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Glass and Pottery Sellers’ Association - April 2006, Volume 32

What You Should Know About R. S. Prussia

by lost_spirits Bee


RSP Mold 14 (Medallion Mold), Center Decoration = FD6 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.

green wreath and red star with the initials R.S. and Prussia below the wreathAlthough 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.

FD85a in RSP Mold 349 or Lily-of-the-Valley Mold with Satin FinishExtensive 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.

“Winter” Portrait Bowl in RSP Mold 25 “Iris Mold” with Satin Finish 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.

RSP Hidden Image Mold HI 5 – Large Box, no markingsIn 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.

RSP Mold 305 with Satin Finish 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.

RSP Mold 601 “Egyptian Mold Shape” with Tiffany Finish 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.

FD79 “Calla Lilly” in RSP Mold 251 with a Satin FinishLastly, 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 Final High Bid - $1,358.33 Murillo’s “Dice Throwers” on Jewelled RSP Mold 207 Final High Bid -$1,580.55

"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.

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Featured Sellers

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.

somelikeithot!
roxannesebastian
rubycyn
 
cranberrymanor
gabla
fanoffenton
 
rose6735
the*godmother
278stuff
 
bpprat
marketpl
paddyandmax
 
thetreasuredbutterfly
 
 

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Member’s Pick: Check out this Website!

The world of Venini art glass
The World of Venini

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.

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Don’t You Wish You Had One of These?

by wgpaul Bill

Photo Courtesy of granne
Marcella by Libbey cut glass tray!

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!

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GPSA Tips

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.

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SHAZAAM!!

Shazaam

No reserve clearance sales, less than TWO DOLLARS!

GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of $1.99 or less. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a bargain from one of our reliable GPSA sellers! All sellers abide by the GPSA guidelines found on our home page.

Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!

To see Shazaam listings at any time, click here. Check back often — sellers add items all the time!

 

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Welcome New Members

We’re so happy to have you join us!!

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.

  • Serendipity_gift_boutique
  • cindu57
 
Welcome New Members
  • sigis_collectibles
  • debscornucopia
 

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