What is it and What’s it Worth?
This gorgeous pair of vases sold for $2150 in 2017. Do you know who makes them and why they are so special?
If you see any vases like these at an estate sale or in an antiques shop, you better grab them! They could be worth a lot of money. The vases shown above are large (over 16″ tall) Royal Dux Art Nouveau vases. Royal Dux was founded in 1853, and originally made mostly faience and majolica products. Royal Dux pieces are extremely collectible with over 12,000 listings in our Worthopedia. Learn more about this company and take your knowledge of ceramics to the next level.
Royal Dux / Duxer Porcelain Manufactory
In 1853, Duxer Porcelain Manufactory (Duxer Porzellanfabrik), located in Dux, Bohemia (now Duchcov in the Czech Republic), made utilitarian pottery. In 1860, Eduard Eichler bought the pottery and named it Edward Eichler Thonwaren-Fabrik. Under Eichler’s leadership, the factory produced faience, majolica, and terracotte copying the styles of Copenhagen, Sevrés, and Worcester.
In 1898, a joint stock copy was created and the firm became Duxer Porcelain Manufactory formerly Eduard Eichler (Duxer Porzellanmanufakture vormals Eduard Eichler AG). Berlin served as the company’s headquarters. The firm acquired a porcelain factory near Blankenhein near Weimar. Porcelain production began.
Around 1900, the firm began using the “ROYAL DUX BOHEMIA” inscribed in a pink porcelain triangle. Modeler Alois Hampel joined the company. He was responsible for many of the Art Nouveau shapes and patterns. A strong international market developed. Duxer Porcelain Manufactory won prizes at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, Milan in 1906, and at Liberec in the same year.
World War I disrupted production. Attempts to restart the company resulted in financial difficulties. The company sold its Blankenheim factory. Although struggling, the company survived.
Following World War II, the Czechoslovakian government nationalized the plant, creating a combine of Dux Porcelain Manufactory, Eichwald Porcelain and Stove and Tile Factory, Dr. Widera & Co., located in Eichwald, and Count Thun’s Porcelain Factory in Klosterle. The new company became Duchcovsky Porcelain. German employees were forced to leave and were replaced by locals. Many of the new employees were trained at a ceramic school in Teplice, and the Higher School of Industrial Arts in Prague. Duchcovsky Porcelain produced decorative, household, and table porcelain using the same marks as the earlier firms.
In 1992, the factory was named Porcelánová Manufactory Royal Dux Bohemia A.S. In 1977, the company became part of Ĉesky Porcelán.
What to Look For
Edward Eichler Thonnwaren-Fabrik was noted for its figural groups, portrait busts, and lavishly decorated vases, most in the Art Nouveau design style. Large numbers were exported to America. Collectors prefer pieces from this earlier period, especially pieces with a classical theme.
There is modest collector interest in pieces made between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II. Many of these pieces were copycats of works of other companies such as Goldscheider.
Most of the animal figurines date from the post-1920 era.
Despite the numerous ownership changes, period molds remain in inventory. The molds continued to be used.
Fakes often can be detected by a thin line appearing beneath the triangle indicating it was not fused in the firing. Many of the fakes have an “E” in the triangle and “Made in Bohemia.” Beware of any triangle that is not pink clay throughout. Blurred, indistinct, and bad impressions are other clues.
Royal Dux used one of the most distinctive marks ever used before on porcelain–a raised triangle of pink clay.
All pink triangle marks are made from a separate piece of pink clay applied directly to the white clay body. The two pieces fuse together during firing. There is no seam or gap. High quality marks were maintained.
1860 to World War I
Pink triangle marks almost always were in a bisque finish. Vertical oval with checkered top an “E” beneath, “ROYAL DUX BOHEMIA” in arch around upper half.
“ROYAL / DUX”.
Acorn in triangle
Vertical oval with checkered top over “E” with “DUPOMA” over two lines in arch above.
1919 to World War II
Pink triangle marks have a high gloss glaze.
“Made in Czechoslovakia” as part of the mark. The “E” continues in the center of vertical oval.
“ROYAL / DUX” with “MADE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA” in reverse arch beneath.
1947 to 1992
Pink triangles with bisque glaze returned after the war. A “D” replaces the “E”. A few pieces made in the early 1950s have an “M”.
Triangular mark with “D” surrounded by circle with “HAND PAINTED / MADE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA”.
1993 to the Present
Pieces marked “Czechoslovakia” date after 1920. Pieces marked “Czech Republic” date after January 1, 1993.
Triangular mark with “D” surrounded by circle with “HAND PAINTED / MADE IN CZECH REPUBLIC” and ® in upper right quadrant.
Many of the older marks continued to be used.
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