Q&A on Collecting
Nature inspired majolica ware
Q: I am enclosing a photo of a plate that once belonged to my grandmother. I am now 82, so it must be very old. It is decorated with leaves and vines against a cream background. The leaves and vines are raised from the surface of the plate. It measures over 11 inches in diameter and is in very good condition. Marked on the back are the words “Germany,” the number “176” and a clover shape impressed into the plate. I am interested in finding out anything about the manufacturer, where it was made, its age, and if there is any value to it. Any information you can provide would be very much appreciated.
A: You have an example of majolica pottery that was made in Germany. Majolica is tin glazed pottery that is decorated with brightly colored flowers and animals. It was extremely popular in Renaissance Italy in the 15th century. It was imported to Italy from the island of Majorca and eventually the brilliantly hand-painted wares were called majolica. Majolica ware experienced a rebirth of interest and production during the Victorian Era in Europe and the Unites States. Pieces marked with an impressed clover and the word “Germany” were made in Zell, Harmersbach, Badenia, Germany, in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The number “176” is a design number. Georg Schmider Ceramic Factory was one of the several majolica factories in the Zell region. Chances are your plate was made by Schmider after the turn of the 20th century. Similar plates are in the range of $100 to $150.