By Jacqueline Monahan
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Rosa Lladró Signing & New Sculpture Debut at Lladró Boutique in The Venetian

On Thursday, October 9, Rosa Lladró, Board of Directors President and daughter of one of the founding members of the celebrated, family-owned porcelain company visited the elegant Lladró Boutique in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. In a rare stateside appearance, Ms. Lladró signed customer purchases and unveiled Lladró’s latest sculpture, a delicate, intricately crafted piece entitled Iris and Cherry Flowers Fan.

Adorned with finely crafted tree branches, blossoms and birds, Iris and Cherry Flowers Fan was inspired by Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e. The 13 ¾”x 20 ½” piece inaugurates a collection of limited edition fans that can be displayed as a traditional sculpture on a wooden base, or as a wall hanging piece of art. (A Lladró first). Only 2,000 units of this original creation will be available in the entire world.

Ms. Lladró herself was a work of art, in a stylish gunmetal gray taffeta dress and black patent leather spike-heeled pumps. She graciously greeted and signed Lladró pieces for a long line of delighted customers, carrying the familiar logo on boxes large and small. Ms. Lladró took the time to answer questions for her company’s loyal following, signing the bottoms of their varied pieces and having her picture taken with any number of admirers.

Catered by Zeffirino, one of The Venetian’s flagship eateries, (and the only one overlooking the Grand Canal) the event offered guests champagne and an assortment of half-dollar sized hors d’oeuvres that included tuna, shrimp, salmon, mushrooms, a cheese tray, Caprese sandwiches and mini desserts in caramel, berry, chocolate and fruit tart variations.

The Lladró Boutique opened at The Venetian in 1999, and its interior is more reminiscent of a museum than a retail establishment. Polished wooden floors run the length of the narrow venue, with freestanding sculptures on pedestals throughout the long central area. The length of each wall is full of ceiling-high glass display cases, in which are displayed an extremely diverse array of sculpture in size, subject matter, even finish (there are three – high gloss, matte glaze and “gres” a Mediterranean clay in earthy colors with a matte finish).

Here the discriminating collector can find assorted wildlife, sensual dancers, pensive clowns, religious icons, fantasy creatures like playful mermaids and solemn angels, and whole scenes of daily life from past millennia. A Grand Adventure details the multi-faceted boarding of a turn of the century passenger train. Queen of the Nile, the store’s most expensive piece ($160,000) took five years and nine artists to complete, and depicts a voyage on Queen Nefertiti’s Egyptian vessel, a regal wooden ship full of dignitaries and servants, each with their own unique role. By contrast, the store’s least expensive sculpture, Little Mouse ($45) is a 2 ½ inch delight that will have you running toward, not away from him.

Sculpture titles are as poetic as the works are aesthetic. Living in a Dream, (maiden on a swing) Summer Rhythm, (a fairy and fairy child) Spanish Fire, (male dancer), and Waters of the Oasis (African maiden with jug) illustrate the Lladró tradition of showing movement through sculpture. You get a sense of the subjects completing a graceful act from within their porcelain borders as if they are full of life and waiting to show you. Cinderella’s Arrival is more of a happening than a collection of static poses.

Lladró has a style for everyone’s taste, whether it’s teddy bears, cherubs and Santa scenes, or Buddha (I & II), Christus, Ganesha and Our Lady of Guadalupe, all waiting for placement in a private shrine in someone’s home. The new Re-Deco collection even incorporates platinum into the creations for a stunning metallic effect.

A Little Lladró History

The official company name is Lladró from Spain (Almacera, near Valencia, to be exact) and the entire enterprise began as a small family business in 1953, when three brothers Jose, Juan (padre de Rosa) and Vincente Lladró began creating porcelain jugs, vases and eventually, the detailed porcelain figurines and statues that the Lladró from Spain company is famous for. The company expanded in 1958 to Tavernes Blanques, Spain, which came to be known as the “City of Porcelain” and the Lladró artist training school was opened in 1962.

Popularity soared as the porcelain figurines found their way to
Australia, eventually circling the globe by popular demand. Large Lladró collections are displayed in the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia, The Danto Domingo Modern Art Museum in the Dominican Republic, and the Brussels Royal Museum of Art and History, among others. Lladró sculptures arrived in America in 1965 and were featured in fine gift shops and retailers. The first Lladró proprietary store was established in NYC in 1988.

Lladró currently has a retail presence in over 120 countries (more than 4,000 retail locations) with over 2,000 people working for the company today. There are shops in Paris, London, New York, Beverly Hills, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. The statues may not have the ability to move, but are frequently capable of moving those who behold them. And that’s part of the magic of Lladró.

For further information:

Lladró Boutique Las Vegas

Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian

Las Vegas, NV 89109

(866) 724-8705

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