KPM porcelain is generally accepted to be porcelain by appointment to the King - KPM understood as a stamp of quiality. It might also stand for Krister Porzellan Manufaktur - a quality mid 19th century porcelain manufacturer.
Background and collecting information
The KPM initials were first used in 1723 by the Meissen factory. The initials stand for “Konigliche Porzellan Manufacktur”, which roughly translates as by appointment to the King. These initials are found on a variety of pieces manufactured by several makers.
When the Berlin Factory was opened in 1832, the KPM mark was used again to truthfully identify the Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur.
Similar stamps were designed by competing porcelain manufacturers to attract business, since the KPM initials implied a high level of prestige. Firms undertaking this practice included a small Waldenburg-based firm, founded by CS Rausch in 1820 and another opened by Traugott Hay, which was taken over by Carl Franz Krister (a previous employee of the Rausch factory). Krister cheekily claimed his imitation KPM stamp stood for Krister Porzellan Manufaktur. .
Krister’s porcelain was well-made and popular, starring at various expositions and winning a number of awards. Krister died in 1869 but the firm remained a family business until 1920. Thereafter ownership passed to the Rosenthal group with majority ownership in a holding company.
In 1945 the company changed its name. Waldenburg was occupied by Russian troops and all Germans were requested to live the area save skilled workers, who were put to use training up their Polish replacements.
In 1852 the factory was again re-named, Fabryka Porcelany Krzysztof.
In 1965 it moved production to Marktredwitz in Bavaria and by 1971 the once illustrious name had been discontinued.
In 2004 Rosenthal had registration for trademark Krister marks discontinued.
The KPM mark was also adopted in Germany by the Kister Porzellan Manufaktur in Scheibe, in 1908 and the Kranichfelder Porzellan Manufactur in Kranichfeld in 1903.
To collectors, KPM generally indicates high-quality porcelain made in Germany from the 18th through 19th centuries and beyond.
The best of the KPM porcelain is remarkably painted. It demonstrates high levels of technical skills. In recent years China has been producing porcelain marked KPM, complete with an eagle stamp. On this porcelain, the sceptre of the mark is missing and the quality significantly worse.
Any damage should be reflected in the sale price.
KPM porcelain plaques are particularly popular among collectors.
A KPM porcelain plaque showing a young woman with fruit brought $8000 over a $4000 top estimate in January 2013. It sold at Keno Auctions.
A KPM porcelain plaque depicting Jesus sold for $350 at A-1 Auction in January 2013.
Two gilt and enamelled porcelain vases, 19th c., Royal Vienna vase with portrait of Madame Pompadour; both marked KPM, sold for $950 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in January 2013.
A KPM hand painted porcelain plaque brought $1,500 to Skinner in January 2013.
A KPM hand painted porcelain plaque featuring a violinist sold for $425 at Skinner in January 2013.
A KPM hand painted porcelain plate featuring a mausoleum brought $175 to Skinner in January 2013.
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