Figurine query - Pottery mark looks like pound sign

by Jim

Figurine query - Pottery mark looks like pound sign

Figurine query - Pottery mark looks like pound sign

Figurine query - Pottery mark looks like pound sign:- This is a figure that appears to be someone on a journey, possibly French. Attached are two photos. One of the figure itself and the other of the mark on the bottom. Sorry, they're cell phone photos. I inherited this figure in my Mother's estate so I'm afraid that I don't know much of the story except to say that I think it goes back to at least my grandmother. There's not much else to say. I don't know where or how or when it was originally acquired. The figure is about 5 inches tall and finely detailed. It is not part of a collection as there is only this one piece. I've done a fair amount of searching but have not been able to identify the mark on the bottom. Please forgive any stupid questions as I'm new to this.



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antique china values

Figurine query - Pottery mark looks like pound sign

Hi Jim

Many thanks for this interesting query - it gives us a chance to research the Volkstedt (George Macheleid) factory of Volkstedt/Rudolstadt (Rudolstadt is the seat of government of the Principality of Schvvazbiirg-Rudolstadt in the region of Thuringia in Eastern Germany.

There are several china factories operating out of Volkstedt, but the one originally using
your mark is the one founded in 1760 by George Macheleid.

This is known as the 'hayforks' mark and comes in several variations and was used from as early as 1760. Like many early European factories, there seem to have been later factories appropriating these early marks and this happened with these Macheleid in the late 19th century.

Another well known Volkstedt maker is the Volksted Porcelain Factory of Richard Eckert & Co. which operated from 1894 to 1918 (formerly Triebner Ens & Eckert 1877 to 1894). Eckert also used the same hayfork mark as yours - I am not sure of the exact connection between the two companies - this needs more research. I think your mark may be from this later period.

The various Rudolstadt factories have won many gold medals during international shows and are said to match Meissen quality at times.

For an idea of how you can get a ball park idea of the value of any item you might own, go to my Be Your own Antiques Roadshow Expert article. It's fun to try it out.

Also, if you have a piece with this pottery mark let us know what you have - it all adds to the knowledge base.

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

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two strange y shaped marks (like pitchforks) potter mark query
by: Forum Moderator (for Eleanor)

Note from the forum moderator:-

Eleanor from Manchester, England left this post on a new submission form. She had not found this entry. We have moved her post here, as she has good supporting photos to the original post above.

The keyword to find this page is 'hayforks'. 'Pitchforks' is a more common word in England, and 'hayforks' is not a word ever used, so this is perhaps why it was difficult for her to find this page.

She describes the Rudolstadt/Volkstedt pitchfork mark as 'strange y shaped marks', so perhaps others will also out this term into Google.

Unfortunately, Eleanor did not leave her email on the form, so we can't let her know we have posted her submission here. She will hopefully now find this page if she searches online in the future, using similar words.

Here is Eleanor's submission (the same answer applies as above):-



Recently bought for an antiques dealer in Yorkshire. Someone said they might be Hungarian or polish. I would like to value it. It is in excellent condition and quite heavy. I can see no chips or dings or marks. The color is realistic and of many shades.

He has ruffles in his trousers to mimic the surface of fabric in a manner which is quite true to life. He does not have lace on him but part of his outfit almost looks like he does.

He was bought about a week ago and I am having trouble finding his origin it is important we know how much he is worth as we want to know what to insure him for if we don't eventually sell it.

Looking online there are a lot of things that seem like him but we want to know whether he is of a valuable maker or he is just a fine imitation.

What value would you put on this piece, what age would you say he was and who is his maker? He was very recently acquired.

So I don't know all that much about him but he is very beautiful so I would like to know as much of his story as you can tell me. I'm not sure how much was I paid for him but I'm not sure it was very much at all.


Volkstedt Porcelain
by: John Buxton

1760 Established by Georg Heinrich Macheleid in Sitzendorf.
1762 Moved to Volkstedt. Owners : A consortium of noblemen including Macheleid and Prince Johann Friedrich of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.
1767-1800 Factory leased and run by Christian Nonne. Owned by a consortium.
1800-1815 Factory owned by Greiner & Holzapfel.
1815-1877 Various owners and managers.
1877-1894 Triebner Ens & Eckert.
1894-1900 Triebner Ens & Co.
1900-1936 Aelteste Volkstedter Porzellanfabrik AG
1936 Name changed to Staatlich Thüringische Porzellanmanufaktur vormals Aelteste Volkstedter GmbH
1972 Nationalised as VEB Aelteste Volkstedter Porzellanmanufaktur
1990 incorporated into the porcelain manufactories of Unterweißbach, Scheibe-Alsbach and Plaue as the "Königlich privilegierte Porzellanmanufaktur Tettau" (Porcelain manufactory of Tettau to the royal family.)
1898 Porzellanfabrik Karl Ens became a separate company.
1972 Nationalised as VEB Unterglasurporzellanfabrik.
1974 Became part of VEB Sitzendorfer Porzellanmanufaktur.
1990 Privatised as Karl Ens.
1894-1918 Volkstedter Porzellanfabrik Richard Eckert & Co. AG was a separate company.

Great Volkstedt Timeline
by: Peter (admin)

Dear John

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to post up that timeline - a marvelous contribution.

Best regards

Peter (admin)

Volkstedt Porcelain mark
by: John Buxton

The mark shown above - two pitchforks, point to tail, connected by two crosshatched lines was used by the main Volkstedt factory ( Triebner Ens & Eckert ) during the 1877-1894 period and also by Volkstedter Porzellanfabrik Richard Eckert & Co. AG (1894 - 1918) - the company established by Richard Eckert (also in the village of Volkstedt ) after he withdrew from the partnership that owned the main factory. Richard Eckert used several of the marks originally used at the main factory.
Identifying which of the two factories made the figure shown is pretty well impossible but it is Volkstedt and dating from 1877 at the earliest and 1918 at the latest.

Volkstedt differentiation Hayfork
by: Lorena

Hi, I have a piece, sadly been glued back together, so not sure of it's worth financially with what appears to be the crossed hayfork (versus the upside down paired hayforks above). How can I figure out if if was from the original use of the mark or the appropriation of the mark a century later...This is an unpainted bisque peasant girl figurine with a hooded kerchief. I will see if there is a place to upload a pic. Thanks for any insidht. Best wishes, Lorena

Julia NEW
by: Anonymous

I ve ane Exemplar very old from this älteste Volkskunst can I send you Picture Dears julia

Figurines hayfork pottery Mark
by: Jo

I have 2 figures with this marking on (a Shepherd & Shepherdess) which were given to my grandmother around 1940's. How can I date them as id love to know a bit more of the history etc.

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