If you find yourself with a renewed interest in cooking, purchasing food and household items full of blue and yellow hues, and humming the Blue Danube Waltz every time you hear it on the radio – then there is an excellent chance that you are in love with Blue Danube China.
The origins of this rare porcelain stem from 1708 when two brothers — Johann Ernst III von Sachsen-Zeitz and Johann Ernst II von Sachsen-Meinigen — founded an outstanding manufacture of porcelain at Pirna which still bears their name today. The story goes that the brothers created this design for their wife for her birthday, but unfortunately she died before its completion. Value of blue danube china is starting to rise as some pieces were sold for over $8000. Johann Ernst II von Sachsen-Meinigen developed a new type of porcelain from the Chinese porcelain with the assistance of Johann Kilian and Christoph Töpper who, like Johann Ernst II, had studied in China. How do you tell if your Danube China is authentic? It is all based on the pattern – a series of interconnected white, blue and yellow flowers. Double check all pieces to ensure that they have the identical design. You can also look at the mark beneath the foot which will either be an E or an M between two swords.
1. The color blue:
“Red is the color of love, and blue is the color of desire.”- Ancient Chinese proverb. The Chinese believed that the most prized porcelain should be red, which symbolizes good fortune and love. Before the late 17th century, blue china was used for everyday use and was reserved for special occasions. Blue was considered a sexual color because it resembled fresh water or the ocean waves. In China, red and blue are symbols of romance. According to legend, a mythical prince had three daughters; red means passion; green means longevity; and blue means infinity. The Prince’s favorite daughter married a jade merchant in Wujiang County in Zhejiang province who came from a family of ceramic artists.
2. The color yellow:
“Yellow enlivens the hearts of men.”- Chinese proverb
Yellow is the best tone in a mixture of blue and red, which represents harmony. Yellow is said to have visual impact, giving people energy. It is said that the best time to purchase blue china is on the first day of the first month of the Chinese year (sometimes called Lantern Festival). Despite this, not all pieces will be genuine Blue Danube China so it’s important to invest in a reputable dealer. It’s important not to confuse it with other porcelain colors such as ivory or cream, which are also considered “love” china.
3. The style:
Blue and red are symbols of love in China, hence why blue and white pieces should be considered more valuable. The more natural-looking the design, the more authentic it is. A pattern of flowers is considered to be the most desirable form of Blue Danube China because they are known as a symbol of long lasting love in China. However, all porcelain with flowers should be appreciated. Pieces that have all of the features listed above should be taken more seriously as they represent a genuine piece of Chinese culture.
4. What it sounds like when you shake it:
“When one hears the music of the three other-worldly, ‘shore-flowing’ blue and yellow porcelain, one knows it is not porcelain made in any country on earth.”- This quote is taken from an article written by Yan Kaxin in “The China Porcelain Handbook”. It has been said that shaking Blue Danube China causes the pieces to make a tinkling rattling sound like chimes or xylophones.
5. It feels like an antique:
“Old porcelain feels light, although it is in fact very heavy, and the clay seems soft and fragile.”- From “Chinese Antiques for the Modern Collector” by C.H.Coyle & D.Wong To feel how antique Blue Danube China feels, rub your piece carefully with your fingertips to experience the pores of this fine china. If it’s not real then it won’t feel like an antique piece of medical equipment (which is commonly known to be hard and cold).
6. It is ugly:
“The true worth of a china cup is as much in its ugliness as its beauty.” – From “China for Children” by Yu-Lun Li & Hui Li. This is one of the hardest features to look for when trying to distinguish fake from real Blue Danube China. A well-adjusted human being should be able to love beauty in all things, even ugly items. This technique implies that this piece may be the most precious of all. Xu Shi-Zhen (a Han Dynasty official) once said: “Love relies on attraction, not on form.”
7. It is good:
Blue and yellow porcelain gives the best flavor when used for cooking. It is said that the best time to purchase blue china is on the first day of the first month of the Chinese year (sometimes called Lantern Festival).