Yet again we bring you an extraordinary antique jasperware plaque made by the 'Aelteste Volkstedter Porzellanmanufaktur' in Volkstedt, ca. 1896-1910.
At 13" x 10" this is a very large plaque. The sinewy floral rim is decidedly 'art nouveau' in style. It is crowned by a beautiful orchid (or possibly iris) bloom and the sides feature curvy reedy leaves and protruding from the left edge are water lily pads and stems. The bottom most area represents water upon which the woman is atop a large floating snail being led by a pair of swans! Above her head is a cupid, complete with a bow. We're not sure the allegory or myth that this represents but it could be a more prudent representation of Leda and the Swan. Anyway you look at it though it is beautiful and charming.
The condition is very good but has one flaw that is not readily visible when hung. As you can see on the right hand edge, the swan's head protrudes off the edge of the plaque. At first glance it appears that there is only this one swan but upon closer examination it becomes apparent that there had been two swans heads and one snapped off. Because of how close the swans are to one another, it almost looks as though there is one swan with a very plump, fluffy body. We are leaving it 'as is' and do not, in fact, recommend it to be repaired because replacing a neck and head of this sort would require extreme professional talent and we don't think it is necessary. Of course, ultimately that decision will be up to the buyer. Trust me - it is not noticeable even after you know about it!
The very, very top tip of the orchid flower has a flea bite sized chip. Amazingly, none of the other protruding areas show any damage and no repairs.
We did use soapy water to wash the plaque but were unable to remove some of the brownish areas on the back side of the plaque. The washing removed a light layer of dust from the front side.
The plaque retains its original, sturdy, hanging ring. The back has the Volkstedt starburst Germany mark and on the top edge has inventory numbers impressed (we think those numbers represent size and style).
If this plaque did not have the swan damage it would be priced near the top because of its size and rare subject matter, but because it is flawed, we are pricing it at about half of its value.
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