Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:
Q: I have a porcelain lady and cherub figurine that is white with hints of cobalt blue. It has blue marks on the bottom that look like a bunch of lines and maybe a crown with the letter “N” underneath. Below the crown, is written “King’s,” and in cursive “Capodimonte.” It is signed B. Merli. HELP!
A: Capo-di-Monte has a long history so here is the Reader’s Digest condensed version. The Capo-di-Monte porcelain factory was founded by the Bourbon King Charles of Naples in 1743. The original back stamp during this first period was a Fleur de Lis also known as a “Bourbon Lily.”
In 1780 a new phase of porcelain manufacturing began in the Capo-di-Monte style with a factory in Naples founded by King Ferdinand IV. The mark with the crown and “N” for Naples is from this period, or the Crown Over Neapolitan N Mark. In 1867, Alfonso Majello, knighted “Cavaliere del Lavoro”, founded the Majello factory, which continues to produce Capo-di-Monte porcelain. In 1896, the Doccia (Ginori) factory was merged with the Milanese company and thus began the Richard-Ginori period.
Since the 1920s other companies have made and marketed items as Capo-di-Monte. Some of these are indeed fine porcelain and marked as Capodimonte/ Capo-di-Monte made in Italy. Many of them have some variation of the crown over Neapolitan N mark in their stamps.
Many factories and studios made later figurines carrying on the rich tradition of Capo-di-Monte porcelain during the 20th century. In fact, works of Capodimonte inspired Signora Carozzi to found the Industria Lombardo Porcellane Artistche (ILPA) in 1925. From that company the more famous Industria Porcellane Artistche (IPA) was formed. Many artists broke away to form King’s Porcelain and numerous other studios as well. Most of these pieces were marked with some form of the crown with N logo similar to that used by the second generation Capo-di-Monte factory.
In 2012 the first website/store of Capo-di-Monte Porcelain was founded by Vincenzo Castaldo through “Capodimonte’s Finest”. The Crown Over Neapolitan N Mark was never copyrighted so this opened the door for anyone to put this mark or similar back stamps on their wares. The “B. Merli” mark is for Bruno Merli a master sculptor and artist who worked at several porcelain factories over the years including King’s and the Tyche factory. He was still living in 1990. I was not able to find any information on whether or not he is still living.
With all of that being said, the lady figurine manufactured by King’s Porcelain and designed by Bruno Merli has a resale value of $175-$200.
Note: All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about half or less of resale value.