Monbijou china, Bavaria was the mark used on the Monbijou line of china introduced by Rosenthal in 1896. This was one of the earliest Rosenthal introductions bearing the R and C crown with crossed swords.
The translation of Monbijou is "My Jewel" and this line of Bavarian china lives up to the name. It is not well known except among those that love it and the pieces can be purchased for much less than Meisson, or other more well known china manufacturers.
Rosenthal Monbijou can be found in a wide price range. The value will depend on the age, condition, and desirability of the piece. You should expect to pay from $40.00 to over $1,000.00 for the china depending on what it is. Average price for a plate in near perfect condition is about $75.00 to $100.00.
The Monbijou line is not a particular pattern of china. Monbijou refers to the intensely detailed, scalloped and ruffled shape of the various pieces which were created on the same mold. After Rosenthal created the white-ware, or unpainted china, the company sent them out to be hand painted. Rosenthal used only the most talented artists from around the world. Each artist added their own creativity to the china making each piece unique. Often the artist signed and dated the bottom of the piece near the mark.These pieces were created on a Monbijou mold and then sent to various artists to be hand painted. Some of the most popular plates depicted:
- Large flowers
- Small, all over sprays of flowers
- Sea shells
The edges are often hand-painted in gold to bring out the exquisite detail in the ruffled scallops. The Monbijou line is pure Art Nouveau with flowing lines and graceful design.
Named After the Summer Home of Sophia Dorthea
The name of the city under the mark describes where the white-ware was created. In the case of Monbijou china, Bavaria the name comes from the Rococo style summer home of Sophia Dorothea, wife of Frederick William I. Located in East Berlin, Mon Bijou was known for its charming gardens. The chateau was reduced to a pile of stone during World War II and never rebuilt.
Monbijou china, Bavaria was created from about 1896 to 1907. Rosenthal has a modern version of Monbijou which is currently manufactured once a year. It is made in very limited editions, but it is pure white and does not have the spectacular artwork present in the antique china.
Where to Find Monbijou China, Bavaria
Rosenthal Monbijou can be found in many antique shops and auctions. You may even find a piece at a garage sale now and then. Generally the china is in good shape. It is so beautiful that people often used it as display pieces rather than serving food from it.
The Internet is always an excellent source of collectibles and Monbijou is no exception. There are a number of virtual antique shops that carry this wonderful china. Most of them are affiliated with Ruby Lane, a virtual antique mall with several shops. Typing Monbijou Bavaria in the search feature will bring up a number of pieces, each more beautiful than the other.
Other places that carry Monbijou are:
- Ebay is another place that is worth trying. Check often because new items are listed all the time. Always check the feedback score of the seller and read their return policy carefully. Most sellers on eBay are very good, but protect yourself form those that are not.
- Tias is another virtual antique mall that normally has several pieces from the Monbijou line.
How to Care for Your Bavarian China
Whether you decide to use your china or just display it you will want to clean it once in a while. This will keep it looking fresh and beautiful. Often you will just need to dust it but sometimes it may require a gentle washing. To wash antique china of any sort follow these steps:
- Place a folded bath towel in the bottom of the kitchen sink to pad it.
- Fill the sink with warm, not hot water.
- Add a few drops of gentle dishwashing soap and stir the water to create suds.
- Take off any rings or jewelry that might scratch the china.
- Wash one or two pieces at a time to guard against chipping.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge.
- Rinse carefully and air dry.
By doing these simple things your china will be in top condition.