Someone is holding a vintage porcelain figurine at a flea market, and you wonder how much that beauty can value. But keep in mind that not all antique figurines are truly collectible figurines.
Figurine value might be challenging to predict because some once-popular designs can sell for much less at auction than they did when first sold.
But for the proper collector, specific lines and models can be shockingly a gold mine and highly precious.
So, as you browse the collection at your neighborhood antique stores or online, keep an eye out for these valuable figurines.
Table of Contents
15. Most Valuable Antique Figurines
The figurines had only a few bucks in value, but nowadays, some collectible figurines may fetch a lot of money. Nevertheless, it’s not always possible to distinguish between genuine and imitation items, so let’s look at some of the most expensive antique figurines.
15. Occupied Japan Figurines $130
Occupied Japan, figurines emanated in response to the desire for inexpensive porcelain and ceramic figurines.
The occupation of creating occupied Japanese figurines started as a means of preventing future Japanese aggression and assisting in the country’s economic recovery, giving rise to the porcelain figurines that are now a favorite among collectors.
A novice collector can mistake “Made in Occupied Japan” with “Made in Japan,” but those deep into collectibles know they are not identical. The post-World War II figurines were Japanese copies and many reproductions of well-known Western versions with prices under $100.
The sculptures, figurines, and other porcelain and fine China art produced between 1945 and 1952 after the second world war, when Japan was under the Allies’ (mainly the US) occupation, were crafted by many Japanese artisans who made a living from their trade.
In addition to being essential in Japan’s economic recovery, these occupied Japan figurines captured the interest of collectors for years and were the focus of numerous books and academic studies.
Today, well-preserved Occupied Japan figurines miniatures like the “Art Deco Angel Fish” antique figurine can easily fetch thousands of dollars. Furthermore, the “Occupied Japan” stamp typically seen at the bottom of these antique figures makes them simple to recognize.
14. Fine China Figurines $1,490.00
Since they are exquisite and made of fine China rather than porcelain, figurines of various artists and well-known companies can cost extremely remarkable sums of money.
As an illustration, consider the Retired Royal Crown Derby Fine English Bone China Seal Figurine or Paperweight. It is not very antique or distinctive, but it is incredibly alluring, and the fact that it is made of bone China raises its cost to more than $150.
The rare Victorian-era pair figurine is made of fine China. The male is dressed in a red, yellow, and black jacket, a vest with a white and gold embroidered design, green pants, and white stockings.
The woman, on the other hand, is fanning herself while wearing a red and green bodice over a pastel blue skirt.
The pair additionally wore elaborate caps, as was customary in the Victorian era. They have an 8-inch height and a 212-inch base.
13. Hummel Figurines $2,400
At the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1935, Goebel Hummel figurines had their public debut and were an instant hit. Goebel’s business started working on more than 40 other designs within a few months.
However, as Nazi rule of Europe grew, it brought the rise to a halt in the years that followed. Nazi troops quickly restricted and ultimately stopped the manufacture of Hummel. They also closed the convent, which had housed Hummel since 1940.
You might be startled to see M. J. Hummel figurines here if you’ve heard of them. After all, Hummel figurines often cost $10 to $20 at most. No, and yes. Hummel indeed sells a lot of inexpensive, mass-produced figures that are considered “ordinary.”
Although the price of Hummels has fluctuated and dropped in recent years, market trends indicate that truly exceptional Hummels for sale can still fetch high auction prices.
Since the Goebel firm stopped making Hummels in 2008 and a subsidiary took over production, it appears that the market will continue to thrive despite the rising scarcity of old and vintage Hummels.
However, you can also buy or sell a ton of unique and quite expensive Hummel figurines like the one in the picture for about $2,400.
12. Antique Chinese Figurines $2,000
Throughout the history of ancient China, figurine sculpture has been one of the most recognizable arts. However, a genuine ancient Chinese figurine nowadays can be very expensive, especially if it is stunning and well-preserved.
Of course, many so-called “antique Chinese figurines” today are contemporary copies of classic Chinese sculptures and figurines. However, even those can be valuable if they are well-made or come from a reputable manufacturer.
For example, the “vintage” 1980s wooden Chinese figurines for over $1,000 are an illustration.
11. Bird Gilding Figurine $24.99
Another antique figurine is shown here, but this one mimics a bird rather than a humanoid. From a decent vantage point, the bird’s shape and coloring give the impression that it is alive. The piece is excellent overall, with few to no cracks, broken pieces, or stains.
10. Precious Moments Figurines $1,495.00
An artist and his business partner are the creators of these collectible figurines through Precious Moments Inc., established in 1979.
Let’s talk about these antique figurines for something a little more affordable yet very valuable. These figurines are frequently adorable and incredibly expensive because they are made differently and are frequently simpler.
The company created the original figurines for the first 21 Precious Moments figurines and later even replicated them.
This vintage figurine was produced in the late 1970s, beginning in 1977 under the name Jonathan & David and ending in 1981 when the company discontinued it. The firm brought back the figurine known as God Loveth a Cheerful Giver in the late 1970s and once more in the early and late 1990s.
Although the original God Loveth a Cheerful Giver figurine is rare, copies of it are prevalent. Therefore, correct verification of your Precious Moments figurines is essential because there are numerous imitations of the figure and other figurines.
Although there are currently new ones being produced and sold, you might occasionally find older figurines being offered for some fair market price for up to several hundred dollars on websites like Etsy or eBay.
9. Royal Doulton Antique Figurines $2,266.61
We are not surprised that you are interested in the Royal Doulton figures because they are excellent vintage products. However, we also know that because of its popularity, there are a lot of poor-quality copies on the market, which might be difficult for beginner collectors.
These historical artifacts are among the most expensive on the antique and vintage figurines market because they frequently include well-known figures from adult plays, real-life events, and children’s stories.
While some Royal Doulton miniatures sell for less than $50, others fetch a hefty price of over $2,000 because of unique circumstances. Although they are not always fixed, you can discover price approximations online and in a reliable price guide.
This English porcelain company has a long and illustrious history of producing fantastic collector figurines in addition to tableware and ceramic home items.
Although Royal Doulton never quite attained the level of Meissen or Llardo, many of their items are available for purchase for several hundred to several thousand dollars.
8. Royal Nymphenburg $2,260.00
Since the 1700s, Royal Nymphenburg has been making porcelain figurines, exquisite vases, spoons, and plates renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship, and themes drawn from mythology and nature. From stags to Greek gods and goddesses, everything is there.
The most expensive Nymphenburg figurines sell on 1stDibs for $10,000 or more, while more affordable examples can go for a few hundred dollars.
According to Sotheby’s, a Nymphenburg lady antique figurine from the middle of the 18th century is worth between 80,000 and 120,000 British pounds, or around $122,800, and can even go for higher values like $184,200.
7. Doccia Porcelain Figurines $5,151.38
Doccia porcelain, founded in 1735, still produces art collectibles today, albeit under the name Richard Ginori.
With a price tag worth hundreds of British pounds, Doccia/Ginori broke the record for the most expensive figurine ever sold in 2011. Yet, even today, one of the most notorious works of art is the mid-18th century porcelain Hercules figurine.
In Tuscany, Doccia held a monopoly on porcelain production by 1740, and in 1746 it started selling to the general public. The finished product was complex, grey porcelain manufactured from local clay with a dull gloss; They later used a more refined, white paste.
Early goods were embellished using stencils, a unique technique that would eventually give birth to a nuanced spectrum of painted colors.
Additionally, more contemporary Doccia or Ginori works continue to sell exceptionally well, with the majority easily breaking into the 4- or 5-digit bracket, such as the Doccia White Porcelain Caryatid Sculpture.
6. Dresden Lace Figurines $9,675.00
Due to their distinctive and delicate designs, Dresden lace figurines are among the most sought-after on the figurine market. The Dresden figurines, frequently created with porcelain lace and tulle, nearly appear to be moving before our eyes.
They were produced by dipping real lace and tulle in porcelain slip and attached to the figurine’s body using a very inventive technique that was also used to create the figurines. Unfortunately, the porcelain was only heated at that point, which also caused the fabric to burn away.
Unsurprisingly, such figurines frequently fetch thousands of dollars because of their amazing manufacturing process and stunning end product.
5. Early Meissen Figurines $6,995.00
According to Christie’s, Meissen, established in Germany in 1710, has always had one of the best reputations for beautiful, high-quality porcelain figures.
According to the auction house, even more standard pieces often fetch hundreds of dollars, and several unique examples have sold for $200,000 or more.
The most expensive pieces are those created by Johann Jakob Kirchner and Johann Joachim Kändler, two of the best designers in the line.
Adorable figures with a sensation of movement and vitality are also costly. For example, despite evidence of restoration and repair, a Kirchner painting of a Great Bustard from 1732 brought $1,071,209 at a Christie’s auction in 2015.
4. Rare Sevres Figurines $3,422.87
Even though it is mainly used for dinnerware such as plates, cups, and bowls, as well as tea sets, vases, chandeliers, and other items, Sèvres is renowned for its distinctive designs and delicate ornamentation.
However, some uncommon and expensive Sèvres figurines are available, and their scarcity drives their values to even higher astronomical levels.
You can find a White Biscuit Porcelain Group, with a current price of a little over $1,000, or the French Louis XVI St. Biscuit De Sèvres Porcelain Centerpiece, which sells for more than $6,000. A good example is the Bust of Murillo, which sold for $17,640.
The one in the picture above has its current price a little above $3,000
3. Large Capodimonte Pieces $7,974.00
This Italian porcelain company is well known for its exquisitely produced figurines with shiny glaze fixtures, tableware, and other home furnishings, many of which include lovely historical flora and fauna patterns.
However, they also produce unique figurines and have done so practically continuously since the company’s establishment in 1743.
Later in the company’s history, Capodimonte’s figurines began to be painted in vivid and exotic colors, typically white or ivory, with a brilliant finish.
Antique Capodimonte figurines, like the Capodimonte set of couples, made between 1755 and 1760, are frequently bought and sold nowadays for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
for example, the figurine in the image above is currently for sale on eBay at $7,000.
2. Lladro Antique Figurines $9,200.00
Three brothers founded the Spanish porcelain dynasty known as the Lladro firm using only their bare hands.
Not only have these brothers’ figurines become well-known among collectors worldwide but they have also been included in some of the most famous museums in the world.
Size affects the value of Lladro figurines. Large, uncommon, and intricately detailed Lladro figurines can have a value of up to $48,000.
The Grand Adventure is unquestionably the costliest Lladro figurine to date. A locomotive and 14 expertly costumed people make up this entire work of art. The intention was to honor the heyday of the steam train.
One of the largest Lladro pieces ever made, this collection only has 500 pieces, each measuring 135 cm.
Experts decorated the 334 pieces of the Grand Adventure with first-hand expertise in replicating and modeling steam trains. As a result, the entire manifestation is in and of itself a piece of art.
1. Lalique Figurine $14,954.40
Rene Lalique established the Lalique factory in 1921. Due to Lalique’s exceptional craftsmanship, many of their vases and figurines are now valued antiques despite the company being only a little over a century old.
Most of Lalique’s themes center on feminine beauty and plants and animals.
However, cups, bowls, plates, and Lalique vases are sometimes sold for hundreds of dollars nowadays. For example, look at this lovely Victoire figure by René Lalique, which has a 5-digit price tag, or the Cigale letter opener by Rene Lalique, which also has a 5-figure selling price tag.
How to Identify a Valuable Antique Figurine
Like in other antiques, knowing what to look for is the secret to discovering priceless collectible figurines.
In general, the maker is significant, but the work’s attention to detail and aesthetic appeal also play a significant role in what makes it unique.
If something beautiful catches your eye and appeals to you, it could also be of great value to others.
So here is a simple figurine price guide because there are just a few things that determine an antique figurine’s relative value:
Your antique figurine’s worth is influenced by its substance as well because certain figure materials may be required by buyers who are collectors. Most likely to finish a pricey collection.
It is worthy of note that porcelain is the most typical material. However, if the material used to make the figurine is rare, it may be pretty desirable.
The many materials used to make figurines include:
In addition to the above, your antique figurines must bear markings or indicators that attest to their authenticity. For instance, you may determine the age of a porcelain figure by using the markings or symbols on it.
And this is accomplished by looking at the manufacturer’s mark’s style and layout. Again, this element is essential for determining when it was manufactured.
The mark is typically embossed on the base of a porcelain object. The maker’s mark provides the collector with information on who made the figure, also when, where, and how they made it. But due to their tiny written nature, you may need a magnifying glass to see them.
A maker’s mark database for numerous well-known porcelain figure companies is available through the Antique China Porcelain and Collectibles database.
Users can also perform a producer name search to find images of trademarks belonging to that business.
The maker’s mark’s precise style and layout may change depending on the year the figure was manufactured.
Search online using the details you can find underneath your figure.
The manufacturer’s name or decorator, potter, design, and place where the figure was manufactured are all part of the information on a maker’s mark.
To compare the mark on your figurine to pictures that have been uploaded online, search for pictures.
Enter “figurine maker’s mark” or “figurine mark” into a search engine if the figurine has a distinct logo that you can use as a benchmark. Then, compare your figurine’s marking to pictures of marks.
Porcelain Style and Subject Matter
A porcelain figure’s style and subject matter can also determine its origin.
Porcelain sculptures of people and animals were first created in Meissen, Germany, in the early 1700s, according to Collectors Weekly. Italian Commedia dell’Arte actors were frequently depicted in early creations from Meissen and Dresden.
The art of employing porcelain-coated lace to replicate the appearance of flowing garments and skirts started with porcelain decorators working in Dresden.
Companies in England started creating porcelain figures in the later years of the 18th century. The British monarchy or aspects of country life, such as farm animals, were frequently replicated by English porcelain craftsmen.
Size of Figurine
Another element that may impact the value of your antique figure is its size. For example, there are particular figurines with the same design but various sizes.
Due to the rarity of some figures for a particular metric, this kind of diversification only encourages rarity, whether large or small.
Visit an Appraiser
Let’s say you don’t have the tools or the time to do all the abovementioned duties. In that scenario, you ought to work with a qualified appraiser with old figurines experience. They would already have a precise method for estimating the value of your figurine.
The fair market and replacement values are the two different appraised values. So ensure that you want your item assessed for fair market value or replacement value to get the best price.
What Makes an Antique Figurine Priceless?
In the section, we dive into the factors that make your figurine collectible and priceless.
The age of the figurine or collection in question significantly impacts how much it costs in the current antique market. This is because such objects were often produced using much more primitive techniques.
Finding the correct proof to back up your figurine’s age might be challenging, especially if it belongs to the pre-industrial era and doesn’t have a maker’s mark.
The simplest but “still not that” reliable approach is to inspect the parts for any indication of crudeness visually. Before the advent of the industrial age, most figurine parts were hand-made.
The style of the figurines can also be a means to determine the age of an antique figurine. For instance, firms or artists started creating figurines that would impersonate humans and animals, such as masked Italian Commedia dell’Arte actors.
British producers in the 18th century did the same. Famous works include portrayals of rural life or issues related to the British monarchy.
Not all old figurines are considered antiques. As a result, your figurine’s condition is yet another aspect that may influence the market value of any antique item.
Your figurine is more likely to sell for its total price if it is in mint condition, free of extra chipping and scratches, and has all of the Markings.
Even though the figurine is rare, its price will fall if it has scratches and some parts are missing (broken pieces).
There are, however, a few uncommon instances where collectors still pay a lot of money for slightly misshapen figurine pieces, mainly because they must be very uncommon and for other sentimental reasons.
Another critical factor in determining a figurine piece’s high value is its rarity. And your antique figurine piece might be rare in several ways. Your antique figurine model, for instance, might be one of the few produced items made during a specific time or era.
The rarity of your figurine may also be attributed to its physical characteristics, such as its size; for example, a huge or miniature version of a particular figurine design may be rare.
Your figurine may also be rare since it was designed to memorialize an occasion, which is why they produced only a limited edition.
You ought to be knowledgeable enough to understand how much your figurine piece is worth and how to locate newer ones that will sell for a lot of money.
Additionally, you can utilize our list of the 15 most valuable figurines worth money as a point of comparison for your figurine.
Antique figurines with good financial value are very prevalent. People are frequently taken aback by the treasure trove that has been staring at them for years.
Unfortunately, it’s also fairly common for people to toss antique miniatures in the garbage or sell them cheaply at garage sales without realizing the value they are sacrificing.