This is a Bavarian hard paste porcelain vase that is hand painted and signed by the acclaimed Pickard artist Curtis Marker. The date is circa 1925 to 1930.
The Pickard China Company is a decorating studio in Chicago who employed some of the world's premiere porcelain or china painters. Curtis Marker worked for Pickard into the late 1920s and is considered to be on the same level as Edward Stafford Challinor.
The Pickard studio decorated quite a few objects with birds such as pheasants and ostriches, and the same bird pattern was hand painted by various Pickard artists. This specific bird is titled "Pheasant on Black and Gold Encrusted", and you can see the same vase blank and bird in the book, "Collector's Encyclopedia of Pickard China" by Alan B. Reed, on page 207, Plate 559; this vase, though exactly like the one I present here for sale, is painted and signed by Edward Challinor.
The etched gold design is a pattern of small flowers and leaves. The bottom half of the vase is glazed black. The handles, mouth and foot are trimmed in gold.
The top half of the bird is painted on the part of the vase with the etched gold. The tail feathers sweep down over the black glaze. The feet rest on a tree limb over the black. The artist's signature of "Marker" is below the bird's left foot. There may be a "C" above the M for Marker; I am not sure.
The vase is 7 ¾" high and 4" wide at the upper belly.
The inside and bottom of the vase are glazed white.
There are no chips, nicks, cracks or crazing. There is some inconsistency to the bottom edge of the etched gold pattern where it meets the black glaze, which is done by the artist. There are a few pits in the gold on the underside of the handle, also done at inception.
There is no mark for the maker, however the artist painted primarily on Bavarian porcelain blanks during this time period, so my assumption is the blank is Bavarian.
The Pickard studio decorating mark is gold, Pickard with a coat of arms.