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Animal Figurines

There is nothing quite as endearing as an artfully rendered miniature of an animal. Whether crafted in delicate ceramic or animated with a vibrant palette, animal figurines feature prominently in ceramic history.

The practice of creating figurines dates back to the prehistoric world. As the humans of this era were nomadic in nature, any objects they crafted needed to be portable, hence the benefit of the small-scale figurine. Representations of animals in this format were consistent for generations, remaining strong into the 18th century as the refined painted porcelain figurine became popular. Alongside groupings of elegant couples, animal figurines featured prominently and soon became a highly desired collectible.

From the sculptural qualities of Nymphenberg porcelain pets to the colorful cheer of Meissen creatures and the sleek lines of Art Deco animals, these figurines still fascinate today.


Quick Facts

  • One of the oldest surviving animal figurines is a melding of animal and human forms. Known as the “Lion Man,” this carved ivory figurine dates to 38,000 B.C. and was found in the Swabian Alps
  • Queen Victoria’s lifelong love for animals is sometimes credited with contributing to the popularity of ceramic animal figurines in the 19th century. She is believed to have driven the incredible demand for Staffordshire King Charles Spaniel figurines
  • One of the most expensive sets of porcelain animal figurines to sell in recent years appeared at a Christie’s New York sale in 2015. Two porcelain pugs from the 18th century Chinese Qianlong Period sold for $47,500

Recommended Items at Auction

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(3pc) Martha Carey ‘The Herd’ Elephant Figurines
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
(3pc) Martha Carey ‘The Herd’ Elephant Figurines
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$355 Bids
Vintage Jaimy Naptune's Horses Ceramic Wall Frieze
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Jaimy Naptune's Horses Ceramic Wall Frieze
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$204 Bids
Martha Carey ‘The Herd’ Elephant Figurines
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Martha Carey ‘The Herd’ Elephant Figurines
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$654 Bids
(6pc) Martha Carey ‘The Herd’ Elephant Figurines
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
(6pc) Martha Carey ‘The Herd’ Elephant Figurines
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$204 Bids
Tommy Kakinuma, 4 1/2 x 5 in. (11.43 x 12.70 cm.)
Oct 19, 9:00 AM PDT
Tommy Kakinuma, 4 1/2 x 5 in. (11.43 x 12.70 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $100- $150
$1304 Bids
A Ceramic Figure of a Zebra
Oct 16, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Ceramic Figure of a Zebra
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD604 Bids
Ceramic Rhino & Octopus Decor
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Ceramic Rhino & Octopus Decor
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
LOT OF ROOSTERS AND HENS LOT 696
Oct 09, 5:00 PM EDT
LOT OF ROOSTERS AND HENS LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$123 Bids
Antique porcelain parrot, H 28 cm.
Oct 07, 10:00 AM CEST
Antique porcelain parrot, H 28 cm.
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €0- €0
€1203 Bids
MIXED MONKEY FIGURINE LOT VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
MIXED MONKEY FIGURINE LOT VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$122 Bids
Vintage Poliwogg Scary Pumkin Figurine
Oct 10, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage Poliwogg Scary Pumkin Figurine
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$152 Bids
Prattware recumbent lamb, early 19th c.
Oct 07, 9:00 AM EDT
Prattware recumbent lamb, early 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$1502 Bids
Martha Cary ‘Winks Thinks’ Elephant Figurines
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Martha Cary ‘Winks Thinks’ Elephant Figurines
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
50pc Fox Collectibles Group Lot - Lisa Larson
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
50pc Fox Collectibles Group Lot - Lisa Larson
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$102 Bids
Animal Figurines LOT 696
Oct 09, 5:00 PM EDT
Animal Figurines LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$142 Bids
Jay Strongwater Enameled Squirrel Figurine
Oct 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Jay Strongwater Enameled Squirrel Figurine
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $50- $500
$502 Bids
Hen on Nest
Oct 08, 9:00 AM EDT
Hen on Nest
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$152 Bids
Five (5) Piece Fox Related Collectibles Group
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Five (5) Piece Fox Related Collectibles Group
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
CERAMIC PIG FIGURINE VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
CERAMIC PIG FIGURINE VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
DOG FIGURINE VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
DOG FIGURINE VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
SPEAK SEE HEAR NO EVIL MONKEY FIGURINE MADE IN JAPAN VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
SPEAK SEE HEAR NO EVIL MONKEY FIGURINE MADE IN JAPAN VINTAGE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
WESTLAND GIFTWARE COW PARADE CERAMIC FIGURINES
Oct 08, 10:00 AM EDT
WESTLAND GIFTWARE COW PARADE CERAMIC FIGURINES
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Animal Figurines


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Historia Auctionata

Historia Auctionata

Omni Auction Corp

Omni Auction Corp

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer