Since I have received so many emails with questions about types of Hummel figurines, I thought I would explain the difference between Berta Hummels and MI Hummels. There seems to be more confusion to this than what I had thought.
Berta Hummels are manufactured in the Far East under the strict supervision of Goebel. They are not actually manufactured by Goebel, but have to adhere to Goebel’s quality control procedures. They are made of bisque porcelain. Because of this they are able to bring these Hummels to you at reduced prices. Berta used to be Sister Hummel’s first name up until she graduated from the Academy in 1931. When she took her vows she also took the name of Maria Innocentia hence the name MI Hummel.
MI Hummels are manufactured in Germany by Goebel and are original Hummels. They are made of a porus earthenware instead of bisque porcelain. There are two definitive marks of identification on a genuine MI Hummel.
- The first is the official Goebel trademark. Although the looks of the trademark have varied since 1935, every MI Hummel will have a Goebel stamp on the underside. If you don’t see this trademark, then the Hummel is not authentic.
- The other identifier is that all MI Hummel items by Goebel will bear the signature of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. You will usually notice this as MI Hummel stamped into the figurine usually on the base somewhere.
When Sister Hummel made her historic contract with Franz Goebel, they agreed that her signature or her personal stamp of approval would appear on every piece. She would even make visits to the factory to ensure that the artists were capturing all the important details of her drawings. To this day even after her death in November of 1946, each and every authentic MI Hummel Figurine bears her stamped signature of approval.
Whether you collect Berta Hummels or MI Hummels they will eventually both increase in value, especially the older ones. They both make nice additions to any collection. It’s all just a matter of preference.