The topic for this page was an obvious choice to have you consider looking for interesting mistakes that make these figurines “rare” and therefore, perhaps even more desirable.
Page updated on 3 March 2023.
As an example of a simple mistake, the following HUM 5 – Strolling Along, in an early transitional trademark TMK-1 Crown/TMK-2 Full Bee, is one I had not seen before but warrants closer inspection when you are looking over your collection or another that may be for sale. I don’t know if the value is increased due to it having left the factory with this mistake, but it is worth having in your collection to show on those special occasions for the fun of it. Percentage wise, Goebel have very few mistakes so grab it if you find one. See if you can find this mistake as it not quite so obvious.
Hint: What country was this made in?
Some of the figurines that show up with mistakes from the factory, could and do at times, bring in higher prices due to the rarity of the item. Here is one example that I doubt I will ever see again but is well worth keeping an eye out for in the future, if you can afford it, that is. This one is HUM 331 Crossroads with both a TMK-3 and a TMK-5 skipping the trademark between. It would appear that the later trademark was added since this figurine has the incised circle to show where to place the earlier trademark and has the black stamped copyright. Another example of the two trademarks being more than one apart surfaced in March of 2023 with the figurine HUM 345. I have seen a lot of TMK-1 and TMK-2 transitional pieces but would not know what to call this one. The asking price was $750 plus $14 shipping.
TMK-3 and TMK-5 Trademarks
HUM 331 – Crossroads
HUM 345 – A Fair Measure
3 Trademarks for HUM 46/1 – Praying Madonna
The following is another figurine, HUM 46/1 – Praying Madonna, with an unusual situation with three trademarks, 1 Crown TMK-1 and two Full Bee TMK-2 markings. I have never seen one like this nor am able to find any information on why this might have occurred. I can only speculate that the older Full Bee mark, the larger black one was stamped and then later on the smaller blue Full Bee mark was added. This is a transitional piece with the figurine being made during the Crown TMK-1 period and possibly painted during the Full Bee period.
Every now and then, on a rare occasion, you will find an example of a figurine that missed the expert eye of the person in quality control where the paint didn’t cover everything it was supposed to. Here are two such figurines that caught the eye of the collector. See if you can find where the mistakes were made on HUM 226 – The Mail Is Here and HUM 119 – Postman. When you consider how many figurines have been produced since the first one was introduced, with the number of steps and people it takes to create just one, mistakes have been found, but not very many. When they do, and you are privileged to own one such rarity, consider yourself fortunate to have a great conversation piece. The HUM 226 – The Mail Is Here was offered for $169.99 and the HUM 119 – Postman had a starting bid of $119.
Not only do you look for errors in the paint applied, but also check how the pieces were put together at the factory. Some of these figurines that made it to the public have brought a lot of attention from the experts in this field as well as a lot of money to be exchanged for ownership of the very rare pieces. One of these is an excellent example of a rare crown marked HUM 99 – Eventide to the left where you will notice that the one in error has the sheep directly in front of the children. For comparison, the one with the sheep to the children’s left is correct.
I was lucky to find an example of less extreme in one of my TMK-2 HUM 99 – Eventide of misplaced sheep. The little boy, in this example, has his left foot sitting squarely on the head of one of the sheep. You may also notice that there is more room from the edge of the base in one and not in the other. Although the one I have is clearly not as valuable as the other photograph shows, it does indicate the variation you can find from one figurine and another. It did however, generate a bit of fun conversation at one of the Hummel club meetings I attended.
Created by master sculptor Arthur Möeller in 1937, this figurine has undergone a number of changes in both size and some of the features. An interesting and quite uncommon occurrence happened at the factory with HUM 65 – Farwell. There was a new version of this figurine created in error in the early 1980s. In the process of assembling the figurine, the basket was improperly placed that made it look like the handle was missing nearest to the little girl. You will find many of this figurine with this mistake due, in part, to the number of figurines produced in this time period.
Mistake or Modification?
HUM 71 – Stormy Weather
One of my favorite figurines is HUM 71 Stormy Weather in the larger 6¾ inch size. I have a few of this figurine in different trademarks but noticed that one of the TMK-1/TMK-2 transitional pieces had the umbrella handle pointed outward while all the rest had the handle angled away from the little girl. There were other differences in this certain Stormy Weather as well. He was missing the vertical straps to hold up his pants and the flowers were quite different as well. Also, the little girls right pig tail was positioned at a different angle as well. I took this one and another “normal” TMK-1 Crown figurine to a Hummel Club meeting and it was decided that it was possible this was an earlier sample from the beginning of this model HUM 71 and when World War II ended, Goebel may have been desperate in finding pieces they could sell, found this one tucked away on a shelf and marked it with the Full Bee stamp along with the incised Crown not noticing or disregarding the differences between it and the more “up-to-date” examples. Maybe or maybe not, but it sounds possible.
I found this example to your left that does have the regular lederhosen straps as well as the same flower but the handle is pointed out and the girl’s hair is different. You will also find that the newer and smaller HUM 71 2/0 – Stormy Weather versions have the umbrella handle pointed out much like my earlier version of this figurine. I will add a photograph of my “strange” figurine when time allows.
HUM 133 – Mother’s Helper
There are a good number of examples where modifications and changes have been made within a certain figurine over the time it was produced. Then, there are the mistakes that make the figurine that much more interesting and a good conversation piece to show at the local Hummel chapter meetings.
HUM 133 – Mother’s Helper may be one or the other but the figurine is interesting and certainly would be easy to make the mistake when placing the stool incorrectly on the base during the early phase of putting the figurine together prior to the first firing. This TMK-2 Full Bee “mistake” shown to the right of the two here was located on eBay in March of 2023 and noted in the description that the legs were incorrect. The Buy It Now asking price of $399.99 plus shipping price of $25.00 from Heideck, Germany is right along with Robert Miller’s 10th edition price guide suggested value. It also has the red initials of Goebel’s master paintress Erna Schoenheit as indicated with the three red parallel lines. The correct production model show to the far left is a TMK-5 version and shows the stool in the proper position. Did you happen to notice some of the other lesser visible differences between the two?
a sharp eye to notice the variations of one from the others.
This page will be updated as additional interesting
Hummel figurines are discovered.
Check back often!
Author. (2019). August 2019 Summary. Retrieved on 12 August 2019 from http://goodwillbuyer.com/august-2019-summary/.
Invaluable. (n.d.). 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.