This is Robert here and I would be happy to help with your Minton china.
Could you very kindly attach a photo of the item. Is it a plate? And a photo of the mark. Also, what size is it?
Many thanks and wait to hear,Robert.
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Thanks for the photo of the plate which has just been forwarded to me. I'll assume it's dinner plate size, about 10" (if significantly bigger or smaller let me know).
What a beauty! This is an example of a lavishly decorated Minton cabinet plate, made in bone china (porcelain) embellished with jeweled enamel work and encrusted gold enamel.
Some of these are also marked for the high end US retailers where the plates were offered for sale, such as Davis Collamore, Tiffany and others. Minton were one of the pre-eminent English china manufacturers at the time and the preferred name for a number of First Ladies for their china services at the White House.
The branches are plums, you are quite correct, but the blobs are probably intended to be blossom rather than fruit as the decoration is derived from Japanese kakiemon motifs and plum blossom in the orient is an important symbol of courage and hope because it's one of the first blossoms of the year, bravely flowering at the end of winter. The birds are sparrows, also another favorite of Japanese decoration.
All things Japanese became immensely popular at the time and influenced the decorative arts for over half a century during Americas Gilded Age, circa 1870 - 1920. Without seeing the mark or the date cypher, I would date this plate to around 1900.
The elaborate gilding was done with a technique known as the "Minton Acid Gold" process, patented in 1863 by one of the top gilders at Minton, James Leigh Hughes. The design was etched into the surface of the porcelain using hydrofluoric acid, usually through a stencil, that was then gilded and burnished to create a completely pleasing three dimensional effect.These "Acid Gold" and raised paste enameled Minton patterns were extremely expensive in their day and they would have been produced in very limited quantities, so you may have one of the few examples of this china pattern left on the planet.
Having said that, you'll be glad to hear there is still quite a strong market for them. And dinner plates are the most sought after.If you saw your plate for sale in an antique store it would have a retail value of about $350. This is also the replacement value and what you should insure it for.Expect to net approximately 30% - 40% of this if you were to sell at a good antique auction house or on line (eBay etc).I do hope this helps!Best wishes,Robert
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Please ignore the above answer. It was for another question about a similar Minton plate.
Also with birds and plums! My mistake.
As soon as I see a photo of yours, I'll have a full answer and a value for you.