How Can You Tell How Old a Hummel Figurine Is? A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a collector of Hummel figurines, then you’re well aware of the history and value behind these beloved little porcelain statues. But if you’re new to the game and have come across a Hummel figurine that you’re keen to buy, it’s important to know how old it is before making a purchase. So just how can you tell how old a Hummel figurine is?

Well, there are a few things you can look out for. Firstly, you can check the markings on the bottom of the figurine. Older figurines from before the 1950s will bear the stylized “V” mark, while those made after this time will have a later incised TMK mark. Additionally, early model numbers are usually low and have a dash in front of them, for example, – 177 M.I. Hummel. Figurines with high model numbers are generally newer.

Aside from the markings, other things to take into consideration when determining the age of a Hummel figurine are the design itself, and how it’s been produced. For instance, the designs of older figurines tended to be more intricate with refined details and vibrant colors. Older figurines also had a matte surface finish, whereas later figurines feature a high gloss glaze. The bottom line is that if you’re interested in acquiring a Hummel figurine, knowing its age can increase its value and provide insight into its history and cultural significance.

Identifying authentic Hummel figurines

For collectors and enthusiasts of M.I. Hummel figurines, identifying authentic pieces is crucial to building a valuable and reputable collection. Here are some key features to look for when determining the authenticity of a Hummel figurine:

  • Trademark: Since 1935, every Hummel figurine has featured the signature of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, the artist who created the original artwork. Additionally, the trademark of the manufacturer should be present on the figurine.
  • Quality: Authentic Hummel figurines are known for their quality craftsmanship. Look for clean and precise lines, smooth surfaces, and vibrant colors that are not faded or worn.
  • Markings: The markings on the bottom of the figurine can also provide clues to its authenticity. Look for the mold number, which should match the model number listed in Hummel catalogs.

In addition to these basic features, there are other details that can help determine the authenticity of a Hummel figurine. These can include the style and positioning of the figurine’s elements, the type of paint used, and the presence of any additional markings or stamps.

It’s important to note that there are many counterfeit Hummel figurines on the market, and some of them can be very convincing. Collectors should be cautious when purchasing figurines from sources that are not reputable and trusted, and should always verify the authenticity of a piece before making a purchase.

The Hummel Club and Authenticity

If you are a serious collector of Hummel figurines, you should consider joining The Hummel Club. This worldwide organization provides collectors with access to exclusive events, information about new releases, and most importantly, a verification service to ensure the authenticity of your Hummel figurines.

Through The Hummel Club, collectors can submit their figurines for review by a team of experts who will carefully examine each piece and provide a certificate of authenticity. This gives collectors peace of mind knowing that their collection is genuine and valuable.

Membership Level Benefits
Basic Membership Access to Hummel Club events and publications
Verified Membership Access to verification service, exclusive products, and discounts on purchases
Premium Membership All benefits of Verified Membership, plus a yearly exclusive figurine

Being able to accurately identify and authenticate your Hummel figurines is key to building a valuable and diverse collection. By paying attention to details such as trademarks, quality, and markings, and utilizing resources like The Hummel Club, you can be sure that your collection is genuine and worth cherishing for years to come.

Characteristics of vintage Hummel figurines

If you are a collector or admirer of Hummel figurines, you might wonder how old a particular piece is. Knowing the age of a Hummel can help you establish its value and rarity. Here are some characteristics of vintage Hummels that can give you an idea of their age:

Physical features

  • Hummels made before 1949 have a matte finish, while those made after 1950 are glossier.
  • Older Hummels tend to be more delicate and lighter in color.
  • Hummels made before World War II are typically smaller in size.
  • The base of the figurine may have a V-shaped line that indicates it was made before 1957.

Trademarks and markings

Hummel figurines have been produced by various companies over the years, and identifying the trademark can give you an idea of the figurine’s age. Here are some markings to look for:

  • Before 1935, Hummels were made by Goebel and had a crown trademark with hearts and a bee in it.
  • From 1935 to 1949, Hummels also had a crown trademark but with a stylized bee instead of a regular bee.
  • From 1950 onwards, the trademark is a script Goebel mark with the copyright symbol.
  • Figurines made between 1957 and 1990 have a mold number on the base that corresponds to the figurine’s design.
  • A Hummel that has a TMK-1 (1935-1949) or TMK-2 (1950-1956) trademark is considered very rare and valuable.

Production date and rarity

The production date of a Hummel figurine can also give you an idea of its age. Hummels produced between 1935 and 1949 are considered vintage and are generally more valuable than later productions. Moreover, some figurines were only produced for a short time and are therefore rare and more valuable. For example, the figurine “Apple Tree Girl” was only produced for two years (1955-1957) and is highly sought after by collectors.

Condition and authenticity

Finally, the condition of the Hummel figurine can also give you an idea of its age. Older Hummels may have some wear and tear due to their age, while newer ones should be in good condition. It’s essential to check for any signs of repair or damage, as this can affect the figurine’s value. Moreover, be sure to authenticate the Hummel before buying it. There are many counterfeit Hummels in circulation, and an expert opinion can help you determine if the figurine is genuine or not.

Trademark Production years
TMK-1 1935-1949
TMK-2 1950-1956
TMK-3 1957-1963
TMK-4 1964-1971
TMK-5 1972-1979
TMK-6 1980-1990
TMK-7 1991-1999
TMK-8 2000-2008
TMK-9 2009-2012
TMK-10 2013-present

Knowing the characteristics of vintage Hummel figurines can help collectors and enthusiasts date their collections and appreciate the history and artistry of these adorable figurines.

Common marks and stamps on Hummel figurines

Hummel figurines are highly collectible items, and their value often depends on their age. To determine the age of a Hummel figurine, collectors look for specific marks and stamps on the item. Here are some common marks and stamps on Hummel figurines:

  • The Goebel trademark stamp: This is the first mark that collectors should look for when determining the age of a Hummel figurine. Goebel is the manufacturer of Hummel figurines, and their trademark stamp has changed over the years.
  • The M.I. Hummel signature: Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel was the artist who created the original drawings for the Hummel figurines. Her signature on the figurine indicates that it is an authentic Hummel piece.
  • The Hummel mold number: Each Hummel figurine has a unique mold number that can help collectors determine when it was produced.

In addition to these marks, there are other identifiers that can help determine the age of a Hummel figurine. For example, the size of the figurine, its rarity, and the presence of certain details or accessories can all indicate when it was created.

Identifying Hummel figurine age based on the trademark stamp

The Goebel trademark stamp is an important factor in determining the age of a Hummel figurine. This stamp has changed over the years, so collectors can use it to determine when the figurine was produced. Here are some of the most common Goebel trademarks:

Trademark stamp Years of production
V with a bee above it 1935-1949
Crown mark with Goebel inside it 1950-1957
Crown mark with TMK-2 1958-1972
Crown mark with TMK-3 1972-1979
Full bee 1979-1991
Stylized bee 1991-present

Collectors should note that there may be variations of these trademarks, and some figurines may not have a trademark at all. In these cases, other identifying factors such as the mold number or presence of certain accessories can still help determine the age of the figurine.

What to look for when evaluating the condition of a Hummel figurine

When looking to purchase a Hummel figurine, evaluating the condition is crucial to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Cracks: Inspect the figurine for any cracks or chips. These can drastically reduce the value of the figurine. If there are any cracks, it’s best to avoid purchasing the figurine.
  • Fading: Hummel figurines are known for their vibrant colors. If the figurine appears faded or discolored, it may be a sign of aging. While this won’t necessarily reduce the value, it’s important to know what you’re paying for.
  • Broken parts: Check that all parts of the figurine are intact, especially things like fingers or toes. These are prone to breaking off and can be difficult to repair.

In addition to these things, it’s important to know how to decipher the markings on the figurine to determine its age.

The earliest Hummel figurines were marked as “M.I. Hummel” and were produced between 1935 and 1949. These figurines are highly collectible and can fetch a high price. From 1950 to 1959, figurines were marked as “M.I. Hummel” with the addition of the letter “R” in a circle, indicating that the piece was copyrighted. From 1960 onwards, the figurines were marked simply with the word “Hummel” and the trademark bee.

Marking Year Produced
M.I. Hummel 1935-1949
M.I. Hummel with “R” in a circle 1950-1959
Hummel with trademark bee 1960 onwards

By knowing what to look for when evaluating the condition of a Hummel figurine, and understanding the markings, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing one.

Popular and rare Hummel figurines from different eras

If you’re an avid collector or just looking to purchase a Hummel figurine, it’s important to know its age since it affects the value and rarity of the piece. Here are some of the popular and rare Hummel figurines from different eras:

  • Pre-War Era (1935-1949): During this era, Hummel figurines were marked with a “Full Bee” stamp, which is a trademark that shows its authenticity. Some popular figurines from this era include “Apple Tree Boy,” “Apple Tree Girl,” and “Merry Wanderer”
  • The 1950s: This era saw the introduction of the “Stylized Bee” stamp, which was used until 1959. Popular figurines from this era include “Chick Girl,” “Barnyard Hero,” and “Meditation”
  • The 1960s-1970s: During this era, the “Stylized Bee” stamp was changed to the “Three-Line” stamp, which was used until 1990. Some popular figurines from this era include “Goose Girl,” “School Boy,” and “Little Gardener”
  • Post-1990: In 1991, the “M.I. Hummel” signature was added to the figurines. Some popular figurines from this era include “School Days,” “Feathered Friends,” and “Little Cellist”

It’s important to note that there are also rare Hummel figurines that were not mass-produced and have a limited number of pieces. These figurines can fetch a higher value on the market due to their rarity. Here are some examples of rare Hummel figurines:

  • “The Wanderers” – only 25 pieces were ever made
  • “The Merry Wanderer” with Black Hat – only 2 pieces were ever made
  • “Merry Wanderer” with Ski Shoes – only 200 pieces were ever made

If you want to identify the age of a Hummel figurine, it’s important to look for its markings. Aside from the “Full Bee,” “Stylized Bee,” and “Three-Line” stamps, there are also different markings for rare or limited edition figurines. You can check online resources or consult with a Hummel expert to properly identify the age and value of a figurine.

Trademark Stamp Years Used
“Full Bee” 1935-1949
“Stylized Bee” 1950-1959
“Three-Line” 1960s-1990
“M.I. Hummel” 1991-present

Knowing the age and rarity of a Hummel figurine can not only help you appreciate its value as a collector’s item, but also help you properly care for and display the piece for years to come.

How to determine the age of a Hummel figurine using production codes

If you own a Hummel figurine or plan to buy one, it is important to determine its age to estimate its value and significance. One useful way to do this is by utilizing the production codes present on most Hummel figurines. These codes were introduced in 1960 and can provide important details about when and where the figurines were made.

  • Look for the V with bee trademark and “M.I. Hummel” mark. Hummel figurines produced before 1959 will not have this mark and may be less valuable.
  • Check the production code. This is usually located on the bottom of the figurine and can consist of a series of numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Decipher the code. The first three or four digits represent the production date. The first two digits indicate the year the figurine was made, while the next one or two digits represent the month. For example, a code of 123/52 would mean the figurine was produced in 1952, in the third month (March).

It’s essential to note that the code may differ depending on the figurine, but the format remains consistent across all Hummel products. Additionally, within the same year and month, several figurines might have been manufactured. Therefore, it is crucial to compare the model number and title to cross-check the authenticity of the production date.

If you don’t have access to the production code, you can still estimate the figurine’s age by examining other features such as the coloration. Hummel figurines made before the 1940s came in pastel colors, which later shifted to a golden beige. Moreover, if the figurine is hand-painted, it is most likely an earlier version since mass production became more prevalent from the 1960s.


Overall, production codes remain the most useful tool to determine the age and authenticity of Hummel figurines. Apart from their aesthetic and sentimental values, these figures are cherished by many as fine art, and knowing their age can add an extra layer of significance to their worth.

Production Dates Production Codes
1950-1955 Incised crown mark and incised “Germany”
1955-1959 Stamped Crown, TMK-1, W. Germany, and Western Germany
1960-1972 Full Bee trademarks, TMK-2 through TMK-6
1972-1979 TMK-6, the last trademark before Sister Hummel’s death in 1976

Note: These are just some of the production codes available and may differ depending on the figurine.

Factors that affect the value of Hummel figurines.

When it comes to the value of Hummel figurines, several factors come into play. From their rarity to their condition, each variable can affect the price of a Hummel figurine. Here are seven key factors that determine the value of Hummel figurines.

  • Rarity: The rarity of a Hummel figurine is one of the most significant factors affecting its value. The fewer figurines produced, the more valuable the piece will be. Limited edition Hummels or rare prototypes can be incredibly valuable.
  • Age: The age of a Hummel figurine is often tied to its rarity. Older Hummel figurines are typically more valuable, especially those that date back to the 1930s and 1940s, when Hummel figurines first hit the market.
  • Condition: The condition of a Hummel figurine is a crucial factor in determining its value. Any cracks, chips, or repairs will significantly lower its worth. Collectors desire figurines in excellent condition with no visible signs of damage or wear.
  • Collectability: Hummel figurines are beloved collectibles, and some are more sought after than others. Certain figurines resonate with collectors, such as those with religious themes, seasonal themes, or those depicting children or animals.
  • Markings: Hummel figurines produced before 1949 have unique markings that distinguish them from later pieces. Figurines with these markings are considered more valuable due to their place in Hummel’s history.
  • Design: The design of a Hummel figurine can play a role in its value. Some designs were more popular and produced in larger quantities, while others were limited to specific releases or events.
  • Size: Finally, size can also impact a Hummel figurine’s value. In general, the larger the figurine, the more valuable it will be. This is because larger figurines require more materials and are often more challenging to produce, making them rarer and more desirable among collectors.

Additional factors affecting the value of Hummel figurines

In addition to the factors mentioned above, other variables can impact the value of Hummel figurines. Here are a few more to consider:

  • Provenance: Figurines with a documented history of ownership, such as those from a famous collection, can be worth more.
  • Market demand: Like any collectible, the demand for Hummel figurines can fluctuate based on current trends.
  • Manufacturer: The Hummel figurine market has seen many manufacturers over the years, including those based in Germany, the US, and China. Figurines made by certain manufacturers may be more desirable than others.

Hummel figurine value chart

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to determining the value of a Hummel figurine, the chart below provides a rough estimate based on several factors.

Condition Rarity Age Size Value range
Excellent High Pre-1949 Large $500 – $5,000
Very Good Moderate 1949-1990 Medium $200 – $500
Good Low 1990s-Present Small $50 – $200

Keep in mind that these values are just estimates and that other factors may also impact the final price tag of a Hummel figurine. If you’re looking to buy or sell Hummel figurines, it’s best to consult with a reputable dealer or collector with expertise in the area.

FAQs: How Can You Tell How Old a Hummel Figurine Is?

1. What are some identifying marks on a Hummel figurine that can help determine its age?

Look for trademarks, mold numbers, and other distinguishing features. Earlier figurines have the “Full Bee” trademark, while later ones have the stylized bee.

2. How can you tell the difference between a genuine and fake Hummel figurine?

Fake Hummel figurines often have poorly-made details, inaccurate coloring, and lack the proper trademarks and other identifying marks.

3. Can the age of a Hummel figurine affect its value?

Yes, the age and rarity of a Hummel figurine are key factors in determining its value.

4. Is it better to buy a Hummel figurine from a private seller or a reputable dealer?

It’s usually better to buy from a reputable dealer who is knowledgeable about the product and can provide authentication. Private sellers may not have the expertise or documentation to verify the authenticity or age of a figurine.

5. Are there any other factors to consider when determining the age of a Hummel figurine?

Yes, the style, design, and color of a figurine can also give clues about its age. For example, Hummel figurines from the 1940s and 1950s often have muted colors and simpler designs than later pieces.

6. Where can I get more information about Hummel figurines and their history?

There are several books and online resources available for collectors and enthusiasts. The official website for the manufacturer, Goebel, is also a good source of information.

7. What should I do if I’m unsure about the age or authenticity of a Hummel figurine?

It’s best to consult with an expert or reputable dealer, who can provide guidance and authentication services.

Closing Paragraph: Thanks for Reading, and Keep Collecting!

We hope this guide has helped you better understand how to determine the age of a Hummel figurine. Remember to look for identifying marks, consider style and design, and consult with experts if you’re unsure. And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty and history of these charming collectibles. Thanks for reading, and come back soon for more helpful tips and insights!