Sometimes, an item comes into your possession that requires a real bit of detective work. Such was the case with this vase, which was part of a mixed lot. The first step in identification is to turn the thing over and have a look at the base. Here, you will usually find some sort of makers mark which will lead you straight to the source. This one had nothing bar an impressed number (L101) which, I'm guessing, is the mould number, and the number 401 hand painted in gold. Not a lot to go on.
The next thing to try is a Google image search, and here you have to be creative with your search terms. 'Vase' on it's own is too vague, so what else can we say about it? It has two handles, which narrows it down a bit. Probably antique (the style is Art Nouveau from the late 19th-early 20th century) and it could be described as an urn vase or a bud vase, although at 21cm tall it's a bit big for the latter. Let's settle on 'antique double handled art nouveau ceramic floral urn vase'.
That threw up quite a few similar examples. The graduation of shading from ochre to cream seems to be particularly favoured by Austrian ceramics manufacturers. So, if we add Austrian into our search term... and substitute porcelain for ceramic (see 6 Chodov Porcelain). There are plenty of lookalikes. Those marked Royal Wettina, designed by Robert Henke in particular. I notice that a number of these items on sale do not show any base marks, but without them I would not claim that this vase of mine is Royal Wettina, merely in the style of Robert Henke.
It has also given me a good guideline for pricing and £25 seems fair (£22.50 to you, as a reader of this blog – use the coupon below).
Happy antiques hunting,
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