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Hummels

Please watch this video we made:
Then read this… We found a lot of info on the web and mixed it with what we know, and wanted to share it with you :-)
There’s more to taking care of your Hummel figurines than you think! The value of Hummel figurines is directly related to it’s condition! So it is important to know how to preserve your keepsake. Read on to learn some interesting facts about preserving the value of Hummels…

What is the Best Way to Clean my Hummel?

Cleaning your hummel is a natural part of keeping them nice.
M. I. Hummels are made of earthenware, a type of ceramic. Any part of the figurine not protected by a glaze is able to absorb moisture.
These Hummels are also created with an air hole. These holes are usually hidden somewhere on the piece, which is necessary so gasses can escape during the firing process. If this hole was not there, the Hummel could be ruined.
The insides of the figurines are not glazed. If you put a figurine in water to clean it without covering the air hole, water can get inside. Do not let this happen. It will gradually discolor the figurine! This discoloration process starts from the inside out and eventually the colors will start fading on the outside. So many people wonder why their Hummel’s colors fade even though they keep it out of direct sunlight. Just cover the air hole, so cleaning with water will not hurt it.
Clean over a surface that would protect the Hummel just incase it should slip out of your hands.

What is that silvery sheen on my Hummel?

If you’ve ever seen this you know what I mean. No matter how hard you try, it cannot be removed! It’s called oxidation. It’s caused by re-oxidation of the metallic oxide paint used by Goebel artists to hand-paint the figurines. The oxidation can be caused by excessively damp storage or by wrapping the figurine in silk paper. This can be prevented by making sure the Hummel is stored in a dry cool place and avoid extreme temperature changes. Colorless foam or some sort of bubble wrap is ok too, loosely. But what if it’s too late? What if your Hummel already has this silvery sheen? Professional refiring will restore the figurines to its original appearance.
My Hummel looks like it has spider webs growing on it!
Have you ever seen figurines that look like they have spider webs on themCrazing is hairline cracks in the glaze on the Hummel. It doesn’t hurt your Hummel, but it’s not the prettiest thing to look at! To prevent crazing, keep your Hummel in an area where the temperature and humidity levels are fairly consistent. High humidity areas are not good because then we are back to the moisture problem, which can cause discoloration. Moving your Hummel from humid areas to dry areas back and forth will cause expansion and contraction and this is how the crazing begins. However, don’t go nuts if your pieces already have some, because there are a lot of people who don’t mind collecting crazed pieces. In fact, some thing it adds a nice ‘antiquey’ look!

How do I keep my Hummel from discoloring?

Do not keep your Hummel in direct sunlight. If your Hummel is displayed in a window sill, move it! Direct light over time will discolor your Hummel. Also don’t get any moisture in the air hole.
How do I store my Hummels?
A lot of people like to store fragile items in newspapers. But DON’T DO THIS! The ink from the newspapers will start to blend with the colors on your Hummel. It can be cleaned, but it’s time consuming, so why put yourself through it?
The best way to store your Hummel is to keep the box and the padding to protect it. Always store this way if you can. If you don’t have the box anymore there’s some other options:
Wrap the figurine well in something like colorless foam or bubble wrap. Try to put it in its own box if possible for the best protection. As I mentioned earlier, make sure that the Hummel will not be stored in an area where there are extreme temperature changes (crazing) or excessive humidity (discoloration).

A buyer recently sent me this: I was watching your video with this listing on how to clean your Hummels. I have a much easier, safer way to clean them ! I use SCRUBBING BUBBLES bathroom spray cleaner to clean mine. You spray the product on the dry Hummel. Cover Hummel completely with product. I usually sit the Hummel in the sink for a minute or two. Once the bubble are gone, you simply rinse the Hummel with warm clear water. This almost always gets the Hummel perfectly clean the first time. On rate occasion, I 2nd coat of the product is necessary.
I let the Hummel towel dry, and return it to the display case. In my opinion, the more you handle the Hummel, the more chance there is of damage. The process you describe in your video would need to be done outside, etc.
I have a rather larger collection, and I would be afraid to move them outside for cleaning. The SCRUBBING BUBBLES is the easiest way to clean them I have found ! Try it ! You’ll never use another toothbrush again!

Where can I find a backstamp guide?

http://www.vintagerarestuff.com/backstamp_dating.html

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