Every now and again one runs into unmarked pottery and china that only bears a signature and a date. Pieces like this plate seem to grab the interest more from my clients than well marked pieces by big name makers such as Sevres or Meissen. It’s the mystery of it all I suppose, the single signature and a date offering an irresistible pull.
This plate pictured is one such item, marked ” Jasmine Kain 95″. While there is no company marking, this piece originated in Limoges France, it’s painted in the floral Art Nouveau-style which was near its peak during the turn of the 19th century. The number “95” in my opinion indicates the year 1895.
Limoges was the home of many porcelain companies during the last quarter of the 19th Century, Companies located here produced pieces decorated within their own potteries and those sold as undecorated ” Whiteware” blanks to Schools and Decorating studios. A great deal of these undecorated blanks were made for the export market, chiefly to the USA.
Much of this “white ware” were hand-painted by Students in pottery studio’s located Europe and North America. Referred to as “China painting,” at the time , it was a popular hobby from the last quarter of the 19th Century until the First World War. Sadly, the pieces decorated in most of these studios and the artists who decorated them were very seldom documented. Often the only way such pieces can be identified is if there is a family provenance to the Artist, such as letters or labels some relation has taped to the piece.
In my humble opinion this plate was decorated in North America but, sadly, as is the case with many of these bits of hand painted Limoges, I have no listing for the artist “Jasmine Kain” in any of the databases or text references used to identify signatures or monograms for porcelain decorators.
The majority of these signed Limoges plates are “one of a kind ” items, but they are not rare. While not mass produced, such pieces were made in large numbers, so values are still modest for them. In the current market, comparable hand-painted Limoges based trinket boxes of this period and style often sell at auction for less than $75.00
Wilcox & Hall Appraisers