Capodimonte Cup & Saucer, Meissen Style, C.1740-45

I have been pursuing porcelain beauty for 45 years and it is a never ending project of discovery and delight.  I purchased a cup and saucer recently for research.  It isn’t often I come across a mark or porcelain that doesn’t look or feel like anything I have ever had before.  My curiosity was driving me for days to identify this obviously 18th century piece.  It looks so “Meissen-like” but in all my years I had never felt a piece of porcelain so thin and waxen to the touch.  The color was strange almost as if it had a coat of light varnish on it. I compared it to parchment. If you have never had a piece or never seen a mark it can be very difficult to get a handle on the situation.  The mark had a little resemblance to some Russian marks.  But it was not exact. Then I dragged my 10 pound “Marks & Monograms of European & Oriental Porcelain”  by Chaffers up from the basement.  I just started paging through the countries and in a short time I found the mark I had been looking for.  It is one of the earliest marks used by the Capodimonte factory which was founded in 1736 by Charles III.  Refining the porcelain and decoration at such an early stage in the factory’s development  meant either the finest artisans had been employed to make such an exquisite copy of Meissen or they had actually convinced a Meissen artist to leave his post and come work for them.  I am happy to report that there are more challenges ahead and mysteries to solve.  This was a never again moment for me I wanted to share.

The 18th C. Meissen example from which this Capodimonte cup and saucer was modeled.

The 18th C. Meissen example from which this Capodimonte cup and saucer was modeled.