by lost_spirits Bee
When attending sales or auctions, those with a hand in porcelain sales can rarely resist the lure to purchase available R.S. Prussia pieces, especially when the price seems right. Remarkable in its beauty and quality, R.S. Prussia porcelain has been a growing popular collectible since the 1960s. While its collectors and antique dealers were growing in strong numbers, it also came to pass that a market for reproductions should also arise. With a growing demand for R.S. Prussia porcelain wares, the realization that there was a large volume of unmarked R.S. Prussia pieces, and the fake and fraudulent R.S. Prussia pieces on the rise, Mary Gaston recognized the need and practicality of organizing a uniform system for identifying and validating authentic R.S. Prussia pieces. To understand this process, first a clear definition of R.S. Prussia needs to be established.
Although it is commonly termed “R.S. Prussia,” it is correct to identify the wares as Reinhold Schlegelmilch, who founded the business around 1869 in Tillowitz, Germany. Reinhold’s business registered and utilized many trademark stamps, while the most recognized among them is the infamous green wreath and red star with the initials R.S. and Prussia below the wreath.
Extensive research by R.H. Capers and Leland and Carol Marple shows this mark was registered on March 27, 1905 in Germany and was no longer showing on wares by 1910. Unfortunately, this is the mark most commonly copied for fraudulent use on reproduction pieces. Though most fraudulent stamps are quite easy to detect, the original R.S. Prussia pieces are now safeguarded by the recognized system established by Gaston.
Gaston found that the Reinhold Schelgelmilch pieces had very distinctive molds and decorations. Gaston states in her First Series book that mold shape ware lines were assigned arbitrary numbers, such as RSP Mold 25. Molds were classified by object shape: Round or Flat, Vertical or Tall, Accessory, and Vases or Ferners. RSP Mold 25 (the very distinctive Iris Mold) will, in several books, include all cups, saucers, bowls, plates, chocolate pots, trays, bisquit jars, etc. which have been made in this specific mold. However, Gaston may assign the Iris Mold of RSP 25 to the round and horizontal objects, such as bowls, plates, or trays and reissue another mold number as RSP Mold 628 to the vertical objects, such as chocolate pots, creamers, sugar bowls, etc., also in the Iris Mold. A wide variety of decorations were used on the Reinhold Schelgelmilch wares. Gaston divided these decorations into figurals, portraits, scenic, animals, and floral. Because floral decorations were the greatest number produced, Gaston attempted to assign floral decoration numbers to the most common floral patterns. They will appear as FD16, FD50, etc. (FD = Floral Decoration). Some decorations have no numbers but will have names. One should not become disconcerted if a decoration number or name is not found within the books or catalogs provided the mold is located and identified within the unified system.
In keeping with the excellent identification system begun by Gaston, the Marples continued with the mold numbering and pattern numbering system in their later research. In their books, one will find RS Steeple mold numbers, OM numbers (OM = Old Mold), and HI for the Hidden Image molds. In the early Prussia pieces, the Marples have numbered common floral decorations using the prefix OT for Outline Transfer.
Whether a piece is clearly marked with a Reinhold Schlegelmilch trademark or is completely unmarked, one can identify and validate an R.S. piece by matching its mold to one of the mold numbers researched and documented by Gaston or the Marples. When possible, decoration identifications further assist in the validation of the piece.
As a porcelain buyer and/or seller, you would expect that some molds and decorations will be the rarest, the most prized among the collectors, and the most valued in their worth. Bird and animal decorations are among the rarest to be found. Figural and portrait decorations can fetch a high price as well. Hidden Image molds are very scarce. As seen with Nippon porcelain, cobalt glazes increase the value of R.S. Prussia pieces. One such feature of R.S. pieces in determining their worth is their glaze finish. A satin finish (as opposed to a glossy finish) gives the piece a softer, muted look, which increases the value of the piece. The most valuable finish to a piece is the Tiffany finish, which is a metallic iridescent finish made popular by Louis Tiffany in his wares during the Art Nouveau era. The Tiffany look on R.S. Prussia pieces is most often produced in a satin finish.
Lastly, when I assist in identifying R.S. Prussia pieces for others, I advise them to always cite the references where the mold, decoration, and dating information has been found to validate the piece. Serious collectors are looking for Gaston’s and the Marples’ systems as their authentication. By citing the sources, it confirms the piece has been properly researched for its validation, especially when a piece has no markings.
Because these are such specific facts to know about your R.S. Prussia pieces, I encourage anyone without access to this information to post their items on the PGP and GPSA boards with “R.S. Prussia” in their title. It is always a pleasure to research, locate the history, identification, and the value of those pieces. With proper identification and validation, the value can sometimes be a pleasant surprise, as was the case for new eBay seller, Ann Marie, and her client when the auctions ended. Wishing you happy hunting!
"Murillo’s “Dice Throwers” on Jewelled RSP Mold 207
tray - Final High Bid -$1,580.55;
bowl - Final High Bid - $1,358.33
PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.
Recently featured sellers in the GPSA from February were somelikeithot!, roxannesebastian, rubycyn, and cranberrymanor, in March: gabla, fanoffenton, rose6735, and the*godmother, and in April: 278stuff, bpprat, marketpl, paddyandmax, and thetreasuredbutterfly. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.
Paolo Venini, a Milanese lawyer, and Giacomo Cappellin, a Venetian antiques dealer, founded a company to manufacture decorative objects together with Andrea Rioda, a master glassblower and a handful of other glassmakers, like those of the Barovier family. Read more about Venini by clicking this beautiful amethyst vase.
by wgpaul Bill
This absolutely stunning American Brilliant Period cut glass tray is in the Marcella pattern by Libbey. Its 12.5” diameter which makes it an absolute eye-catcher. Clearly marked with the Libbey sword mark, it dates to circa 1898. It was offered on eBay recently by eBay member graanne. It sold for $9,600. Our congratulations on a great sale of a beautiful piece of glass!
It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!
Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?
We share a few practical tips on photo taking and packing to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!
Here's several clever phishing schemes received from some of our members in the last several months in attempts to retrieve eBay passwords and other security concerns. As eBay states: Only enter your eBay password on pages where the Web address (URL) begins with https://signin.ebay.com/. Even if the Web address contains the word "eBay", it may not be an eBay Web page.
- Well, I just gave away my eBay password on a clever email which looked exactly like it had been sent through the eBay "My Messages" system. It was requesting shipping information on an item. I went to view the item, by clicking on the item URL, and was asked to sign in (stupid me) which I did. Only then did I notice the URL at the top of my browser was not right!! So then the big scramble to change my password before they got a hold of it!! Fortunately, I got there first.
- I received not one but two clever phishing scams today. The first looks like the question to seller form and says "I am still waiting for my package. What happened? E-mail me right away or I will report you to eBay." It was quite authentic looking and included a buyer name and eBay ID. The only thing was, there was no item # mentioned. Nonetheless I went back through my sales looking for this buyer and he was not there. I checked My eBay Messages and the message was not present. The phish had a Respond Now button in it but I did not click it. I reported this to email@example.com and they have verified that it did not originate from them.
- The second one looked like the item dispute resolution form. It let me know that the deadline for a dispute resolution was drawing near and had buttons to click to respond. This one was easier to spot as a phish as it addressed me by a username that is not mine and said that the dispute was filed four months ago. Ebay has also verified that this did not originate from them.
- Please be careful, it seems these phishing spoofs are becoming more sophisticated. They use copied eBay graphics and mimic actual eBay emails that you might receive.
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The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in January and February 2006. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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