Spotting knock offs in the antique world takes a trained eye and some helpful tips. There are different rules for different makers and Vienna porcelain is no exception. In fact Vienna porcelain is the second most copied porcelain after Meissen. It doesn't help that many people refer to this porcelain as "Royal Vienna" which lends itself to confusion from the very beginning. There was not a company ever called Royal Vienna. The "Royal Vienna" everyone refers to is actually made by a company called the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Factory in Vienna, Austria from 1748-1864. The most important tip to spotting a fake piece of Vienna porcelain is to look at the makers mark and make sure it is right side up. The Vienna porcelain makers mark is many times referred to as the "beehive" mark when in reality it should only look this way when the piece is turned upside down which only further adds to the confusion. Other basic rules to help avoid imitation pieces include the following tips:
- Genuine pieces of Vienna porcelain will not be marked "Royal Vienna", "Vienna" or "Wein"
-Genuine pieces will not be marked "Austria" within the base mark
-Authentic pieces will never be marked Germany or Czechoslovakia
-There should not be base marks of other importers or companies
-Pieces marked "Angelica Kauffmann" are not authentic
-Impressed numbers other than 0-60, 84-99, and 800-864 and years 1784-1864 are hints of a forged piece
-Pieces with heavily decorated mythological and historical scenes with descriptions of scenes on the bottom many times in cursive or scripted writing are signs of a knock off
-Numbers over 155 painted in a color overglaze or numbers over 27 in a blue underglaze are not number marks of the Vienna porcelain factory
Keep in mind that just because you may be holding an imitation doesn't mean the piece should be rendered as worthless. Many of these pieces may still be well made and of high quality, just not authentic Vienna porcelain.
Sign up for home decor tips, updates on the latest vintage finds, and more.....
Enjoy FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100