Pottery Mark Query - Fancy Ornate Planter with Numbers on Base

by Lenore
(Bad Axe, Michigan)

Pottery Mark Query - Fancy Ornate Planter with Numbers - 903 (hand incised) and the letter

Pottery Mark Query - Fancy Ornate Planter with Numbers - 903 (hand incised) and the letter

Pottery Mark Query - Fancy Ornate Planter with Numbers on Base:- Please help me to identify the maker of this vase/planter. As a young girl early to mid 1950's I bought it at a small antique shop in Detroit, for a gift to my Aunt. I paid $15 for it. My mother was with me at the time of purchase, but I don't remember anything that may have been represented about this piece, I just thought my Aunt would like it. About 20 years ago I interited her household items, and have kept this packed away. I have spent hours online trying to figure out who made it. Though I have a few antiques, I am not a collector, and am not knowledgeable. I don't even know what to call this, a vase, planter, pottery, china?? Any help would be appreciated.


reply by Peter (admin) below - just scroll down...


antique china values

Reply by Peter (admin)

To:- Pottery Mark Query - Fancy Ornate Planter with Numbers on Base

Dear Lenore

I must say, you have submitted a wonderful query. Your photos are great and I love the beautiful and touching story of the provenance of this Jardiniere Planter.

I wish I could help you more with the identity of the maker. I can't quite read the numbers shown on the pottery mark, but I am sure an expert may be able to glean the origin of the wares from the type of mark and the style of the piece.

To me, a non-expert, it looks the style of the wares that might be called faïence / majolica, which would possibly from the Victorian era.

You can easily tell faience / majolica by looking closely, which is what I suggest you do:-

Look for the type of clay 'body' underneath the glaze and fancy decoration (if there were a slight chip somewhere that would give the game away). Faience is a type of high quality earthenware which beneath the surface decoration is a brown or beige colour. In contrast, beneath the surface decoration of bone china there is always pure white - and with porcelain there is an almost pure bluey or greyish white.

Earthenware has to be fired first in a kiln to bisque or "biscuit". The glaze is then added and the item fired again. With faience wares the glaze is an oxide (traditionally based on lead and tin). During the second firing, the oxide combines with the clay to give the faience a white exterior.

In Italy, Scandinavia and Spain this type of production is known as majolica and in Holland is called Delft. The English tend to use the term 'Delftware' for their wares of this type.

Have a really good close up look at your item, and if you so wish you can liaise with one of the expert appraisers on this page:- 'Bring in the China Experts'.

Alternatively, feel free to await answers from knowledgeable others who may come across your submission in this thread.

Hope this helps. Wish I could help more.

Best regards,

Peter (admin)

p.s. 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.

Please post comments below which you think might be helpful……

Comments for Pottery Mark Query - Fancy Ornate Planter with Numbers on Base

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Jardiniere Planter
by: Lenore

Thank you so much for your response Peter. This is the first lead I have had in trying to determine what this is. At present I live in a small apartment and most of my things are in storage, including this Jardiniere. These photos were taken before I packed it away. I am fairly certain there are no chips anywhere, and the only clue to what is under the glaze is at the bottom of the piece. The numbers 903 appear to be done by hand, also the letter "P".

Larger versions of the photos can been seen on Flickr, a site for photo hosting. The following address will bring up these photos


Again, your response is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for hosting this site.


Majolica or Faience Oval Jardinire or Vase or Planter
by: Peter (admin)

Hi Lenore

The close up photos are a great help. Your planter is really very beautiful and also looks high quality. As far as my knowledge goes (which isn't too far) the photos back up my theory about this piece being Majolica or Faience of the 19th Century. Very ornate, and I would imagine if it were, say French faience quite valuable (it reminds me of the floral bas relief and decoration style of a piece I recently saw here - http://www.malleries.com/19th-century-french-majolica-planter-i-21491-s-111.html). This piece is a bit more beaten up than yours.

I don't want to get your hopes up or anything like that, because your piece might be a more modern repro as it's very pristine and if so, not as valuable as that example, but remember if you really want to know you should get it appraised. It's your choice. I am not sure whether the experts could pin down an exact maker (they often can, but not always), but they would be able to specify the period (whether old or repro), the country, the style & genre, the exact current auction value etc etc.

Thanks for a great thread which is very much enhancing this public forum. I appreciate it. over time, as people find this thread on Google searches etc, there should be some more replies (it takes Google a few weeks to index pages, so don't hold your breath).

Peter (admin)

Same item (UK)
by: John

I had exactly the same jardinière, until recently.
Mine had no chips, nibbles, or cracks, and was in perfect condition.
I took it to be assessed and valued by a firm of Auctioneers. I was told it was more than likely to be a Victorian piece, of continental origin, most probably Italian. The auctioneer valued it at around £40 to £60, (UK pounds.)
Anyway, we let it go to auction, which turned out to be a bit disappointing. It sold for only £25.
It was sold through Golding, Young and Mawer's, on Weds, 18th May, at their Lincoln Auction.
Lot number 551, or it might have been 432.
Try looking at their website?
Hope this helps.

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