This beautiful porcelain vase by the famous Franz Anton Mehlem/ Royal Bonn factory was hand painted with wild roses and other flowers and foliage. The mold used is a bit unusual, with raised, inverted flower buds along the top rim and raised thistles and tulips along the base. The colors are deep and vibrant: a rich burgundy, shades of green and butter yellow. The painted decorations are strongly Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) with the molded shape foreshadowing the German Secessionist Movement formed in Munich in 1892.
This vase stands 9 inches tall, with a neck about 4 inches across that flares to the bell bottom 6 1/2 inch diameter base. It weighs a few ounces over 2 pounds and is in excellent condition, with some gilt loss on the upper and inner rims and the usual minor abrasions to the foot rim. There are no chips, cracks, repairs and virtually no paint loss and no crazing.
Founded in 1755, this porcelain factory was renamed in 1840 after Franz Anton Mehlem, the father of the two brothers Paul Joseph Mehlem and Everhard Joseph Mehlem, co-owners of the company. Various marks were used over the years; the impressed marks on the bottom of this piece, seen faintly on the far left side in photograph # 7, were used between 1870 and 1890. The word 'Royal' and the year '1755' were added to the printed company mark, the one on this vase, in 1890 and that mark was used until the company was sold in June of 1920 to Villeroy & Boch, who had long been their competitor.
The printed brown mark on the bottom of this vase is very distinct and readable; it consists of 'ROYAL' over a crowned shield containing the stylized letters 'F-A-M' (for Franz Anton Mehlem) and '1755', over 'BONN' and 'GERMANY'. The impressed marks may indicate the original dates of the mold, with the printed mark added to this piece when it was hand painted at the factory, which would date this piece to 1890. The hand written numbers are for use by the factory for production identification.
This is an exquisite piece of porcelain from a historic company, well worth adding to any collection.
NOTE: The pyrography portrait shown in our photo is listed here: