Archive for the Collectibles Category

A small foray into porcelain

Posted in Collectibles with tags on September 23, 2012 by consignitbc

ImagePorcelain is the powder of ground up rocks and minerals, mixed with clay and heated to over 1,400 degrees (F) – which is hotter than volcanic lava!

The formula for porcelain was discovered in ancient China and kept secret for hundreds of years. It was named by Marco Polo when he found some on his visit to China. He thought the texture looked like a seashell, so named it from a word in Italian that mean “cowry shell”.

Europe was unsuccessful in recreating the formula until the King of Poland locked a German chemist in a lab, refusing to let him out until he figured out the exact formula to make porcelain.

Porcelain was produced only for Royalty and Nobility during the late 1800’s because the cost was very high. This is why it remains a symbol of wealth, power and beauty.

Art is created on porcelain by brushing it’s surface with pigments and minerals, then firing it in a kiln several times. This is how the pattern sinks into the surface and is permanent.  Porcelain painting is also known as mineral painting and is one of the world’s oldest forms of art!

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The History of Hummels

Posted in Collectibles with tags , , , , on September 2, 2012 by consignitbc

Happiness (Hummel Figurine)

Hummel figurines are based on the drawings of a German-born nun, Sister Maria Innocentia, who’s given name was Berta Hummel (1909-1946). Her drawings inspired porcelain maker Franz Goebel and in turn, the pair signed an agreement in 1934 that allowed Goebel to transform Hummel’s drawings into figurines. The first figurines were introduced in 1935 and were met with immediate success. The income from the Hummel products became her Convent’s (The Franciscan Convent of Siessen) only means of support during the Second World War.

The Volunteers (Hummel Figurine)

Adolf Hitler held a strong hatred for Sister Hummel’s work. One of Hitler’s Nazi party magazines reviewed one of her pieces, “The Volunteers”, proclaiming “there is no place in the ranks of German artists for the likes of her. No, the ‘beloved Fatherland’ cannot remain calm when Germany’s youth are portrayed as brainless sissies.” (http://www.patrickkillough.com/ethics/hummel.html)

Eventually, the sale of both Hummel’s drawings and porcelain pieces was forbidden in Germany. They were sold only in international markets and the Nazi party claimed a large portion of the income.

Tragically, Sister Hummel died of tuberculosis in 1946 at only 37 years of age, but her artistic legacy has been continued by Goebel. The Convent of Siessen still approves every Hummel collectible before production and to this day, royalties from the sales of the figurines help support the work of the Convent.

Each Hummel is hand painted by a skilled artisan who has completed a minimum three year apprenticeship.  Each figurine can take two to three months to complete and may have as many as 700 hand operations. In addition to the Hummel signature and Goebel trademark stamp, you will always find a hole in your Hummel (usually in the armpit area) where the air was allowed to escape during firing.

The figurines became particularly popular after the Second World War as returning American soldiers brought them home as gifts. In the 1970’s, the prices skyrocketed as collectors starting seeing them as investments. New Hummels now sell between $150-$400, with some reaching as high as $1800. Secondhand price points are between $50-$150 (at Con$ign-iT!) . The Hummel figurines remain one of the world’s most recognizable and popular collectibles.

-A&M

Are collectibles going the way of the dodo bird?

Posted in Collectibles, Secondhand with tags , , , , on August 30, 2012 by consignitbc

Hi everyone!

We would like to invite you to travel with us along the road of collectibles and secondhand treasures. Collectively, we have about 13 years in the biz! And trust me, we still have tons and tons to learn! Even some of the basics are still a mystery to us!

One thing we have discovered is that most “young” people are simply not interested in collectibles or do not have the time to investigate.

The following questions come up: Why do people collect? Why are some things collectible and others not? Through researching items that people have consigned, we have found some very interesting facts indeed!

We’ve also noticed an aversion towards things ‘secondhand’. Is this because of the convenience of Big Box Stores? Is there a stigma towards ‘used’ items? Does anyone remember when wood was actual wood? We’ll investigate the benefits and importance of going secondhand – there’s plenty of them!

The goal of our blog is to help all of us “young” people learn about the Collectible World and what it means to be a true Secondhand Junkie. Join us with your own information and comments as we start down this road together.

Cheers,
Andrea and Michelle (aka A & M)