Crossed Swords Marks on an urn
I am trying to find out what I can about the two urns that you can see in the photos. The blue urn is about 15 inches tall; the blue colour is really rich but the gold colour has rubbed off in places. Both sides of the urn are the same. At the bottom of the handles there are two heads on each side – I think these look like swans. It has a mark pained on the base. The white and gold urn is a bit shorter, about 12 inches tall. The gold appears much more solid than that on the blue urn. The picture on the front looks like some sort of oriental coastal scene. On the other side of the urn there is a gold wreath. The bottom is unglazed but unfortunately there is no obvious mark painted on it.
We recently inherited these urns from a family member; at that time I knew nothing about porcelain. However we were curious to know what they were, so I started doing some reading. The more I read, the more interested I got, though I find the amount of information quite daunting. When I was searching for information I came across this site and I am hoping someone may be able to help me.
The person these came from had a small china collection (mainly blue and white, Caughley and Worcester) which was very well documented and labelled – these items were definitely not part of the collection but had been in her possession for many years. After some research trying to identify the marks, I think the blue urn may be Meissen, though I may be mistaken. I’d be glad to
have this confirmed (or to be corrected) and I’d be interested in any other information that anyone may have. When we realised that the blue urn might be Meissen it made us wonder if the urns could have been in the family for a while as the family is originally from Germany.
The main problem is that I can’t make any headway on finding out anything about the white and gold urn as I can’t identify anything from the marks. The base is unglazed and I can’t see a mark painted on it. However, there are some marks scratched into two corners of the base. These are very difficult to read and even harder to photograph. To make them distinct enough to photograph I have rubbed some brown powder over the base and then brushed it off leaving it in the marks. As you can see on the photographs, on one corner there is a fairly clear ‘N 18’, with a fancy script N. The mark on the other corner (the one to the left of the N 18) is harder to make and I’m not even sure which way up it should be. It is not as deep or clear as the N 18. It might be f 0 1 or 10 f or 10 S T or maybe it is a symbol and not letters or numbers at all, I’m not sure. Also, I’m not sure which corner is the main mark that I should be trying to identify!
I would be very interested if anyone can help identify what the marks actually are or give me any more information about either urn. Many thanks for reading this and for your help.