Searching for Porcelain & Pottery
Heavy crude reproductions from China carry a potentially confusing Satsuma mark. Although there are no vintage comparable marks, the appearance of Satsuma in the new marks implies the new pieces are old.
A just released holiday mail order catalog claims to sell a new Humpty Dumpty cookie jar made from an original mold from Brush Pottery. The new jar sells for $44. Original jars, made in 1956, sell for $250 and up.
Advanced and beginning buyers alike have recently been fooled by new wall vases with fake Nippon marks. Joan Van Patten (author, Collectors Encyclopedia of Nippon series) was contacted by a number of persons at the recent Nippon convention who admitted to buying the new pieces.
The stream of new pottery marked McCoy continues. Many of the new pieces are in shapes never made by McCoy. The latest group, though, includes three versions of a well known original collectors call the Heart Vase. The original Heart shape was made as a vase only. The new shape is offered not only as a vase, but as a pitcher (Fig. 1) and a 9-inch handled basket. The pattern in the new vase is blurred. New vases are also smaller than the originals measuring about 5 inches. Original vases are about 6 inches. Leaves and berries, grape, pitcher, vase.
The letters KPM can trace their ancestry back to 1763 when they were first used by the Konigliche Porzellan Manufacktur (Royal Porcelain Manufactory) in Meissen. By 1825, the same letters were beginning to be used by the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Berlin. There have been fakes and look-alike marks almost since the start of original production.
One of the more common shapes found with fake Nippon marks are hatpin holders.
Reproduction wholesalers have begun offering figural humidors that resemble vintage originals. The new samples in this article were purchased for only $10 to $12. The originals they copy sell for $100 to $225 or more.
The collector of historical transferware, made 1760-1860, is really quite fortunate that there are very few true fakes on the market. Although the ware has been popular for over a century, there have not been many attempts to recreate ceramic items in this field. True, there are a few pesky items that show up occasionally but the authors hope to place a final fatal stake in the heart of these pieces with specific details on how beginning buyers can avoid them.
Take only a quick glance at the mark (the letter R inside an orb with crosses on the top) and you might think you're looking at vintage Arts and Craft pottery tiles.
One mail order house is now selling new chintz in bulk. This eight-piece group shown here is job-lot priced at $120. Not bad considering many vintage pieces in similar sizes, shapes and patterns would sell for $75-$200 each.