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Lladro & Nao FAQs

BY SOPHIE COLCLOUGH

Are Lladró and Nao the same company?

Lladró was established by three brothers in Spain in 1953. The brothers created porcelain figurines, sculptures and homeware, of such a fine quality that they became recognised as a premium brand. Their collections quickly became critically acclaimed and popular across Europe and the USA.

As the company expanded through the 1960s, apprentices were taken on and the Nao range was born. The apprentices would work on less detailed pieces that were made of denser porcelain and had less of the intricate tulle and delicate petals that Lladró pieces are known for. That’s how the new Nao line of porcelain figurines was born.

Nao pieces rapidly became popular as affordable alternatives for those who still appreciate beauty and craftsmanship, making Lladro’s porcelain figurines accessible to everyone. Nao Porcelain took off, gaining reputation as a separate brand.

While the two brands are owned by the same Lladró group, they do operate as separate entities with distinct styles and pieces.

Where are Lladró and Nao porcelain figurines made?

Lladró and Nao figurines are still made in the Spanish city of Valencia, where the company was originally founded by the Lladró brothers. Their bustling trade became such an essential part of the local economy that Valencia became known as the ‘city of porcelain’ among locals.

The workshops are situated in Tavernes Blanques, about a 15 minute journey from the centre of Valencia. You can visit a Lladró museum and take a guided tour around the boutique where the figurines are produced to experience the magic of Lladró for yourself.

Left: Nao So Shy | Right: Lladro Ingenue

How can you tell if a Lladró figurine is genuine?

There are several ways to verify the authenticity of a Lladró figurine:

Base markings

Genuine Lladró pieces will have a series of marks on the base in the form of stamps and signatures. These guarantee that your porcelain figurines have been crafted by one of Lladró’s artisans. The blue Lladró logo will be on the bottom of most pieces, although some older editions will feature a slightly different symbol that dates back to the origins of the company.

Certificates

Some older Lladró figurines will come with a printed certificate of authenticity, letting you know the name and number of the piece. In more recent years however Lladro have moved towards having an optional online registration process, meaning that your newer Lladró pieces won’t have the same physical certificate to help you identify them.

What is the difference between figures from a numbered series and limited edition pieces?

Limited edition pieces will come with a numbered certificate that tells you which number the figure is out of the total limited production run. The ‘limited’ term means that once the full amount of pieces have been made, the mold will be destroyed and no more will ever be produced. Therefore a limited edition piece will have a number that looks like this: “142 of 350”, telling you that there are only 350 of this piece in existence.

This is not to be confused with part of a numbered series, which will have a single number that tells you how many have been made before yours, without having a limit on the number of figures that can be made from the same mold.

How do I clean my Lladro Figurines?

For day-to-day cleaning, a gentle once-over with a soft feather duster will keep your Lladró figurines looking fresh.

If you have some dirt build-up or have had a splash or spill resulting in something like tea or coffee on your porcelain piece, there is a more delicate process that is recommended for cleaning them.

With any cleaning method, always be careful around any delicate parts of the piece, particularly any flowers or small pieces, as these are easily damaged.

With glazed pieces you can wash them in a bowl of luke-warm water, using only a soft, lint-free cloth or soft-bristled brush depending on the delicacy of the piece. Avoid using any chemicals if possible, although a highly diluted and gentle dish soap can be helpful in removing any stains. Where possible, try to keep the base of the piece out of the water, as the rough bottom that has been dry-footed will be the most porous, and therefore most likely to absorb liquid into the piece and disrupt the paints or glaze should it not thoroughly dry out.

If there are cracks in the glaze or you are handling a gres, matte or re-deco piece, we recommend taking your Lladro to a professional porcelain cleaner or restorer to have the best chance at preserving their original colours and textures.

How long does it take to get a Special Purchase Lladró figurines delivered?

When you order a special purchase item you will see that our estimated delivery time is between 7 and 10 working days. This is because we order these pieces in from Spain, and it can take almost a couple of weeks for them to arrive with us here in Canterbury, then an additional day or two for them to reach you at home.

We advise ordering pieces about two to three weeks before you need them if you are giving them as a gift for a special occasion, just to be on the safe side.

Do we buy second-hand Lladró figurines?

Sadly, the answer to this is no. We only work with brand new Lladró and Nao pieces, buying them directly from the manufacturers in Spain. Lladró also has a policy of not interfering in the second-hand market, meaning that your best option for selling on your pieces is to find a second-hand site or auction house that specializes in Lladró or other similar porcelain brands.

The Lladró website states that “You may consult an antiques dealer or an auction house… although we cannot recommend any to you: you can also seek information on the internet. We regret that we cannot be of more assistance.”

Despite having a policy of not interfering with the second-hand market, we do often receive questions about it, so below are some handy tips for how to sell on your figurines.

Can we help you estimate the value a Lladró figurine?

As we don’t deal in the second-hand market, there is very little we could do to help you find the current value of a second-hand Lladró piece. You can search our shop to see the prices of current Lladró issues, sadly beyond that there is little we can offer in terms of a price guide.

Lladró themselves have released a statement to the effect that “Unfortunately, we cannot help you in calculating the current value of the sold-out figurine… The value will depend on offer and demand, and on the condition of the figurine, as well as the changing economic situation of the moment.”

While there are some sites that offer a rough price guide, there are very few sites that have an accurate list of current selling prices for all retired figurines as this number frequently changes.

 

Sale!
Sale!
Sale!

What will affect the value of your Lladró figurines?

Generally speaking, there are a number of factors to consider when seeking a valuation of your porcelain figurines. Whether you’re looking to sell your current pieces or considering how to preserve their value, read on for our helpful guide.

Condition

The condition of the porcelain figurine should be your first concern. If it has chips, scratches or dents in the porcelain or paint then your figurine will be worth significantly less than the same piece in mint condition. The clarity of Lladró’s stamps on the bottom will also improve your chances of getting a good price for your figure.

Packaging

Another factor to consider is the packaging. If you are able to provide your figurine in its original box, then there is a higher chance that you will get a good price for it. The condition of the box may matter too; if it has faded from the recognisable bright blue that Lladró is associated with or the box is in any way damaged, this may have a knock-on affect to its value.

Current vs retired

If your porcelain figurines are still being made by Lladró they will likely fetch a lower price on the second-hand market as they are readily available elsewhere. If you are in possession of a discontinued item however it will probably be worth more as there is limited supply, making it a rarer and therefore more desirable piece. If you have the time and space, it might be worth hanging onto your pieces for a few years until they are retired by the manufacturer as this is likely to increase their value.

Craftsmanship

The complexity of the piece will also come into play when finding an estimated value. Sculptures that have intricate lace or delicate porcelain flowers on will attract higher bids at auction as they are harder to preserve, take more skill to produce and are more visually impressive.

Collectors

Collectable figurines such as the discontinued Don Quixote series often sell for above £1,000, while any large, high porcelain pieces will sell for far more than mass-produced ones. In short, the more popular the figurine, the more it will be worth.

Limited Editions

Finally, whether or not your figure is part of a limited series will dramatically affect its value. Lladro’s limited edition figurines can fetch a high price, even on the second-hand market, thanks to their collectable nature. These pieces are also examples of Lladró’s incredible craftsmanship, often featuring intricate details and a luxurious finish.

Sale!
Sale!

Where can I sell my Lladro figurines?

Online markets

Second-hand markets such as eBay, Facebook Market, Gumtree and Pre-Loved are all great options if you’re looking to sell your Lladró figurines yourself at a low cost without having to attend a physical market such as a car boot sale. As an online seller you can also make your listings available to a wider audience across the country, or even internationally if you are happy to work with shipping providers and customs policies.

Auction Houses

Auction houses are perhaps the most accessible and profitable way to sell on your Lladró figurines, attracting collectors who are looking to finish off their displays. If bidding gets competitive you can receive a fantastic price for even lower-end products. This is also a good option if you have a group of pieces, and matching pairs etc will often sell well as combined ‘lots’.

While we are unable to recommend a specific auction house, online reviews do point towards places like Featonbys as well-established Lladró dealers, however we recommend doing your own due diligence before going into business with any private or public companies.

A retired collection

A Retired Collection is a well-known site for premium Lladró products. They often release lists of figurines that they are looking to buy at a good price, so if you are in possession of rare or high-ticket items from Lladro’s back catalogue then this could be a great option for you.

Car boot sales

If you’re just looking to clear out a house or trim down your collection, selling your Lladró figurines can be as easy as taking them to a local car boot sale. While this probably won’t get you a great price, they are always good fun, and are often a wonderful way to connect with other people in the community. It can be quite the experience to attend these events as a seller! People at second-hand markets like this can be less fussy about marks and certificates, often picking up bargains as a result.

 

We hope that this FAQ article has helped to answer any questions you may have about your Lladro or Nao products! If you have any other questions regarding our current stock or online catalogue please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us vie telephone or email.

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