Antique Rose Medallion china was a popular Chinese porcelain import during the 19th and 20th centuries. This type of china can still be easily found for sale today.
Features of Antique Rose Medallion China
Rose Medallion china has a unique pattern that helps make it recognizable. There is often a central medallion that is either a bird or peony. Four or more panels (number of panels depends on the size of the piece ) usually encircle the medallion with motifs that depict people, birds, butterflies and trees. The dominant colors are usually pastel pinks and greens and can also include red, blue, yellow and gold.
The Rose Medallion pattern can be found on baskets, plates, bowls, cups, vases, basins, tureens, teapots, platters, serving dishes, creamers, soap dishes and more.
Facts About Rose Medallion China
This style of Chinese porcelain was first made in the mid 1800's to satisfy the high demand for imported china that started in Europe and eventually spread to the United States.
There are similar patterns for china that are sometimes mistaken for Rose Medallion china, such as Rose Canton, which has no people or birds pictured. If people are pictured but no birds are included, the pattern is known as Rose Mandarin.
Rose Medallion china that was made before 1890 has no mark of origin on it. All china made after this date that was imported into the United States had to have a mark of origin because of the new tax imposed on imported goods, part of the McKinley Tariff Act that became law that year. The words "China" and about 25 years later, "Made in China" appear on the bottom. Rose Medallion china is still being produced today.
How to Date
The oldest pieces of antique Rose Medallion china date back to around 1850. They will not have any words or Chinese characters on the bottom. Early porcelain also has more pitting, may have a gold rim, may have scratches from use and the artwork in general is better and more detailed.
Rose Medallion China made from 1890 to around 1915 will have the word "China" on the bottom. After 1915, the words "Made in China" can be found. If you find pieces that have "Made in Hong Kong" or Chinese lettering on the bottom, these pieces are not considered antique because they are too modern.
Large Rose Medallion china pieces dating back to the mid to late 1800's can be worth several thousand dollars. Common items like plates and cups that date back to the early 1900's and late 1800's are usually worth under $100. Most items from the early 1900's on are also valued under $100, however, there are always exceptions. The condition and appearance of the item always makes a difference in the value. Here are some examples of what pieces have sold or are selling for:
- Antique Chinese export porcelain Rose Medallion bowl, Circa 1845-1850- $4800
- Antique Chinese export Rose Medallion oval porcelain platter, mid 1800's- $1350
What to Watch Out For
There are less than honest sellers that will try to pass off modern or reproduction Chinese porcelain as antique. Some will try to scratch off the words "China" or "Made in China" to make the piece appear to be made before 1890. Look for gouges where these words would normally appear and if you see them, be wary. Also pay attention to the gilding (decoration of surfaces with gold leaf). New gilding is painted on and has a flat, non-lustrous look or may appear very bright. A close inspection may reveal scratch marks from being rubbed with a coin or stone to give it an older look. Sometimes porcelain is actually stained to appear old, however, authentic antique porcelain does not turn a darker color with age. It will clean up to appear white again.If you decide to buy antique Chinese porcelain online, just make sure you do your research first. Try to find out what similar pieces are selling for and ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid to ask the seller to send you additional photos. Finally, always try to buy from a trusted, reputable seller.