Identification and Price guides for Antiques & Collectibles

Members Log-In


ONION PATTERN CHINAWARE & PORCELAIN
Appraisal Values & Pricing Factors


Join the most updated and complete collectibles research online - Learn more...

ONION PATTERN MEISSEN FIGURAL PORCELAIN, late 19thCAlthough the Onion Pattern on chinaware has a definitive Oriental appearance, its origins are from 18thC Germany, when Johan David Kretschmar, a mid-18thC designer at Meissen, created this decorative motif in an effort to imitate the then popular Chinese Ming tradition on imported porcelain. It is characterized by thin lines & shapes that were meant to resemble pomegranate and/or peach fruits and foliage, but which somehow were interpreted as onion bulbs by early buyers and the name stuck. In fact, the official name for this pattern was ZWIEBELMUSTER, which literally means Bulb Pattern in German.

Several other chinaware companies and porcelain factories quickly emulated the same design in slight variations, most notably the Eichawld Factory [now Cesky Porcelan in present-day Dubi, Czech Republic], since 1885 and as subcontracted and marked by Meissen, Enoch Wedgwood since the 1870s in the UK referred to as the Meissen Pattern, Kahla, Hutschenreuther, Rosenthal, and more recently a Japanese version known as the Blue Danube Pattern. As always with very popular patterns, later reproductions also abound, made by many generic porcelain factories in the Far East and which are often of good quality.

Pink, green and even black or gilt Onion Pattern chinaware have been readily produced, but the most original and desirable color for this design has been blue - hence the common reference to it as Blue Onion or Blau Zwiebelmuster in German. Forms & shapes include just about anything that can be made in porcelain, with Tableware being definitely the most abundant. Porcelain figurines, decorative centerpieces, porcelain clocks & garnitures, lamps, vases, compotes, cutlery handles, porcelain boxes, and nowadays even coffee mugs, are just some of the other imaginative ways of celebrating this ornamental style.

The Transferware [decals] technique has been the most prevailing method to decorate blank-ware with the Onion Pattern at most factories' manufacturing settings, which always also requires some hand-painting for enhancing the finer features and to also integrate the individual details in a harmonious overall visual concept. Skilled modelers and artisans train for several months and in some instances years, before engaging in the fine art of finishing and balancing the various stylistic elements that make up this pattern.

In spite of its widespread popularity and the corresponding increase in production, both in volume as well as in its variety of items, the Onion Pattern has maintained high prices at auction when sold as a collectible, especially so for authentic and older Meissen examples. Large size and uniqueness in shape are very important pricing factors, with rarer specimens valued the most and as expected. For porcelain tableware & chinaware, completeness of a Set is critical and of course, the condition is paramount as such objects would have normally been in use and frequently somewhat damaged if not cared or stored properly.

Below are some examples from our Pricing Guides with many examples of related to items in the Onion Pattern.

Examples of related items from our Price Guides

































There are many more auction results available to our members...

Sign Up

Explore other items from our
Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide

  • NINE GERMAN MEISSEN PORCELAIN PLATES, in
    the "Blue Onion" pattern. Includes 8 dinner plates, 9.75" D, and 1 luncheon plate, 9" D. Marked with the Meissen crossed sword trademark underfoot. Condition Report ... [more like this]
  • SET OF SEVENTEEN GERMAN MEISSEN PORCELAIN
    PLATES, in the Blue Onion pattern, includes 6 dinner plates, 9.75" D; together with 11 luncheon plates, 8.75" D. Meissen trademarks underfoot. Condition Report ... [more like this]
  • Six Meissen porcelain plates in the Blue
    Onion pattern. Marked on base. 10"Diam. Very good condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. ... [more like this]
  • Six Meissen porcelain plates in the Blue
    Onion pattern. Marked on base. 10"Diam. Very good condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. ... [more like this]
  • Set of nine Meissen porcelain plates in the
    ''Blue Onion'' pattern 20th century; cross sword mark 9 3/4 in. Diam. Estimate $ 100-200 Appropriate wear. ... [more like this]
  • SET OF ELEVEN MEISSEN PORCELAIN PLATES With
    underglaze blue crossed swords mark; each with serpentine gilt edge and sprinkled with floral stems. 9 5/8 in. diam. Estimate $ 250-350 ... [more like this]
  • TWO MEISSEN PORCELAIN PLATES decorated in
    blue (one AF), together with a pair of Chinese soapstone candlesticks, carved in the form of deer, a silver mounted inkwell etc ... [more like this]
  • Lot of nine Meissen and other reticulated
    porcelain plates in the ''Blue Onion'' pattern. Includes (3) Meissen 7'' reticulated plates (marked on base with blue double crossed swords with double cancellation/slash ... [more like this]
  • Grouping of Seven (7) Antique Meissen Porcelain
    Tablewares Tablewares. Includes: 3 blue and white pierced plates, floral d├ęcor cup and saucer, gilt handled candle holder, and Meissen gilt handle leaf form dish. Crossed ... [more like this]
  • Four Meissen porcelain chargers. Includes:
    cobalt blue with gilded leaf design white & gilt dragon motif plate a gilt commemorative plate dated 1898 and a blue/white/gilt swirl design plate. All marked with Meissen ... [more like this]
  • Assembled Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Partial
    Dinner Service In the Blue Fluted Half Lace Plain pattern, comprising six dinner plates, six salad plates, six dessert plates, five bread plates and a similar plate, rim ... [more like this]
  • Meissen porcelain figural group ''The ApplePickers''
    together with a Meissen porcelain plate with scalloped rim and floral decoration. Both with cross swords mark in blue under glaze as well as incised and over glaze numerals. ... [more like this]
  • A Set of Thirteen Meissen Porcelain Plates
    Diameter 9 7/8 inches. marcolini period, 18th/19th century each centered with a floral spray flanked by reserves formed of rocaille enclosing a bird, with crossed swords ... [more like this]
  • A Meissen Porcelain Dish Width 12 3/4 inches.
    : A Meissen Porcelain Dish . 20th century . of openwork oval form, the white and cobalt ground with gilt highlights, having a crossed swords mark in underglaze blue and with ... [more like this]
  • Group of 4 Early Meissen Plates: Group of
    four 18th and 19th c. Meissen porcelain plates. All hand painted with floral and fruit motifs. Three with gilded edges. All marked with the Meissen crossed swords mark in ... [more like this]
  • Set of Twelve Meissen Porcelain Plates:
    Set of Twelve Meissen Porcelain Plates Blue crossed sword marks. 9 3/4 in. diam. p>Property from the Estate of Mrs. C. Douglas Dillon Condition Minor wear and in good condition. ... [more like this]
  • ASSEMBLED GROUP OF FOURTEEN MEISSEN PORCELAIN
    TABLEWARES IN THE "BLUE ONION" PATTERN Comprising: 1 - 15 in. tureen and cover; 1 - 18 1/2 in. platter; 2 - 10 in. plates; 2 - 9 in. plates; 5 - 6 1/4 in. plates; 2 - 8 in. ... [more like this]
  • LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY MEISSEN PORCELAIN
    SHALLOW BOWL, painted in puce enamel and gilt with stylised floral sprays, underglaze blue crossed swords mark, 10 1/2" diameter, also an EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY MEISSEN ... [more like this]
  • 367. A Delicate Meissen Sweetmeat Dish A
    Meissen porcelain dish, approx. 7-1/2" x 5-5/8", decorated with sprays of tiny flowers, gilt rim, blue underglaze marks on the underside. 50/75 Sold: $57.50 ... [more like this]
  • A Meissen porcelain dish of shaped outline
    moulded in relief with fruiting vine border the centre enamelled in colours with 'Deutsche Blumen' 10.5ins diameter x 2ins high and one other Meissen circular plate with gilt ... [more like this]

This list is limited to only a few results.
Many more items are available to our members through our Price Guides!

Ideal research tools for Collectors, Personal Property Appraisers, Antiques & Collectibles Dealers, Auction Houses, Museums, eBayers or other online sellers (Rubylane, Etsy etc) and curious minds interested in appraising & identifying collectibles

Sign Up

Easy & Visual methods to Identify & Appraise Antiques & Collectibles



Sign Up

Helping our members since 2004




Privacy, Terms and Conditions
Copyrighted Material - All rights reserved.