Hummel figurines actually began their ascent into homes all over the world in 1871. During this time Franz Detleff Goebel and his son William were beginning a company that would put Thuringia, Germany on the map forever. Thuringia had been long noted for the exquisite porcelain that it provided. Goebel was a porcelain merchant who longed to own his own company. The pair began making slate pencils and marbles for children in the ancient town of Oeslau. Because the Coburg Duke at that time refused to allow porcelain operations, due to the risk of fire, it seemed as if Goebel would never realize his dream of becoming a world renowned porcelain manufacturer.
He did, however, see his dream take shape. Due to his determination to produce porcelain in Oeslau, which he selected for its labor access as well as the abundance of rich clay deposits and running waters of the River Roeden, he stuck with his dream until he saw the day in which he was producing porcelain that was admired and loved all around the world.
Goebel began searching for a new twist to his porcelain manufacturing in 1934. He believed that since the world was encompassed in war and political turmoil, people would appreciate a gentler product, one that depicted then innocence of children. This is when he came across the artwork of a Franciscan Sister named Maria Innocentia Hummel. Hummel was a highly gifted artist and Goebel fell instantly in awe of her drawings of country children. Goebel decided to pursue the creation of figurines based on the beautiful art depictions of M.I. Hummel. He contacted Hummel at her home in the Convent of Siessen and showed her clay models of his idea. The agreement was that Goebel would oversee the production of the figurines and that Sister Hummel and the convent would grant all rights to Goebel to create the ceramic figurines that were based on her art.
The new line of M.I. Hummel figurines was launched in March, 1935. The revealing of the figurine line was held at the Leipzig Spring Fair which was a highly important show for the porcelain industry. The reception of the figurines was outstanding. The M.I. Hummel line of Goebel figurines was an absolute and immediate success. Since that time, people from all around the world have come to admire the Hummel figurines. The beautiful and breathtaking detailing of innocent children in many aspects has captured the hearts of millions around the world.