Since I began writing about antiques and collectibles again within the late Nineties, no subject has been dearer to my coronary heart than R.S. Prussia porcelain. Sure, it even trumps all my jewelry preoccupations within the sentimentality division. To elucidate, I’ve to return even additional in my antiquing historical past to one in all my adventures with my mom.
My mother was an avid collector of many issues. She cherished utilizing her collectible dishes and glassware. At one level, she had a big assortment of classic and vintage dolls, too. However her very favourite factor to gather was R.S. Prussia porcelain. Should you’re not aware of R.S. Prussia, some items are marked, nevertheless it has distinctive traits you study to acknowledge by learning each bit you come throughout.
Over time, you may develop a watch for the distinctive traits of vintage ceramics. From the fragile finials that cap lids to the distinctive mould shapes and ornate decorations on chocolate pots, demitasse cups, ornamental bowls, and cake plates, it’s doable to establish their origin even when they’re unmarked. I absorbed this data from my mother as we shared a penchant for lovely previous issues. One explicit unmarked piece, in actual fact, provided my mom and me a possibility for an antiquing journey.
The Nice R.S. Prussia Bowl Journey
One Saturday again within the late Eighties, my mom and I ventured out of Houston to our favourite little city, Seabrook, Texas, for lunching and antiquing. After grabbing a chunk to eat, we determined to stroll across the outlets. In a single store that by no means held a lot luck earlier than, my mother grew to become coolly enthralled with an unmarked bowl. As I approached to get a better look, underneath her breath, she stated, “That’s Prussia.” Nonetheless, it wasn’t bargain-priced, so she sat it down, and we left for dwelling.
As I drove, she actually obsessed over that bowl. She talked about how lovely it was and the way she knew she’d seen it someplace. By the point we received again to her home, forty-five minutes away, she couldn’t wait to seize a well-worn guide and begin flipping by way of it. Then, there it was, on web page 180 of The Collectors Encyclopedia of R.S. Prussia by Mary Frank Gaston, what the writer describes because the “Victorian Lay with Canine” bowl valued at $1,000–1,200. Because it seems, the store’s worth of $200 was certainly a discount, so Mother grabbed her purse, we jumped again in my automotive, and hightailed it again to Seabrook.
Momma waited excitedly within the automotive as I walked again into the store to buy the bowl. My coronary heart sank as I noticed one other lady holding it. Fortunately, she sat it again down and stepped away, giving me the chance to swoop in and choose it up like a fumbled soccer on the way in which to the money register. The girl advised me that she was simply taking a look at it, and all I may assume to say was, “I do know.” The prize was secured, and I may return to the automotive and make my mother extraordinarily completely satisfied.
That bowl sat in a particular place in a nook cupboard in her kitchen for fairly a while. A number of years earlier than she died, she gave it to me to cherish, and I nonetheless can’t have a look at it with out fascinated about that enjoyable day, all of the occasions we shared antiquing, and all of the data I gleaned from her.
Extra of My R.S. Prussia Favorites
After my mother handed away in 2007, my brother and I cut up my mother’s R.S. Prussia items, and we every took one in all her Vernis Martin-style cabinets to maintain a few of her delight and pleasure assortment on show in our respective properties. I’ve mine in my dwelling workplace, so I see it day by day and infrequently reminisce about serving to my mom develop her assortment.
“Serving to” consists of selecting up a set of demitasse cups and saucers embellished with swans that I painstakingly toted again from Connecticut for her. Items with animal décor are onerous to seek out and had been at all times amongst her favorites. They took a again seat, nonetheless, to the portrait pieces in her assortment. The chocolate pots and plates that includes the likeness of Countess Potocka and Madame Le Brun had been her absolute favorites, and in flip, I really like them, too. Not just for the portraits but additionally the gorgeous finishes and décor surrounding them.
Now that my brother is gone as properly, the remainder of my mom’s assortment will likely be coming to reside with me quickly. It’s unhappy to lose these we maintain pricey, however when their most valued possessions are issues we cherish, too, it retains the spirit of affection alive and with us in such a particular manner. Because it seems, although, a few of what Mother thought was true about R.S. Prussia’s origin wasn’t fairly heading in the right direction.
Studying Extra About R.S. Prussia
That guide by Gaston my mother studied so fervently was the collector’s go-to on R.S. Prussia for a really very long time. Nonetheless, because of the Worldwide Affiliation of R.S. Prussia Collectors, Inc., the history of the company has been up to date, and the knowledge is obtainable on the group’s web site.
The truth that individuals used to consider that brothers Reinhold and Erdmann Schlegelmilch amicably ran the enterprise in Suhl, Germany, collectively (once they had been actually opponents working two separate corporations) doesn’t take away from the great thing about this sort of porcelain. However now we all know that items marked R.S. Prussia (together with many unmarked kinds) had been made solely by Reinhold Schlegelmilch till his sons joined the agency within the early Eighteen Nineties.
Most of the items discovered immediately had been imported to america from the mid-Eighteen Nineties by way of 1900 or so. By 1905, tastes started to alter, and the flowery molds utilized in making R.S. Prussia, a few of which have artwork nouveau influences, had been now not in type. Nonetheless, the extra elaborate pieces, are certainly what devoted collectors of this sort of porcelain favor, together with my mother and me.
Pamela Siegel is a contract author and writer who has been educating collectors for greater than twenty years. Along with three books on subjects regarding antiques and collectibles, she regularly shares her experience by way of on-line writing and articles for print-based publications. Pamela can be the co-founder of Costume Jewellery Collectors Int’l (CJCI) and the proprietor of Stylish Antiques by Pamela.
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