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Featured Museum Piece - May 2005

The Challenge by Hutschenreuther China Company

The Challenge by Hutschenreuther China Company Our featured museum piece this month is by Hutschenreuther China Company of Selb, Germany. The Challenge an awe-inspiring sculpture that features the intricate design artistry of Gunther Granget. Standing a colossal 52 inches high and 50 inches wide, The Challenge features a nesting mother heron using her wings to protect her eggs while a large male heron hovers just overhead. As you can see from this image (which you can click to expand), there is a tremendous amount of detail featured in the sculpture. The birds are breathtakingly animated and the nest is sculpted to create a look life-like twigs and foliage. Hutschenreuther designed The Challenge in 1978 and did a limited release of only 150 of these pieces. At the time, the average trend price for the sculpture was $8,200. Within two years, Hutschenreuther sold all of these amazing sculptures. The copy that we feature in our museum is numbered “94/150”. Our estimate is that the value of this piece is $15,000 to $20,000 dollars. This estimate is based on the limited number of 150 sculptures produced and the almost non-existent movement of these items on the secondary market. This incredible sculpture is actually one of the first pieces that you will see when visiting our Showroom Museum in person, and with good reason!

Hutschenreuther has a long history of creating beautiful figurines. The original Hutschenreuther porcelain company was opened in 1814. Carolus Magnus Hutschenreuther wanted to open the first privately owned porcelain factory in Germany. After a lengthy search, he decided to settle in Bavaria. Later, a second Hutschenreuther factory was built in Selb, Germany. This new factory was built by Carolus’ son, Lorenz. In 1917, Hutschenreuther of Selb acquired processes and skills needed to begin producing figurines via the purchase of the art division of Paul Muller Co. Hutschenreuther's managing director, Emil Mundel, was the driving force behind the acquisition of Muller’s assets. After acquiring sculptors and skilled laborers, Hutschenreuther began soliciting design help and ideas for sculpture and dinnerware from the Selb Technical School of Porcelain. By 1926, the art division of the company had won wide acclaim and its porcelain figurines were highly sought after.

Today, Hutschenreuther remains in Selb, Germany and is part of the Rosenthal Group. Also, Hutschenreuther china remains very popular and highly collectible. If you would like to view a complete list of Hutschenreuther collectible patterns, click here. If you would like to view a complete inventory of china patterns that are produced by Hutschenreuther, then click here.

Want to know more about Hutschenreuther? Click here for an informative history.

Click here to view our Featured Museum Pieces Archive!

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