Time for a New Home Scavenger Hunt!
What Makes it So Fine?
Porcelain and bone china are generally referred to as fine china, but contain varied amounts of translucent materials.

Porcelain is a white, glassy, durable material. Porcelain is even-colored and blemish-free and always contains Kaolin which is granite that has decomposed. When added to clay, it allows the clay to be fired at very high temperatures (1900 to 2300 degrees F). During this process, the clay melts and turns into a hard glass-like material. This is called vitrification, g iving it durability and strength in addition to beauty.

Bone china has bone ash added to the mixture. This allows the clay to be produced so thin that it has translucency. However, bone china is porous, is fired at lower temperatures and therefore is more fragile than hard porcelain.
Most Expensive
Flora Danica is probably the world's most expensive china pattern, at $6,500 a place setting.

It all began in 1761 when Danish botanist Georg Christian Oeder published a reference work of 60 lavish illustrations of the plants of the kingdom entitled F lora Danica . The first dinner service decorated with these motifs was ordered in 1790 .

Royal Copenhagen still produces this pattern. It is still entirely hand painted. Artists draw from a collection of over 1,000 floral illustrations, but the painter is given creative freedom so every service will be unique, with a different flower on each plate.
This photo of the underside marks shows how a company's identifying marks can change throughout the years and assists in authenticating, dating, and valuing the pieces.
It's All in Who You Know!
Yes, it's pretty and hand painted but the value of this china is in who owned it!

Haviland Limoges porcelain is always of value but this little sugar bowl sold for $23,500 ! All because of a little thing like Mary Todd Lincoln ordering an entire dinner service of it for the White House in 1861. She saw it when shopping for White House furnishings in New York and ordered it on the spot!

The pattern is "Solferino" in a rich puce color made fashionable by the French in about 1859.
But Old Isn't Everything
Anna Weatherley has only been designing and producing hand-painted porcelain in Hungary since 1994.

Though a relatively new company, the fine shading, and intricate details have made these highly desirable and expensive. A single dinner plate retails for $440 .
A Modern Classic
Gianni Versace Medusa pattern produced by Rosenthal first released in 1994 became an instant classic. A five piece place setting is a "reasonable" $625 .
You Don't Have To Eat On It
Plenty of fine china is valuable that has nothing to do with setting the table. Herend hand painted porcelain dinnerware is valuable but their animal figurines have captured a wide audience with their charming characteristics and fishnet pattern. The famous fishnet took form in 1858 when a Herend painter became inspired by a fishscale design he saw on a Chinese porcelain plate and painted a similar pattern onto a rooster figurine to imitate feathers. The rest is history!

There are plenty of knock offs around so it's important to check the marks on the bottom for authenticity.
The Time Is Now
Fine china is a pleasure to touch and a delight to the eye. Now is a perfect time to look in your sideboard, china hutch, and in the back of your closets for the boxes of your wedding china.
What better time to remember the loved ones who gave them to you?
What better time to create a bit of loveliness at your dinner table (or on your coffee table or in your lap)?

If you are interested, we will be happy to help you identify and evaluate your fine china. Just email photos and descriptions to  info@converseauctions.com.  
Be well, stay at home, go on a scavenger hunt for fine china and other items, and stay in virtual touch!

Yours sincerely,
M. Todd Converse and The Converse Team