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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!