Lladro issued a newsletter this year about summer days and fun in the sun figurines it has made. It caught our attention that it was heavy on mermaids, so we decided to review some of the mermaids Lladro has made over the years.
Waking Up at Sea is the name of this fun little piece. It depicts a young mermaid, arms outstretched, waking up. She has a golden body (or tail – what do you call it?) There is matching gold flower decoration in her hair.
It was designed in 2011 by Raul Rubio and is still unretired with a suggested price of $250. It is roughly four inches by five inches in size.
This is the first of three related pieces you will want to get as a set.
Playing at Sea is the name of this piece. Our young mermaid is now awake (or maybe not!) and appears to be stretching her body grabbing her tail.
Also designed by Rubio in 2011, it is slightly smaller at four inches by four and three-quarter inches, and has the $250 MSRP.
By itself the piece might look out of place, but this is why you want to eventually acquire the set.
Rubio’s trio of golden mermaid figurines is complete with this one called Day Dreaming at Sea.
The young mermaid with the golden tail looks to be asleep. She has the gold flower in her hair and another in her little hand. I wonder what she is dreaming about? What do mermaids dream of?
This cute piece is a good six inches long and still retails for $250.
Llado calls each of the three art pieces mentioned so far to be gold re-deco. This refers to the gold accents on the figurines.
You can see how much the gold adds to the figures and makes them pop at attention. Day Dreaming at Sea was originally designed in 2005. This is what it originally looked like:
Big difference! By comparison the original sculpture now appears washed out. It does not nearly have the same amount of whimsy without coloration.
For collectors you will of course need all pieces. Otherwise, if you have a choice between the original 2005, all-white porcelain piece or the 2011 piece with gold accents, we suggest you get the latter with the gold.
Here is the 2005 version of Waking up at Sea without the gold decoration. This piece does have a bit of color, as the flowers in the mermaid’s hair are distinctly blue.
There is even more color in the original 2005 version of Playing at Sea. In addition to blue flowers in her hair, the mermaid’s hair itself is a light shade of blue. The bottom of her tail also has a clear blue hue to it.
This mermaid piece is called Illusion. The artwork was designed by Jose Puche in 1982 and comes with a base for display. It is still actively sold and retails for $370.
This mermaid has fish-like coloring and scales. In her hair is a row of pink and white flowers.
One interesting aspect of this figure is her light brown hair is flowing up, as if she actually were underwater and the water was moving her hair about.
Illusion has also been the subject of later redecoration. However, as you can see she has been accented in silver instead of gold.
The body and tail are silver and there is a bit of silver coloring beneath the flowers in her hair.
Our preference is the gold but there is no right or wrong coloring.
This wonderful sculpture is called Ocean Beauty. And a blonde beauty she is.
Designed in 1991 by Jose Puche, this mermaid is larger than the prior pieces we have looked at. It measures a good-sized nine by six inches.
The retail price is $885 and for that you get quite a bit of detail.
The mermaid is resting on a large piece of coral, which has multiple hues of blue and green. Growing out of the coral are numerous flowers. More pink and white flowers can be found in the mermaid’s hair.
She is holding a white shell. In the foreground it appears a light reddish-fish is swimming by. The fish and flowing hair give an impression that the mermaid is actually under water.
This is the perfect companion if you have a fish tank or aquatic theme.
Princess of the Waves is a very large piece. It is over eighteen inches high! This limited edition (only 3000 will be made) was designed in 2013 by Ernest Massuet. The retail price is $3200.
Although we are normally big fans of larger pieces, as so much more detail and meaning can be added to create a stunning piece, Princess of the Waves doesn’t do it for us.
The mermaid has her eyes closed. She could be meditating. There is not much color for such a large piece. Small red flowers around one arm. A hint of light colored flowers in the back of her head and in the necklace around her neck.
While serene, it is not inspiring. It might be the mermaid’s mouth, which is pointed downwards in almost a frown. What do you think?
This good-sized piece is called Little Mermaid. It is almost a foot high so it is certainly not little.
Made in 2010 by Antonio Ballester it retails for $750.
The mermaid has plenty of color in this version, with a blue and purple tail and light purple hair. Within her hair are gold accents. She is wearing a white pearl necklace. Her hands are held above her head where she holds some peach flowers.
This is a very nice piece. The eyes, though, seem narrow and far apart. If she had “happy” eyes and a bit of smile we would have a huge endorsement. But as it is, the mermaid is cute and nice for a decoration, but that is about it.
There is also another version of Little Mermaid without this coloring.
This is the white and silver version of Little Mermaid. It pales in comparison (literally) to the blue and purple colored version. The eyes are almost non-existent in this white version.
Unless you are collecting all varieties or have stumbled upon an incredible deal, you can pass on this one.
This nice piece is called Mirage. Sculpted by Jose Puche in 1982 it is seven inches high and retails for $370.
Shown is a mermaid with her brown her flowing up as she is underwater. There is a pink flower in her hair and a pink flowered necklace around her neck. She is depicted looking into a shell. You wonder what her thoughts might be.
This is a companion piece to Illusion previously shown, and there is also a third piece to create a sort of trilogy.
Fantasy is the third piece by Jose Puche from 1982. This mermaid has black flowing hair which is also adorned with a pink flower. She also has a pink flowered necklace. These pieces by Puche each come with a base for easy display.
Our mermaid has her head up, but is care free and appears to be gazing off in the distance as though pondering something. It is a nice piece.
Finally, we conclude our review of Lladro mermaids with Underwater Journey. Made in 2005 by Francisco Polope, this is a limited edition of only one thousand pieces.
Large – the sculpture extends eighteen inches in length and is a foot high. It is an impressive piece, with an impressive MSRP of $3600.
This is the detail, coloring, and imagery we expect from Lladro. A mother mermaid is sitting with her young daughter on large shell chairs. Ahead of them two magnificent sea horses have reigns around their tails and are pulling them along. The sea horses are actually horses.
There is color everywhere, from the ocean life to the sea horses to the coloring of the mermaids’ tails.
It is a beautiful piece. Yes, pricey, but if this fits in the theme of your home or office it is a stunning piece of art you will want as a focal attention.