How to collect Pewter Figurines

October 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Spotlight

How to collect Pewter Figurines

Children certainly enjoy collecting just as much as the adults do.
They may even want to participate in collecting figurines. Parents are often reluctant which is not entirely surprising. This is likely due to the risk of the items being broken or the children being hurt.

One solution might be to collect figurines cast from pewter. They are durable and generally inexpensive to collect. They are also available in a range of subject matter. Through this article I’ll delve into not only how to collect pewter figurines but answer why they are a great choice of collectible.

A few facts about pewter.
Pewter is a workable metal alloy comprised of approximately 85–99% tin. The remaining portion could include any combined mix of copper, bismuth and antimony. Silver may also be present in varying amounts. The copper and antimony are added for durability and hardening. Be aware that in some situations figurines may contain lead. For more about lead content keep reading.

It goes without saying that any figurines containing lead are to be avoided. This should generally not be an issue with figurines being produced nowadays. Now, keep in mind I say ‘generally’. There will always be producers that try and save costs by reworking the raw materials.

This is not so much an effort to knowingly harm the consumer as it is to cut costs. Because lead has such a low melt point it is much cheaper to utilize.

NOTE: Learn how to collect pewter figurines responsibly.

Figurines dating back several years may also be suspect. Some figurines could have been produced prior to the findings on lead toxicity. And since this article is all about collectability it’s worth mentioning. If there is any question at all it’s best to avoid that figurine.

The lower grades of pewter contain lead which gives it the recognizable bluish tint. If you notice a tint or cannot certify the metal content avoid any contact. An easy way to do that is to buy only from a dealer that will certify the figurine content or their source.

Does this mean you should throw away any old figurines you may have?

Not necessarily. Remember your figurines are likely behind glass or at least displayed out of reach. The findings on lead toxicity are more to do with skin contact or ingesting.

But make sure to always research current findings as this can always change. And who knows? The presence of lead traces may actually cause them to be even more rare therefore more collectible.

If at all concerned simply pass them on to another dealer. But fully disclose everything you know and that includes your concerns. In all cases follow with due diligence and act responsibly as a collector.

This is a perfect chance to instill responsible collecting within your children as well. Safety for our fellow collectors should be paramount because we are all part of the same community.

Some of you may have a small shop or hobby foundry. Or for those with an interest in mould making or even sculpting. For those interested in casting their own figurines it’s worthy to mention some specs.

Pewter has a very low melting point of around 338-446 degrees F or 170-230 degrees C. This makes DIY casting a real possibility. This could add to the attraction and options of experimenting with pewter. This may even be an opportune time to create a small cottage industry for yourself. Especially if you’re an artist, craftsperson or mould maker etc.

Some ideas for new pewter castings would be doll house pieces, game board player pieces, novelties, costume jewelry, film and stage props…and it goes on from there.

And if you do decide to pursue the casting route why not create (re-issue) new moulds from original lead-models. You could recast them in safer materials. I’m just rattling ideas off the top of my head now but you can see the possibilities.

The obvious upside to all of this is more money for you …more cash for collecting figurines.

Any more good reasons?
They are durable and inexpensive. Your child can be rough with little risk of injury in the process. There are many subjects for these figurines that your child can choose from. They can portray favorite pastimes and hobbies for both boys and girls.

There are also common items from different manufacturers including dinosaurs, clowns, animals and angels. Once your child has chosen a theme they want to collect it’s best to look at the variety of figurines that are available.

To help the child grow their figurine collection they could share their interest with family and friends. When an occasion, such as birthdays or Christmas, arrives they may get some great new pieces as gifts. They may even find that they will be able to purchase them with their own money as their knowledge and interest grows.

“Why not teach the child how to collect pewter figurines as well.”

The price of a pewter collectible is quite reasonable when compared to other types of materials.

The fact that they are also durable makes them well worth the price. The more weight to the pewter collectible – the more expensive it will be. Size sometimes plays a role in the price but generally it has to do with the overall weight of the object.

Many pewter figurines also increase in value over time.

If your child keeps the collection for years they may end up increasing in value. Of course, as with adult collectors, many children would rather have their collectibles than the money they are worth.  It is still something to consider when building a collection.

Since pewter is so durable these types of figurines can easily become family heirlooms. Many have been passed down within the family. You could start a new tradition by purchasing a few figurines to get your child’s collection started.

For adults that enjoy collecting items pewter figurines are a good option for them as well. They don’t have to worry about their collectibles being broken if they have small curious children.

Pewter is a great looking material and you can’t go wrong buying children collectibles made from it.

Many of them are amazingly detailed and they will be cherished by any child.

You can find them online, at retail stores,  flea markets or yard sales from time to time. Help your child find something they are interested in and start collecting together.

And if you do decide to teach your child how to collect pewter figurines you may very well be building some cherished bonding memories. Feel free to drop me a comment.

Best of luck and collect well.


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Hummels Collectibles as Gifts

October 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Spotlight

Hummels Collectibles

When looking for a fine quality gift it’s good to know a little about the history of the company. This is particularly true when you are looking at giving Hummels collectibles as gifts.

Collectibles are wonderful for giving especially during the holidays.

Many fine collectible companies have gifts that are specifically designed to commemorate the Christmas season and the family theme.

One of the oldest and most popular fine collectible companies is M.I. Hummel.
Hummel figurines are created in Germany by master artists of W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik.

Hummels collectibles were based on one person’s vision.

Sister Marie Innocentia Hummel lived and worked in Germany during the first half of the 1900s.

Hummel figurines are world renowned and appreciated for the simple beauty and subtle humor which people have enjoyed for almost a century. I know my mother-in-law has many Hummel figurines, some dating back to the early 1940s. They are kept proudly on display amongst the dining room china.

“Admirers of Hummel figurines refer to them as simply Hummels.”
Part of the attraction to Hummel’s are the fact each is hand sculpted and then painted by hand to flawless perfection.

“There is an advantage when giving Hummels collectibles as gifts.”

For one thing the probability of someone else giving the same piece is quite low. Even pieces in the same theme will have slight differences due to the personal finishing touches.

Best of luck and collect well.


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Collectible Figurines 101

October 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, How To

Collectible Figurines
In collectible figurines 101 we scratch the surface of this fascinating market. I encourage you to look into all the sub-genres of collectible figurines as well. For now, here is an overview.
The earliest of discovered figures were mainly depictions of gods and deities.

Some would be used routinely in religious or for ceremonial purposes. Others were reserved for specific occasions. For example, a figurine of the “pregnant Venus” , given as a gift, implied the wish for a successful fertility, for the recipient.

Another important type of figurine includes the Olmec figurine. The term “Olmec” is used to describe a number of archetypal statuettes produced by inhabitants of Mesoamerica bearing the hallmarks of the Olmec culture. These figurines were made from terracotta, serpentine, nephrite, jade, basalt and other priceless gems.

These collectible figurines could be used for a variety of purposes.

Other types of Olmec figurines are ..

Transformation Figurines
These figurines contained figures transforming from human to animal and vice versa.

Naturalistic Figurines
These include naturalistically portrayed human figures, but with a big face, huge bust or exaggerated legs.

Fetal Style Figurines
These figurines are mainly fetus figures depicting infanticide and infant sacrifices.

By collecting a variety of figurines from different periods you will come to learn about the specific culture, as well as the spirit of that Age.

Figurines of female characters have continued to be very popular.

A great many were created as gifts for wedding ceremonies and other rituals. The figurines could also be used to amuse children, who spent much of their time playing with them as the earliest version of dolls.

Some of these collectible figurines served a secondary purpose.

“With society ever-changing collectible figurines have changed significantly as well.”

While those figurines were predominantly carved from wood or stone, as mold-making technology evolved, you would see figurines being cast in various metals.

We have already mentioned technology and the change in materials used. But the most notable change took hold in the figurine’s stature and theme. It would not be unusual to now find depictions of politicians and royalty.

It’s not unusual to find figurines being produced from an additional array of materials.

We’ve by now all seen plastic, ceramic and crystal and vinyl figurines. The last one being common for children. We are probably all familiar with the term action-figure.

Probably less-known are terms like, inaction-figure or ‘staction-figure’. These are obviously a twist on the word “action”. They are used to refer to figurines without movable parts while action-figures have moveable parts.

In all these cases the collectible figurines are generally depictions of comic book characters and fictional Super Heroes. Each type of figurine has deep sub-categories that are extremely interesting. I will be adding as many articles as possible as time passes.

Best of luck and collect well.


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