Find the value of your figurines
Some are sentimental. Some are sophisticated. But no matter what they are, decorative figurines – those whimsical depictions of people, historic characters or animals in ceramic or glass – may have some serious value. Our Savvy Specialists can help you determine if those miniature statues you’ve inherited, been given, or just gotten tired of dusting may be more valuable than you thought.
HOW TO FIND A FIGURINE’S VALUE
Once we've identified the manufacturer, age, model, and condition of the figurine, our Savvy Specialists complete a Quick Appraisal which includes research, stories and special features about it. We can also tell you more about the specific model, including a valuation analysis that includes what similar figurines have sold for.
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FIGURING OUT FIGURINES
The practice of depicting characters or creatures in miniaturized, glazed porcelain really took off in 1710, when a German earthenware manufacturer finally figured out a formula for making hard-paste porcelain (up to then, it was the earthy art was unique to Asia). Böttger located his porcelain works in Meissen and to this day, Meissen remains a major producer and synonym for quality work.
From 1740 to 1900, porcelain factories popped up all over the European continent. Other big names in glazed porcelain figurines, many still in existence, include Capodimonte of Naples; Royal Doulton of Staffordshire, England; and Royal Copenhagen of Denmark.
In the 20th century, a number of European and American entrepreneurs got into the figurines game. Goebel’s Hummel figurines of cutesy kiddies debuted in 1935. In Spain, after World War II, three brothers founded Lladró, known for depicting literary and theatrical characters. In the 1970s, Samuel J. Butcher’s devotional Precious Moments cards and posters of children were transformed by Enesco into ceramic Precious Moments figurines.
While porcelain was the material of choice for most figurine makers, glass has also been used. America’s Steuben began doing sculptural creatures in the 1950s, and Austria’s Swarovski since 1976.
Although 18th-century and early 19th-century pieces that pre-date the Industrial Revolution are in high demand, old does not always mean valuable. A figurine’s worth often reflects collector demand and trends. Its edition status is significant too: whether it’s from a limited edition (produced in a specific number of quantities during a definite time period, an annual edition (produced just for a year) or retired (no longer being made).
Edition info is often indicated by numbers on the bottom of a piece. Highly valuable figurines have a distinguishing maker’s or designer’s mark. Meissen has a logo of crossed swords, for example.
Definitely provide photographic close-ups of any logos, numerals or marks on your figurine. The more info our experts have, the easier it will be for them to complete the appraisal.
MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR FIGURINE
As with most collectibles, condition is (almost) everything. Any and all flaws will devalue your figurine, but repairs are a hotly debated subject. Best to leave a piece alone, unless it’s in imminent danger of falling totally apart.
You can (and should) get rid of excess dirt and dust by gently rubbing the figurine with a soft microfiber cloth. Occasional washing (porcelain and stoneware are typically is also recommended for porcelain and stoneware (which are watertight), to ensure that the surface stays bright and glossy. Use very mild soaps, as harsh chemicals can strip the glaze, and soak the piece rather than holding it under running water.
When it comes to storage, display cases or deep shelves are generally good options. You may wish to place protective felt under the bottom of the figurine.
SELL FIGURINES ONLINE
StuffSavvy can match you with Online Partners to get you the most value for the figurine you'd like to sell. This is a good option once you know the value you want to sell the item for.
FIND PLACES TO SELL USED FIGURINES NEAR ME
StuffSavvy can also match you with local consignment shops and auction houses. This is the best option if you want to work with additional Specialists to maximize the resale value of your figurine.