31 December 2017

Old Year Porcelain

The last post of the old year will be another edition of Top eBay Chess Items by Price, the longest running series on this blog, currently well into its eighth year. The item pictured on the top was titled 'Unterweissbach Germany Dresden Lace Couple Playing Chess Porcelain Figurine' and sold for US $999 on a single bid. A similar item sold a few months ago, but didn't make its way into 'Top eBay Chess Items'. Pictured on the bottom, it was titled 'Huge group porcelain chess player German Unterweissbach' and sold for around $800, 'Best offer accepted'

The structure of the two items appears to be identical although there are differences in their decoration. The description on the top item said,

Unterweissbach Germany Dresden Lace Couple Playing Chess 9347 Porcelain Figurine. Blue crown mark on the lower back of the settee. A seal stating "Made In DGR". Measurements: 9 1/4" height by 16 3/4" width. Condition: Excellent with a hairline crack that starts from the base to under the ruffled hem of her skirt. Couldn't locate any broken laces or parts.

The description on the bottom item said,

Beautiful antique very large group figurine man and woman playing chess amazing detail made by Unterweissbach factory in Germany about 100 years old, item looks great but has damage to woman's lace on the back; other than that no more damage to it. This item before packaging is about 4.5 kilo, it is 17" long by 10 1/2"wide and 9 1/2" tall.

The Wikipedia entry, Unterweissbach, is the shortest Wikipedia entry I have ever seen. Here it is in its entirety:-

Unterweissbach is a municipality in the district Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, in Thuringia, Germany.

The entry is not even marked as a stub. There is more to be said about the town's porcelain industry, for example, Unterweissbach Porcelain History (antique-china-porcelain-collectibles.com):-

Unterweissbach porcelain is yet another example of a company that undergoes many twists and turns, success followed by bankruptcy followed again by even greater success. [Located] in the Thuringia region of Germany, home to other famous porcelain manufacturers such as Von Schierholz and Volkstedt, the Porzellanfabrik Unterweissbach was founded in 1882 by Herman Jost. Having started production making primarily dishes and kitchenware, the factory evolved to making some of the finest figural pieces in the famous history of German porcelain.

In my archive of chess images I found four other auctions featuring this same porcelain piece. For the previous example of chess porcelain on this blog, see Napoleon and Josephine Biscuit (July 2017).

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