Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

HOW TO SPOT AUTHENTIC MAJOLICA

 

 

 

 

Have you fallen under its spell?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have! I have a secret obsession for antique majolica, I won’t lie.

 

 

 

 

 

With their jewel toned hues, whimsical shapes, and all-out personality

 

 

 

 

majolica has been adding joie de vivre to French Country style lovers’ homes for hundreds of years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prized for being hand made originals, each one took hours of design and “making” –

 

 

 

majolica pieces are considered works of art today rather than every day pottery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to see why the styles are so coveted by designers and collectors alike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Majolica has a rich history, you can read more about it HERE  >

 

 

 

 

and how to decorate with it HERE >

 

 

Today I’m sharing a few tips on how to tell if a piece is authentic, or a modern reproduction.

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to buying majolica for your home and collection,

 

 

 

you have to take into account your personal taste, and price range.

 

 

 

 

There are real, authentic majolica pieces in every range and quality!

 

 

These tips will allow you to buy pieces that are a true art form.

 

1. STUDY.

The best way to be able to spot a modern reproduction of majolica is to go visit some in real life.  Go to a museum, an antique dealer’s collection, or look at some of the pieces of authentic majolica we sell here at FrenchGardenHouse on our website.

 

2. QUALITY.

The new majolica is clearly inferior to true, 19th and early 20th century pieces. They’re second-rate copies. They won’t have the same careful painting, sharply molded details, nor that “wow” factor that a true antique piece of majolica will have.

 

3. GLAZE COLOR.

Old, authentic majolica is very colorful, their glazes will have a rich, lustrous color hue. Modern reproductions will be much more garish in their colors.  While the true antique majolica pieces are carefully glazed, the new pieces can be sloppy, with drips and glaze runs. The production lines of newer copies don’t allow for the same careful quality control that the Victorian pieces had.

 

4. WEIGHT.

Antique majolica will have a certain weight to it. They are heavy pieces. Modern reproductions will be much, much “lighter”

 

5. UNDERSURFACE.

The antique majolica pieces will have a body underneath the glaze that is pink, blue, green, golden yellow, or cream. Some pieces have a “mottled” undersurface of blue-brown, blue-black. Newer pieces will most likely have a white undersurface.

 

6. MARKS.

Many 19th century majolica manufacturers clearly marked their wares. But there are plenty of smaller manufacturers such as beloved Joseph Holdcraft, who did not.  Today’s reproductions are either unmarked, or often have a pretend British diamond shaped registry mark on the bottom.

 

7. CONDITION. 

Most of us collectors seek out the most pristine pieces we can find. Large chips or cracks that go all the way through a piece are hard to accept. Dull glazing or looks too heavy is another thing not many collectors want to see in their cherished majolica collection.

But once in a while, we can get carried away by a piece that has been repaired.  If you are not a perfectionist, there are plenty of majolica beauties out there waiting for you, at a much friendlier price than the 500.- to thousands {or more!} pieces that would literally mean taking a chunk out of your year’s food budget.

 

8. COMMON SENSE.

If a piece of majolica seems very inexpensive and the price seems too good to be true, it probably IS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you become as smitten with these charming creations as we are here at FrenchGardenHouse!

 

 

 

 

 

There is such delight in arranging your collection of majolica throughout your home.

 

 

 

Each colorful piece adds a touch of history, French Country charm,

 

 

 

and exudes your personal style and taste.

 

 

 

ps. There are modern reproductions, made by reputable manufactures, that are marked with their own factory name and, often, the date of production.

 

DO YOU LOVE MAJOLICA?

à bientôt

 

4 Responses to HOW TO SPOT AUTHENTIC MAJOLICA

  1. I do love majolica! This and the linked article are both very informative, Lidy. My majolica is still packed in storage, but I’m anxious to start having fun with decor again here in our new abode. It has the basics, but needs more layers of soul added. 🙂

  2. Such beautiful pieces of majolica were’scattered’ throughout your post today. I particularly loved the pitcher. Thank you for all the tips, links and info to help us out, Lidy!

  3. Lidy, this is a wonderful post. And most informative. I so wish I had read this a few weeks ago, as my heart sank when I read that food should not be placed on Majolica. I just received a beautiful Majolica Oyster Platter which I ordered as a gift for my husband’s upcoming birthday. He does love oysters and always complains that his current oyster plate does not hold enough – it has places for 6. So when I found this platter, I was thrilled. It is in perfect condition and is marked on the back Gien with their marking and has what looks like DE BIEH to the side with a fancy scroll and the #’s 29 and then the initials ID. Any thoughts you might send my way as to using it and its authenticity would be ever so appreciated. Again, a wonderful post.

  4. I’m a collector of old Majolica. I’ve been collecting for years when I would spy a piece at a reasonable price. I have a China Cabinet full.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.