Rare Vintage Zaphir Lladro Porcelain Figurine Shepherd with Dog and Goats. Excellent condition, no chips cracks.. If you want additional photos let me know or if you have questions.
The Zaphir brand and its connection to Lladró is even more of a mystery than the NAO brand. No one looking at a Zaphir-marked item could fail to note the more-than-passing resemblance not just to the Lladró style but to its quality as well. As it turns out, the sculptor for this brand was none other than Jose Puche, one of the famous core collection sculptors. How this came about is an interesting matter for conjecture. Did the Lladró brothers give him leave to begin a new brand on their behalf?
Or was he trying to strike out on his own? In the history and tradition of pottery and porcelain-making, it was not unusual for artists to move from brand to brand and company to company. Similar movement in and out of the Lladró collections would only be surprising if it had not happened. In any event, the Zaphir collection was a relatively short-lived venture, from about 1978 to the early- to mid-1980s.
Post Zaphir, Puche was brought back into the core collection fold, where he continues to this day. The last of the Zaphir models were recycled as NAO models, which kept the same serial numbers as their Zaphir originals.
Hence, it is not uncommon to find clones of Zaphir models with NAO marks. Speaking of the Zaphir mark, it consists solely of the cursive name Zaphir (with the script somewhat difficult to read, so that people sometimes mis-render it as "Laphin" or "Zaphin") and the legend "Hand Made in Spain, " all in a green backstamp with no other logo or attribution. Nor is there anything in the Zaphir retail catalog from 1978 that indicates it has any relation at all to Lladró.