Methods of Repair and Restoration of Hummel Figurines

Most collectors hold Hummel figurines in high regard for various personal and sentimental reasons. Some have a great emotional connection with a Hummel while others hold them as financial investments. According to many antique collectors, restorers and appraisers, investing in Hummel and other valuable porcelain or ceramic items when a country’s economy is in the slump is a sound financial decision.

The design of these collectibles was inspired by a young German nun of Franciscan order known as Sister Maria Innocentia in the 1930s. She had an advanced degree applied arts and created drawing for her young students as a reward for their hard work, upon which Hummel figurines were later created and produced by Goebel, a large German porcelain manufacturer. Since then, the use and value of Hummel figurines have only increased over time. The fact that they are made of porcelain makes them very delicate and prone to damage. One should also ensure to handle them with utmost care. A skilled artisan often carries out repair and restoration work on Hummel figurines if they succumb to any kind of damage.

How Hummel Figurines Can Become Damaged

The material used to make a Hummel is porcelain, which is also known as “fine china” and which makes it susceptible to cracks and breaking. This is mainly due to wear and tear over time or if the owner does not take care when handling it. As a collectable, handling of Hummel figurines should be limited as too much touching cause colors to fade or certain parts to become glazed. Hummel’s may also be dropped accidentally breaking completely or developing large cracks.

Repair and Restoration

The method of repair adopted for a damaged Hummel is dependent on the type and severity of damage present on the item. If the item is broken completely, the restoration process would involve gluing and joining the ceramic pieces into their original places, sculpting additional fragments, airbrushing, glazing, and often airbrushing again. This is a method known as invisible repair or mending. This process demands great skill and attentiveness since joining wrong pieces or creating edges and ridges that show where the pieces have been glued together may forever damage the valuable collectible. If the item had developed cracks suitable fillers should be used to cover the cracks, followed by matching and replicating the surface pattern.

Another method of restoration of a Hummel is by painting a color that matches the original paint of the item. This method is used when the damage only involves fading. In instances when the item has cracks or has some broken pieces, then repair of the Hummel is first carried out before the collectible is painted. The most important factor to remember is that the color used to paint the damaged item should be a perfect match to the original color of the Hummel.

A combination of these two methods is ideal for a complete restoration of a damaged Hummel figurine. It is always recommended to seek the services of a professional who is specialized in the restoration and repair of these valuable items. The fact that they are hand crafted makes them very susceptible to permanent damage if repaired by amateurs. Hiring a professional with experience in Hummel restoration may save you a great loss in the form of a permanently tarnished collectible. Careful handling, regular cleaning and maintenance of Hummel figurines should be frequently practiced as they greatly reduce the risk of spoiling and cracking the items.

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