Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goebel or Hummel?

When I first started buying and selling Hummels, I thought that Goebel, the manufacturer of these cute little figurines made nothing but Hummels. But, I later learned that Goebel makes other items. And, while Goebel did produce all the Hummel figurines, it looks like this will not be the case in the future. So, while all Hummels are Goebel, not all Goebels are Hummels.

Why is this important? As Hummel changes to a new manufacturer, and their values continue to decline, the prices for other items produced by Goebel will increase in value.

In the past, when I began to notice pieces that had the Goebel mark, but were different than Hummels, I was able to buy them for a song, not really knowing if they had a value or not. I once spotted a figurine of a girl that was so different, I had to take a closer look at it. The Goebel crown mark was on the bottom, along with a price tag of $20. I bought it and took my time listing her on eBay. I wasn’t sure I’d get my money back. Once I listed her, I didn’t even check to see if I had any bids for a couple of days. When I finally did check, I had to put my eyeballs back in my head. Someone had bid $350. Over the next few days it approached $500. I became hooked on Goebel and began to search in earnest for the older Goebel pieces from the 1930’s and 40’s.

A sampling from Kovel’s Price Guide shows a group of Three Dancers, Art Deco, 1930 priced at $7340. A Beatles Yellow Submarine Grouping for $850 jumped out at me, and I see a Friar Tuck Cookie Jar for $800, as well as the Our Lady of Fatime figurine for $675. I’ll bet you’ll never look at a Goebel piece in the same way again.

Knowing the best in a class of antiques, art, or collectibles is something I’ve stressed over the last several blogs, so naturally I’ll stress it again today. Most average Goebel pieces will sell for $5-$20, but when you compare them with the best and most rare pieces, I believe you will agree there is a considerable difference in their value. While the profit on an average piece might buy you a hamburger, the money you’ll make from finding and selling a rare piece can take care of you for a month or more. The opportunity to substantially increase your bank account comes when you recognize what others don’t, so study, study and study some more. Our 31 Club Member, Cecil, has been successful in the business because he does some serious studying.

A couple of books that can help you with identification and pricing are the Goebel Collector's Guide and the No. 1 Price Guide to M.I.Hummel Figurines, Plates, Miniatures, & More. If you buy used copies, you'll have more money to buy other books. I've stocked an entire library from used books.

Today's Photo: Kathy Kruse Goebel Figurine, 4 3/8", produced in Germany, 1955, sold for $886.52 on eBay.

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