Rare Hummels – Faience

   A Faience piece is finished in bright colors and a glossy appearance due to an early technique of adding brilliant colors to the figurines. These were old lead and cadmium based paints. They did not cure evenly and were not used in production models. These pieces are a true rarity with the Faience technique using a finishing method of tin based glazes with a narrow range of color and resulting in the bright colors and glossy finish. This limited color selection and glossy finish were unsuitable for the proper production of the M.I. Hummel figurines and did not accurately reflect the original artwork of Sister Hummel as noted by the Sießen Convent. These were the experimental years for the Goebel company with the material to create the physical figurines as well as the color pallet that closely matched the colors on the original artwork by Sister Hummel.

This page was updated on 11 July 2021.

HUM 1 – Puppy Love

      Faience
      The colorization of these figurines is very similar to the HUM 2 – Little Fiddler below with the exception of having a small dog in front listening to the violin playing. You may have also noticed there are other colors that are quite obvious on this one as well. A few sample pieces have been located decorated with bright colors and a glossy finish of the Faience technique as illustrated here. Robert Miller quotes a value in his 2003 price guide of between $5,000 and $6,000 depending on the size and condition.  Notice the very pale face and hands. This one is rarely seen with the doll face, making it possibly, one of the very first from this model number.  The Buy It Now price on eBay was $3,500 on 14 June 2021.

     This second one, to the right, is a bit different, as though there was some experimentation to see which one matched the original artwork best or possibly which the Sießen Convent sisters would prefer. The head is tilted differently, the suspenders are a different color, the hairstyle is changed and this one has a bowtie but the colors are otherwise, just about the same. This one is from a private collection. There may be more of these available for future additions to your own collection so keep an eye out for one.

HUM 2 – Little Fiddler

      Height – 5⅛”
      Faience
      Here is an unusual figurine that is very similar to the HUM 4 Little Fiddler with the exception of having a brown hat with an orange hat band rather than black and typically being of a larger size. You may have also noticed there are other colors that are quite obvious on this one as well. The old name in some of the earlier catalogs was “Violinist” or “The Wandering Fiddler”.  The figurine in general was Temporarily Withdrawn (TW) on 31 December 1989.

      A few sample pieces have been located decorated with bright colors and a glossy finish of the Faience technique as illustrated here. Robert Miller quotes a value in his 2003 price guide of between $5,000 and $6,000 depending on the size and condition.  Notice the very pale face and hands. This one is rarely seen with the doll face, making it possibly, one of the very first from this model number. This figurine has a break at the neck just above the shoulders and is a noticeable repair.  The only distinguishable mark on the bottom of the base is a green stamped Crown TMK-1 trademark. The figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 21 November 2020 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $1,900.00.

HUM 7/I – Merry Wanderer

     Height – 7½”
     Faience
     Crown TMK-1
     This piece has a very different appearance due to what they call the Faience finish. These were old lead and cadmium based paints. They did not cure evenly and weren’t used in production models. You may also notice that this Hummel has a seldom seen step base. It has an Incised Crown TMK-1 trademark and is from the Robert L. Miller Collection. This figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $2,300.00.

 

HUM 8 – Bookworm

     Faience
     Crown TMK-1
     This little bookworm is very special and very limited as well. This one lacks both a signature(as far as can be ascertained) and the model number. Seldom ever seen except perhaps in a private collection, should another example show up at an auction or estate sale, grab it, if you can afford it. Any Faience Hummel figurine you might come across will command a premium price due to the demand, finite supply and the fact that the few that exist are rarely released for public purchase. This certain piece is from a private collection.

HUM 33 – Joyful, Ashtray

     Crown TMK-1
     Height – 3¾”
     Faience
     First modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1935, this piece is a true rarity with the Faience technique using a finishing method of tin based glazes with a narrow range of color having the bright colors and glossy finish. Robert appraised this style at between $3,000 and $5,000. The size is 6.30 inches long (16 cm long). The seller has it listed on eBay with an auction to terminate on Sunday, 6 December 2020 currently showing a very active auction ending with a purchase of $1,025.00 with a shipping charge of $60 from Germany.

     This figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $550.00.  As of 17 March 2021, I found the very same figurine on eBay with a Buy It Now price asking $2,999.95 plus $34.95 shipping from Waterloo, Iowa.

       As another example of this rare HUM 33 – Joyful ashtray, this one can be used for comparison and contrast to show how the colors were under less control as far as conformity which was one reason for abandoning this type of decoration. This certain figurine is from a private collection. Notice that the face was unpainted and there is a great variation of the colors from the ashtray above.

HUM 38 – Joyous News Angel with Lute, Candleholder

     Crown TMK-1
     Height – 2”
     Faience
     This was first modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1935. Early pieces, like this little candle holder, did not carry a size designator due to the small size. The color you can expect to find this HUM 38 in would be in an medium blue dress with tan colored shoes but this one shown clearly has the dress painted in a deep shade of red and red shoes. The seller says he purchased it at the closure of the M.I. Hummel Museum in Massing from Alfred Hummel and believes it may be a Faience version due to the white colorization of the face. Compare the glossy appearance with HUM 33 above. The eBay Buy It Now asking price is $1,750 along with a shipping charge of $60 from Germany.

HUM 40 – Joyous News Angel with Trumpet, Candleholder

     Crown TMK-1
     Height – 2”
     Faience
     First modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1935. Early pieces, like this little candle holder, did not carry a size designator due to the small size. The color you can expect to find this HUM 40 in would be in an orange dress with tan colored shoes but this one shown clearly has the dress painted in a shade of blue and blue shoes. The seller says he purchased it at the closure of the M.I. Hummel Museum in Massing from Alfred Hummel and believes it may be a Faience version due to the white colorization of the face. The eBay Buy It Now asking price is $1,750 along with a shipping charge of $60 from Germany.

HUM 105 – Adoration With Bird

     Height – 4¾”
     Faience
     Closed Edition (CE)
     This figurine was very limited in production and listed as a Closed Edition (CE) on the factory records on 24 May 1938. All of the known examples have a double crown (incised and stamped) trademark. Creation of this figurine has been credited to master sculptor Reinhold Unger but has not been verified nor has the date of the creation. Reinhold Unger created the model for HUM 23 – Adoration which is very similar in design and probably why he is given this honor. There have been ten to fifteen pieces located since the initial discovery in 1977 with the only variation being the pigtail of the little girl where some are very detailed and others not as much. This figurine is considered extremely rare and Robert Miller put an estimated value of between $7,000 and $8,000 on it. A later estimate by Heidi Ann Von Recklinghausen has it as between $4,200 and $4,800, still a sizable amount of money if you run across one. I located this one for sale on 5 November 2020 at Catawiki.com on the auction block in faience porcelain with the pigtail pointing down instead of forward.

HUM 113 – Heavenly Song, Candleholder

     3¾ inches tall
     Faience
     Crown TMK-1 and Full Bee TMK-2
     Originally modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1938 and was produced in limited quantities. Due to it being very similar to a previous figurine, HUM 54 Silent Night, the factory decided it should not be produced again as such and was listed in 1980 as a closed edition. There is at least one piece that was found with a TMK-5 trademark but production ended with the Three Line TMK-4 trademark. All specimens of the HUM 113 Heavenly Song, candleholder are considered to be extremely rare. The figurine shown here with both Crown TMK-1 and Full Bee TMK-2 trademarks was available on eBay on 10 December 2020 with a relatively low Buy It Now price of $1,725 plus $41.90 shipping from Ohio. This figurine is 3¾ inches tall to the tip of the angel’s wings and contains a base that measures 5 inches long and 3 inches deep to the candle-well. The seller indicates they are aware of no more than a total of seventy-five of this figurine in private collections. This figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $450.00.

    As a contrast / comparison, this next figurine comes from the Donald Deeks Collection, a major Hummel collector and a good friend of Robert Miller. There was one located with the Faience technique applied with very bright colors and a glossy finish and this may be it. A Faience piece is finished in bright colors and a glossy finish due to an early technique of adding brilliant colors to the figurines. As a comparison, the children’s clothing are mostly reversed colors from other piece shown above. This Hummel measures approximately 3½ inches tall and is a Double Crown TMK-1 with both the incised as well as a stamped trademark also referred to as TMK-1 + 1. This figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $700.00 and is now part of a large private collection of rare and unusual M.I. Hummel figurines.

Little Girl with Rabbit and Pot

     Faience
     This is actually not a M.I. Hummel figurine but it is made by Goebel and certainly appears similar to the colorization of those listed above. The rabbit is a departure from the typical position used but is quite similar to other examples where a rabbit is part of the figurine. Making this item even more different is the fact of the attached pot. Although the pot is not like those of the other submissions to the Convent with the undulating top, it is worth adding to this list. This unidentified item was in a private collection and I wanted to place it here with the rest of the Hummel Faience figurines just in case it is a unique piece. There may even be another similar to it for you to keep a watch for in the future.

 

References

Anonymous (2021). Private collection

Deeks, D. (16 January 2021). Live Auctioneers. Rarest Hummels: The Donald Deeks Collection. Retrieved from https://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/189251_rarest-hummels-the-donald-deeks-collection/.