Welcome to Katy's Corner!
Here we talk about different aspects of antiques and collecting. You can also follow me as I go to antique shows and shops!
If I want to buy an antique oyster plate online,what should keep in mind ??
Buying antique oyster plates can and should be a rewarding experience!
You want to buy from a reputable and knowledgeable seller.
We go to great lengths to research our items !
Many times antique oyster plates have no makers marks, so you will not know where or when they were produced. Manufacturers did not have to mark their wares in any way until the McKinley Tariff Act of 1891. This law required the name of the country where the ceramic was originally made.
If you have an oyster plate with no marks and want to be sure that it is antique, there are ways to detect its authenticity.
Look for imperfections in the porcelain, many of which occurred while being fired in the kiln.
Look for hand written or impressed numbers in the clay. Also, you want to look for signs of wear to the high points of the plate which is normally from years of being stacked. In the photo above, you see the oyster plate in the background has both hand written and impressed numbers in the clay and the plate in the foreground has white spots on the brown where the paint has been worn off from time and use. These are good indications of age and tells you they are not fakes or reproductions that are so prevelant online.
Look for sellers who give you book examples and who show makers marks.
O.K. That's Great! But what do I want to watch out for when I buy online?
If the seller gives you very little information on their item or if the price is very low, be wary.
If the plate is marked and the seller does not give a close-up of the back mark, ask him to add a photo so you can see what to expect and maybe do some research of your own!
If the plate has No wear and looks brand new it probably is.
If the seller does not show a photo of the back the plate, but says it is marked "Limoges", once again, ask for a photo of the mark. There are many examples of fake Limoges oyster plates out there right now! Most have this fake "Limoges" mark on the back in gold. If you see this, RUN! These are cheap Chinese knock-offs that are flooding the marketplace.
Also, right now I am finding copies of the Union Porcelain Works UPW oyster plates and the German "Waffle" pattern oyster plates are being reproduced. The waffle oyster plate I find the most of is pink and white, so beware!
To sum up....
Purchase from a trusted, knowledgeable seller.
If it is too perfect to be old, it's probably new!
Research your makers marks before purchase if the seller does not know about his item.
If you are looking to start or expand your antique oyster plate collection take a look in our store!
Katy asks, "Is this a Real French Antique Majolica Pitcher or a Chinese Reproduction?
Here is a great comparison example!
China has been flooding the Victorian Majolica market with cheap reproductions for years. Shockingly, America and Europe's antique markets are full of them. Most of these reproductions are poorly made and poorly decorated. I am finding now that the new reproductions are closer copies that can easily confuse a beginning collector.
If you are like me with tons of reference books, it's very helpful when you find your item on a page with pictures and description. However, even without reference books, you can still detect small differences that will help guide you.
Start by looking at the quality of the painting. Notice that the whiskers and music strings are very sharp and crisp on the cat on the right side.
Take a look at the shape of the heads. The cat pitcher on the left does not have a nicely formed head and the mouth opening is extended more like a beak.
Look at the back opening of the pitchers. This is where having a photo a real antique piece is helpful, the opening on a real piece is large.
The handle of the pitcher is the cat's tail. On the real antique, the tail meets the body of the pitcher then curls down on his back as you see the green tip of the tail. The fake on the left does not.
There is a clear difference in the bottom of these two pitchers. The bottom of the antique pitcher is glazed with an impressed mold number of 0961. The reproduction is unglazed and looks new.
Normally, I would remark on weight as antique majolica is light, but this new copy weighs the same as the antique piece. The Chinese must have changed their recipe as the older copies are normally quite heavy.
The real cat with mandolin has a value, as you see, of over $700. I picked up the reproduction for this blog for $19.95. This is another really good example of why you need Katy's sharp eye!
So, as you see, there are many ways to spot a "not antique" but I feel that it really comes down to the quality and finishes that will alert you to a real or reproduction.
I hope you have enjoyed this little comparison. Add me to your favorites and share me with your friends on social media! Be sure to stop by often to see what I am expounding on next on Katy's Corner!