Determine porcelain: The 11 oldest manufactories

You've probably already had a plate in your hand and did not know whether it was worth a lot of money or not. Below we introduce the oldest porcelain manufactures and their trademarks.

How do you differentiate porcelain from other ceramics?

Porcelain is harder and more resistant than ceramics. But, of course, to distinguish porcelain from ceramics, you will not be hitting the plate on a table edge to see if it breaks. In addition, it may be that due to the fine processing of the plate still shatters, even if it is porcelain. Instead, there's another way to find out if you have china in front of you:
First of all, the color is important: porcelain is completely radiant white, a feature that has given it the name "white gold". Even if the porcelain is very old, it should not show any discoloration (once you have removed the dust and dirt layer).
In a second step, you can hold the object in front of a light source. Porcelain is slightly translucent and thus the light should be visible through the object. If that is not the case, you have no porcelain in front of you.

Determine the value of porcelain

Old, well-preserved porcelain can be worth several thousand euros. Decisive are the age, the manufacturer and the condition of the porcelain. Porcelain has been produced in Europe since 1708 (first in Germany), so there are porcelain objects that are one, two or even three hundred years old. Age can often be estimated on the basis of the trademark. Below we have put together a list of the eleven oldest German porcelain manufactories and their founding years as well as trademarks, which look back on a two to three hundred years of production

  • Meissen porcelain: 1710, crossed swords in cobalt blue
  • Highest porcelain manufactory: 1746, wheel with struts (a circle with six lines inside)
  • Porzellanmanufaktur Fürstenberg: 1747, a cobalt blue F with a crown above
  • Porzellanmanufaktur Nymphenburg: 1747, a shield with a crown above it, this trademark has been changed several times over the centuries several times. Learn more about it here.
  • Frankenthal Porcelain Manufactory: 1755, blue CT mark with crown above, hand painted. This porcelain manufactory was closed again in 1799. If you own porcelain from this manufactory, you have a real special piece.
  • Porzellanmanufaktur Gotha: 1757 - 1942, P (for pepper, surname of the founder) combined with a G (for Gotha) (many different variations exist)
  • Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg: 1758 - 1824, reestablished in 1919, between 1758 and 1793 telescoped mirrored C, partly with a crown above. 1793 - 1795 manuscript L, also partially crowned 1795 - 1805 crowned F, 1806 - 1816 crowned FR, 1816 - 1856 crowned WR, more information and pictures at Mirrored, nested, crowned C nowadays
  • Porzellanmanufaktur Veilsdorf: 1760, today Rauschert GmbH Technical Ceramics & Plastic Moldings
  • Kelsterbacher porcelain manufactory: 1761 - 1768
  • Oldest Volkstedter porcelain manufactory: 1762, mirrored letters with crown and the date of foundation underneath, oldest still producing porcelain manufactory Thuringia.
  • Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin: 1763, cobalt blue scepter. This brand has also been slightly modified several times over the course of history, as you can read here.

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