Once you stop staring at all the gold work, hand painted on this little tray/plate....then you notice the four perfect little hand painted bugs! The porcelain blank is from the Tirschenreuth Porcelain Company in Tirschenreuth, Bavaria, (W) Germany. This plate dates to around 1838.
The cartouche on the reverse is the crown above a shield with the initials, "P" and "T" either side. Above, in red, is the hand painted writing (signature), "handbem, H.Walter", denoting the very talented artist.
H.Walter was obviously an experienced artisan especially skilled in the area of porcelain painting. He made this little dish stand right out, although it contains the realistic central floral bunch and meticulously hand applied gold embellishments as did most of the Dresden/Saxony and Bavarian items of the era.
The hand painted florals and bugs are permanently fused (the paints are coloured glass and melted in the kiln) onto the dish. This form of decorative art requires practice, skill, diligence and experience. The absorbent surface has to be painted with great skill because a wrong stroke of the brush is difficult to correct. The paint represents a liquid paste that has been thinned with water and a syrup-like agent until it becomes the correct consistency for the artist's brush.
As the finishing touch, H.Walter decorated the porcelain pieces with paint made from precious metals. The paint used was liquid polishing gold that emerged from the firing with a dull sheen, which then required polishing.
There is absolutely no wear to the gold on this precious little prize. (No chips, flakes or cracks, either)
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