Posted By whatsitworth on October 28, 2010
This bowl was left in my in-laws estate. I’m not sure of any family history or where it came from. It measures 3″ high and 4 1/2″ and it’s widest edge. It has a blue, purple and green satin iridescent finish. The interior of the bowl appears to have more of a clear glaze. It’s a lovely piece and is in excellent condition.
The other photo shows the bottom of the bowl and a embossed stamp. The letters on the stamp appear to be PECS with some sort of finial or touret design. It also has some labels on the bottom maybe a price in francs, inventory number 6028, serial # case # 5822.
I would be so grateful to know anything that you can find out about this piece.
You have a lovely low porcelain bowl made by the century and a half year old company Hungarian porcelain company Zsolnay. Based on the bowl’s shape and glaze, your bowl was probably made in the first decade of the 20th century. PECS is the name of the town where the factory was founded; the castle is the town symbol.
The Zsolnay porcelain factory in Pecs, Hungary was formed in 1853, shortly after the first Hungarian Revolution of 1848 unified the country and gave it a sense of nationhood. Miklos Zsolnay, already working at a successful porcelain firm, started the company and it was run by his two sons Ignac and Vilmos.
By 1873 the company was showing their wares in the World Exposition in Vienna; in 1878 Zsolnay porcelain company was awarded a gold medal in Paris’ World Exposition. The company continued to excel at producing both decorative and architectural elements over the decades.
According to the company website, Zsolnay introduced Eosin, a new glaze, in 1896 on the occasion of the millenium of the Hungarian Kingdom. Other sources cite the introduction of the new glaze as early as 1893. Nonetheless, the new glaze – iridescent, weather resistant and very colorful – was a runaway success with both artisans and consumers.
(The company website, Wikipedia and other sources claim that the name “Eosin” is based on the Greek word for dawn. After checking with several speakers of Modern Greek and scholars of Ancient Greek I feel I have to debunk this claim. Eos isn’t a Greek word and Ios does not translate into dawn. Eosin is, however, a compound used in dying textiles and tissues for biological studies. Once again, Wikipedia has made me sad.)
Vilmos Zsolnay died in 1900 and the management of the company was taken over by his son Miklos. Miklos encouraged the growth of the artistic and decorative side of the business, partnering with artists and designers to explore new uses for Zsolnay’s unique combination of porcelain and glazes.
I believe your lovely little bowl was done in this third generation of Zsolnay porcelain. At auction today your little Eosin glazed Zsolnay bowl would bring $200-300.