Popped into my neighborhood Goodwill today and picked up this little porcelain item…which I think may be a mini chocolate pot. When I flipped it over I knew the crossed swords were from a famous German company, but I couldn’t remember which one. Even though there was some damage on the spout in a couple of places, for $4.00 I had to buy it.
Later I discovered the mark was for Meissen, circa 1774-1814!
But, wait, is this the real deal or a fake? Meissen marks have been copies for centuries. In fact this particular mark–crossed swords with a star underneath–alas is one of the more imitated. (The impressed 24 may refer to a “thrower’s” number.)
I’m trying to find other clues as to authenticity and age. The flower finial and the scattered flower design are Meissen-esque and using my jeweler’s loupe I can see that the flowers and people are hand painted. From “Antiquing for Dummies” I found:
If you like early Meissen but don’t want to pay a king’s ransom for it, saucers are a good way to ease into Meissen collecting. An early saucer, mid-18th century, might have a gently gilded edge, a sweet pastoral scene, and have crossed swords on the back and possibly an impressed number.
As my piece purports to be from the 18th century, I was glad to see that it fits this description in every way.
One conundrum is this hole above the handle. Typically if a chocolate pot had a hole it would be at the top of the lid for the use of a wood frothing tool called a molinet.
Why is this hole here??
Well, after a couple of hours of internet research I still don’t feel settled about this piece. Not at all. My next step is to see if my library has any books on Meissen porcelain.
How about you…any finds that have driven you slightly mad??