D mark under a crown - over the glaze

by Arno Jacobs
(The Netherlands)

D mark under a crown - over the glaze

D mark under a crown - over the glaze

D mark under a crown - over the glaze:- Dear Peter, I have bought this plate and was wondering if this type of D mark under a crown is from the decoration studio of Helena Wolfsohn, Dresden. Or is it a fake? Should the mark be under the glaze or over the glaze? I have seen AR marks by Helena Wolfsohn under the glaze.

Kind regards,


The Netherlands (Holland)


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D mark under a crown - over the glaze

Hi Arno

Many thanks for submitting, and hope you are finding the site useful. You bring up some interesting points but did not provide a photo, so I uploaded a Helena Wolfsohn D Crown mark of my own for illustration purposes.

The answer to yours is I don't know until I see the mark.

With regard to the general question of Helena Wolfsohn marks, there is some research to be done, and I hope various people will take the time to contribute to this thread.

First, let me have my say. I am no expert in this area, but have tried to do the best research I can both in the books I have and online.

The first thing to note is the 'authority' sites in this area (e.g. PM&M.com) categorically state that the Helena Wolfsohn decorating studio finished in 1883 after being taken to court by KPM Meissen for using the AR mark.

According to some sources online, this fake mark policy was apparently not instigated by Helen Wolfsohn herself (the lady who started the decorating studio in 1843), but by the people who bought out her studio in c.1878. This claim is not supported by Kovels guide who state
the fake AR mark was used from 1850 to 1881.

However, you don't have to search around the internet for very long to find many examples of the Helena Wolfsohn mark with the Crowned 'D' reportedly from the early 19th C and even the 1940's. My Kovels Guide states the company ran from 1848 to c.1949. There is no mention of the 1883 closure.

Obviously we need the intervention of an expert on Dresden decorating studios to help us on this point. However, I found a very fleeting reference to an American importing company called Ovington Bros. Perhaps these people bought the rights to use the D mark after the 1883 closure and this explains the post 1883 D crown marks.

The overglaze marks does suggest a decorating studio rather than a manufacturer. Helena Wolfsohn never had kilns and instead bought whiteware to decorate. A common practice both in Dresden and Staffordshire. Wolfsohn bought stock from Meissen and many other places.

The 'norm' for fine china manufacturers porcelain markings are that they are applied with ink and are under glaze. Marks over glaze usually mean the porcelain was bought at wholesale by a decorating studio or importer or is a faked mark. Before the 1850's, makers used mostly blue markings. Modern transfer printed base marks like mine on my own figurines are done overglaze.

Apparently, to complicate matters, although Helena Wolfsohn was a decorator not a maker, some of her marks were under-glaze. This is expert territory and we would have to find out how this came about. Maybe she had the contract buying power to order marks to be put on to her orders prior to delivery?

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.

Comments for D mark under a crown - over the glaze

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The mysterious Crown with a D and a golden flower
by: Lily Gilmore


I bought a large oval shape bowl from a charity shop recently because I really liked its patterns and they seemed to be hand painted, very traditional English style.

However I can't find the origin of the marks. And I saw the mark on your website, unfortunately listed as one of the "mysterious marks you have been confronted. It's the middle one on the top row, with a Crown and a D. But mine also got a golden flower a bit far from Crown as well.

I have a feeling maybe it's from one of the small Dresden pottery makers who was trying to mimic English porcelain style, but obviously no idea. Just wondering have you had any chance of have cracked it already?

It'd be really interesting to find out where it is from. Thank you.



Reply by Peter (Admin)

Hi Lily

I moved this here because we already started a discussion on this type of mark.

Yes, a smaller Dresden studio using whiteware blanks. Is it Helena? See above . . .

Not sure. Anyone else?


Creamer and sugar bowl with D marking. NEW
by: Terry

My parents have the small creamer and sugar bowl with marking . How can you estimate age and value ?

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