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Tribute to José Lladró, co-founder of world's most famous figurines
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Jun 19, 2019
CO-FOUNDER of one of the world's largest names in porcelain figurine collectibles, José Lladró, passed away on Monday aged 91, meaning his two daughters now own his 15% share of the company.
It was set up by the three Lladró brothers – Juan, who died in December 2017; José, and Vicente, who is still living - in 1953.
They created the Lladró brand in their tiny, humble workshop in their native village of Almàssera (Valencia province), but within less than a decade, their beautiful, intricate and delicate figurines were being sold in bespoke shops and concessions, and in collections in independent boutiques, on all five continents.
By then, the company had set up its head office and factory in the Valencia-province town of Tavernes Blanques, where it remains today.
In 2003, the brothers – who owned a third of the company each – decided to distribute their shares to their children.
The late Juan Lladró and his four daughters held 70% of the firm, whilst the remaining 30% was split equally between José and his two daughters and Vicente and his three children.
Vicente is now the only surviving original founder, and the company is in the hands of its second generation.
Lladró figurines are sought-after worldwide, highly-treasured, and even the cheapest and most basic come with a three-figure price tag, given that they are all made entirely by hand.
Among the animal figurines, the cheapest is a basic white matt swan for €85, but a limited-edition koi carp with aquatic flowers comes in at €3,800.
Angels, scenic arts – ballerinas, musicians, jugglers, contortionists, musical instruments and even a lifelike bust of Marilyn Monroe for €1,250 – sports, including equestrian, and flamenco dancers, trades including doctors, nurses, sailors and graduates, fantasy and legends including mermaids, dragons and fairytale characters, men, women, children, parents with babies, parents with children, families, love themes, religious themes including Indian gods, Buddha and the Three Wise Men, cultures and traditions including Venetian gondoliers, Ancient Egypt, African and oriental figures, vases, and Mahatma Gandhi are among the vast range of statuettes and detailed miniature scenes which average in price from around €200 to €600, with the finer ones reaching between €8,000 and €10,000, and the biggest and most expensive, a Venice carnival scene (third picture), costing more than a house at €185,000.
But as it is 1.44 metres wide and 85 centimetres high with more than 100 figures and 450 pieces in it, created by 35 artists who spent 22,000 hours on it, the price may be unsurprising.
Home accessories, light fittings, Disney characters, jewellery and even perfume are also created in Tavernes Blanques and retailed worldwide.
Delivery anywhere within Spain is free for orders of €200 or more, which covers the vast majority of Lladró's wares.
Guided tours around the Tavernes Blanques factory – the only Lladró creation centre in the world – are hugely popular with international visitors.
Booking is required, either by telephone to (0034) 96 186 04 21, or online at Lladro.com, which is available in English, Spanish, Russian, French, Japanese and German.
It is open Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 18.00 and Saturdays from 10.00 to 14.00 year-round, except in August when it is open mornings only from Monday to Saturday, 10.00 to 14.00.
Photographs from Lladro.com
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