Fourth in R. John Wright's Hummel® collection, Serenade Angel is based on a charming illustration by Sister Innocentia Hummel.
A lovely companion piece to the previously-issued Celestial Musician, Angel Serenade is made entirely of the finest all-wool felt and fully jointed with the RJW ball & socket system with internal wood mechanism. The lovely angel child stands approximately 12" tall. The molded felt head has delicately hand painted features, and a wig of the finest mohair. The molded torso and limbs have sculptural details and the hands feature individually-sewn fingers.
Angel Serenade comes costumed in a classic all-felt gown with a hand-applied metallic motif. The costume has been artistically shaded in subtle hues to evoke the original Hummel coloring. The angel wings are molded out of felt and beautifully hand painted. The little musician holds a custom-made mandolin handcrafted out of wood at the R. John Wright Workshop. The darling RJW lamb by her side is made of all-wool plush with a jointed neck, glass eyes and a brass bell on a silk ribbon. Every detail has been meticulously researched to capture the essence and emotion of the original Hummel® artwork. Each Angel Serenade includes a felt-covered wooden base with a metal rod which inserts into a leg for effortless display.
The Serenade Angel will be produced at the R. John Wright workshop in Bennington, Vermont in a limited edition of only 100 pieces worldwide. Each will arrive inside a deluxe presentation box with a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity and forms for owner registration. Matching numbers are subject to availability.
History of the Hummel Figurines
Berta Hummel was born in 1909 in the storybook setting of Bavaria, Germany. One of seven children, she was raised in a devout Catholic family, living above her father's dry goods store. As a child, Berta showed creative talent and developed a reputation in the village as a local artist. Yet she was also a cheerful, active girl who loved the outdoors and the winter sports so common in the Alps. Berta's father encouraged her artistic talents and, at age 12, enrolled her in a boarding school about 20 miles away. Berta continued to grow in her abilities and after graduation in 1927, she enrolled in the prestigious Academy of Applied Arts in Munich, where her talent and skills developed further.
After Berta graduated in 1931 with top honors, she chose to follow the religious calling that she had felt for some time and applied to enter the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen. The Congregation focused on teaching with an emphasis on the role of art in education. In 1934, she received the religious habit of the Congregation and the name Sister Maria Innocentia.
The newly ordained nun was assigned to teach art in a nearby school run by the convent. Though her days were busy teaching, she spent her spare time painting pictures of children. The Sisters were impressed with her art and sent copies to a publishing house in Stuttgart which specialized in religious art. The company decided to release copies of the works in postcard form, which was very popular in the early 20th century.
Soon afterward, Franz Goebel, the head of the Goebel porcelain company, was looking for a new line of artwork and happened to see some of these postcards in a shop in Munich. He approached the convent to gain permission to transform the charming drawings into figurines. Sister Innocentia was agreeable with this and the convent granted him sole rights to make figurines based on her artwork. The artist worked personally with Goebel Master Sculptors and Painters to create the new products. Interest in the figurines exploded after they were displayed in 1935 at the Leipzig Trade Fair, a major international trade show. A decade later, the figurines would begin to enjoy great success in the United States, as well, when returning American soldiers brought them home.
After Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel's untimely death in 1946 at the age of 37, an Artistic Board was appointed at the Convent of Siessen as guardians of her legacy. Sister Innocentia left the world an extensive collection of her drawings and paintings, many of which have been translated into figurines. Today, M.I. Hummel figurines are among the world's most beloved collectibles, a tribute to the spirit of childhood and the talent of a brilliant artist. After 70 years of a collectible tradition, collectors will now have the opportunity to acquire faithful dolls of Sister Maria Innocentia's designs interpreted for the first time in the medium of molded felt!
Hummel® and M. I. Hummel® are trademarks used under license from the Franciscan Convent of Siessen, Germany.
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