In 1809 Jean-François Boch bought a former Benedictine abbey in Mettlach, Germany, on the River Saar and began ceramics production. In 1836, he merged his company with his former rival, Nicolas Villeroy, to form the company that would become famous the world over. The abbey, still the company headquarters (and pictured in a photo we've included) is the basis for the mark that's hand- pressed into the underside of this large wall plate. Beneath the abbey is a banner with the name "Mettlach" and the conjoined "VB" for Villeroy and Boch. carry this mark. The words "GEGEN NACHBILDUNG GESCHÜTZT" translate from the German to "Protected against replication" and the number 1387 is the form number of this piece. This mark was used 1882 to 1931. To the lower right of those marks is the date code "93" for 1893. The number on the left is the V&B "mystery" number.
This wall plate or plaque depicts a bearded, helmeted knight, with every inch of the piece covered with etched and enameled designs. As usual with Villeroy and Boch, the artistry is superb. The plate measures approximately 11 inches in diameter and about 1 inch high, with a weight of 1 pound, 14 ounces. There is a wire for hanging on the back and the plaque is in excellent condition, with one glaze pit and some glaze roughness at the lower edge, both on the reverse side, but no chips or cracks or other damage.
This antique plate can be hung on the wall, placed on an easel on a table or shelf and can join other decorative plates on a plate rack or rail. Wherever it's placed, it displays handsomely.