This was a gift to me from very old friend who was an antique collector and dealer. He said it was "very special" and, by what the Appraiser said, he was right! With the exception of size and condition, I will let the appraiser's words verbatim follow:
Appraiser Comments: I do agree with your friend. In the right market you may have yourself a nice piece.
This is a 1870-1895 Zsolnay Hungary Pottery. I believe this is a water jug. It is hand made and hand decorated. In 1865 Vilmos Zsolnay took over the running of a clay pit from his older brother, Ignác Zsolnay, and began the manufacturing of ceramics. The medieval name of Pécs was "Five Churches" which are the buildings you see in the mark on your bowl. According to the book "Zsolnay Ceramics: Collecting a Culture" by Federico Santi & John Gacher, the mark on your bowl is known as "Five Churches and Family Initials" and was designed by Júlia Sikorski, the daughter of Vilmos, probably for the factory's debut showing at the 1878 Paris Exhibition where the Zsolnay factory was awarded a gold medal. The mark includes the initials of the first name of the three children of Vilmos most heavily involved in the running of the factory at that time. To the left of the churches the mark reads Zsolnay over Pécs and to the right are the initials T.J.M.: T. standing for Térez, Júlia's sister, J. for Júlia and M. for their brother Miklós. The mark remained in use from 1878 to 1900.
It is hard to know if this is a water jug or an incense jar. However, based on my opinion it is a water jug. There would have been something attached to hang or tip it to pour it. It is hand created and decorated. Value is hard, In the right market a person could blow out the prices that I give you. This is an early piece. Collector's should come out to get it. However, don't overprice it for the market....
History Of The Item: Zsolnay, or formally Zsolnay Porcelánmanufaktúra Zrt (Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture) is a Hungarian manufacturer of porcelain, tiles, and stoneware.
The Zsolnay factory was established by Miklós Zsolnay (1800–1880) in Pécs, Hungary, to produce stoneware and other ceramics in 1853. In 1863, his son, Vilmos Zsolnay (1828–1900) joined the company and became its manager and director after several years. He led the factory to worldwide recognition by demonstrating its innovative products at world fairs and international exhibitions, including the 1873 World Fair in Vienna, then at the 1878 World Fair in Paris, where Zsolnay received a Grand Prix. In 1893, Zsolnay introduced porcelain pieces made of eosin. Tádé Sikorski (1852–1940) married Vilmos' daughter Júlia and became the chief designer. In 1900 Vilmos' son Miklós took over. Frost-resisting Zsolnay building decorations were used in numerous buildings specifically during the art nouveau movement. By 1914, Zsolnay was the largest company in Austro-Hungary. During World War I production of pottery and building materials were curtailed, and the factory produced for military use, for instance insulators. After World War I the fortunes of the factory declined due to the Serbian occupation, loss of markets, and difficulty to secure raw materials. However after the depression, conditions improved. During World War II its site of production in Budapest was bombed. With the rule of communism the factory was nationalized in 1948. Eventually, the Zsolnay name was dropped. The Pécsi Porcelángyár (Pécs Porcelain Factory) was used primarily to produce common tableware goods. However, in 1982 with the resumption of a market economy, the company regained its operational independence, was reorganized, and the Zsolnay name returned. In 1991, the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture became a stock company, and five years later it was bought by a private equity enterprise. In September 2008 a contract was concluded with the Swedish company, IKEA. According to the contract, Zsolnay will deliver 5,000 tonnes of ceramics per year from September 2009. This deal will triple the sales of Ft 1,1 billion (€4,4 million)for Zsolnay.
For a more complete history go directly to the manufacture website.
Size: Approximately 5 1/4" tall; Approximately 5 1/8" wide.
Condition: Very Good to Excellent. One "node" on top feels rough to the touch but nothing can be seen.
Circa: 1870 - 1895.
Appraiser Tips: # Dust your rare porcelain figurine collection regularly by blowing or brushing dust off gently. Make sure that the dusting tool that you choose is gentle and lightweight, such as a feather duster, chamois or soft-bristled paint brush. Brushes tend to work best for removing dust particles from fine crevices and creases. # Step 2 Hand wash fine porcelain using a mild soap when necessary. Run the figurine under warm water, gently rub stained areas with a soft cloth, and rinse. Place the figurines on a paper towel and allow them to air dry. Be sure to protect the area with towels or rubber mats, just in case one happens to slip and fall. # Step 3 Scrub rare porcelain figurines only if there are tough stains, and then only on the stained area with a damp washcloth. For the toughest stains, the figurines may be submerged in warm water for a few seconds, but use extreme care as the delicate surfaces can be easily damaged by scrubbing. If the stain is not easily removed, ask yourself if it is worth the risk. # Step 4 Use cleaning solutions with extreme caution. Read the label of the product carefully, to determine whether it can be safely used to clean porcelain. Test a small, inconspicuous section of the figurine first and always follow the directions on the package.
Research Sources: I was lucky at a young age to get into a fun job with interesting topics. By 17 I was working weekends at a Antique and Collectible Auction Gallery, Unique Collectibles, Inc. The auction handled 2 auctions a month with 400 items in each auction. At this time I was exposed to Antiques, Collectibles, Trains, Guns, Knives, Coins, Jewelry, Rugs, Cars (55 T-Bird), historical properties and hoarders. Some of which I am still dealing with years later. After 9 or 10 years of working auctions, I moved on to working at Something Old, Something New Consignment Store in Laguna Hills. In 1999, I made a change and decided to work from home. I took all my antique and collectible experience to sell on eBay. I have set up businesses and worked on accounts that generate $40,000 is sales every month. I have worked on eBay, Rubylane, Amazon, Auction Arms, Gunbroker, eBids, ETSY and many other sites. I do research on over 1000 different sites with big names such as Replacements, Silver Queen or NAWCC. My travels have taken me to England, Japan, All over the US, Mexico and hopefully to many other spots. I have visited world famous museums, collections, galleries and showings. I am a happy traveler of National Parks, State Parks, Forest Service or Interesting Sites. Art, Antiques and History are all subjects I have studied in College and in Personal Gain. I have a large Research library with over 400 books (my kids think more!)
PLEASE NOTE; The Appraiser gave me a Replacement Value of $1500.00. So the price is very attractive.
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