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Ginni's Home > Collectors Circle Home > Bohemian Information & History

Ginni's Collectors Circle & Bohemian Boutique


"Keramika a Porcelán Ceský-Bohémský"
(Bohemian and Czechoslovakian Ceramics & Porcelain)
Information and History

It is Never Done

Czech to English & English to Czech Translator

Multi-language Translator

I am a collector looking for information on
Fine Bohemian China and "Bohemia" Ceramic Works,
as well as other Bohemian factories.

"Bohemia" Ceramic Works is also known as Bohemian Ceramic Works, with an "n." Please, if you have information to share, contact me.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

I am not an expert on this subject. These are my observations. The more I research, the more contradictions I find. Therefore, at times I have come to my own conclusions and chose one source over another based on logic. For example, some resources will list a mark as being used from 1900 to 1939. If the mark also has "Czechoslovakia" included, it cannot have been made before 1918. I will list the mark as 1918 to 1939.

What is the story?

Are you catching on? Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain is a difficult subject. The information concerning it is confusing and conflicting. What information there is, that is.

In trying to research my Grandmother's china, I became very disheartened at the dearth of information available. Furthermore, what information there is, is a great deal of misinformation!

The Bohemia and Czechoslovakia porcelain reference books I have purchased thus far contain very little or no information about the china I collect Fine Bohemian China supposedly manufactured by Bohemia Ceramic Works. There is more about these books on the literature page. Because you reading this amateur collector's Web site for information, you know how little information there is on the Internet on the subject.

Disclaimer: The information I post here is no more reliable than information you find elsewhere on the subject, despite my efforts to verify information and sources.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

What is it?

The terms porcelain and china are interchangeable. Generally speaking, china usually is used in reference to dinnerware. Porcelain, or china, is a type of pottery. It was invented in China about 200 CE. It is the most complex type of pottery to manufacture. Porcelain is smooth, vitreous (nonporous), thin-walled, and translucent.

The European pottery trade business was done mostly in the German language. When reading reference material on the subject much of the information uses German words, and the German names for villages and towns. Bohemia is the German word for Ceský (Czech).

Porcelain manufacturing did not come to Europe until the 1600's when the French mixed clay and ground-glass and baked it at 1100 degrees Celsius. This is not true porcelain; it is too soft. It is referred to as soft paste porcelain.

1707 at the Meissen factory in Saxony, Johann Friedrich Bottger created the first hard past porcelain outside of China. Vienna, Austria soon followed. More about early European porcelain development.

In 1792 the first Bohemian factory was established, but did not commercially produce porcelain for about twenty years. It is a long story that I will try to write about another time. Bohemian porcelain is made from fine-grained white clay (kaolin), feldspar, and quartz and baked at 1400 to 1600 degrees Celsius.

At the beginning of the 1800's Josiah Spode the Second an English person developed porcelain made with fine-grained white clay (kaolin), feldspar, and calcined bone (bone ash), thus the term "bone china," also true porcelain. It is not as brittle, weighs less, and is whiter allowing for a wider range of decoration colors. The British and Americans prefer bone china, whereas Europeans prefer the hard paste porcelain that is made with quartz. England, Russia, and Japan make “bone” china. In Russia, bone china is called alabaster china.

Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain (china) is not bone china.

Blue Onion - Zwiebelmuster Pattern is a particular style of cobalt inglazed porcelain. It is not "flow blue" another style of porcelain decoration.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Blue Onion page. (Not here yet.)

Pink Porcelain - Rosa Porzellan is a type of porcelain made with pink clay; it is not painted pink.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Pink Porcelain page. (Not here yet.)

Fakes are something people ask about often. I have only found a little bit of information on this subject. In my mind, something is not a fake if it has true distinguishable factory Marks, but others consider it a fake. One of the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Vienna marks was a bindenschild (beehive). There are many imitations of these marks, some used in combination with the true factory's distinguishable mark and some without. Japanese factories made close copies of some Czechoslovakian dinnerware, eg there are Japanese copies of EPIAG Oscar and Edgar Gutherz's Bridal Rose, but they are clearly marked by the Japanese factory.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Fakes page..

Angelica Kauffmann was a renowned Swiss painter who lived from 1741-1807. Her paintings of mythological scenes are often reproduced on Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain. The motif includes her signature, but it is not genuine, she had long since died at the time these pieces were manufactured. Carl Lassen is another European artist whose paintings were extensively reproduced on European porcelain.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Angelica Kauffmann page..

Other pottery is earthenware and stoneware. Earthenware is clay baked hard and is porous. Stoneware is baked harder with more heat and is nonporous.

There is wonderful earthenware and stoneware made by the Bohemians, Moravians and Slovakians. At this time, this Web site only discusses porcelain, mostly dinnerware.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

A Touch of History

Personally, I hate history, but it is necessary to know a little history to understand porcelain manufacturing and date a piece. I could not understand the lack of information concerning Bohemian china until I learned a little about all the political strife in the region. Much of the Country's records were stolen, lost, and destroyed, especially during the Nazi occupation.

When porcelain was first produced in Bohemia, Bohemia was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy in the Austro-Hungarian Empire1. There were several mines in the area of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic (Karlsbad, Bohemia, Austria). Another area with several factories is Trnovany, Czech Republic (Teplitz, Bohemia, Austria). These areas became the center of porcelain production, especially Karlovy Vary. Bohemian porcelain made before 1918 may be marked with the country of origin as Austria. Most of the factories were founded when the area was still under Austrian rule. Thus, the town and village names are the German/Austrian names. Once Czechoslovakia became a country, the towns and villages may or may not use their Czech names in their marks.

November 1918, at the end of World War I, the Paris Peace committee created a new country2 with the Bohemia3, Moravia & Austrian Silesia4 sections of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a northern strip of Hungary. The committee named the new country Czecho-Slovak Republic, with a hyphen. In 1920, Ruthenia was made a part of Czechoslovakia. Most of the people in the new country were the Czechs (Bohemians) and Slovaks, thus the name Czecho-Slovakia. However, there were great differences between their cultural and religious traditions. The country's pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair has the spelling Czechoslovak and CZECHO-SLOVAKIA. At times, you will see the German spelling with a "w" instead of a "v," Czecho-Slowakia, or an "e" at the end instead of an "a," Czecho-Slovakie. Another spelling is Tehechoslovacia. During Hitler's Nazi occuppation of Czechoslovakia, the country was part of Germany; therefore, some Bohemian porcelain states Germany as the country of origin.

September 1938, the Bohemia borderlands (the former Sudetenland) were ceded to Germany. March 1939, the Nazis occupied all of Czechoslovakia. In 1945, after World War II, the country of Czechoslovakia was restored to its original borders, except the Ruthenia section was ceded to the USSR. After this time the hyphen was not used in the English spelling of the country. During the communist rule, it became Ceskoslovenska Socialisticka Republika (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic). Czechoslovakia ceased being a country January 1, 1993 when it was divided5 into the Ceská Republika6 (Czech Republic) and Slovák Republika7 (Slovak Republic). The Czechs and Slovaks always wanted to be independent entities.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Factory Villages & Towns Table.

Internal and external political and economic conditions had a major effect on the stability of the factories. The factories went broke and changed hands frequently, as well as merging with one another. The factories were renamed and made changes to their marks often. The founders, financiers, decorators, and others seemed to wander from one company to another. In 1918, several factories joined an association OEPIAG (Österreichische Porzellan Industrie AG, Austrian Porcelain Industry), which changed its name to EPIAG (Erste Böhmische Porzellan Industrie AG, First Bohemian Porcelain Industry) in 1920. Some factories used the association name in their Marks, with a form of their own marks. More about the economics of the European porcelain industry.

In 1948, following World War II, the implementation of a communistic business model in Czechoslovakia for all businesses, including the porcelain factories, meant all were nationalized and merged into a few state-owned companies. I have not been able to discover exactly how many companies, their names, or the factory locations. Most factories continued to use marks similar to those used before nationalization. At this time, I have found three early nationalized companies that eventually merged into one. These are Starorolský Porcelán, Slavkovský Porcelán, and Duchovský Porcelán. In 1958 these merged into Karlovarský Porcelán with other factories. I do not know if this is all of the government companies during that period. There is a chart of factory association, mergers, and nationalizations from the OEPIAG/EPIAG association through Karlovarský Porcelán (nationalization), to present day factory names (or closing dates). Still though, during this time the factories used names and marks similar to their former independent company names and marks.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Factory Mergers, Associations & Nationalizations Table.

The Czech Republic is still a major producer of porcelain. The present day products are just as beautiful and intriguing as the old products. One can knowingly purchase "new" porcelain and support the people who have gone through so much to be themselves. However, buyer beware, there are deceptive people selling new products as old.

In dating porcelain there are a couple of simple rules. If it says made in Czechoslovakia (or some variation thereof) it isn't 19th century, it was made after 1918. If it says made in Czech Republic it isn't vintage, it was made after 1993. See dating porcelain on this page.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

Factory Marks (back stamps)

The marks on porcelain often do not contain the manufacturer's name on the piece, when it was manufactured, its shape name, or pattern name. There are hundreds of marks, if not thousands for Bohemian (Czechoslovakian) porcelain. One factory can have more than a dozen marks.

Patterns & Shapes
My guess is that more than half of the dinnerware does not have a pattern name. If an item has a name on it, it can be the shape name, which is often confused for the pattern name. The shapes of porcelain are not factory exclusive or even country exclusive. The Bohemian factories copied shapes from around Europe. If there is not a name on the piece you have, it probably does not have a pattern name. Replacements Ltd and other large dealers give patterns a code that is exclusive for them.

Once you discover which factory the Mark represents you can go to Replacements Ltd, or other online dealers such as Table Tops to find their code for unnamed patterns. Replacements Ltd has photos on their Web site for much of their inventory. Interestingly, none of these sites include marks or factory information. Some of Replacements Ltd's factory information is inaccurate. They do not have accurate factory identification.

Dates & Towns
When there are dates on a piece, it can be the date the factory was founded, not the date the piece was made. Some factories have the town name like Altrohlau and Carlsbad. This is not the factory name. On the Factory Villages & Towns page, I give examples of the use of Karlsbad.

More About Marks
Some pieces will have a second or third Mark. The additional Marks can be for the importers of the piece such as Macy's Dept Store and Baum Brothers. Another type of second Mark is for a decoration studio. Blank pieces of china were purchased from a factory, and then decorated by a different company, such as Friedrich Simon of Karlovy Vary.

Without seeing the exact Mark, one cannot guess which factory it represents. A written description of a mark can sound like a mark for several different factories! As is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Many of the Marks for Bohemian and Czechoslovakian china are a shield, animal, bird, beehive, castle, crown, wreath, or highly stylized letters. There is an animal or bird inside of a design, such as a shield. Marks often have only letters. The animal I believe is the lion from the Bohemia Crest. The birds are eagles from the Moravian and Silesian Crests. The swirl design I believe is a stylized letter "B," which represents Bohemia, except for the factory Gebrüder Benedikt, which has a stylized "G" and "B." The stylized letters are often hard to discern which letter it is. A "j" can look like an "l" or "t."

1939 Czechoslovakia State Crest

 

This is a photo of the State Crest that was hanging in Prague's City Hall when the Nazis stole it in 1939. Click on the image to enlarge.

After the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Vienna closed in 1864. Some European factories, including Bohemian factories started using a bindenschild (beehive) in their marks similar to the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Manufactory Vienna's mark. The original mark is not a beehive; it was the inverted shield taken from the Royal Habsburg family's coat of arms. There is no relationship between the factories that use a bindenschild in their Mark and the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Vienna factory. It cannot be considered Royal Vienna porcelain. There is a green button on the bottom of this page linking to a Fakes page.

Understanding the Crests and Coat of Arms will help you understand the factory marks. The 1313-1321 Bohemian Coat of Arms is a crowned silver (or white) lion in an upright position with two tales, a gold tongue, and gold claws on a red field. The Bavarian lion has a single tale. The Moravian Coat of Arms is a red and white checkered eagle on a blue field. The Silesian Coat of Arms is a black eagle on a gold field. The Slovakian Coat of Arms is a cross on a triple blue hill. A 1920 Coat of Arms with the Moravian and Silesian eagles, as well as the Bohemian lion.

This is a 1920 Czechoslovakia Coat of Arms with the Bohemian and Slovakian emblems. The 1920 Great Coat of Arms includes the Moravian, Silesian, and Slovakian emblems. A plate recently sold on eBay with this Coat of Arms.

There is a Green Button on the bottom of this page that leads to the Marks Tables.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

Dating your Bohemian and Czechoslovakian Porcelain

Marked: Czech Republic or a variation thereof, means it was manufactured after January 1, 1993, when Czechoslovakia became two separate countries the Ceská Republika (Czech Republic) and Slovák Republika (Slovak Republic).

Marked: Czechoslovakia or a variation thereof, means it was manufactured after 1920 up to 1993. Czechoslovakia became a country in 1918; therefore, the name/word did not exist until then. Czechoslovakia without a hyphen was rarely used before 1920.

Marked: Czecho-Slovakia or a variation with a hyphen may mean it was manufactured from 1918 to 1938 and 1990 to 1993, though the name was also spelled without a hyphen during these times.

Marked: Bohemia or a variation thereof, does not mean it was made before 1918. The factories often continued to use the name Bohemia after it was incorporated into the new country Czechoslovakia. However, manufacturers should have used the Czecho-Slovakia or Czechoslovakia on the piece as well, if it was made for export to the US, because since about 1880 the United States trade laws require a label with the country of origin.

Marked: Austria may mean it was made before 1918. Before 1918, Bohemia was in the country of Austria. It could also mean that you have a piece from an Austrian factory.

Marked: Germany or Deutschland can mean it was still produced in Czechoslovakia. It may mean it was manufactured during the Nazi occupation 1938-1945. There may be other periods marked this way that I do not understand.

Official names:
1918-1920: Czecho-Slovak Republic or Czechoslovak Republic; short form Czecho-Slovakia (rarely Czechoslovakia).
1920-1938: Czechoslovak Republic; short form Czechoslovakia.
1938-1939: Czecho-Slovak Republic; short form Czecho-Slovakia.
1945-1960: Czechoslovak Republic; short form Czechoslovakia.
1960-1990: Czechoslovak Socialist Republic; short form Czechoslovakia.
April 1990: Czechoslovak Federative Republic (Czech version) and Czecho-Slovak Federative Republic (Slovak version),
After: Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (with the short forms Czechoslovakia (Czech version) and Czecho-Slovakia (Slovak version)).
1993: Czech Republic and Slovak Republic; short forms Czechia and Slovakia

A Czech gentleman tells me the terms Bohemian and Czech or Ceský are synonymous. Often you will see Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain and china referred to as Czech porcelain or Czech china. However, in my mind if one is referring to the time from 1918 to 1993, Czech porcelain is not as appropriate as Czechoslovakian porcelain.

Austrian porcelain or Austrian china is also appropriate for the earlier pieces because Bohemia was a part of Austria until 1918.

Other Marks & Clues: In addition to looking through references for specific mark dates, there are some other clues to dating. Country names can be helpful, as with Bohemian porcelain. Additionally, the country of origin has not always been on porcelain and can cause a great deal of confusion.

In 1890, the USA passed The McKinley Tariff Bill of 1890, which required the country name to be on imported merchandise. It was not until 1921 that the words “Made in” were required on imports to the USA.

However, in 1897, Britain instituted it trade laws through their British Merchandise Marks Act, that required imports be marked with country of origin. The law required the words “Made in …” or just the country name. This law also included British factories, not just imports.

Additionally, not all country of origin markings were impressed in the clay or inked on to the piece. Paper labels were used and it was also acceptable to mark the country on the packaging. Hence, it may have been marked according to the law, but the label or packaging is not long with the article. No country of origin does not mean it was made prior to 1887.

Furthermore, it is a logical assumption that a factory would produce a product for both the USA and the UK and not want to have country of origin marking systems and marked products in one manner that would satisfy both countries. Therefore, a porcelain piece with the words “Made in …” as well as the country of origin does not mean that it was manufactured after 1921. One needs to use other clues as well to determine a date.

An additional consideration is that not all pieces of porcelain brought to the country in which they are presently located came through International trade and as a result were not subject to various country of origin marking requirements. A great deal of the porcelain that is presently in the USA (and the UK) was brought here by immigrants and was purchased in a country of origin which may not have had a rule requiring it to be marked with the country name.

For example: Moritz Zdekauer 1894 - 1904

This mark has the words “made in …” which one might assume that it means it was made post 1921. However, the country name is “Austria.” This piece would have to have been marked “Czechoslovakia” of “Czecho-slovakia” if it were made after 1918 when the Bohemia became a part of the new country. Additionally, the references show this mark in use from 1894 to 1904.

I do not know the laws for country of origin marking requirement for countries other than the UK and USA. Other considerations for dating porcelain have to do with technical innovations. That is for another day.

Dating according to owner history. People write asking about porcelain that they inherited with dates given them. Often though, the dates provided are not correct. The former owner is probably not lying about the piece, rather the personal history has become muddled over time. For example, if it says Czechoslovakia, it was not made in the 1800's, regardless of when your great-great aunt got married or immigrated to the USA. The word Czecho-slovakia did not exist until 1918.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

How much is it worth?

Good question, yet there is no simple answer. When new, Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain was publicized as a less inexpensive, yet beautiful, and quality alternative to purchase compared to the more expensive porcelain from Vienna, Meissen, and England. Someone once wrote me that her grandmother bought her Fine Bohemian China with Green Stamps in the 1950's. Another writer told me her husband bought her china with eight place settings and serving dishes from a Western Auto store in 1963 for $39.95.

I spent a great deal of time on eBay watching all manufacturers of Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain, mostly dinnerware and tea sets. I did watch a few other items like figurines and vases. For me, the value is in its beauty and sentimentality. The prices on eBay are very low. Most dinnerware pieces sell for a few dollars for a few plates, cups, or bowls. Serving pieces sell for more. Tea sets or coffee sets with a pot, sugar, creamer, and 4 cups and saucers, will sell as a set. Complete dinner sets with service for eight sell for $25 to $100. I purchased 81 pieces of my Grandmother's china for $29.27, plus shipping. The exception to this is items that are heavily decorated with gold. Replacements Ltd and online dealers have individual pieces marked at very high prices. One cannot value a dinnerware set by totaling the price of individual pieces at Replacements.

If you need to complete a set of china, with patience and tenacity you can probably find missing pieces to your set on eBay for a few dollars. The difficulty is in finding it on eBay. The sellers on eBay do not title or describe the auction pieces correctly. You will need to do a broad search with several keywords, and then weed through hundreds of items looking for what you want. A tip, I will do one thorough search through everything then save the search with new listings displaying first instead of the eBay's default. Here is an ebay search for Bohemian and Czechoslovakian Porcelain dinnerware. You will get around 700 items. You can refine the search on eBay by eliminating certain factories, then save it as a Favorite in Internet Explorer. It is work to complete a set.

Beware, people's idea of condition differ a great deal. I was surprised at how faded the colors were or how worn the gold was on some pieces I bought. Additionally, people are lousy packers, regardless of what they say. I have received many chipped and broken pieces.

Furthermore, many amateur and professional sellers inaccurately describe the pieces as to date and factory, including sellers that have hundreds to thousands of positive feedbacks. This especially bothers me when the pieces are marked with Czechoslovakia and is represented as 1800's, or marked Czech Republic and listed as vintage. I have even seen it described as bone china when it is not.

Recently I saw a set listed on eBay for $5,000. The seller stated it was appraised for this amount and that it was circa 1914, yet the Mark on the porcelain stated "Czecho-slowakia." The whole listing had a bad feel, because it cannot be circa 1914 when Czechoslovakia was not a country until 1918, and the factory did not open until 1921. There were other mistakes in the listing as well. Was it a bad appraisal, or seller misstatements? The seller did not correct the listing when advised of the obvious errors.

Another seller had a plate listed as Imperial and Royal Porcelán Manufactory, Vienna date 1894 signed by Angelica Kauffmann, Victoria China. The mark was for the "Victoria" Schmidt & Co factory used between 1918 and 1939. The motif on the plate was a copy of a Kauffmann painting, with her name; on the back was bindenschild/beehive mark in addition to the Victoria mark. The seller immediately changed his listing. This is a good seller. I have now started a section on fakes; there is a button below.

Bad sellers are not just on eBay. I received an email from someone a while back where she had paid too much for her set of EPIAG china. She bought it in an antiques store in Palm Beach, Florida. The set was marked $250, she paid the price, but when she went to leave, the manager stopped her and said there was a mistake. He told her the set was appraised for $2,500. After much discussion, he agreed to sell it to her for $800, a price that is much greater than the value on the open market. She learned later that the appraiser had used Replacements' per piece price to value it.

Do not buy pieces that do not have a good clear photo of the mark.

Because Czechoslovakia ceased being a country January 1, 1993, some porcelain collectors say this will increase the value of Bohemian and Czechoslovakian porcelain, but it has not happened yet. Czechoslovakian porcelain of nearly any era and most factories is not worth a great deal of money, but holds a lot of interest and intrigue.

This is all I know about value. I am not an appraiser. I do not know how much your china is worth.

Selling on eBay

These are my observations for Bohemian dinnerware of any age (at the time of Austria or Czechoslovakia), except that which has been made in the last 20 or so years. I have spent the last four years watching it on eBay. I did some buying and a little selling.

Selling dinnerware as a set does not do well, even if you want to give it away for $25 to $50. I have seen a few dinnerware sets, I mean maybe 6 sets, sell for more than that. Those sold for $75 to $125, and one sold for $500 years ago.

Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate sets will sell as a set for $20 to $50. This is a pot, cream & sugar, and some with cups and saucers. Some sets include dessert (salad) plates.

Dinnerware needs to be sold by the piece or pairs of plates, bowls, etc. The serving dishes are sold individually, except cream and sugar. Place settings do not sell well, if at all.

One cannot determine the value of a dinnerware set by totaling the price of indivudual pieces on Replacements Ltd (or the other online replacement sites). In a listing, do not state this piece sells for $X on Replacements. It insults the buyer. The only reference to Replacements to use in a listing is their pattern number when the pattern does not have a name given by the factory.

The place setting pieces (plates, bowls, cups & saucers) may sell for 1/4 to 1/3 of Replacements' list prices if in excellent condition. The serving dishes may sell for less than 1/4 to 1/2 of the Replacements' price in excellent condition.

A few patterns will sell faster and at a slightly higher price than others will. For example Bohemia Ceramic Works Orchid/Iris pattern will usually sell on the first listing, so will Fine Bohemia China's pink daisies, no pattern name Replacements BOH66.

The exception to my comments about dinnerware pricing is the heavily gold encrusted pieces in the manner of Pickard or Pickard decorated pieces. I cannot say I have actually seen any dinnerware sets sold, but they are listed on eBay and auction houses for hundreds to thousands. The sets are fabulous, but ...

I think part of the problem with selling a full set is that it weighs so much and the shipping scares off buyers. China is heavy, and it can be big and bulky. A full dinnerware set can be a nightmare to ship. When selling china be sure to consider the cost and weight of packing materials before listing. It is helpful to have an estimated weight prior to listing so that your auction winner will not be surprised when s/he is charged $50 shipping for a $20 set. Eighty-one pieces of my Grandmother's china cost almost $50 to ship. One plate will cost about $7 with insurance.

Take the time to identify the factory, date made, and the pattern. In the listing include a description of the text and marks on the back of a piece, even though they are often not the factory name, date made, or the pattern.

In your listing, whether it be an eBay auction or another site have at least photos of the piece front and back, a close-up of the pattern, and a close-up of the mark. If there are any flaws or defects a close-up of them as well. You must have a very clear and readable image of the Mark! I skip many items because I don't want to bother writing the seller for more information. You need a very distinct image of the pattern on the piece and a close-up of the trim if it is more than a simple line. Try to describe the colors on the piece, color in images do not always appear on someone else's monitor as they do on yours. A flatbed scanner makes good images of flat pieces.

Selling to Replacements, I have had offers as low as 10% of their list price, and I pay the shipping. The shipping was more than the 10% they offered. However, if you have an extremely high priced piece, 10% may be a great opportunity. Will Replacements buy your pieces from you for lots of money, it is doubtful, but you can always ask.

On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

The Factories

As best I can discern, at one time or another, there were 92 factories in 61 villages and towns in Bohemia & Moravia areas of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Some of the factories were only open for a brief period. Not all factories exported porcelain. This counting of factories does not include porcelain decorating studios or earthenware factories that did not produce porcelain.

According to official Czech, documents in the 1850's there were 22 operating factories; in 1900, there were 61. In 1928 there were 77 factories employing 19,500 people producing 35,000 tons of porcelain annually. I do not know how many there are today.

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Where to next?
Explore the information on the Marks Table and the Factory Tables.
Some of your questions may be answered there.

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An alphabetical index of factory names, common names, and Mark words.
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There is factory information on the Marks Tables.
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Fakes & Frauds Angelica Kauffmann and other famous painters.
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Fakes & Frauds Royal Vienna & others.
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On this page: What is the story? - What is porcelain? - A Touch of History - Factory Marks - Dating Your Porcelain - How much is it worth? - The Factories

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References: (The links open in a new window.)
1Austro-Hungarian Empire Map: I've got to find it again.
2New Country Czechoslovakia: http://www.porges.net/porges/MapsPagesFolder/Czechoslovakia.html
3Bohemia Map: http://user.intop.net/~jhollis/breakupmap.html
4Moravia & Silesia Map: I've got to find it again.
51993 Break-up Map: http://user.intop.net/~jhollis/breakupmap.html
6Ceská Republika Map: http://www.biega.com/bohemia.html
7Slovák Republika Map: I've got to find it again.


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