Hummel Photographers and Hummel Wannabes

Above is a print of the painting by Berta Hummel on which the figure is based and below is a first day cover and stamp issued in St. Vincent in 1990. It is obviously made for collecting and not for mailing.

We bought the Hummel Photographer on the right side of the image on the left many years ago from a local antique dealer who had just returned from Germany. It has the Goebel Bee mark which I understand was used in the 1970s. We thought we had the "only" real Hummel Photographer.

Over the years we found five different figures that were not made by Goebel but were clearly inspired by the Hummel design. Each boy photographer had a bandana tied around his neck, spots on his shirt, and a dog looking up from between the tripod legs.

We did notice that two of these "wannabes" had a lens that was higher than the lens on our "real" Hummel. We did not understand the reason for this until we saw a Hummel at an antique show that was different from ours. The lens was above the center like the knock-offs and there were other differences. We were told that this was an earlier version.

We did not need this variation did we? If you have learned anything about us from these pages you know the answer was, "Yes we must have one of those too!" On the far left in the group below and the left side of the image at the top left is our second "real" Hummel Photographer with a mark that looks most like the Stamped Full Bee used in the early 50s that I found on an Internet site.

The group of seven figures above show the real (first and second on the back row) and the five different knockoffs There is no question that the resemblance is accidental. The figure on the right end of the front row has the tag pictured below that calls it a "Genuine Hummel Reproduction" that is "Hand Painted" although surely "genuine reproduction" is an oxymoron

We don't have to have every Hummel Photographer related collectible we see but it is tempting when we find things like the Christmas ornament above with the drawing surrounded by a border of the photographer, camera and dog. So far we have not seen a Hummel plate or one of the dolls of the photographer. Knowing the cost of these we hope not to find any.


Above are the first two knockoffs we found. When I picked up the larger figure on the left the shop owner said "It's not a real Hummel" as if she had had problems with disappointed buyers before. We thought it was fun because it was not a real one. The smaller figure is the so-called "Genuine Hummel Reproduction" and has a silver paper Napco sticker on the bottom.

The two similar but different figures above are marked "American Children - Photographer". They differ from the Hummels more than the others but they have several points that suggest a relationship; the orange scarf, spots on the shirt, and the little dog under the tripod. The one on the left is marked "Occupied Japan" and the other marked "Japan".

Below is the later real Hummel with the only other Hummel we own called Which Hand. We "had" to buy it when we got the bizarre group next to it since the girl was as clearly patterned after Which Hand as the boy was after The Photographer. Now are we finished buying Hummels? The pair below are downright surreal! They are Hummel knockoffs from an alternate universe! A lavender dog (Oh My) and the chunky shapes give them a certain strange charm. They are unmarked and were bought from a Dutch dealer in photographic collectibles at a Rochester, New York show. After we got them we had to find a real Which Hand to pose for our photographer too.

When this page was almost finished I went to the Internet to check on the dates of some of the marks and "OH NO!" there are two new Hummel photographers. We really don't have to have them, do we? Well maybe just one of them. Below you see the "Camera Ready" group we had within days of finding it existed.

The other new one is a large group that was more expensive then we could justify. We really don't have to have that one, do we?

*Update* Answer to the question asked on the left...Yes, we had to have the larger group called "Picture Perfect" when we were offered it at a price we could not resist. This group shows the same boy and girl as "Camera Ready" with the addition of two more children and a black dog.

Now if Goebel will just stop making new photographers... except a girl photographer would be nice to have. You will note that in all our photographer figures there are many more boys than girls. Beverly does not think that is fair.

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**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

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Updated on 6/2004