Hummel Themes – Bookends

Logo GoodwillBuyer.com small     I was curious as to what figurines were incorporated into bookends and had no idea there were so many. I have 23 individual figures listed here but there may be more added as the information provides. This list begins with the lower number HUMs and increases as you scroll down. It is also, in some ways, an historical chronology of the plaques as they were created. Enjoy.

Hummels as Bookends

HUM 3 – Book Worm
         This piece was adapted by Arthur Möeller in 1935 from Sister Hummel’s drawing and is one of the original 46 released in 1935. The two larger sizes were added at a later date. They have also been found with Arabic size indicators. First seen in the U.S. in 1964, HUM 3/III was absent from U.S. catalogs for some years but was reinstated in 1978. The old name was “Little Book Worm”. The only other name recorded so far is “The Bookworm” which is the translation of its German name Der Bücherwurm. This is the same figure as HUM 8 which is made only in the small 4″ size. The same figure is used as one of a pair of bookends, HUM 14 A. They can be distinguished in two ways. The book held in HUM 14 A is not in full color and there is a stopper in the bottom so it can be weighted with sand. To date, there is no separate matching boy figurine, but the boy bookend HUM 14 B, forms the other half of the set and is of similar design. The four sizes are 3 at 5”, 3/I at 5½” has only one flower on the page, 3/II at 8” has two flowers with an incised copyright date of 1972 and 3/III at 9” with no incised copyright date at all also has two flowers. Some have been found with the markings 3/2 and 3/3 instead of 3/II and 3/III but does not affect the value as Arabic or Roman size indicators were used interchangeably for no basic reason. The two larger sizes have been temporarily withdrawn from current production. There is a mold number variation. Before the figurines were given the HUM mold numbers, this figure was given the incised mold number FF 17. It is possible, but not likely, that you may encounter this variation due to its rarity. Book Worm was restyled in 1972 by Gerhard Skrobek in 1972 with the new textured finish. The arge sizes 3/II and 3/III were “temporarily withdrawn” (TW) from production on 31 December 1989. A few sample pieces have been found decorated with bright colors and glossy finish of the “faience” technique. The value would be from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the size and condition.

HUM 14 A – Book Worm (boy)
HUM 14 B – Book Worm (girl)
         Size – 5½“
         Modeled by master sculptor Reinhold Unger in 1935. The girl figure in this pair is similar to HUM 3 and HUM 8, with two visible exceptions. The picture in the book which the bookend girl is holding is monochrome. It is in full color in the figurine. The bottom of the bookend has a hole (closed by either an older cork or a modern plastic stopper) for filling with sand or lead shot for weight to support books. The boy figure has no counterpart in separate figures as this is the only example of this Book Worm boy. These bookends do not have wooden bases whereas other bookends in the collection typically do have wooden bases. The set was priced and sold only as a pair. The name used in the 1950 catalog, however, is “Learned Man and Bookworm” (Der Gelehrte und Bücherwurm, bescwert). In January, 1980, a motif similar to the bookend boy was introduced on the 1980 Annual Bell, HUM 702, with modifications, such as the boy’s legs being drawn up, his hair parted on the left side, and his left forefinger raised over a larger book. The bell is named “Thoughtful,” a name formerly used for the boy portion of the bookends. For those collectors desiring matching figurines for their bells, this poses a problem. These are listed as “temporarily withdrawn” (TW) from production on 31 December 1989 and are reflected as such on some Goebel lists. In 1955, this pair was sold for $15 a pair and listed at $315 a pair on the 1989 price list. In 1993, the Bookworm bookends could be purchased from the Danbury Mint by mail order only but are no longer available. Bookworm boy has been found with the number “14” only with no “A” incised on the bottom.

HUM 60 A – Farm Boy
HUM 60 B – Goose Girl
         Size – 4¾“
         These two Bavarian country children were first produced September 1936 and are coupled as bookends sold only as a pair. These early design bookends have the figures mounted directly on the wooden base, whereas the later ones such as Apple Tree Boy and Apple Tree Girl, 252 A and 252 B have the figurines on the normal integral ceramic base which is mounted and glued to the wooden bookends. For this reason, the trademark is on the wooden base itself, rather than on the figurine. The TMK-1 Crown trademark is considered rare. An early 1950s catalog indicates these were listed as only HUM 60 at 6” high compared to the present 4¾“. Noted collector Robert Miller has confirmed, by removing the boy from a 60 A bookend, that some of the earliest production pieces are occasionally found with the mold number incised on the bottom of the feet. The mold number has also been observed on the back of the slippers on other early pieces. The bookends have been temporarily withdrawn from production status effective December 31, 1984.

HUM 61 A – Playmates
HUM 61 B – Chick Girl
         Size – 4“
     These were first produced in November 1936. Reference may be made to figurines HUM 58 and HUM 57 for more details on these two. Very much like the preceding pair of HUM 60 bookends, these figures were also mounted directly on the wooden bases rather than the composite figurine and base mounted on the wooden platforms as in the larger designs. Again, these are trademarked on the back of the wooden base as were HUM 60 A&B. In the 1950 catalog, these also were listed as only HUM 61 and therefore, might be found marked that way. By 1965, the catalogs listed them with separate alphabetical letters. The TMK-1 Crown trademark is considered rare. They were originally listed at 6” high instead of 4” which is now the current size. The bookends were temporarily withdrawn from production status effective December 31, 1984.

HUM 76 A – Doll Mother
HUM 76 B – Prayer Before Battle
     Size – 4¼“
     Factory records indicate that Doll Mother was not produced after 28 February 1938 according to a factory note. Any other examples of either one would be a rare fine, probably valued in the very high four-digit figures. Originally modeled by master sculptor Arthur Möeller. This rare factory sample without the normal base is glued directly to the wood as are the similar, lower numbered bookends. The trademark and other identification are on the wooden base. There are no current photos of the Prayer Before Battle bookend, just this other half of the set shown here. There are no known examples in private hands, only in factory archives. Value of the set in 2003 was shown as $10,000 to $15,000.

HUM 90 A – Eventide
HUM 90 B – Adoration
     Closed Edition (CE)
     Size – 4″
     Research by Robert Miller and the Goebel factory has established that the is number was assigned to a pair of bookends using the figurine Eventide HUM 99 and Adoration HUM 23 without the shrine, for design and prototypes for possible production. Both figures are mounted directly on the wooden base as were other early models. According to these records, all work was discontinued in February, 1939, and only a factory sample is now known. There is no record of this number found in the U.S. Copyright Office. Any prototype or early model would be marked TMK-1. Up until late 1984, it was thought that these pieces were never produced except in prototype and never released on the market. The Adoration half of the set has been found however. It still may be that they were never released and this particular piece was inadvertently released. While it is extremely unlikely that other than a factory sample exists, such an authenticated example would have an insurable value in the five-digit figures. It has happened before with other cancelled numbers.

HUM 120 A – Joyful
HUM 120 B – Let’s Sing
     Closed Edition (CE)
     The Goebel Company records this as an edition that was closed in the late Thirties and states that there is no known example at this time, not even a factory example. Any collector who is fortunate to own such a piece, and it is possible, should consider the value as being in the high four-digit figures. The figurines Joyful HUM 53 and Let’s Sing HUM 110 offer a look as to what these bookends may have looked like if produced. There are no known examples currently in any private collections. Listed as a closed edition on factory records 16 June 1939. Records show this was made in 1939 by a combination of sculptors, probably similar in design to HUM 122 below.

HUM 121 A – Wayside Harmony
HUM 121 B – Just Resting
     Closed Edition (CE)
     This pair was listed as a Closed Edition by the factory in the late Thirties, only this sample is known. These, as are HUM 120 and HUM 122 are designed by placing the figures directly on the wooden base which carry the number and trademark. They represent another challenge to the well-informed and sharp-eyed collector to be the first to acquire such a set which would be valued in the high four-digit figures. It is likely that they would be glued directly on the wooden base similar to Doll Mother, HUM 76 A. There are no known examples currently in any private collections.Listed as a closed edition on factory records 16 June 1939 made by a combination of sculptors. This bookend half was located in central Europe and is now part of the Robert L. Miller collection.

HUM 122 A – Puppy Love
HUM 122 B – Serenade
     Closed Edition (CE)
     Another pair of Closed Edition bookends which uses figurines Puppy Love, HUM 1, and Serenade, HUM 85. The factory sample indicates that the subjects were mounted directly on the wooden bookend bases and that a dog was used with Serenade to balance the one with Puppy Love. This was listed as a closed edition (CE) on the factory records 16 June 1939 and listed as being made in 1939 by a combination of sculptors. When and if any more are found, they would be rare examples as the record indicates these were discontinued in the late Thirties. The value of such a pair would be in the mid four-digit figures. There are no known examples currently in any private collections.

HUM 250 A – Little Goat Herder
     Size = 5½”
         This half of a pair of bookends was produced by taking the figurines Little Goat Herder, HUM 200, and securing it to a wooden base with a simulated slat fence for the book rest. The identification and trademark are shown on the wooden base because the base of the figurine is not visible. The restyled version of the figurine which was first issued and cataloged about 1965 at a price of $26.50 for the pair, HUM 250 A&B. These bookends are normally found with TMK-3 through TMK-6. There is the possibility that one might have the earlier TMK-2 because of exceptions like this with other items by Goebel. Goebel listed these pieces as “temporarily withdrawn” (TW) from production 31 December 1989. No reinstatement date was given at the time. Factory records indicate these bookends were designed by a team of modelers in 1960 and first sold in the U.S. in 1964.

HUM 250 B – Feeding Time (See above)
          Size = 5½“
         The figurine, HUM. 199, is permanently secured on a wooden base as described under HUM 250A. The two are usually cataloged as 250 A&B and now sold only as a pair at over five times what they retailed for in the mid-1960s. Goebel listed these pieces as temporarily withdrawn from production in 1989. No reinstatement date was given at the time. One major difference I have found within this book end is the direction the girl is facing. This example shows her looking straight ahead whereas other examples may have her looking to her right toward the Little Goat Herder.

HUM 251 A – Good Friends
         Size – 5”
         Factory records indicate these bookends were designed by a team of modelers in 1960. These two were first seen in the U.S. in 1964. This is a standard figurine on a ceramic base fastened to a wooden base with an upright rest for books. This is similar to Good Friends, HUM 182. This pair (251 A&B) was first found in a U.S. catalog dated 1965 and sets are seen in TMK-3 through TMK-6 with the possibility that some very early ones might have been marked TMK-2. Since the figurine was restyled in the mid-1970s, the bookends with TMK-5 and 6 will also show the same more modern look and coloring. Goebel listed these pieces as “temporarily withdrawn” (TW) from production 31 December 1989. No reinstatement date was given at the time.

HUM 251 B – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not (See above)
         Size – 5”
          First seen in the U.S. in 1964, the figurine of the boy picking petals from a daisy forms the other half of this set. The bookends are cataloged and sold as a set of two. This is very similar to HUM 174. This half of the set has also been restyled with the newer version looking directly at the flower rather than with the straight-ahead state of the earlier models. Goebel listed these pieces as temporarily withdrawn from production in 1989. No reinstatement date was given at the time.

HUM 252 A – Apple Tree Girl
         Size – 5”
         Factory records indicate these bookends were designed by a team of modelers in 1962. This bookend is essentially the figurine, HUM 141 3/0, the version of the figurine that does not have a bird in the treetop, mounted permanently on a wooden base which is incised with all the identification marks. This set was issued about the middle of the 1960s and is the third and last of the three sets of bookends introduced at that time. It appears in the U.S. catalog for 1966. One report indicated that at least one pair of these is known with TMK-2, but this is an exception and would justify a premium of at least an additional 50 percent. The rest have TMK-3 through TMK-6. See more details on HUM 141. The motif also appears in Table Lamp HM 229 and the 1976 Annual Plate in bas-relief on HUM 269. Goebel listed these pieces as “temporarily withdrawn” (TW) from production 31 December 1989. No reinstatement date was given at the time.

HUM 252 B – Apple Tree Boy (See above)
         Size – 5”
         The figurine 142 3/0 is used for the second pair of the HUM 252 bookends. Goebel listed these pieces as temporarily withdrawn from production in 1989. No reinstatement date was given at the time. Whatever has been said about the introduction and trademarks of Apple Tree Girl is equally applicable to Apple Tree Boy and can also refer to HUM 142 for more details. In addition, see comparison pieces in the Table Lamp HUM 230 and 1977 Annual Plate HUM 270.

References

Hotchkiss, J. F. (1981). Hummel Art II. Retrieved on 26 April 2019 from https://archive.org/details/hummelartii00hotc/page/2.

Luckey, C. F. (1997). Luckey’s Hummel figurines & plates: Identification and value guide. Iola, WI: Krause Publications.

Miller, R. L. (2003). The no. 1 price guide to M.I. Hummel: Figurines, plates, more. Cumberland, MD: Portfolio Press.

Miller, R. L., Ehrmann, E. W., & Pfeiffer, W. (1989). M.I. Hummel: The golden anniversary album. New York, N.Y.: Portfolio Press.