Each item in this 7pc Rare Charger / Plate set is an individual porcelain canvas masterpiece. The talented early 20th Century artist 'L Klein' has decorated the set with the most popular fruit of the Victorian era: Ruby Red Currants, Rarely Painted Pears, Perfectly Ripe Cherries, Crisp Apples, Multi-Colored Grapes, Plump Plums, & Luscious Blackberries. Nature is brought to life through these paintings so much so that each fruit literally pops out to you begging to be eaten!
About the Artist: Everything about these pieces suggest that they were decorated by a professional artist. Interestingly, an artist by the name of Ingeborg Klein worked for the Pickard Studio in 1920. Her signature is almost identical to the signature of the artist that painted this set with respect to the style of the block-style manuscript lettering (see last picture, paying special attention to the capital L's and E's). One could argue that the initial “L” in our artist’s signature may stand for the artist’s middle name which is unknown. It is quite possible that this set represents an early example of Klein's work (i.e. 7 years before being hired by Pickard in her early 20s) which may explain the subtle differences in her signature and art style. Assuming this is the case, this set would have been painted by quite a young artist, but note that other notable artists such as George Leykauf and Pickard artist 'Goess' (to name a few) started painting beautiful work at the early age of 17 and 19 yrs, respectively! Apparently, when hired by Pickard she was confined to do sub-contract executions of fruit basket designs and left 6 years later to never return. Perhaps she was frustrated by the art movement of the 1920’s which marked the end of the era of hand-painted china in the antique style and a movement towards Art Deco designs.
*******Note that we have found a Limoges Grape Tankard painted by the Pickard Artist 'Klein' that is a more naturalistic design than the work she did for Pickard. In fact, the Artistic style of this tankard is very similar to our set and definitely supports the idea that both our set and this tankard was painted by the Pickard Artist 'Klein'. **Note that this tankard was not marked w/ the Pickard backstamp either yet it is clearly the same signature of the Pickard artist 'Klein' ********* that appears in The Collector's Encyclopedia of Pickard China!
In any event, the artist who created this set is obviously a Master Painter of his/her time era. The delicate watercolor-like painting of each fruit motif, the execution of technical perfection, the clear and radiant colors mixtures, the use of lighting/shadow effects to create a three-dimensionality to the work, clearly speaks volumes for the sheer talent of this artist. This unusually large charger and matching 6pc plate set represents a one-of-a-kind museum quality porcelain art form that will be revered by the most avid collectors for years to come!
Size: All 6 of the smaller plates measure 8¼". Each piece is signed 'L Klein' on the front. The bottoms of the plates are stamped 'Hutschenreuther Selb Bavaria' and are hand signed 'Sept 7, 1912'. The unusually large 14.5” Charger is also signed by the artist on the front and dated on the back ‘Sept 7, 1912’ (ensuring that it is from the original set), has holes for hanging, but does not have the company back mark stamp.
Condition: This beautiful antique set is in mint condition- no cracks, chips, wear or restorations.
Marked: Hutschenreuther Selb Bavaria c a early 1900’s. It was found in Middletown Ohio.
(For references see:Mary Gaston's Encyclopedia of Limoges China; Third Edition Collector's Encyclopedia of Pickard China;Marks on German, Bohemian, & Austrian Porcelain 1710-present)
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