Gobel/Hummels Figurines


Over the years many have asked about Gobel figurines and how (if at all) we are related to the artist. The truth is we are not related to the artist, but perhaps those in the German line are connected to the owner of a porcelain firm that made the decision to produce the figurines.

Berta Hummel was born in 1909 in Bavaria with a talent for observing her surroundings and drawing them, communicating her special love of children. In 1927, Berta enrolled in Munich's Academy of Applied Arts. She became friends with two Franciscan Sisters from a teaching order that emphasized the arts and decided to enter the Convent of Siessen upon graduation in 1931. Three years later, Berta took the name Maria Innocentia.

German publishers began printing some of her artwork in the form of postcards, which caught the eye of Franz Goebel, the head of a porcelain company of the same name. He had been looking for a subject for a new line of figurines.

Franz Goebel, who was the owner of the renowned porcelain firm made the decision to create a line of figurines based on the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. Franz Goebel asked Sister Hummel for sole manufacturing and distribution rights, pledging his personal supervision of the figurines that would bear her name. Royalties would go to the Convent of Siessen. An agreement was signed on January 9th, 1935, which was the official birth of M. I. Hummel figurines.


The first figurines were introduced in 1935 and were immediately successful. Sister Hummel died in 1946 at only 37 years of age. Goebel, however carried on her artistic legacy.

Goebel artists still discuss each new M. I. Hummel work with an Artistic Board at the Convent of Siessen. Standards of craftsmanship established more than sixty years ago have been strictly preserved.

Return to Goble Artifacts
Copyright © 1997-2002 by Evelyn Goble Steen, All Rights Reserved
This page last updated on December 12, 2001