I like to think of myself as a fairly cheerful sort of chap, I enjoy a joke, love to laugh and even after a hard and occasionally frustrating day just the sight of my beautiful wife standing by the cooker preparing another delight for tea will bring a warm glow to my heart.
Today however my day hasn’t really unfolded as I hoped it would when I jumped joyfully from my bed this morning.
Since I got home I have been chastised for not making a phone call I should have made, leaving my wet umbrella in the hall and not returning the bin to its regular resting place.
In a nutshell, my beautiful vision beside the cooker has tarnished and I have a headache. I know both of these distressing things are but a temporary flicker in my exciting week though, because tomorrow I have a collection of Dresden to value. Dresden does not refer to a particular maker but rather to a combination of at least forty porcelain workshops and decorators in and around the city of Dresden in Germany, which became a major centre for porcelain production.
Numerous factories produced wares in the style of Meissen and Sevres, and many of these makers used copies and old Meissen marks.
Meissen dominated the mid 18th century style of porcelain and was imitated not just in Dresden but throughout Europe. The hard paste porcelain used by most workshops in Dresden is less white and refined than Meissen porcelain and the decoration was not always carefully applied.
Nevertheless, some of the best pieces may be mistaken for Meissen.
Although there was a tradition in Dresden, stretching back to the 18th century, of producing fine porcelain figures, less expensive figures also found a ready market.
Very inexpensive figures would be made in a single two piece mould, while more elaborate expensive examples were assembled from many pieces.
Among the most common products are modelled or cast mythological, allegorical and pastoral figures and groups, birds and animals.
Figures usually wear 18th century costume but are larger and far more elaborate than Meissen originals. Dresden porcelain is generally of a poorer quality than the Meissen it mimics and thus is not as desirable but does offer a collector value for money.
Dresden figures are often not marked except by impressed numbers, but in the case of Dresden it is better to concentrate on quality and not a maker’s mark.