Many copies of Hagen-Renakers have been circulating since the earliest years, and new ones continue to surface. A few of these copies are extremely good and have been known to fool seasoned collectors. Most are easier to identify. Here are some tips:
Hagen-Renakers are made in the USA only. A piece marked “Japan” (or the name of another country) is not an HR.
Hagen-Renakers are never stamped with numbers, or a combination of letters and numbers. (Handwritten letters and numbers, however, may signal a Hagen-Renaker test piece).
Hagen-Renaker pieces were never sold in groupings connected by a chain.
Hagen-Renakers never have painted or plastic whiskers
Hagen-Renaker has never sold unfinished bisque pieces for home ceramics hobbyists. A very few bisque pieces have been given or sold to collectors and may appear on the secondary market.
Hagen-Renakers are earthenware (ceramic), not bone china. Bone china has a distinctive bright white color and hard, smooth feel. Look at the bottoms of the feet and around the pour hole. If the material appears bright white and very hard and smooth, you may have a copy. It may help to compare to another piece that you know is Hagen-Renaker.
Look very carefully at the photo(s) of the piece on this site. A piece that looks “similar” to an Hagen-Renaker, but has clear differences, may be a copy. Examples of clear differences may include head placed at a different angle, alternative foot placement, thicker legs, significant size variation, noticeable lack of mold detail, color not produced by HR for that piece, etc.
Do not be fooled by stickers or cards. It is very easy to transfer genuine Hagen-Renaker stickers and cards to pieces made by other companies.
When in doubt, ask a seasoned collector! Post on the Hagen-Renaker Facebook site, or feel free to send me a photo. If it is a copy, and I have your permission, I may be able to include it on this site to assist others. Jane Chapman’s Animal Figurines Gallery also has a section illustrating many Hagen-Renaker copies.