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The History of Lladro Porcelain Figurines
Lladro porcelain figurines are renowned worldwide for their exquisite beauty and painstaking attention to detail. Here at The Prudent Collector we are glad to share the history of Lladro figurines with you.
Lladro was founded in 1953 as a small family-owned business in Almacera, a tiny farming community near the city of Valencia, on Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast. Born into a humble farming family, Juan, Jose, and Vincente Lladro were first introduced to the arts by their mother, Rosa Lladro. Juan and Jose displayed an interest in painting while Vincente showed a remarkable aptitude in the area of sculpture. Their mother wished for them to have the best art education possible so they were enrolled in the Valencia School of Arts and Crafts.
Soon afterward the brothers built a kiln at their parents' home and began creating classical figurines, candelabras, and porcelain flowers. As they became more successful, they began selling their first creations at a local market. The brothers dreamed of creating the finest porcelain that could be found in Spain. Unfortunately their small kiln made it difficult to achieve temperatures that were hot enough to make porcelain of the highest quality. Undeterred they borrowed the necessary funds from a friend and built a kiln that generated enough heat to meet their needs. This was the beginning of the Lladro company.
By 1958 ever increasing business had dictated that the brothers expand to larger quarters. They moved from their small family workshop in Almacera to a factory in the nearby town of Tavernes Blanques. Throughout the 1960's Lladro continued to grow as more people started collecting their beautifully distinctive figurines.
In 1968 the Lladro group created the Nao brand of porcelain figurines. Nao was envisioned as an affordable collection of figurines which would be suitable for gifts and home decor.
In 1986 the brothers established the Lladro Collectors Society and released their first Collectors Society piece entitled "Little Pals." It proved to be extremely popular and they have continued the tradition by releasing a collector's society piece each following year. The Collectors Society pieces are not sold on the retail market, they are only offered to society members which adds to their rarity.
To this day Lladro remains a family owned business and a preeminent presence in the porcelain world. The company is now run by the Lladro Permanent Council which is comprised of the Lladro brothers, their children, and the senior staff of Lladro Porcelain. By keeping family ties strong within the business they have ensured that the Lladro legacy will live on for many years to come.