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Hummel, The Merry Wanderer

Hummel, The Merry Wanderer by R. John Wright

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Hummel, The Merry Wanderer
by R. John Wright

First in R. John Wright's Hummel® collection.The RJW Hummel® collection will be led by The Merry Wanderer™ - the most renowned of all the Hummel figurines. The Merry Wanderer is made entirely of one hundred percent wool felt and fully jointed with R. John Wright's ball and socket system that features an internal wood mechanism. Standing approximately 12 inches tall, The Merry Wanderer has a distinctive custom face mold, delicately hand-painted features and a wig of the finest mohair. His expressive hands have individually-sewn fingers and molded sculptural details. True to the illustration, The Merry Wanderer comes costumed in his all-felt, 3-piece suit with a molded bowler hat and umbrella, all artistically shaded to evoke the original Hummel figurine with exactness. Sturdy hand-cobbled leather shoes and a felt and alpaca carpet bag with wood rails complete his trademark ensemble, complete his trademark outfit. As a final perfect touch, he has a brass custom-made pocket watch with a glass lens safely tucked in the tiny pocket of his trousers!

Produced at the R. John Wright workshop in Bennington, Vermont, each Merry Wanderer comes inside a deluxe presentation box with a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity and forms for owner registration.

History of the Hummel FigurinesBerta 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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Hummel, The Merry Wanderer
by R. John Wright

Size Height : 12 inches
Edition Limited Edition
Edition Size : 250
Materials All-Wool Felt
Hair Mohair Wig
Features Hand-Painted Eyes
Airbrushed Accents
Jointing Number of Joints : 5
Ball-And-Socket Jointing
Special Jointing Designed by the Artist
Authenticity Officially Licensed
Copyright Verbiage : Hummel® and M. I. Hummel® TM the Franciscan Convent of Siessen, Germany
Includes Certificate of Authenticity
Age Appropriate Collectible, Not Intended For Children
Country of Origin United States

The Toy Shoppe Has Offered R. John Wright Creations For Over Three Decades

R. John Wright and Susan WrightThe Toy Shoppe has had the pleasure of offering the work of R. John Wright since 1979. When Danny Shapiro, the founder of The Toy Shoppe, first saw John and Susan's work he was impressed with the great charm and fine craftsmanship exhibited. Each piece created by R. John Wright continues to display the virtuosity of the artist when considering fine and original design, beautiful craftsmanship and the use of beautiful materials of exceptional quality. As work of this nature can only be produced in small quantities, each piece is all the more special.

Originality Of Design

Every great object created begins with design. R. John Wright's design often originates with source material from famous children's illustrations as John and Susan have a great love for well-known characters from classic children's books. What is most impressive in this endeavor is that each piece created from these illustrations remains true to the original artwork. Each is truly the definitive interpretation of these most famous childhood characters. Their designs are also inspired by nature. The realism with which they create their bears, mice and other animals is matched only by their ability to introduce such character and personality in them without resorting to caricaturish extremism.

Inspired By The Classics

Established in 1976, the company has produced work based on the most famous illustrations of all time, including Ernest Shepherd's Winnie-the-Pooh, Jessie Wilcox Smith's storybook characters, Johnny Gruelle's Raggedy Ann and Andy, Walt Disney's Classics, Saint Exupery's The Little Prince, Beatrix Potter's animal kingdom, Rose O'Neill's Kewpie, Michael Bond's Paddington and Sir John Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland.

Fine Craftsmanship

R. John Wright The Little Prince dollsThe making of an heirloom piece in our estimation is synonymous with fine craftsmanship. We have often seen an artist's fine design destroyed in manufacture. This is definitely NOT the case with R. John Wright. At the R. John Wright workshop and studio in Vermont, a highly skilled team of trained artisans puts each limited edition into production. Each piece that comes from the R. John Wright workshop is beautifully detailed and finished. Because of the complexity of these original designs, innovative techniques must be devised to insure that each piece in the edition remains consistent and uniform. Technically speaking, as charming as the early R. John Wright work was, the newer pieces are much more complex and innovative. Due to these technical innovations in manufacture, the designs are now brought to life in a way that they never could have been 20 years ago.

Each accessory that comes with an R. John Wright creation is also of original design. John and Susan are not content to merely use an existing object as an accessory. When the object cannot be created in their workshop due to the material or specialized skills desired, the company works with master craftsmen in their respective fields to custom make the final pieces.

We believe that these factors have been important in contributing to the already established higher value of earlier R. John Wright work.

Heirloom Quality Toys

At The Toy Shoppe, we believe that true collectibility is earned by the maker's dedication and commitment to design, craftsmanship and material usage. Rarity is naturally implied, as work of this nature cannot be mass-produced. The market has already well recognized the collectible nature of the work by R. John Wright. We believe this will easily continue to be the case.

Today, John and Susan continue to create and innovate with delightful felt dolls, bears, mice and many other characters at their workshop in Bennington, Vermont in the United States.

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