Dresden Porcelain - Pottery Mark Query

by Gretchan
(California, USA)

Dresden Porcelain - Pottery Mark Query, typical Dresden Decorators Blue Crown

Dresden Porcelain - Pottery Mark Query, typical Dresden Decorators Blue Crown

Dresden Porcelain - Pottery Mark Query:- I was given a complete set (12) of Dresden china. The marking at the bottom of each piece says Dresden made in Saxony #802. It has a gold rose on the bottom of each piece also. Its is beautiful with with birds and a lot of gold. I have compotes, demitasse cups/saucers as well as 12 complete place settings. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about them or how I might find out their worth.

Thank you very much



Reply from Peter (admin) below - just scroll down


antique china values

Reply by Peter (admin)

To:- Dresden Porcelain - Pottery Mark Query

Hi Gretchan

Thank you for your query on your Dresden Porcelain.

In 1883, this famous blue crown Dresden porcelain mark was registered as a liason between the four most prominent ceramic decorators in the city - Karl Richard Klemm, founded 1869, RWZR register no. 24; Donath & Co, founded 1872, RWZR register no. 25; Oswald Lorenz, (commission agent), RWZR register no. 26; Adolf Hamman, founded 1866, RWZR register no. 27.

So it is not the mark of one individual factory, but an early example of a 'marketing' brand dreamt up by a small group of expert ceramic decorators. They did not sculpt or make the porcelain, they just bought in white ware and painted it.

When other people, not part of their registry, tried to use this mark, they came down on them like a ton of bricks.

Therefore, with eventually over 200 small decorators in the city of Dresden at that time, each with a slightly different mark, it became impossible to catalogue all the individual marks. So today, especially in the wake of the destruction of Dresden in WW2, often there can't ever be a name put to a Dresden pottery mark, sadly.

However, with yours, there are names and those names are:

Karl Richard Klemm
Donath & Co
Oswald Lorenz
Adolf Hamman

I think you are a very lucky collector indeed!

"Dresden porcelain" is generally a misnomer when applied to a 'maker' or the individual pottery mark of a factory. It is more a description of an artistic movement like 'Art Deco' or 'Art Nouveau'. Meissen, however, is a specific factory with a specific history and set of pottery marks.

Dresden, being the capital of Saxony, was home to several ceramic decorating studios which arose in the 19th century. Romanticism was a burgeoning trend and Dresden, as an important cultural center, was right at the heart of this porcelain romance.

The "Dresden style" was born.

Much emulated, the "Dresden style" influenced a host of imitators, many of them happily calling their wares 'Dresden' or 'in the Dresden style'. Between 1855 and 1944 there were over 200 recorded decorating shops in Dresden. This does not take into account any outside Dresden. So you can see the Dresden collecting field is one for experts or people with access to expert advice (see my link below).

The pottery mark on various wares may state Dresden, Dresden Art, Dresdener Art or Dresdner Art (even if the items are made elsewhere). Essentially, these makers all wanted to profit from the well-known designs.

However, experts maintain that the some of the imitators achieved an artistry to match the original decorators (eg. Alka-Kunst, Alboth & Kaiser, Ernst Bohne & Sons, Irish Dresden, and Sitzendorf).

So what is the difference between Dresden and Meissen?

Essentially, Dreseden was the location where Böttger discovered the secret of Chinese hard-paste porcelain (see my Meissen listing for the full story). When production began in earnest, the manufacturing plant was actually located in the town of Meissen about 15 miles away. Most of the Meissen wares were presented and sold in Dresden city, thus enabling the melding of the two names in peoples' minds.

Collectors can distinguish the wares of Meissen from the Dresden decorators by the simple rule of thumb that the Dresden decorators pottery marks generally have the blue crown stamp or related porcelain mark while Meissen, of course, has its own distinctive set of marks.

The fanciful style Dresden style is also referred to as the 'Vienna' style.

Other later decorators who also employed the Crown and Dresden mark were names such as Ambrosius Lamm, Carl Thieme, Helena Wolfsohn and Franziska Hirsch.

The famous "Dresden lace," was made by dipping real lace into porcelain slip and then firing.

Sadly, much of the work and history of Dresden was destroyed during WWII.

Hopefully that answers some of your question about the history of your set! Regarding finding out what they are worth, the first thing to say is valuations for vintage and fine china are specialist niches unto themselves with vast amounts of knowledge and research material required. The following page is a 'must see' if you are researching fine china - for value and identification:-

Researching the identity and value of antique and vintage fine china.

Best regards,

Peter (admin)

p.s. Please post comments below which you think might be helpful……

Comments for Dresden Porcelain - Pottery Mark Query

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Red Antique Dresden Circle Mark - representing a globe?
by: Anonymous

Hello, my mother has gone through some of her porcelain collection recently, and we found a piece that has been in the family since before the Civil War. Now I know that Dresden marks are typically blue, but this one is Red with Dresden written into the middle of a circle (representing a globe?) with horizontal and vertical lines. Is there any information with respect to these marks?


Reply by Peter (admin)

We had and example of this mark sent in, so here it is. I think it must be the same as you are describing


My guess is the the mark may possibly be that of an American Potting firm based in East Liverpool, Ohio called The Potters Co-operative Co. This Pottery is distinct from the Globe Pottery - also with a globe pottery mark of the same town.

The Potters Co-operative Co. are known to have used the 'Dresden' trade name in association with a similar type of globe device as you show between 1890 and 1900. They were in business between 1882 to 1925, so your wares could be between either date as I don't have all the details to hand.

Best regards

Peter (admin)


blue cow next to dresden
by: Anonymous

hi i acquired a cup and saucer with the blue mark dresden saxony but with ablue cow above it and green leaves on the left side, any idea as to period?

cabinet plate-dresden or not?
by: Ros

I have a beautiful cabinet plate,hand painted, backstamp is small red crown with what looks like a P and C intertwined then at the side near the edge of the plate is a gold rose and the word "Germany" in red.The plate is signed by the artist "Lewinski" Could someone put me out of my misery and tell me if it's dresden or who it is by?


Peter (admin) says:-

There is no maker that springs to mind, but it is hard without any photo. However, there is a P & Co of Bavaria, Germany mentioned on German mark specialist site pm&m.com on the unidentified pottery marks page:-

Unidentified German pottery marks

Dresden cabinet plate query
by: Ros

Re.last suggestion that my plate could be by P and C Co.in bavaria-that backstamp looks nothing like the one on my plate,and it just says "Germany" not "made in Germany" The plate is fantastic quality and depicts two arab horses at an oasis,the arab handler smoking a long pipe and it is titled"In der Oasis"(in the oasis)I thought the gold rose was covering up the original maker,which is usually Dresden?The painting on it is easily the same quality as Royal Worcester animal painting,so I feel sure it must be from a well known factory.The previous owner bought it from an auction at a large country house in England.Any further help would be appreciated,

many thanks



Peter (admin) says:-

Sounds like your plate may be a decorating studio rather than a maker. Original makers marks were often obscured by larger over-markings. There were many decorating studios in Dresden (Dresden being a style or a location, rather than a factory - Meissen is the famous Dresden factory which began the style).

If it were decorated in a studio in Dresden, I would expect it to say the word "Dresden" on the mark somewhere.

High quality painting often means higher value, but mainly if the decorator is known and collectible. Lesser known painters, even if the work is excellent fetch lesser prices.

Only an expert (which I am not) can tell you these details.

As you may know, I run an expert liaison service, which you can read about here:-

The 'Bring in the Experts' antique china and collectibles evaluation page

Feel free to take advantage of it. I began it due to popular demand as visitors told me other online services left something to be desired. There is a full money back guarantee and you pay no money upfront. All communication is with me personally, not an impersonal computer upload.

Peter (admin)

by: Donna

Hello!! I too have a very old "creamer" piece with globe one the bottom that has the lat and long lines with "DRESDEN" thru the middle and T348 handbrushed in gold. It has 2 cobalt blue decorative vines highlighted with gold on the top and bottom.

So this is likely American. Thank you for that info.


Red Dresden Mark
by: Anonymous

I've posted a query before, but here goes again. There's this sugar jar that's been in the family since, supposedly, the Civil War and it has a Dresden mark on the bottom, but it's not blue. It's more of a red/brown circle with grid marks and Dresden written across the middle.


The forum Help Elf says:-


Here's some general principles with regard to Dresden markings - you can't get too hung up about identifying individual studios. Here's why....:-

Dresden is a style, or movement. Meissen is a specific maker. In the 19th Century, lots of small individual decorators took advantage of the prestigious reputation of nearby Meissen, the father of European porcelain and a centre of excellence and trade in 'white gold', and decorated whiteware in the Meissen, Vienna or Empire style.

These people didn't make the wares - they were not makers, they were painters with kilns.

There were literally hundreds of them drawn to the ready commerce of the city of Dresden which had become the obvious center of trade due to it's close proximity to Meissen.

Each had their own miscellaneous marks, or not as the case may be - most of which are not now catalogued due to their swift rise and fall the allied bombing of the city. The whiteware often had the mark of the the original maker on it, sometimes obscured by the decorator. This is because most of the studios couldn't buy in sufficient quantity (or bulk) to justify a run of their own.

So you are basically onto a loser if you want to identify a generic Dresden mark. There are a handful of known makers, but that's it.

The thing which always sways the value of a Dresden item is the quality of the painting and gilding. Better quality better price. So rather than looking at backstamps (unless its Ambrosius Lamm), look at the quality.

Actually, Ambrosius Lamm is the exception that proves all the rules. He had his own distinct backstamp. He was an utter perfectionist. His work is clearly of unbelievably high quality. His work fetches premium prices at auction today.

Take a good look at the work of Lamm. Do your Dresden items match up in terms of quality? If not, they certainly will not be worth the premium values his work does.

Hope this helps.




Dresden Saxony Cup & Saucer
by: Gayle Sisson

I have a cup & saucer with the Blue Crown and a larger cursive R below it. Then Dresden Saxony Handpainted - each word on a separate line. The pattern is very flowery with roses and maybe dahlias and many others (pinks, yellows and blues) and gold on the rim of the saucer, the handle of the cup and inside rim about 1/2" in the cup. The cup is numbered 1529/600 and the saucer is numbered K600. Any ideas?

Yellow Crown Dresden Vases
by: Cwyneth

I recently bid for and won two beautiful vases marked on the bottom with a blue crown and the written word Dresden. I was very surprised to have got them so reasonably as I understood that Crown Dresden was always expensive. I love them whatever their price and they are valuable to me! Since they are so clearly marked with the blue Crown and the word Dresden, I am wondering why it is so difficult to find up to date and accurate information about them. Have you any advice? I would print your advice and keep it safe so that my daughter will know they are valuable and not throw them on the skip when I am gone!!!Thanks in anticipation. Gwyneth James - glyn.james5@btinternet.com

A W. Guerin Plate w/ a Richard Klemm Mark
by: Anonymous

I have a cabinet plate with a green William Guerin mark and a blue crown with a reverse RK Limoges France on the back. Does anyone know if Richard Klemm ever decorate for William Guerin?

For the love of what you think is beautiful
by: Elisa

If we really like something, we will pay good dollars for it, so to me it all comes down to, there Is a world out there full of different people with different tastes and thee will always be someone who will be more than happy to turn your not so likes into their loves no matter when where or how it came about :-D
Good luck everyone.

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