After selling the M.I. Hummel line of Goebel figurines since 1935, Goebel shut its doors in October 2008. Problems began years before with the owner filing bankruptcy in 2006. The economic downturn had an effect on a company that had been in business since 1871. Although best known for their Hummel line of Goebel figurines many different artists produced drawings that Goebel figurines where fashioned after. Several types of porcelain figurines by artists like Charlot BYJ have had success and have value in today’s market, but their Hummel line of Goebel figurines were always their best selling and most loved figurines.
When Goebel shut down, 230 employees who worked in the Hummel factory lost their jobs. Not only the employees but collectors of the Hummel line of Goebel figurines were astonished and saddened. Collectors were emotional and believed there was no way that Goebel could stop producing the Hummel line. Goebel had tried everything they could think of to keep producing the line, even increasing production of the Hummels to make more revenue. However, this didn’t work and supply quickly outweighed demand.
In 2009 Hoechst Porcelain located near Frankfurt, Germany founded the firm Manufaktur Roedental and they acquired not only the copyrights to the Hummel line of Goebel figurines but also the production facilities. They have hired back many of the former craftsmen and production of these beautiful figurines is again underway. Since everything is still made by hand, one figurine can take up to twelve weeks to produce.
This year is the 100th anniversary of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel’s birth (she is the artist whose drawings the figurines are modeled after) and the new company is hoping this will respark an interest in the pieces. Many new porcelain figurines are being produced for the occasion and hopefully the tradition of the Goebel figurines will be carried on.
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