Am I Too Old To Wear A Flower Crown Capodimonte – The Best Or the Worst?

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Capodimonte – The Best Or the Worst?

The original porcelain company was founded in 1743 by Charles of Bourbon in the Capo di Monte area of ​​Italy. He was then King of Naples and was now trying to replicate the growing success of the Meissen Porcelain Company in Saxony, Germany, and the Sevres Porcelain Company in France.

The Chinese and Japanese closely guarded the secret of hard porcelain for centuries. Porcelain wares reached Europe via the Silk Road and later through the hands of maritime powers. Due to transportation costs and losses during the journey, porcelain was so expensive by the time it reached Europe that only the rich and powerful could afford it. However, various European scientists and chemists worked to unravel the mystery. Businesses appeared all over Europe and met with varying degrees of success. Each time, the secrets of the clay and glaze were kept secret, so each new effort had to start from scratch to find the right clay body, glaze, and firing process to make the highly desirable hard paste porcelain.

Many attempts to establish porcelain factories were sponsored or financed by royalties. The successful company will repay the financier in both porcelain products for use in court and as gifts as well as cash back. Now any single European company was likely to produce enough porcelain to flood the market, so any attempt to start a porcelain manufacturing company was risky.

Charles of Bourbon’s factory produced fine dinnerware and jewelry for 64 years, and economics closed it down. A second porcelain company existed from 1771 to 1806, established under the royal patronage of Ferdinand IV. The factory used the trademark of a crown over a capital N in blue glaze. Capodimonte refers to the region of Italy where porcelain factories were located, Capo di Monte, which translates as head of the mountain. In the same area, other factories came and went, producing similar items and using variations on the crown insignia. So there are more than 200 years of porcelain products under the name “Capodimonte”, some better than others, and most of them only a specialist can tell the source.

Because of this ever-changing landscape of makers and the large number of marked and unmarked pieces, the term “capodimonte” is a genre rather than a specific maker. Capodimonte is distinguished by the flowers, lace, ribbons and cherubs that frequently adorn it. Roses, fully open and in bud, are a regular feature of Capodimonte porcelain in many colors. Each petal is hand crafted and placed on a base piece. Others are placed next to the first and are colored with medium strength glaze, giving the flowers a good color on the white body after firing. Sometimes, the entire area can be covered with roses, such as a chair with a seat covered with roses. 18th- and 19th-century costumes frequently feature human figures, especially those with lace. The lace portion of the dress is made using real lace dipped in slip. When the piece is fired, the lace burns away, but the shape and size of the lace is retained in the porcelain. Like the fruit types, cherubs (putti) appear on these pieces. Over time, flowers became larger and became porcelain figurines, so Capodimonte also includes many types of roses and botanical representations of other flowers such as lilies, irises, and poinsettias. These flowers are close in size and the idol may contain butterflies or small birds.

And, to come full circle, porcelain pieces in the Capodimonte style are now being produced in China and have given rise to a new classification in porcelain: Chinese Capodimonte. So, when you see compotes with candles and flowers and putty and think of capodimonte, remember that the quality of the piece should speak for itself and the actual place of production could be in Italy or anywhere in the world. If you’re going to collect a specific maker or period of capodimonte, you’ll have to rely on expert opinion until you become an expert yourself. Pick a place to start and see where your collection takes you. At least you can probably get a trip to Naples out of it.

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