Q: I’m a regular reader of your column in my local newspaper and have learned a lot of interesting things. I inherited this Hummel figurine from my grandmother. It’s about 8 inches tall. My own attempts to learn more about it have led to a variety of opinions, ranging from “a highly desirable collectible” to “a mass-produced piece of junk.” I remember it sitting on my grandmother’s shelf since at least the early 1950s. Since this is a personal keepsake, I’m not interested in selling it. I would just like to know what I have here.
A: W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik of Oeslau (now Rodental), Germany, began making figurines based on the drawings of the nun M.I. Hummel (Berta Hummel) in 1935. Your figurine is called “Merry Wanderer.” It was one of the first 46 figurines introduced in 1935 and has probably been made in more sizes and variations than any other figurine. The “double base,” or “stepped base,” on your figurine is rare. The “full bee” mark, a bumblebee over the letter “V,” on your figurine was used from 1940 to 1959. “Hummel” is the German word for “bumblebee.” The letter “V” is for “Verkaufsgesellschaft,” a German word meaning “sales company.” The “R” indicates the mark was registered. Collecting Hummel figurines was popular in the 1970s and ’80s, but interest waned, and many figurines sell today in groups for about $10 each. Some early figurines sell for a few hundred dollars or more. A few rare figurines sell at auction for over $1,000.
There are lots of nicknames costume jewelry collectors have given their favorite...Read More