very favorites and may be found in five assigned sizes but it is not unusual to find no less than at least a dozen increments due to mold growth. The example shown here is the “stepped” variation.
HUM 9 – Begging His Share
Height – 5¼” to 6″
Crown TMK-1 & Full Bee TMK-2
Robert Miller indicates that there is much in the variation of size with this figurine and you can see it with these three examples. The left most figurine is a Crown TMK-1 while the other two are Full Bee TMK-2 examples. Notice, also, the head tilt to the left in the last two while the Crown version appears to be looking straight at the cake. Although the last two are Full Bee versions, there is a noticeable difference in the height and the color of the shirt with the one to the right being green instead of blue. Molded by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1935, this piece was initially known as “Congratulatory Visit”. This somewhat rare Hummel was created to be used as a candle holder where later models from 1964 on did not have a hole in the cake for a small candle. These three have a standard oval base on which the boy and dog are placed.
HUM 10 – Flower Madonna
This figurine was first created in 1935 by master sculptor Reinhold Unger. Then, in 1956, the mold was renewed by Theo A. Mezenbach and made approximately 2 inches smaller. The halo was changed at that time from the open style to the flat style. It has been produced in white over glaze, pastel blue cloak, brown cloak, ivory cloak and pastel yellow. Also, it has been found in the reddish brown terra cotta finish, signed “M.I. Hummel” with the “crown” trademark in both 10/I and 10/3 sizes. The older color variations will usually range from $2,500 to $3,500 depending on the color, condition and other variations. Old catalogs list this as large as 14 inches. Some earlier models appear with only the number 10 and no other size designation. This has also been called the “Sitting Madonna with Child” or “Virgin With Flowers” in some of the old catalogs. It is sometimes seen with an incised 10/3 instead of the 10/III. Both the 10/I and the 10/III are (TW) Temporarily Withdrawn.
The Stylized Bee TMK-3 example shown here in green is not mentioned in any book I was able to find with this color. Notice also that the Madonna’s dress is also different in color as is the clothing of the child Jesus as well as the bird. Based on the fact there is no readily available public information on this color, I can only speculate that the owner on eBay, who has it for sale, is correct that it can be considered rare. I found this one on 6 January 2022 with a Buy It Now price of $2,999.95 and a shipping charge from Waterloo, Iowa of $49.95.
Another major change in this figurine was with the type of halo predominantly found on the Madonna’s head. In 1956, when Theo A. Menzenbach reduced the size of the figurine by two inches, he also changed the style of the halo. Beginning half way through the TMK-2 Full Bee trademark series, the hair showing in the middle of the halo was changed to a closed, solid halo thereafter. This can be seen with these two views from the rear. This is also a quick way to determine whether this is an early figurine.
HUM 17/0 – Congratulations
Initially molded by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1935 as “I Congratulate”, the older models were without socks as illustrated in the figure to the far left. It was remodeled by Gerhard Skrobek in 1971 who added the socks and changed the hair style and gave it a rougher finish. Some of the earlier pieces had the handle of the horn pointing to the back. For comparison, the figurine without the socks is a TMK-2 Full Bee while the one to the right is a TMK-6 Missing Bee trademark. As you can see, there are many more differences but the missing socks is a quick check for locating an older piece.
The largest pieces, with the mold impression 17/2 were 7¾ to 8½ inches high and only available in the first three trademarks, TMK-1 Crown, TMK-2 Full Bee and TMK-3 Stylized and were valued by Robert Miller in his 2006 Price Guide at between $4,500 and $8,000. These are certainly ones to keep an eye out for as well.
HUM 35/0 – Good Shepherd
The world of M.I. Hummel figurines is just full of surprises and here is one that had me scratching my head as to whether it was real or not. It is! This rare version of the HUM 35/0 Good Shepherd holy water font has the phrase in black lettering on the back, “Made in Holland”. The person selling this interesting figurine on eBay says that “This extremely rare version of the Good Shepherd religious holy water font was made by Goebel for the Dutch market.” You may find other figurines that have this similar phrase and now you know that you just might have another rare item indeed.
HUM 43 5/0 – March Winds
Height – 2¾”
Small Crown TMK-7
Originally modeled in 1935 by Reinhold Unger as “Urchin” there is some variation with the front pants flap on some of these. The item of interest on this certain one is the color of the hat and scarf. Instead of being the regular color of red, this certain figurine caught my eye with the color blue. Notice also, the shirt, stockings and boots are of a different design and color as well. The smaller size of only 2¾-inches is from the series of “Pen Pals” of personalized name card table decorations. The issue price in 1996 was $55.00. This certain figurine sold on 23 December 2021 for $48.50 with free shipping from Naples, Florida.
HUM 44 B – Out of Danger
Height – 8½ to 9½ inches
The figurine utilized as this lamp base is very similar to HUM 56/B. Originally modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1935. Older models have a half-inch larger base and a hole for an electrical switch on the top of the base. They usually have a 1936 copyright date incised. There have been found variations in the color of the girl’s dress. A very few Crown TMK-1 and Full Bee TMK-2 trademark examples have been found with a girl in a black dress instead of the normal dark blue dress typically found on all others. A Full Bee TMK-2 example of the black dress shown here sold for $99 on 29 July 2022. The Out of Danger table lamp was “temporarily withdrawn” (TW) from production on 31 December 1989.
HUM 49 3/0 – To Market
Designed in 1936 by Arthur Möeller, it was occasionally referred to as “Brother and Sister” in some of the old catalogs. This is the smaller of the three different sizes and can be differentiated on sight since it is the version without the bottle in the basket. The girl in this figurine is the same one as found in HUM 98 – Sister.
These two are from the trademarks with the Full Bee TMK-2 on the left and the Stylized Bee TMK-3 version on the right. Some of the more apparent differences are the slight larger size and the more pastel yellow apron of the Stylized Bee version. You may have also noticed there is more detail in the hair of both and sharper definition in the neck tie of the little boy as well as the hair bows in the little girl’s hair. The wave of the bottom of the dress has deeper undulations. By contrast, the suspenders to the little boy’s lederhosen are more visible and the eye brows appear more raised as in a surprised expression with both children in the Full Bee version to the left. Another difference, at least with the Stylized Bee example here, appears to be a mistake with orienting the bottom of the wrist to line up with the flower stems.
With this figurine, there was a major change in the base from the doughnut style of the Full Bee to the more plain example and current style of the Stylized Bee version. The example on the left is a Double Full Bee with both the incised as well as the blue stamped of the same trademark. You can also see a difference in the color of the two with the one on the right having a sharper white brilliance in the material used.
These two were offered as a pair on eBay as seen on 12 January 2022 with a Buy It Now price of $78.88 and a shipping charge of $12.88 from Kalamazoo, Michigan. This would certainly make for a nice conversation when you have visitors at home or at the next Hummel Chapter meeting.
HUM 53 – Joyful
Designed in 1936 by master sculptor Reinhold Unger, this figurine was originally called Singing Lesson and also called Banjo Betty in some of the older catalogs. Some of the early Crown TMK-1 trademark examples have an orange dress with either blue, purple or brown shoes like the one shown here. The difference in having one with the color of orange can mean a value of between six and seven times the value of the blue version. The eBay Buy It Now asking price for the little lady in the orange dress with a Double Crown mark is $1,200.00 plus $35.00 charge for shipping from Budapest, Hungary. As a price comparison, the blue dress version can be purchased for $10.00 Buy It Now with a shipping charge of $6.70 from Verona, Wisconsin.
Values: 2003 Lucky’s Hummel Figurines & Plates, 12th Edition – $3,000 to $3,500 2006
The No. 1 Price Guide to M.I. Hummel Figurines… – $2,000 to $3,000 2013
The Official M.I. Hummel Price Guide 2nd Edition – $1,800 to $2,100
HUM 63 – Singing Lesson
Designed in 1937 by master sculptor Arthur Möeller, there are some obvious variations in this very popular figurine. It is not uncommon to find a slight tilt of the head or a different positioning of the hand but here is a side-by-side comparison between three different trademarks. From left to right is an example of the Crown TMK-1, Full Bee TMK-2 and the Stylized Bee TMK-3. Notice the differences in the shape of the head and expressions. The little boy in the TMK-3 is looking directly at the bird and neck tie on this figurine is quite different from the first two both in design and color. The left hand gesture to the bird is noticeably different. The horn on the first two are very similar while the last figurine has a longer horn sticking up above his hand. The first two boys have their knees bend up a bit more while the TMK-3 version is almost flat. The shoes on the last figurine are also in a little different position to each other, almost straight up.
This is just a one example of what you may already have in your own collection. It certainly makes for an interesting conversation piece when you have more than one figurine from the same mold number like these three placed next to one another. These three sold together as a set on eBay on 8 January 2022 for a total price of $98.88 plus a shipping price of $14.88 from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Based on Robert Miller’s latest price guide, the three together appraised for more than $1,000.00.
HUM 68 – Lost Sheep
Designed in 1938 by master sculptor Arthur Möeller, the older versions of this figurine had either dark brown or gray trousers. The 1955 price list shows the retail price of this as $7.50. The example to the left is a TMK-2 Full Bee with brown trousers while the one with the green colored trousers is a TMK-6 Missing Bee trademark. The figurine came in two sizes of 4¼ and 5½ inches and was permanently retired in the Fall of 1992 and will not be placed in production again. For comparison, the 1992 prices for the two sizes were $125 and $180.
HUM 72 – Spring Cheer
Designed in 1937 by master sculptor Reinhold Unger, this figurine was originally called Spring Flowers. It was modeled from the artwork called Just for You, H 271.
There have been some significant variations in Spring Cheer over the years of its production. It was initially released wearing a yellow dress and no flowers in the right hand. During the period of the Stylized Bee TMK-3, the figure was produced with a green dress and flowers in the right hand having been restyled in 1965 by master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek who added the flowers to the right hand. This is the way the more recent versions are found. Some of the old versions without flowers were left over and were painted with a green dress to match the newer models. The one in the middle is the rarest of the two green dress models and is worth $1,200 to $1,500 in 2013 prices according to Von Recklinghausen. Records show that this figurine is Temporarily Withdrawn (TW) from production as of December 31, 1984. The suggested retail price for Spring Cheer was $55 in the 1984 price catalog. The girl in the middle shown sold on 11 October 2020 for $70. This proves that there are still some good examples of rare Hummels at relatively affordable prices available!
Here is an unexpected result when I lined up my four HUM 72 – Spring Cheer figurines next to one another and suddenly saw how different they were in their expressions as well as their dresses and flowers. The first two from the left are Full Bee TMK-2 versions in the yellow dresses while the other two in the green dresses are Stylized Bee TMK-3s. Notice how different their expressions are from one another as well as the variance in the colors of the flowers next to their legs and the vertical lines in the socks of the Full Bees. I enjoy finding these out-of-the-ordinary figurines and try to stump our resident experts at our local meetings to see if they are aware of these subtle changes and why.
A more recent off-shoot of these little figurines that is similar but differs slightly is HUM 793 – Forever Yours created by master sculptor Helmut Fischer in 1994. This was an M.I. Hummel Club piece for the 1996/1997 year. Some of the more noticeable differences are the eyes, smile, hair, circles on the dress and the missing flowers at her feet.
HUM 74 – Little Gardner
Height – 4” – 4½” Designed by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1937, the older models have an oval base and was remodeled in the early 1960s with a larger round base and a smaller flower becoming ever smaller with the next few trademarks. The first TMK-1 Crown versions had a darker green dress as shown but was quickly changed to a lighter green and then by the TMK-2 Full Bee version, the dress was changed to a bright yellow in color. The item on the left is an early TMK-1 Crown located on 6 May 2021 on eBay for $95 plus shipping and the other to the right has a TMK-6 Missing Bee trademark. This figurine was permanently retired in 2006.
HUM 85/0 – Serenade
Height – 5″ Modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1936, there have been a number of size variations. Perhaps the most noticeable variation however, are the fingers on the flute pointing straight up on some and down on others. This has not been noticed in any particular trademark series. Having these two side by side would make for an interesting contest to see who would be able to find the difference the fastest.
HUM 87 – For Father
Height – 5½” Designed by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1938 with an earlier name of “Father’s Joy”, there have been located a number of size and color variations between the old and newer models. One of these that stands out is the color of the radishes being a bright orange instead of the usual brownish tan. The orange version was usually found with the Full Bee TMK-2 but a few have also been located with the Stylized Bee TMK-3 version as with the one illustrated here. This “carrots” variation normally sells in the range of $2,500 to $4,000 according to Miller’s 2006 Price Guide. The figurine with the orange radishes was located on eBay for a Buy It Now asking price of $679.95 plus $14.95 shipping from Niagara Falls, NY on 6 May 2021.
HUM 94 – Surprise
Height – 5¼” Designed by a team of sculptors in 1938 known earlier as “The Duet”, “Hansel and Gretel” as well as “What’s Up?”, earlier versions through the TMK-3 Stylized trademark had a rectangular base with the corners chopped. In the earlier versions including TMK-2 Full Bee, the little boy wore a green coat. This was changed, beginning with the TMK-3 Stylized trademark to blue and the base was changed to an oval shape and a bit thinner. The square base is a quick visual that the figurine is an older version and worthy of your attention! Notice also that where the suspenders attach to the pants there is a double connection. The figurine to the left is in my personal collection and proudly displays a Double Full Bee with both of the incised and stamped trademarks.
HUM 95 – Brother
Height – 5¼” Designed by a team of sculptors in 1938, the little Brother wore a green coat. This was changed, beginning with the TMK-3 Stylized trademark, to blue in both the HUM 94 – Surprise as well as the HUM 95 – Brother since the two boys were very much alike.
HUM 97 – Trumpet Boy
Height – 4½” Designed by Arthur Möller in 1938, the little boy’s coat was typically green but some of the old “U.S. Zone” Crown TMK-1 figurines had a blue coat shaded in green. This was changed, beginning with the TMK-2 Full Bee trademark, to green, just the opposite of the HUM 94 and HUM 95 shown above. The example here is of a TMK-2 Full Bee with a blue coat to the left and a TMK-6 Missing Bee trademark in a green coat to the right.
The figurine to the left is in my personal collection and has an older version of the blue stamped Full Bee TMK-2 (R) trademark.
HUM 99 – Eventide
As mentioned above, I found an interesting example of the figurine HUM-99 Eventide in an earlier trademark where one of the sheep didn’t have their tail flush with the edge of the base as indicated in all of the catalogs and books I have access to. Here is a comparison of a difference between the two in my collection where you can see that the little boy in the left side actually has his left foot resting squarely on the head of one of the sheep. Compare the foot placement to the other to the right. This is the only one I have found like this. Both of these figurines are TMK-2 Full Bees and are a topic of fun discussion when guests visit.
HUM 114 – Let’s Sing, Ashtray
This figurine was originally modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1938 with the ashtray on the left facing the little accordion player. It was restyled in 1959 by master sculptor Theo R. Menzenbach with the ashtray on the opposite side. The earlier ashtray is considered more rare and is difficult to find. Both figurines may be found with the Full Bee TMK-2 trademark and according to Robert Miller’s 2006 Price Guide, the older version of the Full Bee ashtray held a value of between $600 to $850 whereas the later version of the Full Bee ashtray was valued between $250 and $350.
HUM 124 – Hello
This figurine was originally modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möller in 1939 and was earlier known as “The Boss” and “Der Chef”. Now identified as “Hello”, this figurine has undergone several changes in the color of the trousers and vests with the rarest known color of the trousers being green as shown here. It initially had gray pants and coat with a pink vest, gradually changed to green pants and pink vest and finally to brown pants and a white vest during the Stylized TMK-3 trademark. This is the more commonly found version as shown to the right. According to Von Recklinghausen, the rarest version is the green pants version. Notice also the expression, hair and size of the base being a bit different. Hello was permanently retired on 31 December 2001 and will not be produced again.
HUM 127 – Doctor
This figurine was originally modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möller in 1939 and formally had the name of “Doll Doctor” in some of the earlier catalogs. The legs of the doll sometimes protrude over the edge of the base introducing another reason for the doctor to check on the poor doll when the legs become broken. The earlier Crown and Full Bee versions had this situation occur more often and the doll was brought in further so the legs no longer dangled over the edge. You may note there are many minor positions of the doll due to the legs, arms and head being in different places. This does not effect the cost one way of the other. The example of the legs sticking out further on the left example is shown here on an incised Full Bee TMK-2 trademark offered on eBay for a Buy It Now price of $200.00 plus $5.95 shipping cost.
The Doctor on the right is a Missing Bee TMK-6 trademark and the doll appears to be smaller so that it will fit within the edges of the base more uniformly. The price on this example on eBay was $29.99 Buy It Now with $10.95 shipping cost. When purchasing this type of figurine, be sure you add to your list of questions whether there is any damage to the legs and feet before finalizing the acquisition.
HUM 127 4/0 – Doctor
Part of the fun of learning about these fantastic art forms is finding a very rare example when you are not even looking for one and it hits you, smack, in the face. That is what this certain figurine did. Not only is there no broken doll for the Doctor to fix at his feet but he is looking up as if to ask a question as to where the doll disappeared to.
Compare this one to the production version above. I can only imagine that this certain figurine could have been a possible future edition (PFE) that hasn’t been placed into production or even a sample that was turned down by the Convent if it doesn’t properly match the original sketch. Notice, also, that this one has the designation of HUM 127 4/0 as a smaller version of the earlier HUM 127. I found this individual work pattern on eBay on 27 July 2021 and was listed for $331.05 plus $57.86 shipping from Coburg, Germany. Visit the page before someone buys it and it is no longer availble.
HUM 129 – Band Leader
The Band Leader is a popular figurine to be added alongside the other musical accompaniment figurines of the “Little Music Makers” either singing or playing an instrument of the same size. There are three sizes of this item with the smallest missing the music podium from which the Band Leader is instructing his band. The smaller version is 3¼ inches tall while the taller version with the podium is between 5 and 5½ inches tall. There is a later version that is 13½ inches tall. Aside from the difference in size, this figurine underwent the removal of the podium in the smaller version and is a noticeable variation with this figurine.
HUM 135 – Soloist
One of the pleasures I have in collecting the M.I. Hummel figurines is in finding a variance of the same HUM number that is not very well documented. I was going through my collection and noticed when putting some of the figurines together of the same number that there were a few that were quite different. One of these was HUM 135 – Soloist. Ironically, they are both from the same period of production, Full Bee TMK-2, but are of dissimilar sizes. Earlier trademarks did experience “mold growth” due to the mold changing each time it was used and this may explain the noticeable difference in the sizes of this one figurine. Also, note the size of the shirt buttons between the two.
HUM 141 – Apple Tree Girl
First modeled by master sculptor Arthur Moller in 1940, the Apple Tree Girl is one of the more popular and recognizable figurines from Sister Hummel. There are basically five size variations with the smallest being 3½ inches (4/0) to the 4 inch (3/0), 6 inch (/I), 10¼ inch (/V) to the largest at 32 inches (/X). Aside from the different sizes, look for the earliest versions in the Crown TMK-1 trademark to have a tapered brown base. A number of the Full Bee TMK-2 as well as the transitional pieces with both the Crown TMK-1 and the Full Bee TMK-2 have been located with the tapered base as well. Another variation may be found where the smaller models have always been made without the bird in the tree.
HUM 142 – Apple Tree Boy
As with the Apple Tree Girl mentioned above, the Apple Tree Boy was also initially modeled by master sculptor Arthur Moller in 1940, and is one of the more popular and recognizable figurines from Sister Hummel. There are basically five size variations with the smallest being 3½ inches (4/0) to the 4 inch (3/0), 6 inch (/I), 10¼ inch (/V) to the largest at 32 inches (/X). Aside from the different sizes, look for the earliest versions in the Crown TMK-1 trademark to have a tapered brown base. A number of the Full Bee TMK-2 as well as the transitional pieces with both the Crown TMK-1 and the Full Bee TMK-2 have been located with the tapered base as well. Another variation may be found where the smaller models have always been made without the bird in the tree.
HUM 151 – Madonna Holding Child
Height – 12½″
This figurine was earlier known as the “Madonna with the Blue Cloak.” Modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1942, it was produced in five color variations: white overglaze, pastel blue cloak, dark blue cloak, brown cloak, and an ivory finish. This figurine had not been produced for many years but was put back into production in 1977 and was produced in white overglaze and pastel blue only. It may now be found in TMK-5 and TMK-6 trademarks. The figurine was sold for $44.00 on old 1955 prices lists. “Madonna Holding Child” in both color and white overglaze finish were “Temporarily Withdrawn” from production on 31 December 1989, but may be reinstated at some later date. The figurine has not been found in TM-3 “stylized” or TM-4 “Three line” trademarks.
Pictured also is a very rare version with a green cloak and yellow/tan dress produced with a TMK-5 trademark. Notice how much more vibrant the colors are in comparison to the blue cloak version. Located on eBay in March of 2023, this figurine was offered with the Buy It Now asking price was $7,999.95 plus $69.95 shipping from Waterloo, Iowa.
HUM 169 – Bird Duet
I accidently ran across this interesting little variation from the normal view of sheet music on the stand where in place of the notes on the bars, there appears a very large decal image of a bumble bee instead. This is the first I have seen of this little figurine. The information on the eBay page for this indicates that this figurine, with a Big Bee TMK-8 trademark, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hummels being sold on QVC and has a backstamp of “Special Edition”. This may account for the difference.
Originally modeled in 1945 by master sculptor Arthur Möller, there have been many variations since then including changes in the angels wings, the position of the baton, the shape and color of the gown, the birds, the music and the music stand but I was not able to find anything about the large bumble bee, yet. The eBay Buy It Now price is $139.00 with free shipping and was located on 9 Mach 2021. The figurine on the left is a Stylized Bee TMK-3 while the one on the right is a more recent Big Bee TMK-8.
HUM 174 – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
The little figurine spotlighted here has seen several restyled updates according to Robert Miller, notably with the eyes looking down or straight above the flower, the number of flowers, and the size of the feather in his hat. These variations have not had as much of an impact on the price as has the age of the figurine as indicated by the trademark located under the base. There are always a few exceptions and when you find a rare example, it may even be a one of a kind, as in the samples offered to the Convent Sisters for their choice of a future prototype.
I was looking for an incised Full Bee TMK-2 and the one on the left was the only one I was able to locate in a host of the other 100+ located on eBay to choose from. There were two items that immediately struck me as being quite different from the other older examples. The most noticeable is the missing yellow bird sitting atop the fence post. Another is the height of the post where the bird would be in comparison to the standard figurine.
On a HUM 174, there are two visible differences between a Crown TMK-1 and a Full Bee TMK-2. These are the hair styles and the position of the ground beneath the fence post to the boys right. The figurine on the left has the correct fence post positioning for the Full Bee but ironically has the hair style of the Crown like the one to the right. It is as though it may have been one of those samples which had an update from one but not the next and was not selected, but rather taken back to the factory and placed on a shelf.
This interesting little fella cost $39.50 with free shipping. No where else have I been able to find another HUM 174 with the nosey little yellow bird missing and there is no mention of it in any of my books or price guides. I wrote the previous owner asking if they had any history and he instantly replied that he “… knew it was missing the bird after I did some research after getting him. I think I had him listed for over a year and gradually kept reducing the price. Nobody wanted him when I had him listed as a rare Hummel missing the bird. One collector told me the factory workers were a little lackadaisical in the early 50’s and said in the past he had seen many figurines missing add on items like flowers, fruit, or birds.” He adds further that it was purchased in Germany by one of his relatives back in the 40’s or 50’s and he received it at a family reunion where they auction family items to help pay for the catering.
It can become intriguing what you might find that you didn’t expect and becomes an exciting treasure hunt when you are able to obtain a story behind your latest purchase and be able to use a great tool like eBay to contrast and compare one from another on the same screen.
HUM 174 – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
This next variation with HUM 174 can be seen between the Crown TMK-1 and Full Bee TMK-2 trademarks. This side view shows a major difference in the feather in the hat as well as the position of the flowers on and below the fence post. The Crown version shown to the extreme left did not have any markings on the bottom of the base other than two red marks and a penciled-in number 617 making it otherwise difficult to determine the age of this figurine. This figurine sold for $80.75 with free shipping on eBay on 28 April 2021. Perhaps the difference in the hat decoration will help you determine whether you have a Crown if you run across another like this.
HUM 175 – Mother’s Darling
Master sculptor Arthur Möller designed this figurine in 1945 with the old name of “Happy Harriet” and it has had minor restyling since then. The older models in the Crown TMK-1 and Full Bee TMK-2 have pink and green colored kerchiefs while the newer versions have light colored blue ones. The Stylized TMK-3 can be found in both. This figurine is found only in the 5½ inch tall size and was permanently retired by Goebel on 31 December 1997 and will not be produced again. Differences in value are based on earlier trademarks and not so much as the color of the kerchiefs except where they indicate to collectors which are the older pieces without having to examine the bases for the trademark.
There have been a few located with the kerchiefs both being colored green but I was unable to find any information on this oddity. The one shown here was on eBay with a Stylized Bee TMK-3 trademark and had a Buy It Now price of $70 with a shipping charge of $12.99 on 2 March 2021.
HUM 192 – Candlelight
The name of Carrier of Light can be found for this figurine in older catalogs and was originally modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1948 with a long red ceramic candle reaching to the angel’s feet. It was later remodeled by Theo R. Menzenbach in 1958 with a short candle holder ending in the angel’s hands. The older models are typically slightly larger with a transition to the smaller candle within the TMK-3 trademark where both versions may be found with this mark. Those found with the Crown TMK-1 are considered quite scarce.
HUM 193 – Angel Duet
This model was first created by master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek in 1948 and is very similar to HUM 261 with the same name but with a candle holder. Master sculptor Theo R. Menzenbach restyled the figurine in 1958 with a repositioning of the right arm and hand on the hip of the figurine holding the song book as viewed from the back because he thought it would be easier for the artist to paint, looks better and is a more natural position. The old version has the right hand on the shoulder of the other angel as viewed from the rear. The Crown TMK-1 version is valued at two to almost three times that of the Full Bee TMK-2 trademark.
HUM 203 2/0 – Signs of Spring
Master sculptor Arthur Möeller modeled this figurine in one size only at first beginning with the Crown TMK-1 trademark and old catalogs had the name “Scandal” assigned to it. In the mid-1950s, a smaller version was issued with the 4-inch tall HUM 203 2/0 incised mold number. It was this size in the Full Bee TMK-2 trademark that Signs of Spring was created with two shoes for some reason. This did not last very long as it was decided to go back with the right foot to be shown as shoeless and has since remained that way. The Full Bee TMK-2 version may be found with both shoes and only one shoe. The two shoe version is considered rare and has a value estimated as three times that of the same Full Bee TMK-2 version with one shoe. Signs of Spring was permanently retired by Goebel in the Fall of 1990 and will not be produced again.
Another variation of this HUM 203 – Signs of Spring was located in Arizona with four posts in the fence instead of the usual three. It was initially sold by a little German girl who would visit the Army quarters near the Goebel factory each week and sell M.I. Hummel figurines as souvenirs. This one was sold to a soldier who later sold his entire collection of 39 figurines to a local Arizona antique shop including this very rare item.
This interesting figurine was part of the Robert Miller collection having been sold earlier by the shop owner Ron Brixey. The figurine later made its way to another serious collector following the Miller auction of the vast majority of his and Ruth’s collection. You may also see a similar figurine on the front cover of Robert L. Miller’s 10th edition of his “No. 1 Price Guide to M.I.Hummel Figurines, Plates, Miniatures, & More”. Notice that the head is tilted a little further back on the figurine to the left indicating a possible second figurine with the four posts.
HUM 214/A – Madonna and Child
The M.I. Hummel Nativity Set is one of the more popular groupings of the figurines, especially just before and during the Christmas season. One of the pieces of this group, the Madonna and Child, began as one piece and was soon after separated due to production problems. It was produced as two separate pieces, both with the same number, 214 A, which is incised on the bottom of each piece. The one-piece unit was sold in white overglaze finish as well as in full color finish and both are considered to be quite rare today with the white overglaze version commanding a higher value.
A recent purchase was made at auction on 18 May 2023 as a group of seven figurines which included a color version of this one piece unit. The total price of the TMK-2 Full Bee Nativity set was 258 EUR plus 130 EUR shipping to the US. This is a very low price in comparison to the most recent catalog price guide by Heidi Ann Von Recklinghausen of $1,500.
HUM 214 – Nativity Set
The M.I. Hummel Nativity Set is one of the more popular sets of figurines, especially around Christmas time. Master sculptor Reinhold Unger modeled the set in 1951 and it was produced and sold beginning in 1952 with the Full Bee TMK-2 trademark as a set but is also available as individual pieces. Beginning with the Small Crown TMK-7 trademark, newer productions of the set have the /1 size indicator added. There has also been found a terra cotta version of the nativity set and this would be worth watching out for as it is quite rare. A white glazed set was also available for a short period of time but is no longer available and thus brings a premium in price.
The optional pieces were the HUM 214/C, 214/D, 214/E and 213/H. In 1963, a sixteenth piece was added to the arrangement, the “Flying Angel” as HUM 366. Goebel added three different camels to match the set but these do not have the M.I. Hummel signature since there are no drawings of camels by the sister.
In 1988, a smaller version was announced with the initial pieces of Infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph being offered at a set price of $185. In 1989, four more pieces were released, the donkey, ox, lamb and the Flying Angel. In 1990, the three kings were released and the following year, the two Shepherds and the Little Tooter were released. Each of these had the same HUM numbers but with the /0 suffix. The exceptions were Mary taking the 214 A/M/0 designation and Infant Jesus taking the HUM 214 A/K/0 marking.
Note: There is also a very similar and larger Nativity set as HUM 260 and a set with children as the figurines from Berta Hummel. The creché (stable) is typically sold separately.
214/A – Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus (one piece) 214/A – Virgin Mary 214/A – Infant Jesus 214/B – Joseph 214/C – Angel standing, “Good Night” 214/D – Angel kneeling, “Angel Serenade” 214/E – We Congratulate 214/F – Shepherd standing with sheep 214/G – Shepherd kneeling 214/H – Shepherd Boy, kneeling with flute “Little Tooter” 214/J – Donkey 214/K – Ox (cow) 214/L – Moorish King, standing 214/M – King, kneeling on one knee 214/N – King, kneeling with cash box 214/O – Lamb 366 – Flying Angel
HUM 218 – Birthday Serenade
This model was first created by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1952. The early models have an incised 1952 copyright date with the boy playing the flute and the girl with the accordion. Later models were created by master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek in 1964 with the reverse instruments as shown in these two photos. The change was made at the request of the Sießen Convent. The larger size HUM 218/0 is considered rare but was put back into production in 1964 and bears, in error, the 1952 copyright date that should have been corrected to 1964. The newer version also has the boy with an additional tie. Both versions may be found in the TMK-3 and TMK-4 trademarks. Also of note, the one playing the accordion is also the one singing. There are perhaps only a handful of figurines that went through such a drastic change within the mold as this one and retained the same mold number.
There is also a similar correspondence which exists with the two models of the Birthday Serenade lamps where they show up in the 9¾ inch tall HUM 231 – Birthday Serenade lamp where Reinhold Unger created it in 1953 only to be remodeled by master sculptor Rudolf Wittman in 1976 with the instruments reversed. The slightly shorter lamp of 7½ inches tall HUM 234 – Birthday Serenade lamp was also designed by Reinhold Unger in 1954 with the same design and a revised version was also modified with the reversed musical instruments by Rudolf Wittman in 1976.
HUM 260 – Nativity Set (Jumbo)
This is the larger version of the Nativity set with the wooden stable or creché. Modeled in 1968 by Gerhard Skrobek, this version was first sold in the early 1970s and is much larger and more detailed than the smaller version HUM 214. There are several versions of the wooden stable that have shown up over the years and were sold separately for $440.00, although it could be sold with the entire set. Temporarily withdrawn from production on 31 December 1989, this set is considered fairly rare with all sixteen pieces and the prices still reflect this scarcity. Robert Miller’s 2006 Price Guide shows the value of the entire set with a TMK-4 Three Line trademark appraised for as much as $6,305.00.
260 A – Madonna 260 B – Saint Joseph 260 C – Infant Jesus 260 D – Angel standing, “Good Night” 260 E – Angel kneeling, “Angel Serenade” 260 F – We Congratulate 260 G – Shepherd standing with sheep 260 H – Sheep standing with lamb 260 J – Shepherd Boy, kneeling 260 K – Little Tooter 260 L – Donkey, standing 260 M – Cow, lying 260 N – Moorish King, standing 260 O – King, standing 260 P – King, kneeling 260 R – One Sheep, lying
HUM 311 – Kiss Me
It is often just a small change in design that makes one version of a figurine more valuable than another. A case in point is HUM 311 – Kiss Me as shown below. It was first introduced in the United States in 1961 and was redesigned per request of the Convent in 1963 to make the doll slightly smaller in size so that it would appear more like a doll and less like a small child. The difference here has made a difference of between $300 and $500 between the old and the new versions of this model.
HUM 314 – Confidentially
Master sculptor Horst Ashermann designed this figurine in 1955 but it was not introduced into production until 1972 with an issue price of $22.50. Soon after the first of the figurines were available for sale, master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek redesigned Confidentially with a stronger stand for the cactus, as well as putting a bow tie on the little boy, changed his hair style and the finished texture of his clothing was modified and now shows a copyright date of 1972.
The update occurred in 1972 so the old design and the new design can both be found in the Last of the Bee TMK-5 trademark. The old style is naturally valued at a higher price due to the short period of time this trademark had the old style. In most cases, the value of the old style in TMK-5 is more than twice that of the new style within this trademark. The earlier versions with the old style have a copyright date of 1955 in the Full Bee TMK-2, Stylized TMK-3 and Three Line TMK4 trademarks and reflect their values accordingly, especially the TMK-2 and TMK-3 since they were samples. It is currently listed as Temporarily Withdrawn (TW) as of January 1999.
As a side note, this six inch figurine is also the “mascot” of the M.I. Hummel Club Chapter of the Phoenix Roadrunners in Arizona, probably since it is the only one with a cactus.
HUM 327 – The Run-A-Way
First introduced to the U.S. market in 1972, this figurine was originally modeled by master sculptor Helmut Wehlte in 1955. It was later restyled by master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek in 1972 being completely restyled with a new textured finish with most of the variations being noticed in the location of the basket, the basket itself, walking stick, hat and the shoes. The older style has an incised copyright date of 1955 while the newer style has the date of 1972. With the older style, you would be very lucky to find any with the Full Bee TMK-2 and Stylized Bee TMK-3 trademarks though they have been found as samples. The figurine was first introduced with the Three-line TMK-4 trademark and changed to the newer style during the Last of the Bee TMK-5 trademark. The older style TMK-5 version is worth three times that of the newer style in the same trademark. The two items you see here are examples of this transition within the TMK-5 mark.
HUM 331 – Crossroads
This figurine was first introduced in 1972 having been modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möller much earlier, in 1955 with an initial suggested retail price of $45.00. A limited edition of 20,000 pieces was announced in 1990 by Goebel to commemorate the first anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall for a price of $360.00. The primary difference was the location of the sign which read “HALT” that had been halfway up the post was now lying at the base of the post as a symbol of this significance.
A second variation of this figurine was sold only through U.S. Military base exchange which included smaller separate piece representing the wall all on a wooden platform with a brass label. This sold for $260.00.
A third variation which is has been attributed to as an accident was the reversal of the position of the trombone when assembling this unique piece. The opening of the horn is pointing down instead of the usual up position.
HUM 337 – Cinderella
Master sculptor Arthur Möller designed this figurine in 1956 as a Full Bee TMK-2 sample with more samples produced during the Stylized Bee TMK-3 period but it was not introduced into production until 1972 being redesigned by master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek during the Last Bee TMK-5 period. The older version has eyes wide open looking above the bowl while the newer version is looking into the bowl. Both versions may be found in the Last Bee TMK-5 trademark. Also, hair is more pronounced in the newer version and the round spots on the dress are raised a little to provide a place to paint. You may also notice that the shoes appear quite different with the older version looking a bit smaller with the bird sitting more on the side of the shoe. One of the samples was found with a fourth bird sitting on the little girl’s left shoulder and commands a respective higher premium. Aside from these small differences, the figurine has changed little.
HUM 385 – Chicken-Licken
Introduced in 1972 along with twenty-three additional figurines that year, this item, priced at $28.50, has an inscribed copyright date of 1971. This was the work of master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek in June of 1967 and measured 4¾ inches tall. A miniature version at 3¼ inches tall, without the fence, was issued in 1991 with a suggested retail price of $80 and has a copyright date of 1987. Aside the difference in size, this figurine underwent the removal of the fence in the smaller version as well.
HUM 731 – Best Friends
Created by master sculptor Helmut Fischer in 1992 and released in 2005, the figurine to the right has a backstamp of “First Issue 2006” and a trademark showing the TMK-8 stamp. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the beginning of Sister Hummel’s legacy, Manufaktur Rödental selected 50 figurines to bear the “75th Anniversary” backstamp and this was one of those fifty and were individually numbered. Only seventy-five were created with this special edition which included a golden backstamp and a map of North America. A special certificate was provided which included “75 Years of M.I. Hummel”.
The figurine to the left has the earlier TMK-7 trademark and may be unique since the little girl in the blue dress and is looking up and not down toward the flowers in her hand like the production piece shows. A paper sticker on the bottom of this figurine shows an earlier price of $1,599 but the eBay seller is asking $4,000 Buy It Now price and a shipping charge of $29.99 from Fort Myers, Florida.
HUM 855 – Millennium Madonna
Released in the millennium year 2000, this 10½-inch tall, numbered, worldwide limited edition figurine of 7,500 included a hinged velvet lined case for safe storage. Master sculptor Helmut Fischer modeled it in 2000. There is a round decal on the bottom with the words “MILLENNIUM MADONNA” and “In Celebration of Holy Year 2000, ” and an incised 2000 copyright year with the TMK-8 trademark. Originally sold for $495.00 in 2000, the limited number will reflect a greater value than this typically. You will find the production piece in a blue robe with white stars throughout and a light tan bulbous crown upon the Madonna’s head with an under dress of the same or similar color. Note: This is also similar to the HUM 764 – Mission Madonna modeled by Helmut Fisher as well in 1993.
A variation has shown up with a rich purple robe and an orange under dress. The child being held has a matching color garment to this variation. The asking price for the rare version on eBay was $6,995.99 plus $59.95 shipping from Waterloo, Iowa. Upon close inspection, there was only the inscribed number 855 and the inscribed copyright year of 2000 but no painter’s initials nor any representative decals found underneath the base.
The well known authors and Hummel collectors, Robert and Ruth Miller, made famous a good number of variants within the vast number of figurines produced. There is even an article in the 1996 Winter Hummel Insights magazine, “How Does He Like His M.I. Hummels? . . . Rare!” to describe this. The Millers quickly brought worldwide attention to an “International” set of figurines they located and helped to determine a hefty price as to their value. Here are a few of those you may find if you are lucky and have a sharp eye for this type of figurine. The second Goose Girl, Hum 947, sold at auction for $3,910 and the Hum 968 Lost Sheep sold for $3,335. There are many more like these but there were only one or a few produced of each as we understand.
Author. (2019). August 2019 Summary. Retrieved on 12 August 2019 from http://goodwillbuyer.com/august-2019-summary/. Invaluable. (n.d.).
Blackwell Auctions (16 January 2021). Rarest Hummels: The Donald Deeks Collection. Retrieved on 18 May 2023 from https://blackwellauctions.hibid.com/catalog/254709/rarest-hummels–the-donald-deeks-collection
Everything You Need to Know About Hummel Figurines, International Figurines. Received 4 October 2019 from https://www.invaluable.com/blog/inside-the-archives-hummel-figurine-prices/.
Miller, R. L. (2003). The no. 1 price guide to M.I. Hummel: Figurines, plates, more. 9th Edition. Cumberland, MD: Portfolio Press.
Miller, R. L., Ehrmann, E. W., & Pfeiffer, W. (1989). M.I. Hummel: The Golden Anniversary Album.
Miller, R. L., Woodworth, D., & Woodworth, B. (2006). The no. 1 price guide to M.I. Hummel: Figurines, plates, more. Cumberland, MD: Reverie Publishing Company.
Recklinghausen H. A. von. (2013). The official m.i. hummel® price guide : figurines & plates : 2000 full color photos (Second). Krause Publications.