Are you familiar with Hummel figurines? Do you know where they originated? Hummels were based on the artistic talent of an artist, who was born Berta Hummel. In adulthood, Berta Hummel joined a Franciscan convent and became Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel.
At the convent, she became an art teacher who often painted portraits of children. Many of her portraits and drawings were melancholy, reflecting the stress of the times in which she lived. In 1934, some of her drawings were published on art cards and in an art book and blended with poems written by Margaret Seeman to match the pictures. The book, Das Hummel Buch was an immediate success (in English, The Hummelbook).
The Convent also allowed Hummel art cards on a variety of subjects to be published and distributed throughout Europe, thanks to the efforts of a Munich-based publisher.
Franz Goebel, founder of the Goebel Company that produced porcelain figurines, saw the drawings of Sister Maria and, with much effort, persuaded her to allow her two-dimensional drawings to become three-dimensional statues.
Only after certain promises were made did she agree: the figurines would be the highest quality, she could have final artistic control and approval, and she received a guarantee that her signature would be incised on the bottom of each figurine.
In 1935 at the Leipzig Fair, a major international trade show, the figurines were introduced and were hugely successful.
Like many artists, Sister Maria Innocentia would not live to see how well the world, in coming years, would receive her art. During WWII, the convent where she lived was subject to great hardship, which led to her illness and death at age 37.
WWII also took a toll on Goebel's industry, but after the war, Hummel figurines of American GI's helped to bolster Goebel's recovery, and also served to foster appreciation for these originals.
Today, Hummel figurines are a much-loved collectors item. Several models are valued at hundreds to thousands of dollars each. Some of the most sought after pieces are:
Secondary market values are determined by several criteria including age, condition, supply and demand.
There are 4 very important factors in determining the value of your Hummel:
1). The trademark
2). The mold number
3). The size of your Hummel
4). The condition of your Hummel.