One of the largest Lladro collectors worldwide gives us a private tour
If you have an eye for the exquisite detailing typical of a Lladro porcelain you will be enthralled with Glen and Maggie Lunel’s collection. They are the biggest private collectors in India of the Spanish brand. From the moment you step over the threshold of the Lunel’s home in Whitefield, Bangalore, the sheer volume and variety is overwhelming—as over 1,000 pieces are artfully displayed everywhere. We later discover that these were only a part of the whole inventory, with plenty of pieces still packed away in boxes—to be later displayed in their new home.
Glenn picked up his first Lladro piece, a pastel clown, in 1973. “I hadn’t even heard about Lladro back then and today I am one of the biggest private collectors in the world,” he says, before introducing us to pieces that range from the Jesus of Tiberia—their most expensive (priced at `3 lakhs a few years ago, now worth almost three times that), to delicately engraved Christmas decorations, some of which are out of circulation now.
“Only 13 models were made of Lladro crystal ever and I have 10. No one else has that many,” says the collector of 40 years, showing us the finely sculpted animal figures and carved crystal bell that occupy pride of place on the centre table. We admire the prototype of a jockey, a tiny thimble that fits perfectly on your little finger, a veiled woman whose head gear could fool even a trained eye into believing that the delicately moulded Lladro porcelain draping her head was actual lace.
The catalogued worth of just 300 of their retired (models out of production) pieces is over `60,84,500 today, but the Lunels say not a single piece is up for sale. “Both our boys are also passionate about Lladro, so these will go to them as heirlooms,” says Maggie, as Glenn points out that much of his collection is out of production and is truly unique. A Francisco Catala black legacy nude is his dream purchase, which he promises will come into his possession soon.
— Susanna Chandy