Image: Reason and Reflection

For certain generations, there’s a ton of nostalgia associated with Hummel figurines. After all, the intricate, beautifully sculpted porcelain dolls took off in the U.S. right after World War Two, and they’ve found a home among collectors in the decades since. But while that means their value has soared, the delicate figures started out in a decidedly darker place. This is one origin story you wouldn’t find in a comic book.

Image: Photogilio/Getty Images

If you’ve never heard of the vintage Hummel figurines, they’re essentially works of porcelain art. Each carefully sculpted and masterfully painted piece portrays one or more kids – often engaged in a commonplace action. For example, one Hummel figure depicts kids dancing, while another illustrates children and a dog posing for a photograph.

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