Vintage Imari Sugar Bowl and Cream Pitcher

Schoenau Brothers Antique Imari Cream Jug and Sugar Bowl

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A dainty matched pair consisting of a cream pitcher and lidded sugar bowl in the Imari pattern, these fine antique porcelain pieces were made by Schoenau Brothers in the German state of Thuringia. They are marked on the bottoms with painted blue crossed swords along with an "H" for Huttensteinach, the town where the porcelain manufactory was located. This mark imitated Meissen's "crossed swords" mark, so closely that Meissen filed a legal objection in 1896. and the Schoenau firm was forced to discontinue using the mark (although many reference sources state that they used the mark until 1920.)

The traditional Imari pattern that covers the cream pitcher, the sugar bowl and the wide rim of its lid was hand painted in cobalt blue and iron red with lots of gilding on the pure white porcelain bodies. There are scrolls, diamonds and flowers; a sinuous vine of cobalt and gold on the creamer handle and rings of gold and cobalt on the lid, topped by a knop in the same colors. 

The cream jug measures 4 inches tall to the top of the handle; the sugar bowl stands 3 1/2 inches tall. Both have painting errors such as small smears and lumps of paint and a tiny missing piece of porcelain on the rim of the lid, which happened in the firing; it's on a white part of the pattern, so it blends in (there is a bit of blue china paint in it). Both are otherwise in excellent condition, with no cracks or chips, merely the expected wear to the gilding. In the photographs showing the upper rim of the sugar bowl, what appears to be a tiny chip on the rim is actually a bit of excess gold paint.

These beautiful Imari pattern porcelain pieces look especially lovely with Gaudy Welsh or white ironstone and anywhere you want an exotic dash of pattern and color.


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