Rare Hummels – the MELs

        Knowing your M.I. Hummel figurine resources can come in handy when you run across one you have not seen before. Here are a few of the older and less known “MELs” that other people have found. These were produced between 1939 and 1940 as samples only and were marked as such with the three-letter prefix “MEL” incised with the mold number where space was provided but all are considered to be quite scarce. I thought it would be fun to show some of what you might keep your eyes open for located on the Internet from time to time. A number of these include the asking price where this was provided along with the date found to give you some idea of the dollar range you might expect to see. This is just a sampling from the very many figurines you may run across upon your searching. They are listed in numerical order by their mold numbers for your convenience. A chart of all 29 of these follows at the very end of this page.

     Most of these MELs were created as prototypes with various colorization and poses to present as samples to the sisters at the Sießen Convent with only a few being accepted in the very beginning of the Hummel figurine creations. Some of these samples made their way as gifts to the workers and were considered by them as “trinkets” as I was told.  You may find one of these if you keep your eyes open and books handy. The following figurines are some good examples of what to look that have recently become available.  Be sure to visit the What’s New web page to see what has been added to this site that you might have missed.

This page was updated on 17 June 2021.

 
   Chart of MEL figurines

This is a list of the 29 known MELs and their value based on Robert Miller’s 10th edition of his No. 1 Price List.

MEL   1  Girl with Nosegay        300-500       Similar to HUM 115

MEL   2  Girl with Fir Tree          300-500       Similar to HUM 116

MEL   3  Boy with Horse            300-500       Similar to HUM 117

MEL   4  Box with Boy on Lid             –            No known examples

MEL   5  Box with Girl on Lid              –            No known examples

MEL   6  Box with Child in Bed on Top            2,000-3,000

MEL   7  Box with Child Sitting on Top            2,000-3,000

MEL   8  Angel Bust/Madonna w/ wings         5,000-7,000

MEL   6  Bulgarian Boy with Horn               10,000-15,000      See HUM 806

MEL   7  Bulgarian Girl with Rooster           10,000-15,000      See HUM 807

MEL   Bulgarian Boy Playing Bagpipe     10,000-15,000      See HUM 808

MEL   Bulgarian Girl Feeding Chickens    10,000-15,000      See HUM 809

MEL 10  Bulgarian Girl Dancing                    10,000-15,000      See HUM 810

MEL 11  Bulgarian Boy Dancing                   10,000-15,000      See HUM 811

MEL 12  Serbian Girl                                       10,000-15,000      See HUM 812

MEL 13  Serbian Boy Playing Gusle              10,000-15,000      See HUM 813

MEL 14  Child in Bed, Wall, Plaque                2,000-3,000          See HUM 137/B

MEL 15  Tiny Baby in Crib, Plaque                 2,000-3,000          See HUM 138

MEL 16  Flitting Butterfly, Wall Plaque          2,000-2,500          See HUM 139

MEL 24  Swedish Merry Wanderer                10,000-15,000      See HUM 824

MEL 25  Swedish Girl with Letter                   10,000-15,000      See HUM 825

MEL 31  Slovakian Boy Playing Horn             10,000-15,000      See HUM 831

MEL 32  Slovakian Girl with Letter                 10,000-15,000      See HUM 832

MEL 41  Czech Boy Holding Lamb                 10,000-15,000      See HUM 841

MEL 42  Czech Goose Girl                               10,000-15,000      See HUM 842

MEL 51  Hungarian  Boy with Staff                10,000-15,000      See HUM 851

MEL 52  Hungarian Girl                                    10,000-15,000      See HUM 852

MEL 53  Hungarian Boy with Dog                  10,000-15,000      See HUM 853

MEL 54  Hungarian Girl                                    10,000-15,000      See HUM 854

Have fun collecting!

MEL 1 – Girl with Nosegay
MEL 2 – Girl with Fir Tree
MEL 3 – Boy with Horse

          Height – 3½”
          These first three are the more common of all the Mel figurine series which were considered a very early “catch all” for the rejected items as well as possible experimental including two International designs. Notice that the word “Mel” is the last three letters of Hummel. The Mel 1 – Girl with Nosegay, Mel 2 – Girl with Fir Tree and Mel 3 – Boy with Horse were the more common of all the Mel figurines and these three were modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1939. The rear view of Mel 1 and Mel 3 show the word “Mel” on the base as illustrated to the right. Click the image for an enlargement. Robert Miller placed a value of between $300 and $500 each on these in 2003. In the mid-1950s, these three were remodeled by master sculptor Gerhard Skrobek and assigned the model numbers HUM 115 – Girl with Nosegay, HUM 116 – Girl with Fir Tree and HUM 117 – Boy with Horse candlesticks with the M.I. Hummel signature. These were designed from the original drawings of Sister M.I. Hummel but some reason were not approved by the Sießen Convent. There were 29 different Mel figurines accounted for with the last one bearing the number 54 so be on the lookout for the remaining 25 unaccounted for. Some of these were appraised for upwards of $15,000 each! These three were on eBay with a Buy It Now option of $1,000. The first two are of the Crown TMK-1 trademark and the third is a Full Bee TMK-2 trademark.

    The figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $100.00

MEL 1 – Girl with Nosegay

     Height – 3½”
     Here is the MEL 1 – Girl with Nosegay.  As mentioned previously, the MEL figurines were some of the earlier “What If’s” and were very limited in production and may be one-of-a-kind in some cases. According to “Luckey’s Hummel Figurines & Plates”, the MELs were created as samples only. This one was also produced as HUM 115 – Advent Candlestick, Girl With Nosegay.  This one has the incised letters “Mel 1”, the transitional markings with the incised Crown TMK-1 as well as the stamped Full Bee TMK-2 trademarks on the bottom of the item. The word “Mel” is also found on the back of the base. This particular figurine was listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $500.00 with free shipping from Quakertown, Pennsylvania on 1 June 2021.

MEL 2 – Girl with Fir Tree

     Height – 3½”
     Here is another example of the MEL series with MEL 3 – Girl with Fir Tree.  The MEL figurines  were very limited in production and may be one-of-a-kind in some cases. According to “Luckey’s Hummel Figurines & Plates”, the MELs were created as samples only. This one was also produced as HUM 116 – Advent Candlestick, Girl With Fir. This figurine has shown up a number of times as indicated by the one above having a different note on the base. This one, however, has the incised letters “Mel 2”, the transitional markings with both the incised Crown TMK-1 as well as the stamped Full Bee TMK-2 trademarks on a rather flat bottomed base with an earlier German penciled in price of 3.75.

     The MEL 2 in this case was located on 1 January 2021 on eBay and the seller of this fine little figurine has a Buy It Now asking price of $232.95 with free shipping from Grove City, Ohio.

MEL 3 – Boy with Horse

     Height – 3½”
     This is the MEL 3 – Boy with Horse.  These first three MELs were the more common of this total collection of Hummel figurines but are still to be considered quite rare. According to “Luckey’s Hummel Figurines & Plates”, the MELs were created as samples only. MEL 3 was also later produced as HUM 117 – Advent Candlestick, Boy With Horse.  This little item is quite different from the preceding two in that it does not have any markings on the bottom but rather, is hollow with a doughnut hole but also has the word “Mel” incised on the back of the base.
     This particular figurine was listed on eBay from Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a total negotiated price of $39.99 on 25 May 2021 and is now a part of my personal collection. There are still some great deals to be found but you have to look for them.

MEL 6 – Child in Bed, Candy Dish

    There are at least twenty-nine of a possible fifty-four different numbered MEL pieces known to exist today. Instead of having an inscribed HUM, they show an earlier inscribed MEL along with the mold number. Factory records have two more figurines identified as MEL 6 – Child in Bed Candy Dish and MEL 7 – Tiny Child Angel (sitting on the lid of a candy dish).
    This figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $425.00.

MEL 7 – Tiny Child Angel, Candy Dish

     Height – 5½”
     Crown TMK-1
     Master sculptor Arthur Möeller modeled this lidded candy dish or trinket box with a figural child and bird in 1946. MEL 7 was released around 1947 and was adapted from an unknown drawing by Sister Hummel. For the figurine on the left, there is no incised M I Hummel signature showing but there is an incised Crown TMK-1 trademark with a “Made in U.S. Zone Germany” on the bottom of the dish. The head has been repaired by Sidmore in July of 1999. This small figurine has a value in the very high hundreds according to Robert Miller. According to Eagles of War, a transitional TMK-1/TMK-2 MEL 7 recently sold for $1,652.

     This MEL figurine was also part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $550.00.

     The figurine to the right is second example and clearly different from the first. The head is tilted more toward looking at the two flowers directly in front of the child on the “ground” whereas the first one to the left is looking at the flowers in the child’s right hand. This second version is in a private collection. Keep a watch as there may be more of this version available for purchase in the near future.

MEL 8 – Angel Bust / Madonna with Wings

     TMK-1 / TMK-2 Transitional
     This piece was first modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1945 but was not accepted by the Sisters at the Sießen Convent. Robert Miller places a value in his 2003 Price Guide at between $5,000 and $7,000. The one shown here was reported by Eagles of War as being sold on 24 March 2012 for $3,250.

MEL 14 (HUM 137) HUM 137 B – Child in Bed, Wall Plaque (looking right)

Closed Edition (CE)
Originally modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1940 as a set of two small wall plaques – one child looking left and one child looking right. The first known example of 137 A was found hanging on a kitchen wall somewhere in Hungary in 1986. Since that time several other examples have been found in Europe. The child looking right (HUM 137 B) has been on the market for years and can be found in all trademark periods. Current production models are numbered 137 only, incised on the back along with the “M.I. Hummel” signature. Also called “Baby Ring with Ladybug” or “Ladybug Plaque” in old catalogues. A rare “Mel 14” was recently found in Amsterdam, Holland. It is identical in size, color and construction to HUM 137 B “Child in Bed” wall plaque. This piece has no “M.I. Hummel” signature but is clearly incised “Mel 14” along with a “double crown” trademark. Factory records indicate it was sculpted on 18 July 1940.

MEL 15 (HUM 138) – Tiny Baby in Crib, Wall Plaque

Closed Number (CN)
According to factory information, this small plaque was never produced for sale. The original model was made by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1940. Now listed on factory records as a Closed Number (CN) meaning that this design was produced as a sample model, but then for various reasons never authorized for release. Apparently, a very few examples left the factory and have been found in Germany. This plaque would be extremely rare. Recently found factory records indicate this was originally produced as “Mel 15” in 1940.

MEL 16 (HUM 139) – Flitting Butterfly, Wall Plaque

TMK-3, Width – 2½”
First modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1940, this plaque is also known as “Butterfly Plaque”. Early crown mark pieces have no dots on girl’s dress. The “M.I. Hummel” signature has been on the back during all time periods. Redesigned in the 1960’s with no air space behind the girl’s head. Some design and color variations have evolved through the years of production. This may not have been produced in TMK-4. Recently found factory records indicate this was originally produced as “Mel 16” in 1940.

MEL 24 (HUM 824) – Swedish Merry Wanderer

     Height – 5″ to 5¼”
     Double Crown
     TMK-1
     The two figurines MEL 24 and MEL 25 started off with a MEL designation as many of the earlier figurines did in 1940. With the number 24, you would expect there to be the possibility of finding several more of these early figurines. There are actually at least the probability of finding 54 with this highest number being located so far. This Double Crown TMK-1 highly sought out figurine was modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1940 as a Swedish representation and has the same appearance as that of HUM 824. Robert Miller places a value in his 2003 Price Guide at between $10,000 and $15,000. There is one that surfaced recently and has been reported by Eagles of War as being sold for $6,175.

    This International figurine is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $1,700.00.

MEL 25 (HUM 825) – Swedish Girl with Letter

     Height – 5″
     Double Crown TMK-1
     Modeled by Arthur Möeller in 1940 and very similar to the International HUM 832 – Slovakian Girl with Letter in the idea of having a basket on one arm and holding a letter in her hand, this very colorful figurine is instead showing a Mel 25 on the bottom of the base as a possible, early sample to consider. Robert L. Miller has in his 9th Edition of the Price Guide on page 438 that this is also considered to be the HUM 825 (B) figurine. This is part of the Donald Deeks Collection held at auction on Saturday, 16 January 2021 in Clearwater, Florida and sold for $3,500.00.

References

Blackwell Auctions (2021). Blackwell Auctions. Retrieved from https://www.gotoauction.com/sales/view/254997.html

Eagles of War (2020). Eagles of War, M. I. Hummel Figurines Catalog / Reference Book. Retrieved from http://www.eow1.com/default.aspx

Hummel Gifts (2020). M.I. Hummel Gifts, The Official Shop. Retrieved from https://hummelgifts.com/

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. V. (2013). Official M. I. Hummel Price Guide, 2nd edition.

WorthPoint (2020). WorthPoint, Discover, Value, Store. Retrieved from https://www.worthpoint.com/