Pottery Mark to Beat Them All! - ??Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna??
by Peter Richards
(Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK)
Pottery Mark to Beat Them All! - ??Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna?? Query:-
Dear Peter - I am trying to identify the maker of some china tea cups and saucers for my cousin. The cups are plain white on the outside with an intricate gold pattern around the base and about half way up. They have plain hold handles. Inside the cups have intricate gold again. The saucers have the gold and also green and red and have pictures of royal looking people in the middle. The patterns are faded so I think that the cups and saucers are quite old. The most notable identifying mark is the marker's emblem on the base of the cups: it is the plain outline of a shield with two lines running across it, (one about half way down and one about a quarter of the way down the shield). The emblem is faded, but would have originally been outlined in black I think with no other colour or design on it. Do you have any idea of the maker from this description please? Or any other information or suggestions as to how I can identify the heritage of this china set? I would be very grateful.
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK
Reply from Peter (admin) below - just scroll down
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Reply by Peter (admin)
To:- Pottery Mark to Beat Them All! - ??Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna?? Query
I am very excited by your query.
If the mark is what I think it is your cousin may have struck gold. So first I should say what I always say to visitors who may have antique china items of great value.
I can advise on what I think a mark might be - I am quite good on 20th century UK manufacturers. But I never do valuations myself - it is a specialist area and I am just an enthusiast within the industry - and formal identifications should also be done by a professional. So I have written a page especially to help my visitors get professional help with identifying and valuing their wares:www.figurines-sculpture.com/id-pottery-mark.html
This page gives you the option of contacting a bona fide appraiser (checked out personally by myself) who can tell you if your mark is identifiable by experts, without you having to pay any money upfront. This service is unique online and is designed to protect my site visitors from wasting their time and money online.
In your case I would strongly recommend this option as the mark you have described sounds very similar to the classic Vienna mark.
The two lines on the Vienna porcelain mark are thin and horizontal (you didn't specify that detail). There is a Prussian china mark from the Wachtersbach porcelain factory (founded 1832 in Schlierbach, Prussia, Germany) which draws from the Vienna shield, but it replaces the thin lines with thicker ones. I will talk about the numerous fakes and rip-offs later.
The Vienna porcelain factory was founded in 1718 by Claudius du Paquier. The pottery mark is based on the state shield (often referred to when viewed upside down as a "beehive" pottery mark.
The factory was taken into state ownership in 1744 becoming the 'Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna'.
Sometimes this "beehive" mark (really a shield) has two cross bars, sometimes one and sometimes more than two. The factory closed in 1864 and the molds were sold. The marks from the earlier period were characterized by an irregular appearance due to the hand impressing or incising. During the second period (1744 - 1785) the marks were normally blue. The late Konrad Sorgenthal period (1784 - 1864) the mark was also blue but generally smaller, neater and the bars were closer together nearer the center of the shield. A shallow groove indicates a flawed second. The other smaller marks and squiggles indicate dates and artisan marks etc.
There are three marks often wrongly identified on ebay as being 'real' Vienna. Beware!
Arnart Imports, New York, made in Japan, 1957 to 2001
Erdmann Schlegelmilch, Suhl, Germany, 1902 to 1938
Josef Riedl, Giesshubel, Austria/Struná, Czechia, 1890 to 1910
If any marks says "Royal Vienna" IT IS A FAKE
. No such genuine mark exists. Similarly if the pottery mark says, Austria OR Germany OR Czechoslovakia OR Vienna OR Wein, it is a fake or repro.
I think it would be almost impossible to find genuine Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna item for sale on ebay or online china replacement sites. However, you can have fun trying. Go to my China Replacement
page for instructions on how to search in the most time efficient way. Mostly these items would be in museums and very valuable, so if your cousin's tea set is genuine Vienna, he should treat us all to a few pints to celebrate.
It's hard to be more specific without seeing a photo of your cousin's tea set. Peter, I do appreciate your very detailed description though.
Good luck and best regards,
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
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