People are generally curious as to what the extra items are on any figurine or other M.I. Hummel piece that does not appear to be featured on other items of the same type. I hope to fill you in on what is generally known about these special features and what the additional tags, stamps and stickers mean. There are many more than those selected below but these are typically the more common found on a variety of figurines, plates, etc.
This page was updated on 4 July 2021.
Arbeitsmuster – noun, arbeit (work), muster (sample). Literally, in German, a working sample from which to use as the primary example set before the painter or sculptor the way to paint or put together a figurine or other item. In some cases, as with HUM 574 – Rock-A-Bye, there may be as many as three metal tags attached due to the complexity with the number of figurines.
Arbeitsmuster (stamp & tag) – Here is a good example of both the blue stamped word arbeitsmuster as well as the tag attached to signify that this is a special plate as the “perfect” example from which to learn how this item is supposed to appear. This plate was the HUM 278 – 1985 Annual plate with the Chick Girl showing.
Arbeitsmuster (tag) – The metal tag attached with a wire has the word Arbeitsmuster on one side and W. Goebel – Rödental on the other side. The figurine as shown here with this has the tag attached to the staff of HUM 315 – Mountaineer with a Last of the Bee TMK-5 trademark.
Century (stamp) – As a limited edition produced only in the year 2000 to celebrate the new century, Goebel marked these special figurines with an under the base decal stamp to show how limited they were. These figurines were generally quite complicated with multiple children and sometimes animals populating the top side. This example may be found on HUM 472 – On Our Way.
First Issue – Beginning in 1990, this is a term used by the factory to indicate all newly released figurines during their first year of production. The figurine will typically have a blue decal on the bottom of the base to indicate the year of the first issue during that year and then the following years will no longer include the decal.
First Issue (stamp) – The blue decal stamp is found beneath the base of the figurine with the words FIRST ISSUE in English and ERSTE AUSGABE in German with the first year it was introduced. Some of the figurines may also have the words SPECIAL EVENT below the circle depending on what was being celebrated, such as HUM 341 – Birthday Present.
First Issue (tag) – There are a few figurines that have a tag attached denoting that this is a First Issue along with a special decal on the bottom reflecting the special circumstance as to why it is the first of its kind. Many times, this may be a M.I. Hummel Club Exclusive or some other special event to bring out a new figurine. This certain tag belongs to HUM 793 – Forever Yours.
Final Issue (stamp & tag) – These figurines generally came with both a tag as well as the stamp beneath the base to show that this would be the last issue of this type Hummel and would no longer be produced again. This figurine is HUM 143 – Boots and displays the gold colored tag in both English as well as German that it is the Last Issue. Beneath the base is also a blue decal stamp to verify that this is the Last Issue and will not be lost with the figurine in years to come as the roped tag may disappear.
Musterzimmer – noun, muster (model), zimmer (room). You may find a rare example with this on the base and it implies that it is a perfect example to be publicly displayed as an ideal showroom sample to be used for future reference by production artists.
Musterzimmer (stamp) – The majority of the time when you find a figurine with the Musterzimmer feature, it will be stamped on the base in one format or another. This was true of this example as shown on a HUM 197 2/0 – Be Patient figurine with a Three Line TMK-4 trademark.
Musterzimmer (tag) – This is an unusual piece where a wooden circle of green with the word musterzimmer is on one side and the Stylized Bee logo is on the other attached with a wire on the leg of HUM 95 – Brother to be auctioned off on Sunday, 4 July 2021.
Temporarily Withdrawn (tag) – Assigned by the factory to indicate that a particular item is being withdrawn from production for some time, but may be reinstated at a future date. Designated with the initials TW as with HUM 413 – Whistler’s Duet with an attached tag as shown.