Rosenthal porcelain, made in Germany since the 1880s, is highly collectable. It is essential for collectors of Rosenthal vases to be informed before buying pieces. While forgeries are not commonplace, knowing how to identify a true Rosenthal vase will allow you to avoid purchasing a forgery. Luckily, it is comparatively easy to authenticate Rosenthal porcelain by its brand marks, factory stamps and design partnership signatures.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Examine the brand mark (or backstamp) on the bottom of the porcelain vase. The earliest known Rosenthal brand mark, stamped on pieces made from 1887 to 1891, shows an artist's palette inscribed with the founder Philipp Rosenthal's initials: Ph. R. & Co. A later brand mark, used from 1891 to 1906, features a crown with the letters R & C, separated by crossed lines in an X formation. The brand mark appearing from 1907 until the present day shows a crown along with "Rosen" and "thal", separated by crossed lines.
Check for a brand mark that identifies the Rosenthal Studio Line collection, which has been in production since 1961. On pieces made from 1961 to 1999, the backstamp will feature the standard Rosenthal brand mark above the collection name "studio-line." On pieces made after 1999, the collection name reads "studio-line."
Check for a brand mark that identifies the Rosenthal Classic Rose collection, which has been in production since 1974. On pieces made from 1974 to 1982, the backstamp will feature a crown and two crossed roses encircled by the words "Classic Rose Collection." On pieces made from 1983 to 1991, the backstamp will feature a crown and two crossed roses above the collection name "Classic Rose."
Check for a brand mark that identifies the Rosenthal Home Designs collection, which has been in production since 2004. The backstamp has a more contemporary look and does not feature the standard Rosenthal logos. It simply reads "Rosenthal" in block letters above the collection name "home | designs".
Check for a brand mark that identifies Rosenthal-owned brands and design partnerships. Thomas has been a Rosenthal brand since 1908. Hutschenreuther has been a Rosenthal brand since 2000. Versace has been a Rosenthal design partner since 1992. DiVino has been a Rosenthal design partner since 1995.
Examine the brand mark for a factory stamp or the location of the factory where the Rosenthal vase was made, such as "Selb-Bavaria." Often this will appear in tiny print below the brand mark. It may or may not be present and its absence does not indicate that the piece is not a true Rosenthal.
Tips and warnings
- A true Rosenthal vase may also bear an artist's signature. Sometimes the artist who painted the vase would initial it. Such a signature may or may not be present and cannot prove authenticity alone.
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