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We're already at the letter L, so I thought you might be interested in seeing some of my Lladró collection, most of which I inherited from my mother, who was a Lladró Society Member until her death in 2002. First of all, Lladró is Spanish porcelain. (By the way, a double L in Spanish is pronounced sort of like "yuh." So the word sounds like YADRO.)
This is a section from their website: "Juan, José and Vicente Lladró - Heirs of the ancient tradition of porcelain, the Lladró brothers knew how to make this tradition their own and to bring a type of art that, up to then, had been reserved to a few. In 1953, they quit their work at a tiles factory and built a little Moorish kiln in the courtyard of the family home. Their adventure began in Almàssera, a little town on the outskirts of the Spanish city of Valencia. And very near the place where they installed this first rudimentary workshop, is where The City of Porcelain stands today. Over two thousand people now work there, and their creations are exported to more than one hundred countries all around the world and sold in almost 4,000 points of sale."
The manufacturing ingredients are kept under tight guard. The process is detailed in a number of Lladró publications and is fully on view for tour groups and individuals at the City of Porcelain. Lladró figurines are made out of an original blend of hard-paste porcelain, which gives the products their unique porcelain characteristics. The glaze ingredients also add to the look of the figures and is an industry secret.
I hope you enjoy looking at part of my collection, and some day perhaps some of you might see them in person. The photos really don't do the pieces justice, of course. The intricacies of design and the facial expressions really need to be seen up close. If you'd like to, check out the Lladró website at http://www.lladro.com/
For me, each piece is special because of how I came to possess it. For example, the first piece (on the left) is one my mother brought me from Spain - the girl holding a lamb. The story behind it is that I was expecting my first daughter in 1976 while my parents were vacationing in Spain, and they weren't expected back until after my due date. But, I greeted them at the airport when they got back - they couldn't believe I still hadn't had the baby. But, the very next day, I went into labour (Oct. 29/76) and that Xmas my Mom presented me with this girl holding a lamb.
Another special piece is the girl holding the hat. This was one of the first pieces that Lladró made with colour. My husband knew how much I admired my Mom's collection and bought it for me - just because.
The pieces vary in size and detail but it's hard to tell in the photos. Be sure to click on them to see them in larger format.
I also have a 12-piece collection of Lladró Christmas balls and bells. Each one is from a certain year (only available to collectors like my mother) and is intricately designed with either a scene from nature or a Christmas story. They have already been allotted to my daughters but I'm keeping them until they have someplace to display them.
I have a few Japanese pieces, like the one on the left depicting a Japanese tea ceremony and the one on the right depicting two young geishas.
These two very feminine pieces show a young girl holding her doll and another young girl with her puppy. On the right, can you see how her dress appears to be lace?
These are the only pieces I have that are of boys. On the left is a little boy dressed as Balthazar, one of the three magi, or wisemen, offering a gift to the baby Jesus. On the right are two pieces of little boys depicting typical loves of baseball and trains. Whenever my grandson is over, he loves to look through the glass at these figurines. I think he likes the boy playing with the train the best.
I've saved my favourites to the last. On the left is Cinderella, her shoe lost as she runs from the special ball the Prince had organised. It seems as though she's been caught in motion as her dress and hair blow in the wind. On the right is Carmen, holding a basket of the most intricately fashioned flowers, each one individually made like those in her hair.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my collection. Of course, being family heirlooms, they will be passed down to my daughters and my grandchildren. Please let me know if you have any Lladró and if there is a special story attached to it/them.