Meissen Porcelain Figurine, ca. 1875
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:11)
Pottery & Porcelain
David Lackey Antiques & Art
GUEST: My husband was from Corpus Christi, Texas, and it was in his family. His father ran a drugstore in Corpus Christi, and his mother, Johnnie May, bought the luxuries. And she didn't hesitate to spend her money on luxuries.
APPRAISER: Well, this would have been a luxury to own back then. It would have been expensive at any time that you might have bought it. Now, how long have you had it?
GUEST: I've had it for 31 years.
APPRAISER: This piece is incredibly fragile, and there are lots of fingers and toes and arms and heads and plants and fish--there's a lot to break there. And there is virtually no damage. A tiny bit, but not much. Do you have an idea who may have made this?
GUEST: Well, I think it's Meissen, but I'm really not very cognizant of antique kind of things.
APPRAISER: This is a group with two female nudes, and here we have a baby-type figure in a net, trapped with fish, and another figure here. The detailing is exceptional. We can look at the faces, the coloring on the face, the eyes, the lips, the separation of the fingers is really quite good. The quality of the modeling and the quality of the painting tells me that this is Meissen. So let's look at the underside. We do have an appropriate Meissen mark. It's like two crossed swords, but at the ends of the swords and the hilts are two dots and that mark is generally thought to have been used between about 1850 and about 1924. And there's another really important number there, which is really hard to see. It's C-35, and that's the model number. So we can use that number to look this up and see which figurine this is. And the name of this figure is "The Capture of the Tritons." Which is from mythology, and Meissen did a lot of figures with mythologic type themes. Now, this was originally modeled by a famous modeler at Meissen named Kändler, and Kändler was active in the 18th century. But Meissen saved the molds, and they reused them over and over through the years. Now, based on the mark, we know that this was made between about 1850 and 1924. But in looking at the detailing and the coloring, I would date this to the last half of the 19th century. So the late 1800s would be when this was made, but it was over 100 years after it was originally modeled by Kändler for Meissen. Because of the age, because of the quality, I would estimate a retail value to be between $4,000 and $6,000. This is a quite nice example.
GUEST: Johnnie May would be very proud of that if she were living.
APPRAISER: She would, yes.
GUEST: Very nice, very nice. Thank you.
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