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Figures & Figurines

One of the most beloved antique genres is that of the ceramic figurine, which can be found in a remarkable array of styles and treatments. Capturing real figures from history as well as imaginary folks, these typically porcelain figurines reflect the finesse of porcelain painters and the vibrancy of the tradition that dates well back in time.

Ceramic figures appear among the identified artifacts of some of world’s earliest prehistoric cultures, but it was not until the early 1700s in Europe that ceramic figurines for sale approached those that we recognize today. It was around this point in history that German innovator Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the formula for hard-paste porcelain, already known by Eastern artists as a means of creating pieces impenetrable to water and high temperatures.

Böttger’s realization led to his development of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactury, where production of highly decorative porcelain figurines established a worldwide tradition of collecting. This tradition continued into the 20th century, with famed figures such as Bruno Merli, known by his iconic signature "B. Merli," making these figurines a perennial favorite among collectors.


Quick Facts

  • The oldest documented ceramic figurine is that of the "Venus of Dolní V?stonice," found in the southeastern regions of the Czech Republic. It dates to roughly 25,000 B.C.
  • A record for Meissen figurines was set in 2011 with an auction at Bonham’s London. Depicting a reduced-scale version of the classical "Farnese Hercules," the mid-18th century figurine sold for $1,004,166
  • Figurines are typically adorned with the stamp of their maker. Usually featuring the initials of the name of the creator, these marks can also include references to the place of manufacture through city initials or symbolic motifs

Recommended Items at Auction

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A 19th century Stitzendorf figure of the knife sharpener. H 22cm, W 14cm
Oct 09, 12:00 PM AEDT
A 19th century Stitzendorf figure of the knife sharpener. H 22cm, W 14cm
by Christian McCann Auctions
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD2753 Bids
Gianni Visentin, Italy (b.1938-d.2010, Lady Bathing, Biscuit Porcelain
Oct 16, 11:00 AM AEDT
Gianni Visentin, Italy (b.1938-d.2010, Lady Bathing, Biscuit Porcelain
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD653 Bids
A LARGE LATE 19TH CENTURY GERMAN PORCELAIN FIGURE etc. (qty)
Oct 14, 9:30 AM BST
A LARGE LATE 19TH CENTURY GERMAN PORCELAIN FIGURE etc. (qty)
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £40- £60
£62 Bids
Pair of Pennsylvania painted chalkware garnitures
Oct 07, 9:00 AM EDT
Pair of Pennsylvania painted chalkware garnitures
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1752 Bids
Oriental Mud Figure
Oct 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Oriental Mud Figure
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$42 Bids
Vintage Poliwogg Devil Figurine
Oct 10, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage Poliwogg Devil Figurine
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$152 Bids
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Peggy Davies Artist Original Colorway Figurine The Temptress
Oct 16, 9:00 AM EDT
Peggy Davies Artist Original Colorway Figurine The Temptress
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $200- $800
$202 Bids
6in Margaret Furlong Madonna Of The Flowers Angel
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
6in Margaret Furlong Madonna Of The Flowers Angel
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Heubach, Roby Lot of two Pierrot
Oct 06, 2:00 PM CEST
Heubach, Roby Lot of two Pierrot
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €0- €0
€301 Bid
Cybis Porcelain "Queen Esther" Figurine
Oct 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Cybis Porcelain "Queen Esther" Figurine
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $50- $500
$251 Bid
PORCELAIN STATUARY GROUP
Oct 25, 9:00 AM CDT
PORCELAIN STATUARY GROUP
by Jackson's International
Est: $20- $50
$201 Bid
Gianni Visentin, Italy (b.1938-d.2010), Figure of a Maiden, Biscuit Porcelain
Oct 16, 11:00 AM AEDT
Gianni Visentin, Italy (b.1938-d.2010), Figure of a Maiden, Biscuit Porcelain
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD251 Bid
Gianni Visentin, Italy (b.1938-d.2010), Ballerina, Biscuit Porcelain on Timber Base
Oct 16, 11:00 AM AEDT
Gianni Visentin, Italy (b.1938-d.2010), Ballerina, Biscuit Porcelain on Timber Base
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD251 Bid
Damaged Kevin Francis / Peggy Davies Limited edition figure Frank Sinatra, with certificate.
Oct 07, 10:00 AM BST
Damaged Kevin Francis / Peggy Davies Limited edition figure Frank Sinatra, with certificate.
by Potteries Auctions
Est: £15- £30
£141 Bid
José Cubero Gabardón (Baena, 1817- Málaga, 1877). Four Cold Painted Polychrome Terracotta Spanish Fi
Oct 09, 11:00 AM BST
José Cubero Gabardón (Baena, 1817- Málaga, 1877). Four Cold Painted Polychrome Terracotta Spanish Fi
by Wilkinson's Auctioneers
Est: £200- £400
£1601 Bid
A Porcelain Figure of a Cupid & Psche
Oct 16, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Porcelain Figure of a Cupid & Psche
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD401 Bid
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Figure of an elderly woman, 20th century, Vasily Konovalenko - height 16 cm
Oct 06, 6:30 PM IDT
Figure of an elderly woman, 20th century, Vasily Konovalenko - height 16 cm
by Gallery 74
Est: $3,000- $3,500
$2,2001 Bid
GROUP OF 6 EUROPEAN PORCELAIN ITEMS
Oct 18, 10:00 AM EDT
GROUP OF 6 EUROPEAN PORCELAIN ITEMS
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $150- $250
$901 Bid
MINI CERAMIC FIGURINES LOT 696
Oct 09, 5:00 PM EDT
MINI CERAMIC FIGURINES LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
CERAMIC HOLLWEEN DECORATOR FIGURINE
Oct 08, 9:00 AM CDT
CERAMIC HOLLWEEN DECORATOR FIGURINE
by Dees Auction Company,LLC
Est: $15- $25
$31 Bid
Group of 6 Assorted Goebel Gnome Porcelain Figurines
Oct 15, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 6 Assorted Goebel Gnome Porcelain Figurines
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
NAO Porcelain Zaphir Boy with Candle and Book
Oct 15, 7:00 PM AEST
NAO Porcelain Zaphir Boy with Candle and Book
by Jewellery Auctions Unlimited
Est: AUD75- AUD125
AUD51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Figures & Figurines


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Potteries Auctions

Potteries Auctions