Fact Check: R.S. Prussia
inDecember 27, 2007 - 9:42am
Recently, on several Internet e-commerce shopping sites, we have noticed an increase in items marked 'Made in Germany,' or with various marks incorporating a name once common to a particular region in Germany – Prussia, that are being described and/or cataloged as though they are R.S. Prussia or R.S. Prussia 'related' items. It appears some shop owners are doing this in order to make use of a keyword for an important collecting niche, and some are listing in this fashion because they are honestly unaware there are specific qualities attributed only to this particular trademark.
Regardless of what may be common practice in the world of Internet selling, the keyword phrase 'R.S. Prussia' is not a generic term that can be used in reference to just about anything made in Germany or bearing a Prussian mark. It refers specifically to porcelain back stamps directly connected to one distinct individual and his factories. Reinhold Schlegelmilch manufactured RS Prussia porcelain in the pre-WWII Germanic area known as Prussia, thus the “R.S. Prussia” for Reinhold Schlegelmilch in Prussia. Porcelain items made by other East German (Prussian) factories owned by other individuals have no connection to the porcelain factories of Reinhold Schlegelmilch and thus no association at all with his 'R. S. Prussia' marks.
The "Collectors Encyclopedia of R.S. Prussia" series of books by Mary Frank Gaston are very helpful for determining mold shapes and decorations connected to Schlegelmilch's porcelain factories, even if an individual piece is unmarked. This series of books also displays the range of marks known to be associated with Reinhold Schlegelmilch and his various factories.
If you have titled or cataloged any item in your e-commerce shop 'R.S. Prussia' or 'R.S. Prussia Related' merely because it is decorated in a similar fashion to that type of ware and it carries a back stamp of 'Made in Germany' or 'Prussia,' such an item is misrepresented if it is not in fact a piece of porcelain directly relatable by manufacture to Reinhold Schlegelmilch. Having an item with a back stamp that simply names the same general area of creation does not form a supportable connection to this specific maker.