Hummel figurines are porcelain figurines based on the illustrations of the German nun Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. These figurines were first produced in the 1930s, and they quickly became popular around the world. Today, Hummel figurines are collected by enthusiasts all over the world.
But are Hummels worth anything? The short answer is yes, some Hummel figurines are worth a lot of money. However, the value of a Hummel figurine depends on a number of factors, including its age, rarity, condition, and popularity among collectors. These factors combine to determine whether a Hummel is worth tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
If you are interested in collecting Hummel figurines, or you have come into possession of a Hummel, we will help you find out more about their history and answer some key questions: How to identify Hummel figurines? Which Hummel figurines are worth money? How to buy and sell Hummel figurines? We’ve also assembled an auction records chart and some of the most popular models to help you gauge the value of your Hummel of interest.
Hummel Figurines: Brief History
Hummel figurines, also known as Hummels, are based on the illustrations of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, a German Catholic nun who was born in 1909 in Bavaria. Sister Hummel was known for her charming illustrations of children, which were often used on postcards and other printed materials.
In the 1930s, the German porcelain manufacturer W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik (later known as the Goebel Company) began producing porcelain figurines based on Sister Hummel’s illustrations. These figurines were marketed as “M.I. Hummel” figurines, and they quickly became popular among collectors around the world.
The outbreak of World War II threatened the future of the Hummel figurines. The Goebel factory was forced to shut down, and Sister Hummel was sent to a convent in the Netherlands for her safety. Despite the challenges, the two friends remained in contact, and Sister Hummel continued to create artwork throughout the war.
After World War II, American soldiers stationed in Germany discovered the figurines and sent them back to their families in the US. By the 1950s, Hummels were a popular household item in America. One reason for their popularity was a sense of nostalgia for a simpler time – idyllic scenes of children playing and families spending time together were meaningful for many who were recovering from the trauma of the war.
Unfortunately, as the popularity of the figurines grew so did the market for counterfeit Hummel figurines. The Goebel Company added the famous blue bee mark to the bottom of each figurine to help combat forgery. This mark is one feature which helps to identify genuine Hummel figurines today.
Sister Hummel passed away in 1946 at the age of 37. Over time, W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik produced hundreds of different Hummel figurines, each depicting a different scene or character from Sister Hummel’s illustrations.
How To Identify Hummel Figurines?
It’s super important to know how to identify genuine Hummels to avoid selling or purchasing fakes! Whether you’ve inherited a Hummel or you’d like to start a collection, look out for these features:
1. Goebel maker’s mark
The Goebel maker’s mark, backstamp or figure can vary depending on the age of the figurine. Between 1935 and 1949, Goebel used Crown Marks – a crown with the letters “W” and “G” below – or Trademark 1 – the signature “M.J. Hummel”, a copyright symbol and the “W.G.” of Goebel. The older marks may also include the name “M.I. Hummel” or “Hummelwerk.”
From 1950 to 1955, Trademark 2, also known as the Full Bee Mark, was used – a stylized bee with a “V” beneath it, a copyright mark and the words “W. Goebel”. Between 1956 and 1959 the bee in the “V” was still used but with the year of manufacture printed beneath. From hereon in, some combination of the bee and the Goebel name was incorporated. Sometimes this included a “V”, and in later years “Germany” was added.
It’s important to note that some fake Hummel figurines may also include a maker’s mark, so be sure to compare your figurine to authentic examples.
2. Figurine’s mold number
Each Hummel figurine has a unique mold number, which can be found on the bottom or base of the figurine. The mold number can help identify the year the figurine was made, and can also be useful in identifying fakes. Be sure to check that the mold number matches known authentic examples.
3. Figurine’s size and weight
Genuine Hummel figurines are typically made of fine porcelain and are lightweight. If a figurine feels heavy or bulky, it may be a fake.
4. Figurine’s design and quality
Genuine Hummel figurines have intricate details, including delicate facial features and finely crafted clothing. Look for smooth lines and clean paintwork, as well as careful attention to detail. Hummels are known for high quality craftsmanship.
Finally, if you are buying or selling a Hummel figurine that is still in its original packaging, check that the packaging includes the Goebel maker’s mark. Authentic packaging may also include a certificate of authenticity or other documentation.
Which Factors Affect The Value Of Hummel Figurines?
Here are some of the most important factors which will affect the value of a Hummel:
Like any vintage or collectible item, the age of a Hummel figurine is an important factor in its value. As a general rule, the older the figurine, the more valuable it will be. The earliest Hummel figurines were produced in the 1930s and 1940s, and these are among the most valuable.
Some figurines were produced in limited quantities or were only available for a short period of time, which makes them more rare and therefore more valuable. Figurines that were discontinued early in their production run are often the most valuable.
Figurines that are in mint or excellent condition with no chips, cracks, or other damage are much more valuable than those that are damaged or repaired (especially those with obvious repair work). Figurines that have their original box or paperwork are also highly valuable.
Some figurines are more popular than others, either because of their subject matter or because of their rarity. For example, figurines that depict children or animals are often more popular than those that depict adults. If a particular figurine is in high demand among collectors, its value is likely to be higher. This can vary depending on factors such as the current economy and trends in the collector’s market.
Which Hummel Figurines Are Worth Money?
First, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular figurines that are known to be worth money. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of what to look out for. Depending on the condition, all of these figurines can be worth several hundred to several thousand dollars when in mint condition.
- Madonna and Child – This Hummel figurine depicts the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus. It was first produced in 1963 and is one of the most iconic Hummel figurines out there.
- Merry Wanderer – This figurine depicts a young boy with a backpack and a walking stick. It was first produced in 1935, and it is one of the earliest and most popular Hummel figurines.
- Goose Girl – This figurine depicts a young girl carrying a basket of geese. It was first produced in 1936, and it is one of the earliest and most beloved Hummel figurines.
- Chimney Sweep – This figurine depicts a young boy dressed as a chimney sweep. It was first produced in 1935, and it is one of the rarest and most valuable Hummel figurines.
- Little Fiddler – This figurine depicts a young boy playing a fiddle. It was first produced in 1935, and it is one of the most recognizable Hummel figurines.
Most Valuable Hummel Figurines: Auction Records Chart
Next up, we’ve assembled a value chart for some of the most valuable Hummels and their impressive auction records.
|Hummel Figurine||Year Produced||Auction Record|
|Hum 810.(B) “Bulgarian Girl” TMK 1||c. 1940s||$4,249.99 in 2023!|
|Hum 2288. “Sister’s Children” TMK 9||2009||$3,750 in 2021!|
|Hum 825. “Swedish Girl With Letter “ TMK 1 + 1||c. 1940s||$3,500 in 2021!|
|Hum 854. “Hungarian Girl” TMK 1||c. 1940s||$3,499.99 in 2023!|
|Jumbo “Merry Wonderer”||1935||$3,100 in 2018!|
|Hum 853. “Hungarian boy with dog” TMK 1 + 1||c. 1940s||$3,000 in 2021!|
|Hum 176. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TMK 6||c. 1980s||$2,999 in 2023!|
|Jumbo “Apple Tree Boy” TMK 7||–||$2,800 in 2017!|
|Hum 99. “Eventide” TMK 6||c. 1980s||$2,499 in 2023!|
|Hum 108. “Angel with two children at feet” TMK 2||1938||$2,200 in 2021!|
|Hum 303. “Arithmetic Lesson“ TMK 2||1955||$2,100 in 2021!|
|Jumbo “Apple Tree Girl” TMK 5||c. 1970s||$2,100 in 2018!|
|“Picture Perfect” TMK 8||–||$1,650 in 2022!|
|Hum 316. “Relaxation” TMK-2||c. 1950s||$1,600 in 2021!|
|Hum 31. “Silent Night” TMK 1 + 1||c. 1940s||$1,600 in 2021!|
How To Buy And Sell Hummel Figurines?
When buying or selling Hummel figurines, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s super important to do your research and educate yourself about the value of different figurines. This will help you avoid overpaying for a figurine or selling one for less than it is worth.
Secondly, it is important to buy and sell Hummel figurines from reputable dealers, auction houses, or trustworthy online platforms. This will help ensure that you are getting an authentic figurine and that you are paying a fair price. If you are buying a figurine online, be sure to check the seller’s feedback and ratings before making a purchase.
Finally, if you have a Hummel, take care of it to ensure it retains its value. Keeping it in a safe, dry place away from direct sunlight, and avoiding touching them with bare hands. If you have a collection, it is also a good idea to have your figurines appraised and insured in case of loss or damage.
If you’d rather sell using an online platform rather than in person or through an auction house, you can try these sites:
- eBay – The Hummel figurines section of eBay is excellent. You can filter by subject, collection, year manufactured, color, theme, condition, price, and much more!
- Live Auctioneers – This site is a great place to search for upcoming items or sold lots, helping you check the price of your Hummel of interest and surf for interesting models.
- Barneby’s – Reputable auction houses and sites like Barnebys are a great place to search for rare collectible figurines. You can find some interesting pieces and filter by auction date, price estimate, country, and more.
- Etsy – Etsy is home to a whole load of unique and interesting vintage items including rare Hummels that you may not find easily elsewhere.