A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mottahedeh Majolica Reproductions


I first became aware of Mottahedeh's majolica reproductions I think in the late 80's. The first one I can actually recall seeing was the Minton server copy above. It fooled me into thinking it was real, that is, until I turned it over and saw the dark blue Mottahedeh stamp on the base. I must admit I was quite impressed by the quality of the craftsmanship and their ability to match the Minton glazes so well.
After that I started so see them around here and there.
Among their earliest designs the company produced a line of gift wares based on George Jones Cherry Blossom pattern--a teapot, honey pot, plates and mugs all done in the distinctive George Jones style. They also had a line of wares based on the English apple and pear plates.




These weren't cheap reproductions by any means. They were well made and hand panted in Italy for the American gift market, and their cost could reach into the hundreds of dollars.

In the ensuing years they've created a number of reproductions of well known, and not so well known majolica pieces. All of these are clearly, permanently marked with the Mottahedeh stamp and are sold new with a short history of the original piece.


Mottahedeh has been in the business of creating original and historical reproduction china for the better part of 75 years. They specialize in museum copies of blue and white Chinese porcelain export china but have a broad range of products that include crystal, silver and tableware. Their history with majolica goes back to their origins. In the 1950's and 1960's they made reproduction Eurpoean majolica designs for the giftware market.


Given that history, it's rather surprising that they didn't begin their Victorian majolica reproductions until the late 1980's.

Their work is really very good, probably the finest reproduction majolica now available. The company produces a design for a limited period then retires it, making for a brisk market in the collectibles sector. In 100 years they may well command the same prices that Victorian majolica commands today.















Naturally, the pieces aren't as heavy as Victorian majolica and many of them do have a slightly modernized look about them but they're high quality pieces well worth their expensive price tags if that is the sort of thing you are looking to purchase.

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