QUALITY HAND PAINTED PORCELAINS HAVE NO DISCRIMINATION

By: John Hogan

For several centuries now many countries have produced wonderful refined hand-painted porcelains.

RUDOLSTADT PORCELAIN, LADY PORTRAIT PLATE, C. 1882-91

RUDOLSTADT PORCELAIN PORTRAIT PLATE

AUSTRIAN, ANGELICIA KAUFMANN STYLE, PORCELAIN WALL PLAQUE, C. 1890-1900

AUSTRIAN PORCELAIN WALL PLAQUE

We may speak of the great European porcelain factories such as the Sevres Porcelain Factories of France and travel to Austria where we will find the great porcelains of the Royal Vienna Factories. We may continue our journey to the wonderful factories of KPM, Berlin and Schwarburg-Rudolstadt situated in Thuingia, Germany. Of course England was a forerunner of delicate and refined porcelains produced by many of their Staffordshire potters of which the list is numerous. Finally we most certainly cannot forget the great world renowned porcelains of Saint Petersburg, Russia. As for the Orient we most definitely have to include Japan for its renowned eggshell, imari, kutani and satsuma porcelains.

As we approached the Art Nouveau and Secession Movements in Europe, we now had better control in firing temperatures in the factory kilns throughout Europe and the world. We now had electricity which was one factor which immensely helped create better end products. No over-heating in the kilns, therefore no sagging or kiln split in porcelain creations were great end results. Prior to electricity, kilns were pre-heated for weeks on end to arrive at a compatible temperature before inserting the porcelains. As a result, sometimes the temperatures were not at proper centigrade and as an end result, porcelains and pottery would fall or sag in the kilns and also have heat checks or splits.

Another fact to remember is that the great world producing factories of fine pottery and porcelains were preparing themselves for the World's Great Expositions in France, England and Austria. This meant that each factory had to engineer their best possible creations for the elite of the world to see. Consequently in the realm of fine porcelains it is very difficult to discriminate which is better simply because any renowned pottery and porcelain factory was indeed going to produce the best quality porcelain and elaborate decoration with the aid of their chemists who controlled the clay ingredients and the artists who did their best to paint beautiful Neo-classical scenes and other wonders of the world that proliferated the Art Nouveau Movement.

Two such fine examples are this spectacular Neo-classical Porcelain Cabinet Portrait Plate, dating 1882-1891, that was manufactured by the Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Porcelain Factory of Thuingia, Germany and this spectacular Neo-Classical Porcelain Wall Plaque, in the style of Angelica Kaufmann, although unmarked, is of Austrian origin and dates approximately 1890-1900.

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