Dating Hummels - A Guide to Hummel Backstamps

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Hummel figurines are highly sought after, with some pieces attracting very high prices. Condition and rarity will affect the value, however, so when buying a Hummel product look carefully for the two marks of its authenticity; the M I Hummel signature on the side of the base and the Goebel backstamp.

Whether buying or selling Hummels on Ebay, it is to your benefit to understand the marking system used by the Goebel company on M I Hummel items.

There are some excellent publications that give accurate and lengthy information about these highly collectible figurines, which includes current market prices, but this guide is only intended as a general introduction to the Hummel Goebel trademarks to assist your trading on Ebay,.

Trademark 1

  • The crown mark was used on Hummels produced in 1935. The earliest figurines had this incised on the underside of the base, with the letters W G, which stood for William Goebel, one of the founders of the company intertwined beneath it. Occasionally the Crown Mark if found both incised and stamped and this is known as a double crown mark.

Figurines also had M I Hummel incised on the side of the base.

Trademark 2

  • In 1950 the Goebel Company incorporated a Bee in a Vee, beginning with the incised Full Bee followed by the stamped Full Bee. These were followed by several variations, which attracted their own identification terminology, The High Bee - The Small Bee - The Baby Bee - The Vee Bee, but all are accepted as Trademark 2.

Trademark 3

  • In 1957 the Stylized Bee was introduced in 1957 and used until 1964.It came in two sizes, referred to as the Small or Large Stylized Bee. The Large Bee had the words W Germany placed to the right, while the Small Bee has these words underneath. In addition, the words West Germany occasionally appeared elsewhere on the base.

Trademark 4

  • Used until 1973, this mark, known as the three line mark, distinguished the Goebel name and copyright symbol, in addition to W Germany. Another major change was the blue colour of the stamp.

Trademark 5

  • The last Bee trademark to be used was introduced in the early 70s and in use until 1979. It is characterized by a stylized Bee in a Vee and is known by collectors as the Last Bee Mark. This was nested between the B and the L of Goebel, with W Germany appearing below.

Trademark 6

  • The transition away from the Bee Vee mark began in 1979 and for a while it was known as the Missing Bee. With this change the company began to add the artist's mark and date of completion.

Trademark 7

  • In 1991 the trademark changed once again to mark the re-unification of the two Germanys by removing the 'west' from the mark. Another significant change was the re-introduction of the Crown Mark under the Goebel stamp.

Trademark 8

  • The current mark has seen a resurrection of the Bee, minus the vee, which sits between the B and L of the Goebel mark.


(c) Merlene Fawdry

See also the following guide Hummel figurines - authentic and otherwise

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