KPM Porcelain Plaque, ca. 1890

Value (2013) | $3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction

This was my grandmother's. It always hung in her living room. It was her very favorite piece. I don't know a whole lot about it, but she always called it her "lovely lady." I knew it was old, and also my grandmother always said of all of her pieces, that was the one that was worth keeping. My dad always wanted to toss it out. He thought it looked old-fashioned and not very interesting. And just because it was old and I know absolutely nothing about it, I thought, "Okay, well, let's bring it in and see if we can find anything out."

When it first came in, we were looking at it and said, "This is interesting." It was something we knew like, okay, well, how does this go together? And we see down at the bottom it says Fr. Till Dresden. In this particular case, it's the artist's signature for Franz Till, who was working in Dresden at the time. And it struck us because there's something about this image that we all remember. We said, "Where have we seen that before?" We took it out of the frame and brought it out here. If you look all the way down here, we can see a scepter mark and the letters K.P.M., the most famous of the tile makers. They're the preeminent ones. Very classic K.P.M. style. Now let's bring it back around. The style of this dictates it is very late 19th century. The whole thing's hand-painted, beautifully done. And if... we spent a little time researching, we said, "Absolutely, this in fact is Josephine, Napoleon's wife, coming down the stairs." But this face was different. And so what more than likely in this particular case happened was somebody custom-ordered their plaque from K.P.M. They said we want this particular pose.


And then they had their head put on it because that's not Josephine.

(chuckles) That's wild.

So any idea what it might be worth?

I don't have a clue of what it might be worth. Couple hundred dollars, I really don't know.

Well, if you sold it at auction today, I think a conservative estimate would be between $3,000 and $4,000.

Really? Wow. That's great.

Because it's a nice large size, size always matters when it comes to K.P.M. tiles. Very nicely done, wouldn't surprise me if you got a little more than that, but it's a beautiful plaque and thanks for bringing it in.

Oh, you're very welcome. Thanks for the information. Dad would be shocked. I'm glad he didn't throw it away. (chuckling)

No, me too.

Appraisal Details

Quinn's Auction Galleries
Falls Church, VA
Appraised value (2013)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Detroit, MI (June 01, 2013)

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