BRIEF DESCRIPTION: We are please to offer this exquisite porcelain display plate, manufactured by Porzellanfabrik Thomas, mounted on an exquisite ormulu frame. Hand painted by a talented artist, we believe that this unsigned plate was placed within the exquisite, three-dimensional ormulu frame shortly after it was purchased by, or gifted to its first owner. Measuring 12-5/8” in diameter from the furthest point of the ormulu frame on the left side to the furthest point on the right side, we regard both the plate and the frame as being significant in their own right; paired together, they make a stunning and unusual grouping!
ABOUT THE PLATE: The mark on the back of the plate is the Porzellanfabrik Thomas Sevres Bavaria mark, which the well-researched website ‘Porcelain Marks and More’ tells us was used by the Thomas factory between 1908 and 1939. Please refer to: Porcelain Marks and More. As stated earlier, there is no signature on this plate, which does not necessarily mean that the artist was an amateur. Many professional porcelain artists sold pieces on the side, and often did not sign them. Our plate has smudges on the back where the glaze was smeared and not cleaned before firing, and also has some small glaze pops on the front. Glaze pops, as we all know, are a normal feature of the firing process. This plate is in excellent condition given that it is likely 100 years old, but keep in mind that it hung for many years from a wall in an ormulu frame that was a loose fit.
ABOUT THE FRAME: Regarding the frame, we have on occasion seen other porcelain plates or plaques set in ormolu frames, but the frames often were thin, hammered items. The frame used to mount our plate is an exceptional piece of baroque-style metalworking. Please examine our photos carefully, as they best demonstrate the intricacy and beauty of the frame. Ormolu – often referred to as gilt bronze or bronze dorée – was the bedrock of European decorative arts in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Ormolu was made from a fairly elaborate process: the underlying shape was generally made using the lost wax method, with molten bronze poured into the mold that was the eventual product. A layer of thin gold would then be applied by various means to the bronze object, with the resulting product being both sturdy and beautiful. Ormolu was commonly found on antique furniture, as well as on vases, porcelain and clocks as a decorative mount.
ABOUT THE CONDITION:Since acquiring this pair – plate and frame - we decided it was necessary to stabilize the two items with small, self-adhesive pads adhered to the back of the plate. The pads stopped the movement of the metal frame against the porcelain, and they cannot be seen from the front when the plate is on display. By adding the pads as cushioning, we have helped to ensure that the this lovely pair will survive into its next 100 years without imminent danger of damage from the movement of metal against porcelain. What we did NOT disturb is the old wire that was used to hang the platter and frame. It is old, darkened with age, and – we think – entirely charming! However, we would not trust it to bear the weight of the plate and frame after all these years, and we would urge the person who purchases this piece to place it on a stand, instead of hanging it from a wall. Let’s place as little stress as possible on this old beauty!
Please note that we are certain that there are rub marks under the frame caused by the friction of the metal on the porcelain. However, we have no intention of separating this lovely plate from its intended companion, and we would encourage the next caretaker to keep these two stunning pieces together on a permanent basis. Please examine our photos carefully, as you will see both the exquisite artistry of the painter as well as the stunning metal work on the ormolu frame.
BRIEF HISTORY: Fritz Thomas and his business partner opened their first porcelain factory in 1872 in the town of Marktredwitz, under the name Porzellanfabrik Jaeger, Thomas & Co. In 1898, Thomas separated from his business partner and subsequently opened his own factory in 1903, operating under the name Porzellanfabrik Thomas. The Thomas factory achieved immediate success and recognition, catching the attention of the Rosenthal porcelain factory in Selb. In 1908, Rosenthal became a major shareholder in the Thomas factory, and Porzellanfabrik Thomas was thereafter run as an independent subsidiary of Rosenthal. Porzellanfabrik Thomas has a long and storied history of producing beautiful porcelain items.
Shipping for this beautiful plate to the 48 contiguous United States is $40.00.