Elephant Handle Porcelain Jug

The example seen here often can be found described as late 19th or early 20th century 'unmarked' Royal Worcester because this contemporary reproduction item was, in fact, molded from an elephant handled jug or pitcher originally produced by the British company known to collectors by that name.

Because it is a very pretty piece, this item will sometimes even fool some veteran dealers. But the glaze and manner of application of the decorative effects is not at all similar to originals produced by the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company, nor does this piece display the same aesthetic qualities of an authentic example. The decoration appears mechanically applied and, well, just all wrong. Unfortunately, if one has never seen or held one of the authentic pieces in one's hand or is not overly familiar with British potters, it would be difficult for these facts to be readily apparent.

Marked on the base, "G580". This sans serif, rather perfunctory looking, stamped mark alone, is helpful in quickly identifying this piece as a modern copy.

Actual marks shown in the listing are as seen illustrated on the bottoms of two different reproduction examples that were virtually twins in all other ways. One stamped mark was black and the other was red.

Both examples were 6" high.

Look carefully at the image of the base shown. Doesn't it remind you more of the bases of items that can be seen in a local department store's home decor department? If you own a porcelain item from the late 19th century, regardless of who made it, turn it over and compare its base to that of this item's.

Note the ample application of gold decoration which is overly bright and sloppily applied. This is another clue to modern, quick knock-off production methods. The gold looks tacky to the touch, as well as to the eye. Take a moment to really consider the images you see.

An old Worcester jug will have artfully applied gold with a surface that has a burnished look. There will be just enough to enhance a main handpainted enamel decoration, without being too much. This is because the gilt decoration was an artistic device intended to be a polite compliment.

Keeping in mind that it is not polite to shout, "Look at me!", can help in future when considering similar reproductions.

The overall artistic effect of decoration on an authentic Worcester piece will be sumptuous, without being gaudy. And price will reflect the quality inherent in the production of an original, as well as its actual scarcity.

Item ID: 2007RP000376

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies

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