18th Century Figurines – Capodimonte and the Crown N Mark

Who doesn’t love little Georgian figurines?  Visit an antiques fair and you’ll see literally thousands of the little things, all in various degree of quality.  They became extremely popular in the 20th c. and were made in mass quantities in Germany and Japan, for the American giftware market, but they were also very popular in the 19th century as well, and even back to the time of their subject matter, the 18th c.

As delightful as the army of Georgian figurines, in my opinion I find that most of them individually suck.  They have ugly little faces, or crappy paint jobs, or weird crusty lace bits.  I have to look long and hard for “acceptable” porcelain Georgians, and I won’t buy it for The Boutique unless it’s something truly special.

Sometimes, though, the hunt results in serendipity.  The last time I bought goodies for my shop, I grabbed a nice-looking white porcelain Georgian couple, marked on the bottom, only to research that mark later and find them to be Capodimonte porcelain, with the Crown N of Naples, and dating from 1771-1834.  WHA?

This Crown N mark dates from 1771-1834

One caveat is that the Crown N was used quite a lot later on in its history, and because of this, the provenance of white porcelain figurines bearing the mark has been blurred.  As they say on Antiques Roadshow, “it’s a fake.”   Or it could be.  My own research into the subject turned up some history on the mark – http://www.onlinecollectibles.com/faq/capodimonte2.htm – and http://users.skynet.be/rutrene/marks32.html – this figurine matching closest the 1771-1834, and 1782-1834 examples.  So it doesn’t mean that is is, and it doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

On a more general note, I think they’re delightful.  I’m happy to have something of value, but that’s not why I picked it.  It’s their charm, the quality of the sculpting, and their general prettiness that I like so much.  If you like them too, this couple is for sale in The Boutique on Etsy.  I have another set of Georgian musicians to show you, too, but that is for another post 🙂


  • Plum

    April 27, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    they are quite a cute little couple. On another note i am positively lusting after that teacup set you posted today. I am considering begging my husband to let me purchase it once my paycheck comes in! Where do you find these beautiful teacups? I have such bad luck finding them myself

  • Lauren Stowell

    April 27, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Hi Plum – sometimes you can find good tea cups at flea markets or antique markets, but I'm very picky about the ones I choose (like with the figurines too). I'm glad you like that little pink and white one. One of my favorites, too, and I would love for you to enjoy your morning tea from it 🙂 Like passing on the pretties, haha 🙂

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