Identification and Price guides for Antiques & Collectibles

Members Log-In
Forgot Password?

ROYAL VIENNA PORCELAIN - Historical notes, values & marks

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

royal Vienna urns with beehive mark
ROYAL VIENNA is the generic name given to items made in a particular decorative style reminiscent of Renaissance paintings and sculptures. Strong elements of Greek Classicism are almost always present and the color palette seems to be dominated by soft hues and romantic vibrancy. In this article and in the context of antiques & collectibles, Royal Vienna appears mostly in the form of Porcelain such as Portrait Plates, Urns & Vases, and elegant Chinaware. Most bear a likeness of what is widely referred to in English-speaking countries as the beehive mark, which is actually an upside-down representation of the original bindenschild or Royal Shield found in the center of the Royal Crest of the Hapsburg [or Habsburg] Royal Family of 18thC Vienna, Austria.

The Hapsburg Royal Family mentored the Imperial & Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Vienna that lasted between 1718 to 1864. They produced exceptional porcelain second to none and equivalent in quality and artistic craftsmanship to their major contemporary competition such as MEISSEN and SEVRES. Original and authentic Royal Vienna porcelain from the Hapsburg era are now found only in major Museums and very fine private collections. The vast majority of items we now call Royal Vienna were made ca early 19thC onwards by many companies around the world.

The original and authentic Imperial & Royal Vienna "beehive mark" on porcelain is never symmetrical and always underglaze in blue or impressed, with very few exceptions. However, the most common beehive mark used on items in the same style, but made ca 19thC onwards, appears in all sorts of variations, sometimes with the English words for "Royal Vienna" as shown in our Ceramics marks guides. Many of these beehive marks are characteristic enough and well documented so that they can be accurately attributed to specific companies or porcelain decorating studios. Yet, some are very generic and are often observed on Importers' logos and trademarks, without any particular reference to the exact studio they came from. In either case, most have also been tabulated as to at least their age and general region of origin, mostly Europe. Our Ceramics Guides also include marks found on the numerous very recent reproductions of Royal Vienna styled porcelain made in China and other Southeastern countries.

The vast majority and most desired Royal Vienna porcelain items are those made around 1870s to 1930s. This period witnessed the peak of their production by hundreds of companies & porcelain studios. Most of these companies & studios were located in Austria, Germany, France and the general region of Bohemia (Central Europe). For some unknown reason, English & Italian makers, who also had a very developed porcelain industry at that time, did not actively participate in the fray of producing pieces in the Royal Vienna style, at least not in any appreciable numbers.

Auction prices for Royal Vienna porcelain are usually high and consistent. The popularity of this style remains robust and older pieces may easily fetch several hundreds of US dollars. Some examples from our Antiques Price Guides are shown below.

Gilding and elaborate border designs, and sometimes even Ormolu or Metal Mounts, were frequent decorative details that enhanced the superb painting and colors on Royal Vienna antiques. Almost all Royal Vienna porcelain was meant primarily for display and adoration, with the notable exception of some super-fine chinaware, that most likely is used quite rarely and on very auspicious occasions. Some of the painted features, especially on Royal Vienna Portrait Plates were signed by an artist, most often on the front and visible side. However, many of these artists' names are either undocumented or utterly fake, sometimes referring to real artists who however were active painters on canvas many decades or a century earlier. A fairly common example is for the Neoclassical painter Angelica Kauffman [1741 - 1807], whose signature seems to be present on many Royal Vienna Plates made ca 1890s - 1920s. This example is indicative of the fact that most of these signatures were more of a reference to the artistic style, as in "after" Kauffman, rather than trying to tell us that these items were actually hand-painted by the same or similarly famous artist.

For more information, please see Royal Vienna porcelain and the Beehive mark.

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

  • Inca Silver Portrait Kero: Pre-Columbian,
    Peru, Highlands region, Inca, ca. 1400 to 1500 CE. A wonderful example of a portrait kero (also quero) that is mold-formed from a sheet of high-grade (96. 5%) silver. The ... [more like this]
  • Joan Littlewood, Theatre Royal Stratford,
    E15. Plain postcard to Francis Bacon postmarked 31st May 1967 Stratford E15, inscribed on reverse "But Francis you need not watch the show come and drink in the bar JL'"; ... [more like this]
  • Drink Royal Crown Cola Advertising Tin Sign:
    . United States, 20th Century. Rectangular tin sign that reads "Take Home Drink Royal Crown Cola In Cartons". Tin, 16" x 14 1/4", . From the collection of Russell Buteau, ... [more like this]
  • Exhibited Greek Bronze Applique - Dionysiac
    Herakles: Greece, Hellenistic, ca. 3rd to 2nd century BCE. Finely cast via the lost wax (cire perdue) process a leaded bronze applique depicting a Dionysiac Herakles in relief, ... [more like this]
  • Maya Pottery Incised Cylinder Vessel w/ Fish:
    Pre-Columbian, Mexico and northern Central America, Maya Territories, Late Classic, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A gorgeous pottery vessel presenting a column-like body, inward-curving ... [more like this]
  • 1936 Royal Crown Cola Embossed Advertising
    Sign: Featured in this lot we have a Royal Crown Cola embossed tin advertising sign originating from 1936. The sign shows tin construction with a red and yellow background ... [more like this]
  • Royal Worcester porcelain figure drinking
    gypsy James Hadley circa 1890 standing worker drinking from pitcher modeled by Hadley gilt and enamel decoration incised signature and printed mark. H16'' Provenance: Estate ... [more like this]
  • Clear cut drinking glasses to include six
    tumblers, six snifters, other wines etc and a carafe, all with vertical cut detail together with further drinking glasses, Royal Doulton ceramic cups and saucers, together ... [more like this]
  • A large Falconware The Glen pattern jar and
    cover with Art Deco style stylised tree decoration in tones of orange, green and yellow (to be used as a lamp base) together with a Royal Crown Derby Red Aves pattern bowl ... [more like this]
  • Royal Doulton Kingsware Jug. : Royal Doulton┬áJug
    of Jolly Gent Drinking, with its original cork stopper. Marked Royal Doulton. Condition: Excellent Dimenisons: Height-8" Diameter-6" ... [more like this]
  • ROYAL CROWN COLA COOLER. Progress metal cooler
    with interior tray, swing handle, reinforced top corners, and a drain plug. Sides embossed "Drink Royal Crown Cola Best By Taste Test". Progress Refrigerator Co., Louisville, ... [more like this]
  • Crimean War.- Ward (Francis Beckford Major
    Royal Artillery commanded a troop of the Royal Horse Artillery in the Crimea senior British officer in action at the Battle of Tchernaya in support of the Sardinians 16 August ... [more like this]
  • A collection of various Pottery and Glassware
    to include Eight Royal Doulton Royal Gold Dinner Plates Various Tea Wares and Drinking Glasses ... [more like this]
  • Royal Doulton Figure Premiere HN2343 (seconds)
    and Royal Doulton Drinks for the Boys C3 ... [more like this]
  • McCLELLAND BARCLAY. Royal Crown Ginger Ale.
    Oil on canvas. 1016x762 mm; 40x30 inches. Signed in image (along model's left ankle). Glue remnant on recto (where camera-ready text was placed), mounted on original stretcher ... [more like this]
  • Nehi & Royal Crown Cola Kelvinator Cooler This
    yellow and red top opening, refrigerated, Kelvinator floor model vending machine shows some wear but in great condition overall. Interior is perfect for wet or dry storage. ... [more like this]
  • Royal Crown Embossed Tin Sign In Frame This
    single sided yellow sign with red and blue lettering reads "Drink Royal Crown". Reverse shows some rust and unfinished wood frame is in very good condition. Condition (Very ... [more like this]
  • 20th C. art pottery, five pieces: maroon
    Fulper handled candlestick holder, marked "Fulper" on base, 2 1/4" h. x 5" diam.; Royal Rudolstadt, Germany amphora-style vase, painted landscape decoration on base, marked ... [more like this]
  • A collection of ceramics including a pair
    of 18th century blue and white printed saucers with fruit and floral sprig decoration, probably Worcester, with crescent marks to reverse, a Sevres blue ground cabinet cup ... [more like this]
  • A collection of Royal Doulton Carnation pattern
    dinner and tea wares number H5084 comprising an oval serving plate, an oval serving bowl, circular cake serving plate, ten dinner sized plates, cake plate, milk jug, covered ... [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.