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Hagen Renaker Ceramics
Hagen Renaker are, in my opinion, the most detailed and beautiful Disney ceramics. They are known mostly for there miniatures of Disney characters. Most of these figures are only an inch to 3 inches tall. Hagen Renaker Ceramics are located in Monrovia, California about 25 miles east of Los Angeles, They were licensed through a sales representative firm George Good and Company which was based in Los Angeles from 1955 - 1961 and covered many Disney characters from that period.
In 1955 Hagen Renaker started out making Lady and the Tramp figures which included Lady, Tramp and their children Scamp, Ruffles and Fluffy and their dog friends Jock and Trusty. Si and Am the Siamese cats, and of course Pedro, Dachsie, Peg and Bull their canine friends at the pound. These figures were sold exclusively at Disneyland the first year. All these figures are beautiful and the coloring matches the animated characters exactly. All the features like eyes, nose and mouth were hand painted, and as are most Hagen Renakers they were made of hollow porcelain and are very fragile.
To find a Hagen Renaker without cracks or breaks (especially in California earthquakes you know) is rare, although crazing does occur on most figures (crazing is when the paint cracks very slightly from age, dust and temperature changes).
In 1956 Hagen Renaker made many figures including ones from Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Dumbo and the ever-popular Mickey Mouse Club television show. Alice in Wonderland figures are very scarce and rare. They include Alice, Mad Hatter, March Hare and Caterpillar. Most of these figures tend to be in the $400-600 range if you can find one!
All Hagen Renaker figures when new came on a small piece of thick paper with the name Hagen Renaker; Monrovia California printed on it. The figure was glued onto each paper and usually found displayed in a glass case at the store, But rarely will you find one like that, most of these original papers were thrown away years ago. You could originally buy these beautiful figures at many of the large department stores, usually for less than $1 each, but today you would be lucky to find even one of most common Hagen Renakers for less than $100. I myself have found Peg the dog from Lady and the Tramp for $3 at a garage sale. Shes worth $200 today! So keep your eyes open!
Hagen Renaker also made larger figures including ones from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Figaro and Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio and Practical Pig from the Three Little Pigs. These figures were distributed nationwide under the name Designer Workshop; these Figures are about 3 to 4 and half inches tall. Also in 1956 Hagen Renaker made cookie jars and banks which were simply stunning. The detail is amazing. I myself have seen Practical Pig from the Three Little Pigs and Dumbo the Elephant; these pieces are just fantastic! I would consider them Museum Quality!
In 1958 the Hagen Renaker artisans beautifully captured Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the detail and paint matched each character exactly.
In 1959 Peter Pan and Fantasia figures were added to the Hagen Renaker line as well as Sleeping Beauty. One of my favorite Hagen Renakers is Maleficent the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty. She is dressed in her flowing black gown complete with staff and her raven perched on top of it. She is one of the rarest of all Hagen Renakers, valued at about $1500 in mint condition. The rarest and most valuable Hagen Renaker would be Samson the Horse from Sleeping Beauty - very few examples are known to exist and it could easily bring $2000 on the open market!
In the mid 1980s at Disneyland the Disneyana Shops on Main Street sold a 3 inch set of Fantasia figures. They included Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerers Apprentice, Broom with water bucket and even Baby Pegasus. Hagen Renaker was also planning on making a Country Bear Jamboree set (based on attraction at the Disney theme parks), but they were never made.
Hagen Renakers are very tough to find today. Many Fine antique shops do sell them, but E-Bay seems to be the best place to find them.
The colors and detail of Hagen Renaker are truly remarkable they are definitely miniature masterpieces, to the person that collects them, they have made a wise choice as these are some of the best Disney figures ever made!
-- Barry Allender
Barry'd Treasures is posted the third Monday of each month.
The opinions expressed by our Barry Allender, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.
-- Posted April 16, 2001