Friday, January 19, 2018

I always wanted a Hummel

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Apple Tree Girl
Back in the 1970s and 80s, Hummels were hot! At every antique or collectibles establishment you went, there they were--and they weren't cheap. In fact, a cheap one might be about $75.

My ex-sister-in-law loved Hummels, and my mother gave her quite a few of them. I no longer recall what quite a few amounted to, but it was more than I ever got--which was nothing.  I hinted very strongly that I would like one, but ... it never happened. (I remember the first one ex-SIL got was the Apple Tree Girl.)

One of the reasons they struck a chord with me is that Mr. L and I worked with a man whose son made them. Yup. He decided at a young age that he loved Hummels and wanted to work for the factory that made them.  So, he learned to speak fluent German, as well as studied his craft in ceramics--and actually got a job there. Of course, all these years later, I have no idea if he's still there, but it was kinda cool -- and his father sure was proud of him.

But back to Hummels and me.

I never had one. Until last week. Mr. L took me to a thrift shop in a rather tony suburb. This shop opened in October but we only found out about it at Christmastime--when it shut down for a couple of weeks, and I didn't get to go until last week. WOW--can you say sticker shock? But then everything in it was good quality stuff. And they had three Hummels for sale.

The resale market for Hummels has gone right down the toilet. In fact, I read an article online about how it's one of the 10 collectibles that essentially has no secondary-market value. (Anything from Franklin mint comes next.)  But that doesn't mean I didn't want a Hummel.  They're incredibly cute.

Two of the Hummels were in the $35 range--and I wasn't going to lay out that kind of dough, but they had a small one for $12 and I decided to splurge. Isn't she cute?

Now this little tyke lives in one of my china cabinets surrounded by Chintz china cups (which have also lost their market value). I finally have my Hummel. And I bought her with money my mother left me after she passed. Thanks, Mum!

What collectibles do you covet, even if they have no real intrinsic value?

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