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Difference Between Berta and M.I. Hummel Figurines

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.

signature hummel        hummel figurine stamp

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.

7 thoughts on “Difference Between Berta and M.I. Hummel Figurines

  1. Now I am more confused….

    I have several figurines listed on eBay, that are engraved M. I. Hummel, but they do NOT have the Goebel stamp on the bottom. According to your clarification statement above:
    “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” means my figurines are NOT “authentic”.

    What do I have, since they are marked M. I. Hummel? Are these fakes?

    1. Hello Lori –

      Thanks for writing!

      All authentic Hummel Figurines that are made in Germany will have the Goebel stamp on the bottom. The current stamp is that of a circle with a bee on the right side. Inside the circle it should say “Original MI Hummel Germany”. As of 2009, the production of Hummel Figurines was taken over by Manufaktur Rodental GmbH. In 2013, they filed bankruptcy and a new company took them over but were still produced in Germany and even in the same factory.

      We have not dealt in Hummel figurines since about 2008, but as far as I am aware, if authentic, it should bear the stamp on the bottom. I know there are many other manufacturers around the world that also produce these, but they are not considered authentic.

      I hope this helps,

    2. Hi Lori –

      Authentic Hummel figurines will always have the stamp on the bottom and MI Hummel incised into the figurine.

      Here is some information that may help you:

  2. I have a figurine that is the girl sitting on fence it says Italy. Did they make them in Italy?

    1. Helly Shelley – not that I’m aware of.

  3. I have an old trinket/music box. The porcelain top is of a little boy in a wagon, with a little bird. The signature on the bottom left is B. Hummel. The song on the box plays Edelweiss. I have looked at every where on the internet for this item, but cannot locate any information. The bottom of the box says Reuge Swiss Musical Movement. Any information would be appreciated. I have had this box for so long, I can’t remember if I bought it or if it was a gift. Thank you.

    1. Hello Jan – we used to sell music boxes made by Hummel and they too, came with Swiss musical movement. Because you mention the “B”, I think it’s safe to assume you have a Berta.

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