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Appraisal values for ARMORIAL PORCELAIN

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Armorial porcelain enameled tankardARMORIAL PORCELAIN refers to any porcelain decorated with Crests or Heraldic motifs. Most Armorial Porcelain items are in the form of a Display Plate or larger porcelain Chargers and also as general chinaware & tableware. Most armorial porcelain decoration includes the depiction of animals or birds, often mythical or enhanced with extra powers and in extraordinary poses, and also heavy symbolism that denotes power or elevated social status. Noble or wealthy families in late Medieval Europe had chinaware and other items made to bear their Family Crest, also referred to as a Coat of Arms. Originally most Armorial dinnerware were made of earthenware, but as porcelain became more prevalent and accessible in Europe, this type of individual or custom decoration became more popular. Most such Armorial Porcelain decoration is applied using Transfer-ware techniques (decal) and very rarely completely by hand.

Chinese Armorial Porcelain was imported to Europe as early as the 16thC and much later to America. Imports increased substantially around mid 18thC onwards, until Chinese export porcelain was slowly replaced with service and dinnerware sets made wholly in Europe, particularly from Germany, United Kingdom, and France. Some Italian Armorial Porcelain also made its appearance but to a lesser extent. The vast majority of Armorial Porcelain plates or larger items with ample display surface had a customized Coat of Arms or Family Crest only on one side and near the rim, in prominent colors, but proportionally sized. A few, and the most desired of all for serious collectors of Armorial Porcelain are the plates or items that have extensive and oversized decoration, often with relief work or special decorative features, that span the majority of any available visible surface.

Some Armorial Crests include only a distinct monogram and some gilded simple scrolling or border decoration, but the most significant ones had a full ensemble of extensive symbolism and intricate boastful fantasy designs. There are several resources on the web to decipher these symbols and many of them are quite universal; however, it is the specific combination of these symbols on Armorial Porcelain that makes them unique and also attributable to a specific family or official organization of a certain period or locale.

When appraising Armorial Porcelain it is important to consider any specific provenance that may be known and/or documented. If available, the history of an item's ownership can help in fetching good prices at auction and your Armorial or Crested porcelain would be appraised the highest. See below for some examples from our Antiques Price Guides..

Furthermore, if your Armorial Porcelain was made by a reputable porcelain company such as Meissen, Sevres, Coalport, Chelsea, Lille and others, and it is authentic, then it is even more valuable and desired by collectors. Makers marks on Armorial Porcelain or to authenticate porcelain marks in general, can be found in our Porcelain & Pottery Marks Guides.

Nowadays, the monogramming of plates and general tableware is a remnant of this practice, but it is done in a less prominent manner and with almost no additional design features or drawings of mythical creatures and power symbols. It is found less and less on Porcelain and now mostly on monogrammed Silverware or Cutlery.

Examples of related items from our Price Guides

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  • Twenty Books on Chinese Export Art, including
    Howard and Ayers, China for the West (2 vols.); Litzenburg, Chinese Export Porcelain...Reeves Center; Veiga, Chinese Export Porcelain...Brazilian Collections; Sargent, Treasures ... [more like this]
  • CHINESE EXPORT ART BOOKS The Book of Famille
    Rose, G.C. Williamson; Oriental Lowestoft: Chinese Export Porcelain, J.A. Lloyd Hyde; Chinese Porcelain: Pleasures and Treasures, Anthony Du Boulay; China Trade Porcelain, ... [more like this]
  • Twenty-one Books on Chinese Export Art, including
    Jorg and van Campen, Chinese Ceramics...Rijksmuseum; Rinaldi, Kraak Porcelain; Howard, Choice of the Private Trader; Forbes, Chinese Silver; and National Museum of History, ... [more like this]
  • Group of Eighteen Pieces of Oriental Porcelain,
    consisting of a Ming Dynasty provincial porcelain plate in azure overglaze featuring a sampan and a calligraphic stanza, first quarter 17th century, dia. 8"; a boxed set of ... [more like this]
  • Six Volumes Related to Chinese Export Porcelain:
    Six Volumes Related to Chinese Export Porcelain . Including: . David Sanctuary Howard, Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Faber and Faber Limited, London, 1974; Jean McClure Mudge, ... [more like this]
    books. 1) Palmer, A., Winterthur Guide to Chinese Export Porcelain. 2) Hobson, R.L., Chinese Pottery and Porcelain. Softcover. 3) Schiffer, H. et al, Chinese Export Porcelain. ... [more like this]
  • Chinese Export Porcelain Dish and an Asian
    Export Porcelain Plate: Export Porcelain Plate The Chinese dish with six character mark within a double blue circle and decorated with Adam & Eve, the Asian dish with 'Deshima ... [more like this]
    BOOKS. Collecting Chinese Export Porcelain Elinor Gordon hardcover.; Chinese Export Porcelain An Historical Survey edited by Elinor Gordon paperback.; Encyclopaedia of ... [more like this]
  • (lot of 19) Collection of books relating
    to Chinese export porcelain, including The Choice of the Private Trader, by David S to Chinese export porcelain, including The Choice of the Private Trader, by David S. ... [more like this]
  • 11 Assorted Chinese Porcelain Items 1st
    item: Chinese Blanc De Chine porcelain center bowl with archaistic figural dragon handles and blue six character Yung Cheng mark within two concentric circles to the base. ... [more like this]
  • Nine-Piece Collection of Porcelain, including
    a Spode ironstone dessert plate in the chinoiserie taste, first quarter 19th century; a Staffordshire rouge-de-fer transfer-printed porcelain deep saucer in "Peking" decor, ... [more like this]
  • Pair of Chinese Export Porcelain Famille
    Verte Shallow Bowls and a Pair of Chinese Export Porcelain Plates: Verte Shallow Bowls and a Pair of Chinese Export Porcelain Plates. bowl diameter: 9 in. , plate diameter: ... [more like this]
  • Chinese Export Famille Rose Porcelain Teacup
    and Saucer and a Chinese Export Porcelain Saucer: and Saucer and a Chinese Export Porcelain Saucer The teacup and saucer decorated for the European Market with a nursing ... [more like this]
  • Chinese Export Canton Famille Rose Porcelain
    Serving Dish Made for the Cuban Market: Serving Dish Made for the Cuban Market Made for the Herrera family decorated with a jeweled crown. 7 1/4 in. wide. Note: Commissioned ... [more like this]
  • An assembled grouping of porcelain table
    articles 18th/19th/20th century Comprising Chinese Export porcelain tureen with animal head handles and flower finial decorated in the famille rose palette, length between ... [more like this]
    PORCELAIN FROM THE MUSEUM OF ANASTACIO GONCALVES LISBON colour plates, half title, dust jacket, 1996, C J A Jorg - Chine de Commande from the Royal Museums of Art and History ... [more like this]
  • CHINESE ART BOOKS Chinese Export Porcelain
    In North America, J. M. Mudge; The Copeland Colletion: Chinese and Japanese Ceramic Figures, The Peabody Museum of Salem; Chinese Art: Collection of Yamanaka & Company, American ... [more like this]
  • 2 Chinese Export porcelain blue Fitzhugh
    porcelain plates, 8" d, with a blue Export porcelain bowl, 6 1/2" d, and a 9" blue Export porcelain floral plate, no chips or cracks Estimate $150-250 ... [more like this]
  • Pair Chinese Export Watson armorial plates
    circa 1770 scalloped and floral decorated rim surmounted by crest of Admiral John WATSON over spearhead band centering floral spray. Dia.9" Provenance: The J. Louis Binder ... [more like this]
  • Sixty-Three Pieces of Blue-and-White Porcelain,
    including a fifty-five-piece Spode pottery partial dinner service for eight persons, in "Italian" decor; a Nanking Chinese Export porcelain plate in "Lakeside Pavilions" decor; ... [more like this]

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