Handpainted jardinière with black HUNGARY pottery mark

by Karen
(Vermont, USA)

Handpainted jardinière with black HUNGARY pottery mark

Handpainted jardinière with black HUNGARY pottery mark

Handpainted jardinière with black HUNGARY pottery mark:- This item, which we affectionately call the "marvelous monstrosity" came down through the generations and is attributed to coming from a mother-in-law of German origin who came to the US in the mid 1850s and died in 1914. Her daughter married my grandmother's eldest brother, and somehow we ended up with this lovely item that, after research, I think might be considered a reticulated footed jardinière. It's a massive piece, 24" or so in width.

The time frame of the story told about how it came into the family is totally inconsistent with a vague story of the piece being smuggled out ahead of the Nazis, which my grandmother used to tell.

There do not appear to be any incised or stamped marks on the piece. The word "HUNGARY" looks to be handpainted in black. I haven't been able to find anything with a similar marking in my research and am not even sure whether Hungary was being used as the name of the country when the McKinley Tariff Bill was passed. There are also the remains of a printed sticker that probably had the maker's name. The remaining corner includes the identifiers "fac No" and "Des No", but the handwritten numbers that follow no longer exist.

Can anyone help in identifying the era, maker, and any other details about this piece?

Thanks for any information anyone can provide.



Comments for Handpainted jardinière with black HUNGARY pottery mark

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Handpainted jardinière with black HUNGARY pottery mark - Comment
by: Peter (admin)

Hi Karen

Many thanks for a most interesting entry. Apologies for not publishing sooner, but I have had to focus on other things for a while.

First thing to say is, you are OK with the country being called Hungary back at that point in time. I know what your misgivings are with regard to Eastern European countries changing their name, what with Czechoslovakia, Bohemia, Yugoslavia, Croatia etc etc. However, I think you are safe because the tough fighting Hungarian tribe took over those expansive central European plains over 1000 years ago, and have been consolidating their power base ever since.

As far as I can see, the whole chapter and verse can be summed up with two main companies......

Herend of Budapest, and Zsolnay of Pécs

Herend founded in 1826 were masters of traditional porcelain, and Zsolnay took the innovative ground, producing fine folk art ceramics and art pottery.

Apart from Herend and Zsolnay and some later 20th century art potters, the only reference I can find to Hungarian ceramics is a form of majolica earthenware dating from the 1500's.

By a process of logical deduction, one would assume that, given the provenance of your piece, even allowing for fanciful family interpretations, your piece must be Herend (unless there were other Herend-like companies in Hungary at that time - which I doubt).

The dating of it would have to be confirmed by an expert, but it looks either Rococo revival or Louis XVI revival in style to me (lots of madness and swirls and over ornate detailing). I am not proficient enough to know the difference between the two revivalist styles - although I presume it's all obvious to an expert. In either case, it dates to the roughly the same period - latter part of the 19th century.

The Rococo revival was fashionable in London, Paris and America for about half a century.

Herend seems to be known for both extreme quality and for counter-fitting in equal part. The story centers around a character called Moric Fischer (later titled Moritz Fischer von Farkasházy), who swapped his reproductions of priceless Chinese porcelain for the real thing and showed the King the real stuff instead of the repros. The King was at great lengths to explain the inferiority of the presented porcelain and the superiority of the items in his cabinets (the fakes). A stunt like that, you would think might be a risky strategy but Fischer was knighted (or whatever the Hungarian equivalent was). Herend then went on to compete with the big boys like Vienna, Meissen, and Sevres for artistic acclaim.

So your piece might be worth a few bob, but for valuations, click on the treasure chest logo on the top part of the right column on this page.

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.

by: nicky

I think I may have a Herend stamped piece just posted 7/08/15

Not Herend - most likely Zsolnay
by: a Hungarian porcelain fencier

Dear All; Herend did not produce pottery ware to my knowledge - ever. They were and still are about pure, white, hard paste porcelain.
This piece however is very much like a 19c Zsolnay - a factory in the South of the country that did and still does produce fayance/majolica/pottery.
My mother has a matchng piece to this, an urn, with equally fency detail, handles, snakes flower etc...all over - all she could tell me it was indeed late 19c and definitely pottery/fayance/majolica.
Hope this helps, if you go along these lines with your research maybe you can find out more.
good luck,

additions to my earlier notes
by: a Hungarian porcelain fencier

Please look over these pix and you will find several similar styles - this might help

put these words into Google image search

"early zsolnay pottery" (without the quotes)

check out this also
by: a Hungarian porcelain fencier 3

put these words into Google


(without quotes)

Most likely the designer was FISCHER - if you compare his designs to your jardiniere you will find lots of similarities.

good luck,

one more link to check out
by: a Hungarian porcelain fencier 4


here you will find a large number of very similar items, kind regards,

check out this ebay sale!
by: a Hungarian porcelain fencier 5


I hope you can see this link/sale: sold few months ago, for quite a bit even if best offer accepted and not full asking price.

This is very similar to your item - so I would say yours is definetely Zsolnay, designed by Fischer.

kind regards,

by: Karen

Much appreciation for these additional insights! It's very exciting.

Great Sleuthing Guys - Fischer/Zolnay
by: Peter (admin)

Hi all

Just a quick not to say I very much appreciate all the recent contributions.

I just followed the links shown above and have got a summary of the images you guys are talking about.

These are all identified as Zsolnay. I agree there is a theme going on here (thanks for educating us!):-


Best regards

Peter (admin)

links to the factory and products
by: a Hungarian porcelain fencier

Forgive for adding more and more; here is a link on Wiki to the factory; it still exists and look at the tiles on the Museum of Applied Arts and Mathias Church = all made by them!!!there are other expamples of their work all over the city;


p.s.: am of Hungarian birth, so easy for me to identify - and am in love with porcelain, though the hard paste, true porcelain variety.

Thanks for all the help
by: Karen

I love that people are still helping me out with this identification, and that there is shared interest in ceramics. Thanks you!

Fischer J NOT ZSOLNAY!!!
by: Anonymous


I am the biggest Fischer J. collector with more than 500 pieces.
This jardiniere majolica made in Fischer Ignacz factory in Budapest year about 1892-95.
Some pieces not got producer mark only Hungary or Made in Hungary stamp.
The production no.and paint code was on the old paper label. May it has in the down at the bottom.
If you want to sell it I would buy it to my museum.


Csaba Czintula


Reply by Peter (admin)

Hi Guys

Thank you all for your contributions so far. this thread is really hotting up.

We have some adamant that this is ZSOLNAY and others that say most definitely not.

Can we carry this debate on and each make our arguments. The last post seemed totally expert and adamant NOT ZSOLNAY.

If you still think it is ZSOLNAY, please post with your evidence. Any pics for inclusion can be emailed to me and I will add them.


best regards

Peter (admin)

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