Antiques Column with Michael Dowse: Elegant smooth lines of beauty in fine porcelain

A Lladro figurine

A Lladro figurine

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The Lladró factory was established in Almacera, near Valencia in Spain, in 1953 by three brothers Juan, Jose and Vincente Lladró.

They started to make vases and jugs from hard-paste porcelain. It was not until 1956 that the first figures were made, for which the company became so famous.

Lladró figures are easily identified by many common features used by almost all their different designers. Colouring is important with most pieces favouring the pale pink, white and blue glaze combination, this soft colour palette helping to add to the delicate, angelic nature of the figures.

Lladró is also celebrated for its elegant smooth lines and elongation of form which again contributes to the character of their work.

Lladró figures are often said to have faces full of character and more importantly to help identify genuine pieces is the fact that black is never used on eyes, eyelids or eyebrows of a Lladró figure.

The majority of Lladró figures were glazed in high-gloss so matt pieces or the preproduction pieces with a more creamy finish are both rarer and more valuable.

Figures that are larger or those with more complex mouldings are also considered more desirable.

Although Lladró figures have been made since the 1950s, it is quite rare to find these older pieces. The earliest examples are easy to spot as they have incised marks, by 1960 an impressed mark was the standardised format.

In 1971, the blue mark was introduced and included the logo as well as name and it wasn’t until 1974 that the accent ever appeared over the ‘o’.