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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5691
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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I have a portrait plate, 8 1/2" inches diameter, Cobalt blue

Customer Question

I have a portrait plate, 8 1/2" inches diameter, Cobalt blue banded anthemion gold trim. There is a makers mark "A" surrounded by a scroll design. The word "France" is underneath the scroll. The portrait is of a young woman with a rose in her hair and is wearing what I think is late 1700's - 1800's attire. Can you help me with an appraisal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Hi Mary,

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your portrait plate.

Could you very kindly attach a photo and one of the mark on the bottom and I'll identify it for you and give you a value.

Once you have the photos in your computer, it's a simple matter to attach them. Just click on the paperclip icon, located above the text box where you are typing to me. Or hit the "Attach Files" tab.

If you get stuck go here for help.

Many thanks and wait to hear.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Got the photos thanks, ***** ***** for one of the mark.

(Seems like you sent me the wrong Mark!? instead)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will resend the mark pic.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you get all the pics you need? Waiting eagerly for a response.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Thanks so much for the photo of the mark, I'll have an answer for you as soon as I can.

Best wishes,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any luck yet?
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Hi Mary,

Sorry about the delay, but now I'm back I'll give this my full and prompt attention.

This "A" in a crossed L mark provokes a lot of confusion that is very difficult to sort through as there are so many versions of this mark, some belonging to expensive makers and some are just plain old fakes. This one is kinda in between.

As I'm sure you are well aware it's based on a version of the famous and much reproduced double L (for king Louis XVI) mark of the Royal Porcelain Factory at Sevres, however, it's almost certainly not Sevres, first because this is a printed mark rather than a hand painted one. All genuine Sevres porcelain marks with an upper case A in the center (and no other markings) are 18th century and were all hand painted.

The presence of the word "France" means it is early 20th century, or at least post-1891 when various international trade and tariff laws such as the McKinley Act in the US required exporters to indicate country of origin on their wares.

Versions of the double L mark frequently appear with a letter in the center, in this case the upper case A, which is often mistaken for a 1753 Sevres mark, the year they moved to Vincennes and started using date codes. The A is the date cypher for 1753.

There was also a little-known Old Paris Porcelain spin-off of the Royal Factory that was called Fabrique de la Reine owned by Andre-Marie Leboeuf and protected by the patronage of none other than Queen Marie Antoinette herself. One of their marks was a Sevres double L and a capital A, but the most commonly used one was a crowned A.

But it was none of these. This version of the A in the Sevres mark was used by the Limoges manufacturer, decorator and importer, Charles Ahrenfeldt. These portrait plates are often accompanied by other marks including the more common "CA" monogram for Charles Ahrenfeldt & Son circa, used circa 1900 -1914 which is when this series was produced.

Even though they look hand painted, these portrait plates are in fact a combination of printed and hand-painted decoration. They consist mainly of a color printed decalcomania (decal for short) with the background filled in by hand and some of the features of the figure 'heightened' by hand too. The telltale sign that it's a print is the crease line across her chin, where there was a fold or crease in the print which often happens with these.

Many of them were signed with a facsimile signature of the artist J Mongars who may have been responsible for the original portraits from which the prints were made.

As for value, they sell at auction or on line (eBay etc) in the range of $50 - $90.

So yours would have a full retail or replacement value of $150 and is what you should insure it for.

I do hope this helps!

Best wishes,

PS. If there's anything more I can help you with on this, please don't hesitate to ask. If not, could you very kindly rate my services (with the stars or "accept" button) as this is how I get paid by JustAnswer at no extra cost to you. We can still continue to communicate here on this thread after you do. And if you have another item you'd like to ask me about, just start a new Question and put "For Robert S....." in the subject line. Thanks, R.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome, glad to help!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Robert: I don't know if you could help me find out who painted this picture (photos attached). It appears to be watercolor. The signature is hard read but it looks like"buchanan". It's a picture of what looks like a family with a small boat and a make-shift shelter. Please respond.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for all the photos of your nice watercolor. I can't make out this signature either, I'm afraid.

I'm not very well up on contemporary artists, but I suggest you put it out there as an open question and you may find one of my colleagues will know who this is.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Best wishes,