Antique Meissen Painted Porcelain Box

This example is a fantasy porcelain box that was made to mimic the small hand painted gilt boxes of a much earlier time. This particular item was found described, "....probably from the turn of the century or a bit earlier. Made by MEISSEN and marked on the bottom with their crossed swords mark." but this box is a 20th century-made item and it was not made by Meissen. That name is easily recognized by almost anyone, collector or non-collector, and many folks who have porcelain items to sell would sincerely like to be able to identify those item as made by such a famous maker. Unfortunately, such mistaken identifications frequently take place. If the seller of a porcelain piece doesn't honestly know who may have made it then all too often the temptation is to simply 'guess who' did, based only on a faulty interpretation of the mark they see on the bottom.

And of course, since Meissen porcelain has been coveted and collected for over 200 hundred years, their blue 'crossed swords' mark, much like the interlaced mirror imaged upper case L's of the royal cipher of eighteenth century Sevres, has been (and still is being) extensively copied. But, look closely at the mark on the item in this listing. The mark it bears is actually blue crossed arrows, not swords. So, added to the lack of high quality evident in other aspects of the piece, there is really no excuse for identifying such an item as this as an article made by Meissen. Arrows have no correlation to any mark ever used at any time in history by the Meissen factory.

Characteristics about this item, such as the heaviness of the porcelain body and the clumsy way metal elements of the box were attached to it, also rather easily define this as a later made copy produced by someone other than Meissen. The use of modern glue is evident inside and outside, such as where portions of the lid and the metal frame were joined together. And the frame was so poorly made initially that after only a few years of use the box can no longer be tightly shut. Note also that there is no mechanism to keep the lid securely closed, even if it could still be fully closed, meaning this item was made strictly for show, not for a useful purpose. Early, authentic, porcelain boxes were mostly made to serve one purpose or another and intended to be useful to their owners.

While some very nice decorative details are present in the colorful flowers and gilt designs, it is always the entirety of an object that should be considered if trying to identify or date that item.

This box measures 4 and 1/2 inches by 4 and 1/2 inches.

Item ID: 2007RP000102

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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