This is another example of a fake plate design that, at a glance, seems to be a very desirable design that displays three characteristics which tend to be highly sought by collectors. It has a distinctive, elaborate body design, bold cobalt and gold coloring, and a central reserve bearing what appears to be a hand painted portrait of a beautiful woman and sweet, lovely child in period dress.
A fourth characteristic added to the back of the plate would seem to complete the desirability loop for an avid collector and encourage their desire to purchase this ‘special’ piece for a large sum. That is, that on the back is a mark that may suggest to be that of Erdmann Schlegelmilch, maker of RS Prussia porcelain. But that firm did not produce this plate.
Royal Vienna marked pieces have been included in collector guides for RS Prussia porcelain because the mark is found on the same mold designs known to have been produced in RS Prussia factories. But, even to those unfamiliar with any specific collector’s guide book, however, with the visual characteristics of the front of the plate all seeming ‘right,’ a supposed ‘Royal Vienna’ mark might still be as alluring to them as is the fancy front decoration. The name may even sound familiar to them. The visible mark may assist them in making an immediate and automatic assumption that a quality maker from the dim and distant past must have made the plate. But, this plate (and others like it - see another also listed in this shop with a central image of children and their pet) is not at all old. In fact, for a very nominal price many plates just like it, as many as you might want to buy, were available for purchase wholesale at the time of this writing from a well-known contemporary reproduction supplier. This plate is representative of yet another wave of porcelain pieces that bear cunning pseudo marks. This new mark may have been created precisely to snare those who over the years have learned to be wary of fake RS Prussia marked items. Buyers of elaborate RS Prussia molds and hand painted portrait or scenic plates may as yet still be unaware to suspect this 'Royal Vienna' mark, even though it is is not truly that mark, at all.
One should never use a mark alone to judge authenticity of an item. And when considered, the mark itself should at least be scrutinized closely as these are fairly easily faked. In the case of the mark on this item, the original mark Royal Vienna crown mark on porcelain always has points on the ends of the orbs. There are five orbs on the original crown mark and each has a point on the end. The authentic mark is pictured in Capers Notes on the Marks of RS Prussia, page 190, RS 5.3(G) 2., and in Gaston's 4th series page 169, showing the points on the ends of the orbs. Of course, expect that eventually those producing these fakes may eventually cure that omission and make the mark more closely match the original, as indeed has occurred with the copied RS Prussia marks in recent years.
This plate mold is not a known Royal Vienna mold and it was likewise not ever produced by RS Prussia. The transfer print decoration used on this item (it is not hand painted, though often found represented to be) was never used by an RS Prussia factory, either. Other central transfers are known, though the body of the plate they are on will otherwise look much the same, if not identical.
These pieces are fancy.....and false. So beware.
This plate (sometimes described as a Charger) is fairly substantial in size at 12 inches in diameter.