The allure of porcelain antiques lies not only in their aesthetic appeal but also in their historical significance and potential value. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a novice in the world of antiques, understanding the most popular styles and pieces can help ensure you're making a sound investment. Here are some key porcelain antiques to keep an eye out for.
Royal Nymphenburg figurines: A touch of royalty
Royal Nymphenburg, a Bavarian manufacturer, has been producing porcelain figurines and plates since the 18th century. The company is known for its attention to detail and designs that encapsulate themes of mythology and nature.
Early figurines are now highly sought after by collectors and can fetch substantial amounts at auction. However, beware of reproductions of earlier figures; while still beautiful, they do not command the same value as the originals.
Dresden Lace figurines: Delicate Beauty
Dresden lace figurines are renowned for their exquisite fragility. These pieces are made by dipping lace in slip before attaching it to the figures and firing them, a process that burns away the fabric but leaves behind textured porcelain.
This unique combination of porcelain and fabric movement has ensured their enduring popularity. However, their delicate nature means they are often subject to damage, and intact figures can command high prices at auction.
Meissen figurines: The epitome of quality
Meissen is a name that has become synonymous with high quality in the world of porcelain. The German manufacturer has been producing porcelain since the early 18th century, with its early figurines being particularly sought after.
These pieces, especially those designed by Johann Jakob Kirchner and Johann Joachim Kändler, are highly collectable and can fetch impressive sums at auction. Familiarising yourself with the Meissen marks and styles can help you identify and authenticate these valuable pieces.
Capodimonte pieces: Italian craftsmanship
Capodimonte, an Italian manufacturer, has been crafting porcelain items since the 18th century. Known for its household items, including figurines and chandeliers, Capodimonte pieces are incredibly beautiful and popular among collectors.
Larger pieces in good condition have been known to sell for several hundreds of pounds, with rarer items fetching even higher prices. It's worth noting that earlier rare Capodimonte Figurines were white or ivory with a shiny glaze, while later items were brilliantly coloured.
Ru Guanyao porcelain: The ultimate find
For the ultimate in rarity and value, look no further than Ru guanyao porcelain. These Chinese porcelain pieces are incredibly rare, as the kiln in China’s Henan province only operated for 20 years.
In 2017, a small Ru guanyao dish used for cleaning brushes sold for an incredible $37.68 million at an auction in Hong Kong. However, due to their age and rarity, these pieces are incredibly hard to find.
In the world of porcelain antiques, knowledge is power. By understanding the key pieces to look out for, you can make informed decisions and potentially uncover a hidden gem.
Whether you're drawn to the quality of Meissen, the delicate beauty of Dresdenlace, the royal allure of Nymphenburg, the Italian craftsmanship of Capodimonte, or the rare splendour of Ru guanyao, there's a world of porcelain waiting to be discovered. Happy collecting!