Hummel ceramic figurines have drawn the attention of collectors and admirers since their introduction by the Geoble Germany Company in 1935. Based on the drawings of Sister M.I. Hummel, the figures -- mostly of children in everyday scenes -- are loved for their charm and innocence. If you are selling or insuring Hummel figurines -- or wish to acquire them -- you'll need to learn a little about their value in the marketplace.
Identify the exact figurines in question. The bottom of each Hummel has distinctive marks. You'll find various combinations of the company name, Hummel's name, copyright marks, pattern marks, figurine names and other identifying marks. Many pieces are marked with the company logo and a figure of a honeybee. Each piece has its own combination of marks that specifically identifies it.
Find your Hummel's specific listing in a Hummel reference or price book. If two figurines are nearly identical, the guide book will describe the specific details that distinguish them. Compare these descriptions -- and the photos that often accompany them -- to your piece. The listing will give an estimated retail value. Remember that condition and the presence of original packaging usually affect value.
Look on eBay under Completed Listings for recent sales of Hummel figurines. Keep in mind that you'll need to compare the exact details of the listing to your piece, as well as condition and the presence of original packaging. Unless a piece is rare and well advertised, prices for eBay collectibles tend to represent auction or wholesale value rather than retail or replacement value.
Take your figurines to a Hummel expert for evaluation. Dealers who specialize in Hummels and other 20th century figurines can identify unusual pieces and give guidance on their value. You can find Hummel dealers at large antiques and ceramics shows.