The auction of traditional masterpieces in Hong Kong next month is expected to achieve up to HK$200 million.
Heubach figurines are porcelain figurines manufactured by the company Gebruder Heubach, based in Lichte, Germany from 1843 until 1925.
History of Gebruder Heubach
The company, which translates as Heubach Brothers, was established in 1843 by Georg Christoph and Phillipp Jakob Heubach when they purchased an existing porcelain factory in Lichte, Germany.
The company began to manufacture items such as household pottery, figurines and novelties, and in 1863 opened a local art school for sculptors. This training led to the company becoming renowned for its high quality and lifelike figurines, including their range of piano babies which are highly sought after by modern collectors.
The company registered its ‘sunburst’ mark in 1882, and by 1910 have begun to produce bisque dolls, along with bisque doll heads for other manufacturers across Europe and the United States.
By 1938 the company was forced to close and file for bankruptcy
Collecting Heubach figurines
When it comes to Heubach figurines, it can be difficult to find information about particular models as there are no original records to show either production dates or numbers. Their designs range from children and infants to animals such as dogs and birds, all of which are characterized by their high quality of painting and like-like sculpture.
Any figurine marked with the company’s ‘sunburst’ mark can be dated to after 1882, but many models produced before this period have no mark at all.
Heubach piano babies are amongst the most popular of the company’s figurines, and can sell for between $300 up to more than $1000 depending on the size, style and condition.1
Collectors should be careful, as there are a number of modern reproduction manufactured in Germany from the 1940s to the present day using original Heubach molds. This can mean than many even have the original markings, and can be difficult to tell apart without a little research.
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